It’s hot out there

Given that gardeners are individuals of outstanding character and judgment, I suspect that many are content to remain indoors as much as is possible through the worst of summer’s heat. Regardless of their good sense, there are generally fewer flowers to attract the gardener, and with any luck, drier ground is less likely to grow prolific crops of weeds that demand his immediate attention.

Canyon Creek abelia is a pleasant shrub that flowers through the summer.

Canyon Creek abelia is a pleasant shrub that flowers through the summer.

Certainly, there are weeds, with the tolerance of a range of conditions (drought and heat) a part of what defines a weed, but most everything grows slower and there is less urgency on the gardener’s part to be doing something every day.

In the second week following surgery, I become more antsy by the minute. Typically, I’m happy to lounge about on a ninety degree afternoon, but after several days of enforced inactivity, I welcome the heat, and happily sweat while plucking the few weeds that appear daily. Whether this is beneficial to my recovery, I have no doubt the surgeon will tell me, but I’ve had my fill of lounging.

Pineapple lilies flowered this year through a spell of heat and dryness so that the flower stalks lost rigidity. From the top this one is still splendid.

Pineapple lilies flowered this year through a spell of heat and dryness so that the flower stalks lost rigidity. From the top this one is still splendid.

While prowling about this afternoon, I see the first flower of Gordlinia (x Gordlinia grandiflora), the hybrid of Franklinia and Gordonia that is similar to the Franklin tree in flower and foliage. While Gordlinia is evergreen, all leaves have turned brown in recent cold winters, as well as this past winter when temperatures barely dropped below ten degrees. I presume this will occur annually, and I will no longer fret when the shrub looks horrid in late winter.

Gordlinia flowering in early August. It will continue flowering into September.

Gordlinia flowering in early August. It will continue flowering into September.

Despite this minor shortcoming, Gordlinia seems a perfectly acceptable substitute for the two decade old Franklinia that declined in recent years, and finally was cut out a year ago. I would happily plant another Franklin tree if one of reasonable size could be obtained, but it is a rarity, so I’m convinced to be content with the next best thing.

In recent years the early flowers of Gordlinia have been besieged by Japanese beetles, but I’ve observed their early exit in recent days. In any case, Japanese beetles are rarely a bother in this garden, though I do nothing to prevent them. Possibly, birds assist in controlling the population, and even on the hottest summer day there are plenty in the garden.

 

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