I managed to get a few things done this week despite the heat and the rain.
On Monday, I spent several hours working at the Chronicle. Please support your local newspapers, y'all: there was another round of layoffs recently and the Monday morning paper is so thin, it looks more like a community weekly than a major paper.
Tuesday: Although the morning started out with a nice breeze and pleasant temperatures, it warmed up quickly and I had conceded defeat before noon. I still managed to get a few things done. I'm really disappointed in how the Sky Pencil hollies are doing: out of the five planted along the back fence, only two of them look good. The other three are struggling. I'm going to give them some time and hope that this week's rain gives them renewed vigor. I had to cut back my Carmello tomato: I couldn't let it keep on overwhelming poor Heritage. I cleaned up dying foliage from the Acanthus mollis. I really ought to cut back Toad Lilies before I leave next week but I'm not sure I'll have time. I cut back the Pink Scabiosa (the blue got whacked a couple of weeks ago.) I planted a piece of Rangoon Creeper that I inadvertently yanked from its half-barrel. On one of my dips in the pool, I felt something floating out of my pocket, so I grabbed it & immediately screamed. Then laughed at myself cuz it was an Acanthus pod ... it sure looked like a big brown water bug!
I decided to give my hydrangea fanatic neighbor the two Nantucket Blue hydrangeas I brought home from GWA. They were languishing in the areas where I'd planted them and I decided they deserved a home with someone who has a proven record of growing that type hydrangeas successfully.
Wednesday: The HG and I agreed to take the day off, read books and loll about in air-conditioned comfort.
Thursday and Friday were our rainy days. I savored each and every moment ... it was good to the last drop! The rain didn't start until midday Thursday so I weeded and thinned plants in the daylily bed. I intend to redo that bed in October but as I was working in it, I found myself undecided which direction it should take. I'm still having digger's remorse over having taken out the Miscanthus ... I loved the way it looked and the Gulf Coast Muhly just haven't risen to the challenge in that area. I've lost several of them.
Saturday I discovered just how delightfully chilly a pool can be after several cloudy and rainy days. Weeding the corner bed was dirty, sweaty work and the pool was a welcome respite.
Today I pulled up the Frogfruit along the alleyway side of the fence. In some areas, this native groundcover is a butterfly magnet but it doesn't seem to be one for me. There are still some runners left along the fence and it will grow back. If I'd left it, I do believe it could have covered the width of the alley between my fence and my neighbor's. I moved pots around, grouping them where the Executive Producer can water them while I'm gone. I took a chance and planted the 3 Rock Penstemon (Penstemon baccharifolius) in the ground, as well as a tricolor Sedum. One of the dangers of leaving them in plastic pots is the roots' literally steaming to death after a rain if the pots are in full to partial sun. When I checked them today, the soil was so warm that I knew they stood a far better chance of surviving in the ground, even without me here to water them.
The week to come is the one I've been eagerly anticipating for months now: I leave on Wednesday morning for Buffalo to spend several glorious days with fellow garden bloggers from around the country . I'll be taking my laptop with me and plan to post something daily about each day's adventures.