Friday, August 30, 2019


"When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn."
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

The grapes and persimmons are ripening and I must rush to pick them before the birds and squirrels try their luck.   In the veggie garden I have harvested most of the ripe tomatoes and I'm picking the green ones to fry and pickle.  The okra has flowered and will soon produce its fruit. The cucumbers and green peppers continue their production as well.

This August has been rather dry compared to last but off and on we've had some rain , albeit , not nearly enough so I had to give the garden supplemental water.  While temperatures are still hot and the humidity high we have brief periods of cooler days as well.  Mornings are often cool with high 50's to 60's.

The Ajuga groundcover has suffered from too much rain in May to not enough in July so I'm  replacing it in the roadside garden with herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage, lavender and oregano which will endure the heat and resist deer.

Most of my roadside garden plants are drought-tolerant -yarrow, artemisia, brazilian verbena, japanese iris, ornamental grass, catmint, asters, euphorbia, and goldenrod, to name a few.  I will replace the black and blue salvia with agastache as it didn't seem to do too well with the heat.

The Pocahontas Lilac I planted in the Spring has survived our heatwave.  Looking forward to seeing it bloom in the coming Spring.  Also hoping that the six camellias I planted and the rhododendron will bloom as well.

Ah September and the countdown to the cooler days of Autumn when Fall planting can begin.


"We go in withering July

To ply the hard incessant hoe;
Panting beneath the brazen sky
We sweat and grumble, but we go."
-  Ruth Pitter, The Diehards

Back in May I promised never to curse the excessive rainfall we had and now I'm wishing for it.   Just watering the garden to keep it alive as the withering July temperatures cause even the sturdiest plant to suffer.

The banana palm is one plant that didn't seem to mind the hot weather.  It's grown to at least 12 feet !.

The "dog days of summer " are especially tough on my black Aussie Duke as his fur seems to hold more heat than other colors.

The weatherman has been wrong in his predictions of rain at least 99 per cent of the time but finally, on July 23 and 24 we got a good soaking rain and the temperatures cooled off into the 80's.  The garden and gardener are both elated !

I am making a note of the least drought-tolerant plants and will replace them this Fall with those that are. The Mexican petunia is one that constantly demands water so its out the door.  I love viburnums but pay the price by having to give them extra water during this heatwave, despite the fact that they are in the shade.  I've planted several rhododendrons only to have them die so I ordered one from Southern Living that so far is holding up to the heat it claims it can.

Farewell and good riddance July.  Hoping for a better month in the garden in August.
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