Normally, I am not a glass-half-empty kind of person, but I can be prone to pity parties, and I am a total wimp when it comes to heat. Day after day of heat indexes over 100 degrees have turned me into a full-blown whiner. Nagging aches and pains seem to be exacerbated by the heat. Inertia has settled in, as I postpone projects and plans, all of which seem to require more energy than I can summon.
Early morning and late evening are the only times I venture outside, other than quick trips to move the water sprinklers. Even then, it doesn't take long before rivulets of perspiration are running down my face. The picture above of my roadside coneflowers shows that even at 8 PM, the sun's rays are still strong, and the haze of humidity has settled even closer to the ground. When my daughter lived in Arizona, I used to feel so sorry for her during the summer when temperatures often reached 110. But Arizona doesn't have humidity, so a heat index (temperature + humidity) is more accurate in comparing our weather--I think right now we're much hotter than Arizona!
But you didn't come here to hear me complain, and I realize even as I write, that it could be much worse. While my garden is suffering from not only the heat, but the prolonged drought as well, farmers have much more to be concerned about as they see their crops shriveling in the fields. There are no wildfires threatening my home, thank God. And, unlike some areas hit by recent storms, I have power--which means I can always retreat into the comfort of air-conditioning.
|'Dragonfly Corner,' a passalong from friend Beckie, is thriving in spite of the heat.|
On the Fourth of July I looked around the garden to see if I could find a patriotic tribute. Finding something white wasn't difficult, which is a bit surprising, considering up until a year ago, there was hardly a white bloom in my garden. Now there are all kinds of white blooms--phlox, 'White Swan' echinacea, nicotania, annual salvia.
Probably the best-looking of the bunch, though, is the 'Becky' daisy. The original plant pictured above in Roco's garden was divided last year, and an even larger plant now blooms in the Arbor Bed. More divisions were taken this spring and shared with best friend Beckie. Such a great plant--it seems totally unfazed by the heat and the lack of rainfall.
Finding red was a little harder, especially a true red. But the first zinnias are beginning to bloom, and a bright red one opened up just in time for the holiday.
A blue to complete the patriotic theme was even harder--the pot in the shade garden is a little too blue.
Searching a little harder, I found this bloom which may look purple here, but in the right light it is the perfect shade of flag blue. What makes me excited about this bloom, though, is that it's my first ever larkspur! I've tried for several years to plant larkspur from seed with no luck.
This year I have several plants popping up here and there in various colors. I finally realized that larkspur needs cold to germinate, and in the past I had planted it too late in the season. These seeds were scattered in February, while the ground was still half-frozen.
Another success story--one lavender plant started from indoor seed sowing a year ago survived the winter. Perhaps there will be enough to make one lavender sachet??
While parts of the garden are showing the effects of a stressful summer, the liatris seem to be energized by the heat. I'm not sure what's going on with these particular plants--they're 5-6 feet tall and still haven't bloomed!
The first 'Stargazer' bloom opened up yesterday, with buds promising more to come. Yes, there is much to happy about in spite of this miserable heat, and there's nothing I can do about the weather anyway. I'll just view the garden from the cool comfort of the family room and keep repeating my favorite mantra for all unpleasant times . . . "This, too, shall pass."
Stay cool, everyone!