Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Summer Garden

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I know everyone is talking about how high the temperatures have risen in their part of the world so I won't bore you with details about what is going on in my neck of the woods....but it IS HOT and HUMID, more so this year than others, or so it seems.  This, after the cold winter we had, is not good for any garden, least of all one in the South.

I hibernate in the summer, just like we did in January and February when I lived up North.  It's not the heat, as much as the humidity.  At least in Florida we had the beach.  Here the only water in sight is the lake and frankly, I don't like lakes.  I'm just as finicky about what I can't see underwater as I am about what may lurk under clear water.  I don't do pools either, except for a few, and I'm too old to run through the hose in the backyard, although I welcome the respite when I'm caught in the yard by the sprinklers.

I stepped outside for a few minutes yesterday to clean up the vines that strangle the gardenias and now threaten what's left of the rose bushes.  Madame Mere likes to have cut flowers in her apartment, even though she can perfectly see them from the big window in her living room. I spent hours planting stuff for her to enjoy the view but, for her, it's not the same.

MM's living room and bedroom windows front and left.  Mortitia's Garden is on the right 

Clematis, roses, hydrangeas, gardenias, gladioli, peonies and a splash of angelonia all bloom in sequence throughout the spring and summer; but she likes them inside, in a vase,  so I cut a few just to make her happy.  The grass in the backyard is fescue and it hates the heat; so in spite of the small fortune I pay TrueGreen, it wimps out until it cools down.

The gardenias have come back to a point.  I think they know they will be replaced unless they put on a good show in early Spring.  There's no point replacing them now if we get another winter like we had last year.  Gardenias and the mop head hydrangeas (hydrangea macrophylla)  are the most susceptible to freezing weather and frost.  Neither bloomed this year.

The rose bushes on the lower right in front of MM's window hibernate in the heat and come back in September, or so we hope. 

Here are the dahlias coming up in Mortitia's Garden, so named six years ago after a failed experiment with wild flowers.  Some of you may remember....

Coneflowers  were planted and are thriving around the dahlias.

Mortitia's Garden is my daughter's garden and we are forbidden from cutting any flowers without written permission; but I bought the dahlias, so I'm exempt to a point.  Now that she's away and it's too hot to go outside,  MM and I are enjoying them inside.

This small dahlia has been growing in a pot on our deck.  It has bloomed since June!

And this little coneflower is having a bad hair day having to wear The Cone of Shame for the next few days!

I'll show you the rest of the garden next.


  1. Yikes....your dahlias are gorgeous beyond words!!! Are they in full sun? Do you feed them much? Tell me your secret!
    As for the furry one: she had "the" surgery, I am guessing? Is she doing ok?
    Yes, we are back from the lovely, cool North and I am so very grateful to three of my friends who came every day to water my gardens!!! I brought each of them some "real" maple syrup from Vermont.
    Let's talk soon oxox

    1. They are in full sun and I think a well prepared soil is the secret. Some bulbs came from Costco others from Tuesday Morning! I hope C. Roehm isn't reading this. Yes, "the surgery" was performed, sadly, and the cone didn't even last 24 hours. You know how tenacious they can be. Supposedly she would calm down a bit,..she has doubled up!

  2. UGH !!!
    To go outside and pull vines during the day.....I admire you greatly. Surely you must be practicing to join the nudist camp a few miles from here, because wearing clothes is impossible during the day.
    Outside I mean. Costco has had a very good sale on their flowers of late. It's an alternative. If you don't like the flowers the Canadian mussels are fabulous, and the are cold, until you cook them. When cooked your way, one does not think about the weather. Delish, thank you.

    1. Trust me, I had to think hard about venturing out there. Had to wash my hair after I came in. The mussels were great even the next day with linguini. Costo a sale? MM polished off the madelaines. Left me one!.

  3. I am amazed how well your garden is doing despite the cold and now the heat. It looks gorgeous to me. And that poor baby. What did she do to deserve the cone of shame?

    1. She had "her operation" and she is back to normal now. So happy with her but miss Lucy. Madison has so many of her traits.

      We miss you!! and I am pea green thinking about where you are. Good call. It is miserable here. I have already lost the dwarf boxwoods I planted by the mailbox. They dried out to a crisp. Can't grow anything by that damned mail box. Have spent a fortune trying! We had mussels the other day with a cold rose and baguette and pretended we were all in Provence. Lucky you!

  4. You have a green thumb to have all those beautiful blooms in the face of so much difficult weather. All your weeding and hard work has paid off--I know that even if I worked equally hard, the results would not be so flourishing.

    1. Jim, you are so nice. Thank you. It's just a lot of hard work and the will to protect my investment!

  5. I am mad for dahlias. I had a bushel of a particularly beautiful red dahlias that were from White Flower Farm that I dug up and replanted year after year (the farm was in very cold upstate NY). I miss them terribly. Yours are just gorgeous. Hope your gardenia behaves so you don't have to toss it... looks beautiful now!


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