Lightning flashes, thunder rolls and the sky can be as black as soy ink. Does it rain? Heck no. Not here, anyway. I hear stories from the Denverites, and news sites abound with the torrential rains, flooding, water falling from the sky, everywhere... but here. We're in the "donut "- kind of like the eye of a hurricane. Ok, I'll admit, we did get some rain on the night of the Fourth of July, and there have been a few times when drops scattered and got me kind of wet - but that was while I was out in the garden watering for the second time that day!
I read a very interesting diary not long ago here on the Great Orange about how plants stop photosynthesizing at a certain temperature. I have proven that scientific fact in my garden.
This year has been a record year for high temperatures, as you know. I am starting to wonder if we've hit the tipping point that the climate scientists have been warning us about for years. I planted my garden early enough, but only 1/3 of the lettuce came up. I got about two good pickings, maybe three. I still have a few pitiful plants, but they are stunted and not growing. The chard never amounted to anything. The spinach bolted almost as soon as it was out of the ground. My cilantro is also going to seed very quickly. I'll harvest the coriander when it's ready, and put it in little decorative jars for easy Christmas presents to the family and friends! I'll let some fall to the ground and maybe next year I'll have a bumper crop of it in the spring. That happened with the summer savory that I let go to seed last year. I've also got bunching onions that sprouted from last year's seeds, a nice addition to salads and other tasty meals. The veggie garden (as you can see, still in jail), has done fairly well, but I've been really on top of watering. I also cheated and bought some cucumber plants, but they are doing much better than the ones I started from seed. Although the seeds did germinate, as of this Friday when this picture was taken, they were still struggling to get the secondary leaves going after several weeks....
The beans in the two pots next to these pitiful little guys, however, have finally started taking off and I need to make sure they have some kind of trellis to climb on. That's one of the chores I've assigned myself for this weekend.
This week, I'm writing about not only about what I am struggling to keep alive in this unrelenting heat but also what I've been trying to kill this summer. A gardener's work is never done - follow me through the orange maze to discuss the life - and death, of a garden...
Now this is when it really gets weird. You may remember that both Frankie and I were very amazed that the fall asters were already blooming! I've also got mums blooming. The apricots are two weeks ahead of schedule, and the sour cherries have all been eaten by the birds. I also have no squash, nor does it look likely this year. The seeds I planted are just not doing anything at all.
Happily, though, some things are right on schedule- the Blackeyed Susans have made an appearance, and I really like the cheer of their yellow flowers.
Notice if you will, in the middle of this lovely shot, peeking through the foliage is the purple fall aster. What the....?!
One recent garden addition is the zinnias, one of my favorite flowers. Usually, in years past, I'd sow the seeds in the garden and water but never get any zinnias to grow. This year, I started some from seed in the spring, and transplanted them. Success! Maybe they like the pot I put them in??
Although I've managed to keep up this year with most of the plants I've got in veggie jail and in pots around the yard, there has been some death and deliberate destruction. Tomorrow I'm going to the garden center to replace some cute little pansies that got destroyed by spider mites before I realized what was happening.
Along with stringing up trellis for the beans, I have some digging to do in one of the front gardens. I hope to be out there early in the morning this weekend as the temperature has been getting into the 90's every day. A chokecherry, native to the area, had been allowed by the previous owners to grow into tree proportions. Although it was nice shade, it pooped chokecherries everywhere and was taking over not only the garden space but the lawn on the other side of the walkway, and we finally were simply over it. So we cut down the tree this spring and spent the last few weeks spraying brush killer on the stump and all the "babies". A gardener's arsenal must include a good heavy duty brush killer, although be sure to label the spray bottles well! (No, I didn't get them mixed up, but it could be a total disaster if I weren't a stickler on labeling). The chokecherry invasion is almost all but defeated now. I plan on working on this garden in the next few weeks, digging up the corpses of numerous chokecherry roots. Then I plan on moving over the peonies, and maybe the daisies that I have in a barrel in the back. Add a bench, renew the walkway through the arbor and I've got a nice little front yard spot to sit in.
That's what's going on in my garden right now. What's going on in yours?