getting back to the garden: august 😫 (hot and dry)

In the name of the bee

And of the butterfly

And of the breeze, amen.

~ Emily Dickinson

I am getting back into the garden. It’s been hard, I have been missing my gardening dog. My other pets just aren’t gardeners. And it’s been brutally hot and dry with no rain, so I have been watering a little (sprinkler the past week and watering cans) and my rain barrels have almost run dry. Anyway, every time I go for the hose I look around for him, he chased the hose. So then I get sad and cry in the middle of my garden.

But I keep trying to push through and looking for my garden joy. It’s still there. For example, my Franklinia tree is blooming. And the cannas in spite of the heat and lack of rain are HUGE!! That is very exciting because last year was the first time I ever overwintered canna tubers.

I have a slew of helenium to plant. But the ground is so dry it’s like trying to dig through rocks. I am waiting for rain. We are all waiting for rain around here.

We have been experiencing a climate change hell summer. When I placed a recent plant order I was told I was Zone 7A for the first time. Prior to that I was a Zone 6a then 6b. When I was little we were Zone 5 . Of course this means my Fatsia Japonica might survive more easily now.

I have not done much watering throughout this except for what cans I filled from our rain barrels and hose. The past week however, I did use the sprinkler judiciously just to avoid losing newer plantings and some tree saplings. There are other tree saplings I planted deeper into the woods that I am not sure if all will survive. Time will tell.

But it is remarkable how much looks passably decent in spite of heat stresses. But oh my mature trees. They are looking crispy for lack of a better description. Some trees leaves are starting to turn at the tops. The woods are so dry and the undergrowth is dying. We have worked hard at getting rid of the invasives and the woods had some wild viburnum and hydrangeas that had appeared and they are all wilted. They are pretty tough plants but I think the weather is really stressful on them.

I have other plants that I am growing that I will be planting in the fall. A couple of hydrangeas I grew from cuttings (and of course I forget which bush I took the cuttings from) will go into big pots. I have decided I get tired of changing the big stationary pots all of the time and am looking for more permanence which I will underplant. I am also trying to root azalea cuttings. I am lousy at rooting cuttings in general, so we shall see what survives.

This week I have to feed the roses at some point. The last feeding of the season. I use a systemic, so it addresses bugs and disease as well. I also have a lot of pruning to get to. The tomatoes are coming at a fast and furious rate, and I just harvested my first pot of potatoes and they looked lovely. This is my first year growing potatoes and so far so good. The chili peppers are enjoying the heat so I am hoping for a good crop.

I can feel the weather starting to change, and I look forward to fall. Now I just have to remember how many bulbs I ordered. And yes, my husband will be laughing when he reads this.

Happy gardening.


  1. Your garden looks lovely and abundant. Lucky you as container gardening that I have to do now was a difficult year. Cosmos withered and died. The Hostas never grew beyond 12 “. The horror of all was the Morning Glory’s. Yellow and spotted leaves I could not control. It never bloomed so I had to pull them up. The hummingbirds return every year to enjoy the Cardinal flowers which were scraggily, along with only a few Monarda’s that made it through the winter. My only success this year was the Basil and Thyme and 2 Lavendars. They liked the drier conditions on are partial sun and shade deck. I hope to recover my disappointment during the winter season and have dreams of next year potential. Always hopeful .


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