And this, as of last week:
WHY?! WHY?! We gave it a long chance to perk up, but when the existing foliage started to brown and shrivel, we knew it was over. Now, it sits in a bin waiting to be taken back to the garden center for a new plant. We bought this one in 2009. Luckily, I always get a 5 year warranty when I buy shrubs from my favorite store. (Stein, if you're curious)
Sad. I was also devastated by a hydrangea crisis. I usually cover my patio hydrangeas with burlap, but last fall I said 'I think they are old enough to make it through the winter unprotected' which translates to 'I don't feel like covering my effing plants!' So, it is my fault that both shrubs were badly compromised and will not bloom this year.
At least the foliage is in good shape. One of our hydrangea vines was also a quitter this year, with one half of it giving up and dying. It was already the skinny one, so this is just the icing on the cake:
Monstrous hydrangea vine, meet sad, sickly hydrangea vine. We also ripped out a smoke bush that died after just planting it last summer, I didn't take a picture because it is so annoying to me. I also have a 'Wine and Roses' Weigela that died back quite a bit...and now we have a silly misshapen shrub with a long branch that I need to cut off.
It usually looks like this!
One last sadness....my prized 'Rio Samba' rose. It is one of the most beautiful roses I've ever seen, and it has always been such a rock star in my yard. The blooms are huge and people stop on the sidewalk to look at them.
Not this summer, it is bravely fighting severe black spot.
This pic was taken a couple weeks ago, I've since pulled almost all of the leaves off to try to stop the spread. I have literally spent EVERY evening messing around with this dumb rose. Ain't nobody got time for that! Right now it is covered with powdered sulfur to help control the disease, and it seems to be working because I'm seeing new growth.
It still looks like a skeleton next to the robust beauty next to it. Blah.
Makes me sick, since they looked like this last summer:
I'm hoping that all my extra attention will save it. Also, it would be GREAT it mother nature would stop giving Wisconsin either constant downpours or oppressive heat and humidity. Can't it always be 76 and sunny, with evening showers so I don't have to water everything? I guess I should move to California....