July is coming to a close and what a month it has been. The words hot, humid, and parched come to mind when describing it. Temperature records have been set and when the humidity is factored it some of the afternoons have been unbearable. Rain has been almost non-existent.
The forecast kept saying chance of thunderstorms but they never seemed to materialize in our area. The ground is hard, the grass is dormant, the plants are stunted in growth, and even some shrubs and trees are drying out. Last week the temperatures with the humidex reached 43 Celsius. For those non metric visitors that is close to 110F.
The only patches of green in the lawn are where the weeds are growing! The burning bush in the bottom left photo above is really drying out. The morning glory on the trellis are usually right up to the top by now. The heliopsis and jerusalem artichoke in the fence garden are usually covering in the fence by now. It’s a daily job to fill the bird bath so the birds and critters have a drink.
Local conservation authorities are warning of low water levels. As we are on a well, I’m always concerned about wasting water. Even in normal times we never water our lawn and always let Nature look after it. It will just take a few good rainfalls to bring it out of dormancy and back to green.
I have been watering the veggies on the plant tables but that is all. The umbrellas you see are put up each day during the really hot times. I’ve been harvesting potatoes, beans, tomatoes, radishes, kale, onions and peas. The potatoes are growing in large bags again and it is so easy to tip out a bag full for dinner.
After the first bloom of some plants I’ve cut them back in hopes of putting the energy back into the roots instead of subsequent blooms. The hosta are now blooming and I have to admit that I don’t like the flower spikes on them. But the bees do! So I’m leaving them a bit longer till I cut them all off.
On those really hot afternoons I’ve been inside. Some days it was even too hot to get out and about. I’ve done lots of reading, crochet, and research on the family tree and I’ve made a few pieces of garden whimsy.
One of the most exciting things I did on a steamy afternoon was to book a trip out west to visit our family on Vancouver Island. It took awhile to co-ordinate the trains from home to the airport, the flight to Victoria, and a hotel for one night before we leave and then back again. The return flight is so early in the morning we stay at the hotel in Sidney the night before and the shuttle service gets us to the airport on time. We’ll can’t wait for the beginning of September to see everyone.
What have you been doing in July?
Blooming: pansies, stella d’oro daylilies, impatient, yellow daylilies, coreopsis, sorrel, rudbeckia, ditch lilies, daylilies, wegelia, potentilla, bee balm, 4 o’clocks, heliopsis,
Harvesting: radishes, kale, onions, tomatoes, rattlesnake beans, dwarf beans, yellow snap beans, telephone peas, potatoes, snow peas, Egyptian walking onion, dill, parsley, thyme, oregano,
Blooms finished: crocus, daffodils, tulips, trilliums, hyacinth, ajuga, mini iris, sand cherry, violets, lilacs, lily of the valley, yellow iris, purple iris, solomon seal, peonies, poppies, honeysuckle shrub, bleeding heart, vinca, snow in summer, nine bark,spirea, honeysuckle vine, yellow loosestrife, evening primrose, lady’s mantle, penstemon, rose campion, money plant, yucca, drumstick allium, lovage, anemone,
Trowel & Error: garlic, jack in the pulpit, painter’s pallet, lavender is very patchy,