Saturday, June 7, 2014

Changes at the Pond, too

We were fairly lucky to not lose a lot over the past winter - damage on a couple of trees and some shrubs, and the loss of a season of hydrangeas, but over all nothing too bad.  Except for the Clethera [Clethera alnifolia 'Ruby Spice'].  
Fully leafed out and beginning to bloom in 2011, it was a beautiful, big shrub.
It was always the last shrub to leaf out, so I didn't pay a lot of attention when it seemed a bit slower than usual this year, and then suddenly last week I realized that absolutely everything else was fully leafed out - even the crepe myrtles.  Something was definitely wrong.  

Last weekend it looked like this:
Closer inspection showed that the trunks were in very bad shape - so bad that the entire older part was very dead.  Over the long weekend I cut it out, leaving the side shoots that had leafed out and hoping that time will help it fill out into a shrub again. 
See the damage on the bark?  All the major stems showed this.  I fear it's a disease and not just the bad winter weather.
That left a huge hole in the "landscape" next to the pond, so I spent the rest of the morning re-doing that whole area.  
The side stems are leafing out and I hope that they will thrive now that there is no competition.
 I moved iris, yarrow and ajuga to fill in the space and mulched it all in.  A bit of TLC and I hope it will look good - and healthy - in a few weeks.