Monday, July 25, 2011

An All Around Garden Report

I spent a lot of time this past weekend checking the soaker hoses.  Those drips of water are keeping the garden alive during these 100 plus (Fahrenheit) degree days.

Some plants are doing just fine despite the heat and without any extra water.
The Russian Sage in front of the house gets only what Mother Nature provides.  It is tall, full and scented.  The bees are loving the Russian Sage.

Please ignore the hose.  The shrubs beyond the Russian Sage were getting a drink.

I have taken down all of my hanging baskets, and have them where they get shade for part of the day.  I also have them sitting on plastic buckets filled with water.  They draw water up into the basket through the day.

My Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' was nearly nibbled off this spring by the bunnies.  It's getting water when I run the soaker hose and is now blooming.  Also, it produces seeds last year and I have a couple of volunteers in the same bed.

The gomphrena is blooming!!  I do need to make sure these plants get watered regularly.

I think the flowers are sweet.

I don't think I've ever watered the hens and chicks along the side of the house.  This year, they're looking a bit pale.  I have some more hens and chicks near our air conditioner.  They get a little more shade and a little more water.  They look happier.

Even the lamb's ears plants, which usually fill the bed under this window, are struggling without extra water this year.

The Maximilian's Sunflower which is native here is looking a bit distressed.

It got a drink Saturday.

The globe thistle seems just fine.

The shovel bird my uncle made us seems to be good no matter what the weather is.  :-)

My friend Melanie shared a butterfly weed seedling with me this past spring.  I was sad when one day I discovered it limp on the ground.  Imagine my surprise when it resprouted from the root.  I have an old hanging basket frame over it for protection.

The red cardinal climber plants are growing, but not blooming.  Maybe it is too hot for the blooms to make it.

A week ago, I gave the plumbago a good soaking.  Now, it is blooming!

The pumpkin is hanging on in this bed.  I'm worried that it won't make any pumpkins though.  Like a lot of the vegetable plants, it seems to be surviving but not blooming or producing in the heat.

The bed under the eave of the patio is usually full of self seeding four o'clock plants by this time each year.  After I remove the spent bachelor buttons and dame's rockets, they just need a nice rain to get growing.  I did water this bed Sunday morning in hopes that the four o'clocks will take off.

Purple fountain grass loves the heat.  I just need to water it.

The trash can containers on the patio are doing well.  I have Jacob's Coat, ice plant and a red trailing verbena planted in them.

I hung out the hummingbird feeders.

One of my sister-in-laws gave me these ant moats.  The idea is that ants won't be able to get to the sugar water if the little inverted umbrellas are filled with water.  I just hope the heat and the wind doesn't dry them out too quickly each day.  They are cute!

 I chased this butterfly around the garden a bit on Saturday.  Here he's posing.

Here, he's fluttering 

Tomatoes are making there way to the kitchen counter where they finish ripening.  Left to right:  brandywine heirloom, mater sandwich, sweet baby and chocolate cherry

I'm getting a little help from this baby praying mantis.

Here's my milo crop.  Purple majesty millet.
I think I planted it too thick but that's ok.

I bought a granular organic fertilizer recently.  I went for a balanced formula.  All the containers and most of the vegetable plants got some before I watered them well.  I'm hoping some of the vegetables will kick it in gear and produce better.  I know the containers needed a boost as all the watering has surely washed out many of the soil's nutrients.

Do you have a favorite organic fertilizer?  Mostly, I go for having healthy soil and adding compost but those containers usually need a little something more.  I'm open to suggestions. 

Hope your garden is doing well.


  1. This heat is certainly doing a number on the plants -- everything looks a little wilted -- I'm sure my water bill is going to be HUGE!!! Your garden, despite the heat, is looking good!

  2. I'm doing the same thing as you watering with those soaker hoses. What a chore. I hope the heat breaks soon.

  3. Well, despite your awful temps, things are looking pretty good. I don't like dragging the hoses out, but sometimes you have to just to keep things going.
    The gomphrena is very pretty!

  4. My gardens are starting to see some stress also. The buckets under the pots are really good ideas. Seems like you can't keep them watered enough right now.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. Your garden plants are amazingly thriving really well even in heat waves. I like the idea of taking down the hanging basket and put it on top of the pail. Will try to remember it next summer. Your russian sage is beautiful.

  6. It sure takes extra observation and effort to stay on top of the garden during this dryness & heat, doesn't it?!

    During the week and a half we were away, my mums got very leggy and brown except for the tops. I'm sure hoping I can nurse them back for fall blooming!

    Like yours , our Russian sage continues to dazzle...and your post reminds me I really need to buy a soaker hose for our front strips of flowers & plants!

  7. This 100 degree week we have had, and no rain , is a killer for plants and us !

  8. The gomphrena and verbena are quite pretty, love the planting containers.
    Drip hoses are such a great time saver and plant saver in your heat. I've always enjoyed hand watering but not in the heat, which we don't seem to have too much of this summer. Wish I could send you today's rain.
    Oh and that russian sage, I cannot keep mine alive, yours is quite stunning.

  9. I think your garden is doing very well in spite of the high temperatures in your part of the country. We got a brief shower today, not enough to eliminate the need to water, but it did cool things down temporarily.

  10. It seems like a lot of work keeping all of your gardened watered. Here I've hardly had to. Too much heat and not enough heat seem to be making it difficult for some of the same plants we have. The tomatoes look so good!

  11. Things are looking great! Love the butterfly shots. The soaker hoses are wonderful but I am going to have to replace mine as a couple of them have burst!! And globe thistle is one of my favorites....purple!!!

  12. Compared to some out there, your garden still looks great.I love the trash cans. Best looking ones I've ever seen.

  13. The irrigation system seems to be running all the time here. Testing the limits of man and machine. :lol:

  14. Loved your update. .glad the tomato plants are doing well for you. .nothing here. .I mean NOT ONE TOMATO!! AgggH! I am finding that even the things that are heat and drought tolerant are not doing well this year either. .even with supplemental water. We're one day closer to the end of the drought!!

  15. Love the Russian sage! We just planted some, mostly because we had it around a maple tree in our previous generically landscaped development house and Bill just fell in love. It is indestructible. We never watered it, or the hens and chicks (another hubbie favorite)and they all played very nicely together. I'd think it would be a favorite where you live.

    And the cardinal creeper is a hummer magnet...when it blooms. Mine, here in Zone 5 upstate NY has yet to show a blossom either (I keep yelling at it, the cypress, and the mina lobata to "bloom, you boogers" but they don't listen). When I grew it previously, the hummers loved it so much you could throw away the feeders. They like a lot of plants you could have where you are, but it's a must to have them where you can see them.

    And don't you love those fly-in predators. I've got ladybugs up the wazoo...

    Keep the faith...the force is with you...and all that...


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