Monday, July 21, 2008

In The Gardener's Garden

I hope the summer rains have been kind to your gardens. The extreme heat and humidity have taken a few casualties in my garden, but the remaining flora is holding strong.

I’m sure many of you are like me and have taken a hiatus from garden work due to the weather. I try to water and do check-ups early in the morning, and any planting is done after 4pm when ample shade has made its presence. So not to be deterred complete from my garden interests, I’ve turned to the future – planning.

I’ve reviewed old notes in my journals from seasons passed to see what ideas I’ve had for fall time in my garden. Took an inventory on what I’ve planted, what has survived and died over time, and what surprises have come about (salvia and hollyhock seeds continue to impress). I even found some old photos to create a before and after page in my journal. Most of all, I’m taking time to step back and see if my garden is becoming the space I want it to be. My ideas and whims have changed over time, but in my efforts to reduce my water usage, minimize the maintenance needs, and grow more edibles and native adapted plants, my vision has become clear and garden is finally taking shape. With only two major projects remaining to complete, I now see what my garden haven will be for years to come.

Since we can’t always play, plant, and prune during the warm season, summer is the best time to assess the garden and make a plan. Not only thinking of the laborious tasks – the planting, paths, gravel, drip – but also the connection times – visiting guests, holiday travels, weekend parties, relaxing mornings. Developing a calendar of social events will help outline the scheduling of the projects in the garden. That way you won’t have to keep people from the ignoring mess behind the blue curtain.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Well, the rain was a wonderful treat. Just the break we needed from the relentless heat. I wandered my garden to soak in a little humidity and noticed new seedlings already sprouting. I'm not sure what they are, because I'd thrown out a few rounds of seeds over the past months - edibles and flowers. I'm excited to see what blooms.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

justicia spicigera - mexican firecracker bush (Phoenix Arizona)

justicia spicigera - mexican firecracker bush (Phoenix Arizona)

In The Gardener's Garden - 2008JUN29

Welp, it certainly is summertime. Now into our sixth week of temperatures above 110* degrees, my garden is starting to feel it. My 10ft hollyhocks have all gone to seed. All the gailardia is dry. My geraniums are ready for the compost pile. I don't even want to talk about my dead tomato things. But that's what my garden should be doing right now - it's 110* degrees! The southwest is praised for the ability to grow great gardens year-round. However, most expect the wrong greatness from the garden. This time of the year is when desert adapted and heat loving plants thrive. The lavender pinata is ready for a light haircut to make room for more blooms. Queen's wreath vine (antignon leptopus) is just waking up in my garden. My justicia spicigera hasn't even slowed down on blooming. So right now, I spend time in the garden watching a few things die and fade away. Some things are gone for good, which were fun to try and play with. Other things are gone for now, and will likely return in the cool season or next spring. All out of sight out of mind. I'm going to enjoy the summer season waiting for more surprise survivors to show me their stuff.