July 10, 2014

Meditation
Spring always goes fast, but this year’s feels like a record. We’re already into the kind of hot, sweaty weather we don’t usually expect until August. The heat wave seemed so much earlier that I checked my garden journal. To my surprise, I found that last year we had temperatures near 100 right around July 4th. So this year might not be the aberration I had first thought.

Weather is one of the big challenges for us gardeners. We’re familiar with our local climate and have expectations of what the weather will be like at any certain time of year. We make plans according to those expectations. Yet nature is so fluid, and conditions can change so rapidly, a gardener sometimes just has to hang on and enjoy the ride.

PS — I’m sure the heat just baked my brain. Yeah, that’s it.

Yardscape
Walking through my yard with my cool iced tea, I’ve discovered some of my landscaping is badly out of balance. In the front yard, the yarrow is at the back of Bed 6 and the coreopsis is in the center. Problem is, the coreopsis are much taller, so you hardly can see the yarrow.

Meanwhile, along my patio, I have native asters that I rescued from the neglected yard next door. They were fine last year, nestled cheerfully between tufts of Blue Fescue grass. This year, with consistent watering, they’ve spread and become much larger. Now it’s the Blue Fescue I hardly can see.

Methinks revisions are in order, once September rolls around. Because I love these asters, and so do the oil bees. I just need to move them someplace where they can shine.

Sprouts
Purple Coneflowers have come in, just as the pink poppies have faded. Lavender is in bloom and swarming with bumblebees. They look amazing next to the English daisies.

New blossoms continue to form on my blackberry canes, even as thick clusters of berries develop. It’s a long wait yet, alas.

Pickin’s
Resume mournful music. Due to the hot weather, my lettuce has bolted in unison. I didn’t even have time to get it to the food bank. I have to give props to the Salad Bowl lettuce, which gave big heads of ruffled oak type leaves and held a week longer than the others. Definitely a variety to plant again.

The Sugar Snap peas, which usually bear until August, are now withering on the vine. I’m going to miss having snap peas as a snack after work.

Wildlife
I’ve had an influx of butterflies this week. I spotted a Western Tiger Swallowtail and have had frequent visits from a white Common Ringlet. At least, I think it’s a Common Ringlet — it doesn’t sit still long enough for me to get a really good look.

Until next time, keep the water ready to save your garden.

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