Pfui on August ...

So another week draws to a close and we're that much closer to the end of awful. Jean over at Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog was lamenting her lack of interest in gardening, blogging or even reading garden blogs and I feel her pain. I spent several mornings outside this past week, which result in my spending the afternoons reading and napping on the comfy sofa in the cool and shady corner of my bedroom. Through the glass of the door to the patio, I can see just enough garden to make me happy and the sunlight isn't as blinding as it can be in the two-story living room. With no blinds, shades or other window treatments on the two glass doors, two 6-foot tall picture windows, two 6-foot tall regular windows and four second story windows, it gets a little bright in there in the afternoon!

OK, back to gardening, not that I've been doing much exciting in that area. Weeding, watering and pruning wait for no weather. I'm trying my best to hold off on planting anything for a few weeks. Well, I did pull up a Barbeque Rosemary that had gotten too big for its spot and plopped it into a pot. Then I started worrying about whether it would crisp up and die so I took out the trusty beach umbrella and set it up to shade the plant for a few days. It's doing OK thus far. I also pulled out another overly vigorous Rosemary, Arp, which separated into two plants as I dug it. The smaller one should be fine, the other one is probably a crispy critter by now.

I am about ready to whack the danged Purple Iochroma down to its base because of the dadburned spider mites. The plant has been losing leaves and looking puny for a couple of weeks. I mean, look at it, it's hideous. The HG has a hissy fit every time she looks at it and I can't really blame her! We tried doing a bit of judicious pruning early in the week but it looks worse with each passing day. The only reason it's avoided a whack job is that it started blooming this week, just as hummingbirds begin to arrive in the area. There are a gracious plenty of other nectar plants for the hummingbirds, though, so the reprieve is likely to be a brief one.
Otahal gave me what he claimed is a Perennial Morning Glory, back when he was here a few months ago. I planted it on one of the trellises and have been watching it grow and spread up, down and sideways. What I have not seen it doing is BLOOM. He claimed it was not an obnoxious plant but it's certainly trying my patience and, gift from an old friend or no, it's going to be GONE to glory if it doesn't produce something more than leaves soon!

We got a brief but intense rain shower today, just enough to refresh the foliage although it certainly couldn't have done much for soil moisture levels. Everywhere I look I see plants drooping and yellowing from lack of rain. The Head Gardener and I can only do so much with the hose. We tend to get distracted when watering, stopping to feed the fish, pull weeds, deadhead roses, yada yada yada ... stop making excuses and turn the hose back on!

Walking through one of the front beds this week, I found buds on a Toad Lily (Tricyrtis spp). That seems early. I can't find any reference to when I first saw buds on them last year so I noted it in the garden journal. Next year I'll have a date of comparison.

The Verbenas, most of which are Serenity Mix, are beginning their annual period of summer mankiness. I'm cutting them back in the expectation they'll come roaring back, as they usually do. If not, they're expendable. The HG is of the opinion that we should rip them all out this fall and plant new ones next spring. These have been good and faithful plants for a couple of years now, which means they've been through a lot of weather ups and downs in their lives.
Pineland Meadow Hibiscus (Hibiscus aculeatus, according to Heidi Sheesley of Treesearch Farms) is another one of those reseeding perennials that I love when it's blooming, not so much when it's not. If they start looking too ugly, I yank them out, secure in the knowledge that there will be at least one or two seedlings showing up to replace them. Isn't that bloom a luscious lemon yellow?

Speaking of lemons, I added coffee grounds to my Meyer Lemon but thus far I see no improvement in leaf color. Nearby I noticed that the Golden Summer pepper is afflicted with several different kinds of insect problems. There are several decent sized peppers ripening on the plant so I've been attempting to wash them off using the highest setting on the hose nozzle. As hot as it is, I hate to use any kind of insecticidal product that could burn the plants.

OK, back to my cool and shady corner. If the Head Gardener doesn't get a nap this afternoon, she'll be impossible to live with!


I like that Pineland Meadow hibiscus. I'm going to have to send you a picture of one I took at the FBMG display gardens. It's some sort of hibiscus, but I can't tell what it is. Maybe it's this one! I know the Cottage Garden people (where this one is growing) also get lots of things from Heidi.
Thanks for a wonderful post. Your garden looks like paradise.
Anonymous said…
Your description of gardening woes sounds very similar to what is going on here in Tennessee, Cindy. The hibiscus is a looker! Try to stay cool, my friends. :-)
Gail said…
I do like the hibiscus; what a pretty face. I've not heard of a perennial morning glory, but hope it blooms. I am ready to say goodbye to summer and hello to some relief spelled COOLER weather. gail
Cindy, MCOK said…
Elizabeth, let me know if you find out what that Hibiscus is. It looks a little like the Okra Mallow I bought in San Antonio. It's not blooming yet but when it does, I'll share a picture.

Frances, I feel for you just as you feel for me! You hang in there, too!

Gail, just say the word & I'll meet you in Alaska to see INCEPTION!
I think you need to give the coffee grounds a month or more to kick in...think good thoughts!
Anonymous said…
What is with Morning Glory this year. Leaves everywhere, climbing to the sky, BUT NO FLOWERS. The only reason to plant it. I have pictures in other years of them covered with blue flowers. I have marveled at the hydrangeas this year, but some plants are not preforming on schedule or at all. Give me just one flower on those blasted Morning Glories, please.
Rose said…
Your new header photo--which is gorgeous, by the way--says it all. I can just feel the heat and humidity through the monitor, Cindy. I say "Pfui" on August, too, or at least to the heat. I can't seem to even keep up with the watering, much less weeding and deadheading. Afternoons are always spent inside--I have found that TNT shows re-runs of "The Closer" in the afternoon, a great way to ease into my afternoon nap:)

Love that yellow hibiscus!
Cindy, my glories don't bloom until maybe Sept. I have worked all summer trying to keep them from drying up. I think next year I will not be planting them even though I love their fall blooms.
Guess we all are feeling the dog day summer blues. I know I am. BTW-- I LOVE your banner!
Anonymous said…
I also love a summer nap. Must plant a couple perennials though...maybe they can wait until this evening.
Judith Schara said…
I have been lurking on this blog for a while and your picture of the bloomless morning glories drove me to comment. I planted a tall bamboo teeppee of morning glories and have a profusion of beautiful green leaves but no blossoms. They get sun, water but no blue flowers. Last year I planted some seeds in a different location and had flowers. Neighbors come by and ask what kind of vegetable I am growin!
Judith in San Antonio
Cindy, MCOK said…
Leslie, you mean I have to be patient? LOL!

Gardenwalk, it's frustrating to see healthy green growth and nary a bud, isn't it?

Rose, I came in an hour earlier than usual today. I just couldn't take it. The plants are struggling as much as I am.

MT, I'll hang on till September & see if this blasted morning glory performs then.

Layanee, the heat takes so much out of me, a nap is mandatory!

Judith, glad you delurked to commiserate! I wonder if morning glories prefer poor soil? Maybe we're making things too cushy for them!