Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Lazy, Hazy, Crazy" Days

Anyone close to the same age as I may remember a song by Nat King Cole popular in 1963, "Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer."   That description certainly fits this week in July, although the connotations of that song seem a little different in reality.

It's crazy hot here! The temperatures are soaring--95 degrees as I type, with a forecast for even higher temps the next two days.  Sure, it's hotter in Phoenix where newly married Daughter lives, but Illinois has something Arizona doesn't--humidity.  The buzzword here these days is "heat index,"  the combination of heat + humidity, which means it actually feels like 110 degrees or even hotter outside.   I took over a dozen photos out in the garden early this morning before I realized the blurry images in my viewfinder weren't from not having my contact lenses in yet, but because the camera lens fogged up from all the moisture in the air!  The windows of my house were equally foggy.  Hazy days indeed.

'Sunrise Rose' lantana loves the heat, but I don't.
All this heat and humidity is making me lazy, too.  There's much to be done in the garden, but I just don't feel like leaving the A/C to do it. 

Early morning or late evening is about the only time I want to venture outside.  Some half-hearted attempts are made at weeding, but for the most part, I don't do anything much more strenuous than deadhead lilies.  The passalong division from best friend Beckie, 'Dragonfly Corner,' is the most prolific bloomer of the daylilies right now.

Although 'Nettie's Ruby,' more passalongs, are still going strong, too.  The heat is even creating a haze in my brain.  It's a good day for staying inside and reading some blogs, but I'm too lazy to even write a coherent paragraph today.  Instead, I'm opting for extra-large photos and random thoughts . . .

I'm still on beetle patrol morning and night, but the Japanese beetle population seems to be going down.  The yellow Knockout Rose 'Radsunny' finally is able to put out new blooms.

Earlier this spring I was regretting that I hadn't planted any cleome.  Not to worry . . . it has re-seeded all over one end of the lily bed.  

I really should deadhead the 'May Night' salvia, but that sounds like too much work right now.  Besides, the bumbles don't seem to mind it as is.

I also need to plant the new hydrangea I bought.  This is not the optimal time for transplanting anything, but I couldn't pass up this bargain at one of my favorite garden centers.  This 'Little Lamb' was only a penny, with a $30 purchase . . . which means, of course, I have a few other plants to plant as well:)  There's Sophie again in the corner of the photo--maybe I could get her to dig a few planting holes for me.

One of the chores I try not to neglect, however, is the watering.  In this heat, containers need to be watered every day, and I have so many new plants in some of the beds that I try to make sure they get a good watering every few days.  The arbor bed has most of the new plants, so it gets special attention.  Maybe it's not as dry as I think if these little mushrooms are popping up.

Today it's the veggie garden's turn for a good watering.   It will be a few weeks before the first tomatoes are ripe, but they're looking promising.

Sugar peas, on the other hand, were a bust.  I planted them much too late, so it's my own fault.  I think I picked enough for one serving of peas.

 It's nearing 8 AM, and I am already "glowing."  Who am I kidding; I'm no Scarlett O'Hara--sweat is pouring down my face, and my shirt is plastered to me.  Time to stop taking photos, turn on the sprinkler, and head into the cool house.  But wait--there are green beans to pick again! Oops, I had forgotten to check these in awhile.  

Twenty minutes later, I'm finally ready to head indoors and call it a day.

Mr. P and I love fresh green beans, but there is no way we'll eat this many right away; besides I still have some in the fridge from last week's picking.  I really should put these up in the freezer, but that means boiling water for blanching them, which would heat up the kitchen.  "Don't be such a wimp, Rose!"  I scold myself.  My mother used to can green beans with a pressure cooker on days like this, for heaven's sake . . . in a kitchen without air-conditioning!  My pioneer spirit kicks in--along with a little guilt, I surmise--and a few hours later, I have several quarts of very fresh beans stored away in the big chest freezer.

Ah, finally time to sit down with a good book and relax.  Unless you're a tropical native like this hibiscus, this heat is stifling and can be dangerous.  Check on elderly neighbors and family to make sure they're all right.  Keep hydrated and stay inside where it's cool if at all possible.

On hot and hazy days like this, it's okay to be lazy.


  1. Good job on the beans. It is so hard to get motivated to do anything in this heat and cooking in a kitchen is tough. That pass along daylily-love all those blooms! Blooms and bud count are my criteria now and that one is a winner!

  2. I totally agree with everything in this post. We're just as hot and humid a bit north of you, too. I'm also feeling lazy, and my Salvias have needed a good deadheading for more than a week now. Maybe after work tomorrow...

  3. This is a great post, Rose! Plus, it's almost Rainbow-ly organized. :-) Love those daylilies!!

  4. your flowers are absolutely stunning!!! I am SO bookmarking your page so I can visit again.
    I would be honored if you would consider joining in on my little garden party that runs from Thursday evenings until Sunday is fun to see all the beautiful flowers being flaunted.
    I am so glad I stumbled onto your page!

  5. This doesn't sound like a lazy post to me Rose. My camera has fogged up every time I take it out too. You captured the hazy part of summer in that first photo. I want one of those yellow roses. I just love it. hmmmm now where could it go? Try to stay cool.

  6. So hot and sticky, but you are rewarded with those green beans, I wish I grew green beans...
    My RadSunny did not come back. I planted an OSo Paprika. But I love yours, I might look for another Sunny Knock out.

  7. Hot, humid, hazy here too, Rose. 100º predicted for today. I hear you ... tweaking the garden in this heat makes me wilt! A lovely post ... stay cool!

  8. I know you're suffering but I'd really love some hot summer weather right now, it doesn't get above 20* if we are lucky and it rains every hour! Our schools break up tomorrow so please send us some sun!!

    Your garden looks really wonderful, and those beans look delicious. I love preserving the harvest-well done for doing your Beans in such heat!

    I have some walnuts soaking in brine, ready to pickle in about 10 days :-) I've not done it before, so fingers crossed!

  9. The heat has been awful. That beautiful yellow Hibiscus looks right at home in this hazy weather. Your flowers looks like they are taking it well so far. The lilies are so pretty.I delay dead heading my salvia too. It usually gets to looking so bad I take the scissors to the whole bunch and then it comes back.LOL! Stay cool.

  10. Hi Rose,

    As I type, it is raining. Temperatures are around 19C (68F)
    The sun peeps out now and again.
    It has been a very odd summer and the garden reflects that.....soggy flowers and plenty of leaf growth.

    My tomatoes are ripe.....the warm spring got them off to a good start.
    Also picking runner beans, corgettes, and chard.

    I wish I had sourced Cleome. I remember seeing it in your garden, thought it was lovely.
    I must make a note for next year.

  11. *putting cleome on my plant wishlist* So pretty!

    I just deadheaded my salvia a couple days ago. It started raining while I was out there in the 95+ degree heat, and I just kept on deadheading 'til the rain stopped and the sun went down. I was soaked, but it felt SO GOOD.

  12. Love the new header. This weather is crazy to be sure. I have that yellow Knockout Rose too! Got them earlier this summer. Slowly but surely they are blooming.
    How is your Panicum? Mine is really doing well.

  13. Your posts certainly is a summery one with great pictures of all that it brings! It was just over 100 today here in Virginia today and we just had the dogs out and it is still in the mid 80's...Its cooled off! :-)

  14. Gardening in this weather is like gardening in winter when there is snow on the ground. . . you just can't do it. You stay inside and wait for another season.

    But you gotta water.

    Those green beans look good, I like them fresh off the plant, snapped in two. Crunch. Mmmm

  15. Tina, Putting up the green beans has been about the only work I've accomplished the past few days:)

    Plantpostings, I'm embarrassed to admit that the salvias often don't get deadheaded, even when it's not this hot.

    Shady, I hadn't even noticed the rainbow effect! It's certainly a colorful time in my garden right now.

    Tootsie, Thank you for visiting and for the invitation! I've visited many blogs who participate in your weekly party; I'll have to get my act together to join in soon.

    Lisa, Wednesday was about the only day I've been very ambitious, other than watering:) I love the yellow Knockouts, but they wouldn't make much of an impression right now--the foliage is all shredded from the darned beetles.

    Sissy, My friend picked up two pink double Knockouts for $5 each--wish I could find a bargain like that!

    Joey, I look about as wilted as my flowers right now:) I don't venture outside during most of the day.

    Lona, I'm surprised that most of the plants are standing up the heat pretty well. But I've been pretty diligent about watering them. Deadheading usually is at the bottom of my priorities.

  16. Suburbia, Wish I could bottle up some of this heat and send it to you! Or save it for January:) I'm curious about pickled walnuts--sounds intriguing.

    Cheryl, We could certainly use some of your rain! But I shouldn't complain because we're not as bad off as some parts of the country. I can send you some cleome seeds this fall if you like.

    Greggo, Ah, those are from last year on my sidebar. We've had much fewer butterflies this year.

    M, Yes, I'd stay out in the rain, too, if it ever fell here:) Thanks for visiting--I'd return the visit, but I couldn't access your blog.

    Janet, Thanks--I always have to show off the coneflowers this time of year. My panicum is doing great! I planted two 'Morning Light' Miscanthus this spring, but they are sure taking a long time to grow.

    Kim, It's so hot here that Sophie doesn't care to stay out long. If I'm in the garden, she'll find a shady place to sit:)

    Laurrie, About the only thing I am getting done right now is watering. Sophie likes beans fresh from the vine, too:) I have to watch my bowl carefully while I'm picking, or she steals them.

  17. Love the extra big photos Rose, you have so many gorgeous things blooming right now. The heat sounds impossible, so I'm not surprised you aren't dead heading etc, but that bean harvest looks wonderful.

  18. Not so lazy you couldn't take some beautiful photos and write some wonderful words evocative of this precious time of year - love esp that cleome photo. That's one you seem to need to plant once and it's there forever, You're going to love that 'Little Lamb' - great cultivar.

  19. Yes, I knew that song. I love it still.
    How do you keep all those flowers in such perfect condition in such a heat wave?
    Our weather is wet & murky today but I'm glad its not like a furnace.

    Many thanks for your kind words over at mine.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  20. Rose girl a lot of us are in the same predicament .. so darn hot we can hardly handle a few garden chores. I am supposed to do a deep water tomorrow morning as early as possible which means at least starting by 6:30 it takes over 3 hours for a truly good deep water of the gardens and I look like "death just out of the shower" by the time I crawl into the house .. and I too am behind in blog visiting .. so no worries there girl .. i can't wait for Autumn and we still have weeks on end of summer weather to survive ! eeekk
    Your plants are looking gorgeous even in this weather .. fog, mist or sweat ! haha
    Joy : )

  21. Hi Rose,
    We live in north Fla and the heat and drought have really been hard on our garden!! We have been food gardening 3 years this year. This year's garden has not been near as good as the two years before.
    I use to have a lot of roses, but not so many any more!!
    I saw your comment on Kim's blog and thought I would like to meet you.
    xx, Fern

  22. Great harvest of beans, no luck with them here this year. It's just too hot to do anything. Thanks for risking the heat to show us your pretty garden. :)

  23. I am so glad we don't have your heat and humidity: I would never cope!

    But your garden is flourishing nevertheless. we have some of those orange daylilies - or very similar but ours always look sort of dead and brown and crinkly around the edges and it spoils the effect. Any ideas? I'll post a photo; that may help you!

  24. It's crazy CRAZY hot here too. Hot and humid. It's hard to do anything outside without getting too hot. You're not being lazy, you're showing self-preservation. :) I love your two-toned orange passalong daylilies. Beautiful!

  25. Dear Rose,
    We are in our tenth day of heat advisory.
    It is not cooling down very much over night either. Today was 105 at 4pm.....
    It is 8:30 and 88 degrees....
    Silly hot!
    The green beans look wonderful! Your flowers all look so pretty.
    Stay cool and drink lots of water.
    I remember "Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer"....

  26. I'm so glad the most intense heat has finally moved on! Between the rainy spring, now dryness and the heat it's been a rough year on the garden! My green beans have been a bust so far...I'm envious of your harvest!

  27. Still not exactly comfortable out there with the high humidity, but thankfully the storms that passed through here in the last few days have cooled things down to the mid-80's. Last week going outside felt like walking into a blast furnace! Hope you got some rain too Rose. It's quite a relief here getting a break from dragging the hose around!

  28. Janet, Yes, about the only thing I'm doing is admiring the blooms.

    Cyndy, The cleome all came from one plant I pulled out in September; obviously, it had time to drop some seeds before I disposed of it.

    Maggie, I pick mostly plants that like our hot and humid summers, but I do spend a lot of time watering.

    Joy, I started to water yesterday morning (Sun.) but the skies looked ominous--glad I waited till the rain finally came; saved me a lot of work!

    Animal Lover--so am I! Thanks for visiting.

    Racquel, The green beans probably matured before the heat set in, so I may not have many more after this. My peppers sure don't look good, though!

    Liz, Hmmm, that doesn't sound good about the lilies. I pretty much wilt in this heat, too.

    Sweetbay, The lilies from Beckie are outstanding this year. We had a brief reprieve from the heat yesterday and some much needed rain, but it looks like the temps are going back up again.

    Sherry, I think the heatwave stalled over the Midwest. We did get a little rain yesterday, as I saw you did as well.

    Rose, I think you've had more rain than we; the forecast for this week isn't looking too great either.

    Linda, We didn't get any of the rain until yesterday morning. My garden certainly was happy to see it.

  29. Hi Rose,
    I am Fernerose on Twitter. I don't go there much tho. I usually can't get on b/c it is so busy.
    Thanks for your visit!! I love your beautiful pictures!!! You are truly a gardener!!! I use to be a good gardener too, when I was younger. Years ago 99 % of all we ate, we grew!!
    This years garden has had wonderful egg plant and 4 kinds of hot peppers that have done really well. The sweet bell peppers were a bust! Our cucumbers were pretty good but are done now. The tomatoes were poor but we did eat them everyday for about a month and a half. One is still trying!! Our herbs have been wonderful this year.
    The heat and no rain have been hard to live with for us all!!!!!
    Please come again so time!! I am going to try to blog today if time lets me.
    xx, Fern

  30. Oh yes, we're hot up here in the North! Same as you. High humidity makes it feel even hotter!! I also had condensation on the Outside of my windows! Never seen that before. In winter there is condensation in the inside sometimes, but never on the outside in summer. I guess we're breaking some kind of records for heat here!

    Your flowers look so fresh and bright, you must keep them well watered. They really are lovely.

    I love fresh garden beans too and those look scrumptious!
    Stay cool. And yes, lazy is best in this weather.

  31. I have been picking beans twice, sometimes three times, a week...even though a rabbit got in and nibbled on some of the tips. Your garden and flowers looks lovely!

  32. Oh man I've been indoors staying cool.Good thing for air condtioning!
    Lots happening in your garden the first image of the flower!Can you imagine the dust storms in Phoenix!! My son and family are here for several weeks!
    Staying cool at this end.Anna


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