Picking up steam

Gladiolus murielae (a.k.a. Acidanthera, G. callianthus)I’d like to take just a moment to fulfill my duty as a New Englander and complain about the weather. For the past week or two it’s been hot. And not only has it been hot but the humidity has been in the 70 to 90-something percents (scientifically calculated based on perspiration index, I believe). Summer may have been late this year (check out when I started complaining about the heat last year!) but we’ve got it now and when I can’t find a way to cool off, I think it kind of stinks a little. But the plants – especially some of the annuals that love the heat – look like they’ve waited their whole lives for this moment and the gardens are positively busting out with exuberant color that seems to be just getting going. It’s even beginning to look like the tomatoes might ripen after all. I’ve heard some speculation that the late start might signify a prolonged summer season. Would you welcome that or have you already started looking forward to fall?

The Cutting Garden from a little aboveSome height finally in the big bedThe Rose Garden back in full bloom

We just started watering the gardens this week – which is truly remarkable since, obviously, it’s the middle of August. And there were a couple of benefits to watering the gardens by hand that I sort of forgot about. Standing still gives me a chance to really critique the gardens and daydream a little about what it could look like next year. Although I must say that standing in the sun isn’t conducive to forming thoughts much beyond “Purple’s nice. I’m thirsty.”  I also love getting a chance to really tune into all of the in flight entertainment which is definitely one of the biggest garden treats of this time of year no matter what the weather. Hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, bees, dragonflies, the hawk – you name it, I was buzzed by it.

Our hawk 8-20-09

The lotus finally submerged.Fred and Dan recently repaired the cement pond in the Display Garden and since it seemed to be holding water, we decided to finally replant it and of course I raised my hand to be the one to jump in. Too bad for me that the room temperature water wasn’t more refreshing… But thank goodness the lotus and waterlilies survived dry land – in one short day, submerged leaves have broken the surface and they too are finally getting to pick up steam.

When did summer arrive in your garden?

3 thoughts on “Picking up steam

  1. Kris, if summer just arrived, I’m sure you can hardly be ready for autumn. You asked when summer started for us? What you consider summer probably started for us in late March or April. But what we consider summer generally hits around mid-May and starts ebbing in mid-October, sometimes early November. About 6 months, give or take. It’s good for enjoying the lake or our spring-fed swimming holes. But by August I am oh-so-ready for fall and the comfortable, rarely too cold, temps of the other 6 months of the year in Austin.

    Pam, Your long growing season is attractive to me but I’m not sure I could handle that Texas heat! Though maybe it’s not as muggy… And you’re right – I’m not ready for fall at all. More summer please! (I can’t believe I just said that while sweating at my desk.) -kris

  2. Great shot of the hawk! You know where I am on this subject. With you and with a constant bad hair day. I’m thinking of dying it red for the Little Orphan Annie look. You are right though, the annuals have been waiting in the wings for this heat. They do love it and the tomatoes, sparse as they are have taken off. I need much taller cages. You have the ocean to cool off in and I am very grateful for the pool.

    Layanee, the ocean feels far away on days like this… And it’s too hot to contemplate a ride in the car! Have a swim for me! -kris

  3. NOOOO! Not fall yet! Summer did just get here and I want one good tomato that a bug or bird doesn’t eat before I do! (and I was equally miserable at a BBQ last Saturday, where there was nothing to do but wither in the windless soupy air.) But the Joe Pye and goldenrod seem right on time for August, and they and the skittering leaves I’m starting to see hint that fall will be right on time, too. (and yesterday was oh-so-cool…)

    Lynn, you had a cool day? Lucky duck! I see those signs of fall too but maybe it will linger a little longer before frost this year?… fingers crossed. -kris

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