Thursday, July 21, 2011

34C in the Shade (93F)

Today is the sort of day that reminds me of Dallas in early September.  Kevin and I had the good fortune of visiting last year.  Unlike those wonderful southern gals I met who wore simple tailored dresses, closed toe shoes and hairstyles that stayed put, I'm looking like I could scare small children at 30 paces.  Not even my manicure and lipstick application are helping.  However, in the spirit of those fine ladies, I did bake a cake - vanilla in honour of my mum's birthday and the house smells absolutely divine. 

Outside it's a different matter, the garden is limping along.  Yesterday - even day, even number of my house - I was permitted to water and did quite liberally.  Fortunately there've been hot days leading up to this to toughen up the plants.  It will be interesting to see how it all fares.

We have received 4mm (.15") of rain this month.  We normally have 74mm.  My garden is getting by on the odd bit of sprinkler water and gardener's perspiration.  There are plants that are looking marvelous and others that need to find a new garden I think.

Don't these look like spaceships that have crash-landed?  The butterflies adore the blossoms, but I'm thinking maybe they need to find a new home.

How's this for a big pile of ugly?  Eupatorium 'Gateway'.  Demanding of more than I'm willing to provide.

Ah, how nice to have a sprinkler system.  Bet that Beech feels all nice and cool.

What's the fun of having plants that look good with raindrops if you don't provide the raindrops?

Can you believe how lovely and lush these hydrangeas are?   Maybe I should just dig up all my poor souls and plant them in gardens that would take better care of them?

 Back at home, the butterflies are back.

The tomatoes are finally starting to produce and have found their way into my first salad.

The hemerocallis are blooming wonderfully.

And, I can't believe it all of a sudden, the Brugmansia is blooming!

These change from white to yellow and finally to a gorgeous dark coral.  But all was not well everywhere.  I looked up just in time to see the Japanese Beetles yelling BUFFET!

Sorry Bart.  It was a reflex action and the JBBOD was in the front yard.

This was yesterday's catch.  And a word to the wise, do use the blob of dish-soap with the water.  When you have as many as I do, they will start to layer up and stand on each other's backs refusing to jump off and drown themselves.  The soap hastens their death.

The aruncus is another excellent plant for dry shade.  This year I decided to leave on the dead blossoms for a while - you can see it toward the back of this photo.

 This is the first time that Monarda 'Snow Witch/Maiden' has bloomed.  It's taken about 5 years.  Not worth waiting for.  Perhaps one of those plants that is better in Europe?

One of my new favourite veggies Kale lancinata.

 The teeny little hosta are blooming.  Putting on quite a display for their size.  And considering how dry they are, doing really well.

Autumn Fern also seem to be fine with the dry.

 As are the Japanese Painted Ferns.

Big blue hosta are all a.o.k.

And the come-with-the-house phlox, though droopy are doing fine too.

 'David' not so much this year.  Always concerned when you get mildew even before the flowers appear.

Another top notch hosta 'Sum and Substance'.

'Captain Kirk' was eaten by slugs at the beginning of the season.  Think I should take off a few offending leaves and nobody will ever know.

An artsy shot of the Gymnocladus dioicus that I grew from seed.  It is almost as tall as I am.

Sedum matrona doing his best to hide Eupatorium 'Gateway''s trashy looking legs.

What's this.....could there be a insect on my side? 

And what better way to finish today than show you the Texas wildflower Ipomopsis that is just starting to colour.  It is an absolute hummingbird magnet.   With any luck I'll be telling you all about the good rain we had tonight tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

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