Thursday, September 19, 2013

late summer

It is just so hot and dry here, still. That week in NY has ruined me. It has made me less tolerant of the late summer heat this year. I think if it was spring, coming out of winter, instead of late summer, I would be enjoying the same temperatures.

I've been waiting for it to cool down a little before I tend to late summer chores in the yard because in no time at all my few efforts send me back into the house, dripping sweat.

I know the wheel is turning. The sun no longer sets behind my neighbor's house. Some leaves are starting to fall and I need to rake or sweep the concrete apron in front of the garage. The pecan trees have been dropping green pecans for weeks. The pampas grass is blooming. The titmice and chickadees empty the teacup feeder nearly every day hoarding the sunflower seeds for winter, as if the teacup will disappear. Most of the summer bloomers have gone to seed and everything just looks so tired. The cotton in the fields has been harvested and the farmer just plowed under the stubble from the corn harvest.

We are still in a drought cycle. This summer worse than last but not as bad as two summers ago. Not tree killing drought when millions of trees died. But it is dry. The sky fills with clouds but only teases. Whatever the weather patterns are, they have changed and the rain passes over us. I can't even remember when we had a good hard rain or a day when it rained all day. Most of the showers we get, when we get anything at all, last about half an hour.

I water outside every day but lately, it's not enough. I just can't water enough. I soak the white ginger one evening, letting the hose run, letting the water soak in and 48 hours later, the leaves are curled and the ground is hard again.

My two confederate rose bushes that were so beautiful and amazing last fall, came up diseased this spring. One of the bushes was partially affected last year but this year it was both of them completely. Early summer, I cut them back to the ground thinking maybe they would come out healthy. The new growth came out gnarly and stunted and while a volunteer from last year has grown to 8' over the summer, these barely got 18” tall. I took a section to the garden club meeting, the first of the season, last week. No one could tell me the problem. The speaker, a master gardener, said aphids but I know it's not aphids because there aren't any. I didn't argue with her.

I came home and cut them to the ground again.

The only oasis is the turtle pond and the water lily pond. Big Mama patrols with her posse of goldfish and four little frogs have taken up residence with the water lilies. A steady stream of bees and wasps help themselves to a drink.

The little frogs are used to me now and no longer jump away when I come to pull the string algae and aging lily pads out of the pond.

And the morning glory bush is in full bloom. I love these gorgeous morning glory like flowers and like morning glories, they close up by mid-day.


  1. I could be wrong, but I think you are going to get some of this rain from Mexico?

  2. Lovely blooms, I would love to have that ginger

  3. Your pictures are so lush it's difficult to believe the ground is dry and cracked under the beautiful sky.

  4. we were in such good shape going into june and then it hit HARD and FAST! our pond is as bad as it was 2 years after that horrendous summer of heat and drought. the cracks in the yard are enormous. come on, rain... come on, autumn...

  5. As my neighbor said last night....Linda, please stop your rain dance...don't you watch the news???? Proving two things, he watches what we do in the back yard (ick) and two we don't need any more stinkin' rain right now. For the last 3 years we've been in droughtsville and this last two months have been so weird. So much rain that our governor has had to as for disaster relief funds. And Colorado had a bunch of rain and guess where it ended our rivers and they flooded all kinds of small towns in the state.
    I'm telling ya Mama turtle looks happier every time you photograph her. What a joy. Oma Linda

  6. These are beautiful pictures. Even in the midst of draught, some things manage to live, don't they? But having had real rain this year for the first time in forever, I know there's a huge difference with it than without it.

  7. I love these pics... The frogs pic is my favorite.

  8. Going into 2 kinda hard years from one devastating year seems like a cumulative thing. It's very difficult to catch up. I hope you get some good rain soon.

    It's pretty neat how the little frogs learn to trust you; if they can feel trust maybe they can also feel gratefulness for that tiny oasis.

  9. Great photos as always. I love the ones of the pond, especially, because the beginning of your post made me thirsty!

    I wonder if your local extension office could help you figure out the problem with the confederate roses? Do they grow on grafted rootstock? Something might be attacking the roots but not the plant itself...we've seen that happen with citrus in Florida.

  10. Sorry to hear your still dry....wonders of all wonders...we have been getting rain!!! Actual flooding in some areas....unheard of for sure.

  11. The frogs have grown! And Big Mama is always a happy sight to see.

    Your garden is verdant! May the rains come, may it cool down.

    New York state has ruined us, Ellen!!

  12. I love your pictures! your outdoor space looks so nice. If your a coffee drinker, try covering your cut down roses with used coffee grinds, it just might help for next year.

    I'm tired of the Texas heat and humidity too!!!

  13. Such beautiful photos. Those New Yorkers will be envying you in a couple of months, as will I, for the sun sets awfully early in winter this far north, and that's on the rare occasions when it appears at all.


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