It has been a stretch of disgustingly hot summer weather. As I type this it is still disgusting outside. I can’t avoid watering my flowers, but it’s still too hot to water except a little at night ! This weather is equally hard on gardeners and gardens.
Yesterday one of my neighbors heard a giant crack coming from our woods. They thought it was the tree we are taking down soon, the oldest oak on our property. We have all learned to pay attention to that sound living with such a big trees.
This morning, on a Saturday, my arborist came out to check the trees. It wasn’t the tree scheduled to be taken down, although he’s moving that job up. But going through the woods, he checked on our trees which are all super stressed out because of this extended stretch of soul crushing heat with no rain. Sadly, one of our ash trees which we have been treating for Emerald Ash Borer has developed some other problems not related to that insect. So now we have two trees that have to come down.
My arborist at Treemendous Tree Care made me a little video about this. That is the video you see above. And this care and attention to me and all of their customers is exactly why I use them. Having giant trees is a giant responsibility and sometimes a giant pain in the ass like right now because nobody wakes up and says “oh goody let’s do more tree work!”
This giant ash tree is another tree close to the house. So it has to come down. But I know it will get taken care of and our property and home will be taken care of because these are the people who come out when you have a problem. They answer the phone, they call you back, they don’t just leave you hanging and on a weekend especially a hot summer weekend, you can’t blame someone for not wanting to pick up the phone and they actually do.
I have written before about I try to plant saplings in my woods every year so that when trees have to come out there are other little guys waiting to grow into their spaces. I predominantly pick hardwood saplings, but I also pick understory trees, and some fir trees for screening purposes although not particularly close to the house.
I am particularly fond of my oak trees. I have always loved oak trees, and it was the first tree I ever planted with my father. We planted a pin oak as a sidewalk tree. I have gone by the house I was born in and the tree stood until a few years ago, and when it died, whomever lives there now replaced it which is really kind of awesome. You will notice that the house I was born in is in an urban setting. We did have a garden, and it was a lovely walled garden behind the house
I haven’t been watering a lot because we are on a well. So literally the last time I watered the entire front gardens was well over a week ago. And I haven’t ordered the shade and woodland beds at all.I haven’t been watering a lot because we are on a well. I made a good stab at it tonight and got more than half done before darkness settled in. I do not like to water in the evening but it was so hot today I couldn’t do it any other time.
As I was watering I couldn’t help but notice how incredibly strong a lot of the things I have planted are. These are brutal, brutal conditions and for all intents and purposes plants are stressed but they’re hanging in there which gives me hope, because what we are experiencing is climate change.
The ground is so dry and unforgiving. I have some small plants on the porch to plant and the only thing I can do is baby them along until cooler temperatures prevail. There are a couple of things I am worried about losing, but overall things look pretty good, considering.
When I was watering I had a surprise. There was a Chicago Hardy fig tree that I thought was completely dead and I cut to the ground. Well even in the midst of all this heat and not a lot of water, guess what came back? I thought that was pretty cool.
Something also interesting to note are the hydrangeas. They are surviving but the flowers are aging prematurely like it’s fall. They are literally drying on the plants because of the heat and lack of rain. The roses are pretty tough but some look pretty unhappy. Louise Odier a Bourbon rose and Lady of Shalott a David Austin rose in particular.
I also need to announce the failure of a garden experiment. I attempted to grow onions and garlic and shallots in grow bags. Only the shallots have survived. If you look above photo to the left is a big pile of dirt in the ferns, those are the remains of the grow bags with garlic and onions. The scent of garlic in the soil might deter deer a little bit, so I chucked it all there. The right photo shows one of the little pots that I planted some not quite dead onions in to see what happens. It’s a good thing I didn’t buy very expensive onion starts.
How dry and horribly hot it is is definitely the major dilemma here. Because although I can water my flowerbeds I can’t give my trees the soaking they need. Maybe we will get rain on Monday, but so far every time they say it’s going to rain, it doesn’t. and then the other dilemma is if it does rain, how hard will it rain? Mother Nature is very angry with us I think. For the first time ever the rain barrels we use to collect water are basically empty.
I took some photos this week in the midst of the heat of my lilies and things and I strung them together in a little video which you will see without sound. Because even when everything is really not as you hoped it would be, there is still so much beauty.
Happy gardening but truly? Stay cool until the heatwave breaks and do a little rain dance.