Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hot Spots in The Garden

It's July and it's hot and there are hot spots everywhere in the gardens from beautiful texture to glorious color.  But, you have to really look for both on these hot, hot July days.  No, I have not gone completely off my rocker--although I'm fairly sure the heat has gotten to me--looking, desperately, for ways to keep plants and cuttings and myself cool while trying to water the gardens judiciously. I know perfectly well that this fan can't possibly cool off the patio but, I can dream can't I?  The weather forecasters keep telling us how many days in a row we've gone with being over 90 degrees and I'm too hot to care anymore.









But, I did try the fan, as an addition to the permanent ceiling fan in the greenhouse.  Alas, all it seemed to do was make the hot and sticky air in there feel even  hotter and stickier and that definitely did not help the interior of the greenhouse one iota!

What's a plant to do in this kind of weather other than just go with the flow of things? Yep...Just like this old renegade pumpkin vine in the greenhouse that seems as happy as a clam, no matter what the weather is, inside or out. But, to me, that's the problem--there is no flow, so to speak.  After all, it happens every year--high heat and not enough rain.  So, since the extra fan didn't help cool the greenhouse, there was no sense moving more plants in when it was obvious that I had to move all that was in, out!



Plan "B" had me moving all of the plants and cuttings out of the greenhouse and squirreling them away in the herb garden and the perimeter beds of the knot garden for a cooler way of life.  I have also resorted to planting many of the larger potted plants in existing beds to help conserve on watering.  It's not so bad...Lavender cuttings stuck in sand-filled jiffy pots are enjoying their own type of sauna in small plastic containers tucked away in a shady corner at the back of the house.  And, the smaller cuttings gathered around these "mini greenhouses as well as in various places under leaves and in corners of the gardens seem quite happy to be getting some fresh air, albeit rather hot and sticky July fresh air.

While the gardens remain in good shape and full of texture, like I said, you have to look for the color beyond the varying shades of green in the white-hot sun during the day due to the extreme heat and shortage of moisture, beyond humidity, here.  It seems that rain at any point of the day or night can be all around us but not here at Blooming Hill.  Isolated thunderstorms mean just that...isolated.  It can be raining down the road or in the next town but not here!  I've watched many times with frustration, the rain clouds skirting the Blue Ridge but never crossing over them.  Watering from the hose can only do so much and the gardens are looking for a good all-over soaking which, it seems, is a very long shot into the coming week and going forward. However, there are some "bright-hot" spots throughout the yard. 



Even in this hot weather, zinnias and pumpkins, marigolds and African Blue basil and mandevilla and petunias--perennials and annuals of all kinds--are keeping a stiff upper lip and still showing off their color while valiantly holding on to their petals and blooms.

As they say in the gardening business, "Have watering cans and hose, will travel." Onward in the constant struggle to keep plants going through this terrible hot spell...wait a minute...is that a rain drop I just felt?  It's a tough summer but hope springs eternal here at Blooming Hill!  I hope it does where you live, too.

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