The Tupelo Speaks


Once we asked a well-regarded landscape architect, Roger Washburn, to consult. It turns out we could not afford him but he was generous with his time and ideas. Among other things, he noted our stand of tupelo trees. My tree knowledge is limited so it was noteworthy to me that they were noteworthy to him.

Our tupelos stand behind the weathering Tin Man; they anchor the hanging garden mirror and, here’s the part I’m getting to — they announce the peak of summer.

The tupelos are the first to turn color and drop a leaf and they typically do so in early July, which makes sense from a plant perspective, being on the waning side of summer solstice. This year’s tupelo turn came two weeks late. What now?

Summer Harvest

Hydrangea, phlox, and echinacea

Hydrangea, phlox, and echinacea with “Minuet”

Hydrangea, black-eyed susan, phlox, monarda

Hydrangea, black-eyed susan, phlox, monarda

Our summer’s peak saw a blistering heatwave that started early and ended late. Still, the flowers were heavenly. For example, the hydrangea by the back door trellis had hundreds of blue heads, the kousa dogwood is still in bloom, the monarda and phlox are swarming with bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. The swimming pool has been our respite.

More recently degrees have ranged from low 60’s F to mid 80’s F. And rain.

When it was just too hot outside, we enjoyed the blooming harvest inside. This garden is my joy.

3 Responses to “The Tupelo Speaks”

  • Chris Malmquist:

    Beautiful! I hope to see it this coming weekend.

  • Kate:

    Speaking of the Tin Man, the other day we were on our way to do some paddling on Monponsett Lake. The canoe was strapped to the car in such a way that it made a constant vibrating sound. We all agreed it sounded like the Tin Man, blowing a 20 minute raspberry

  • Over here in England the roses were spectacular this year; apparently they loved the long and very very rainy and cold winter-spring. Then by late in rose-first-flush season we got a rare 3+ week heat wave. Waiting to see what the 2nd flush makes of it. My shrub magellan fuchsia got a sudden wilt and 80% died back — what’s that about?