In summer’s heat

In this third week of July, newspapers and television warn to stay indoors, not so unusual for the season, but advice that must be ignored today. As temperatures climb to one hundred degrees, is the garden at its best? Of course not, but I’ve just returned from two weeks of business travel, and there’s work to be done, no matter the heat or warnings of dire consequences.

The bright foliage of Sun King aralia does not fade in part sun. More shaded parts of this large clump grow much shorter, and flower sparsely.

In fact, the garden is not a disaster, needing only a bit of cleanup around the edges since it was left in reasonably good condition prior to leaving. Fading of hostas and geraniums planted in too much sun cannot be helped. Some day, I expect these will also be shaded as a young horsechestnut continues to grow, and certainly it is disappointing since these were once shaded by a wide spreading Seven Son tree (Heptacodium miconioides) that was felled several years ago in a storm.

Flowers of Mountain mint will attract many dozens of bees and wasps for weeks.

There is also a plumbing problem with the stream (below) that must be corrected, but this should be quick work to get water moving again. A fitting is loose, but this was not diagnosed prior to my trip, so no water has flowed for a few weeks.

Today, my wife provided the final word that determines that the remainder of the Vernal witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) must be chopped out. Two-thirds of stems were cut out two weeks ago, with the few live ones left. She remarks that it looks odd, all the confirmation that’s needed to decide that it must go.

My wife suggests that the area remain open, but that’s not going to happen. I have plans to plant another witch hazel after a bit of grading to fix the dampness that killed this one. This work will be delayed until a cooler day, hopefully next week, and planting the witch hazel and adding a few smaller shrubs will wait several weeks, though perhaps sooner if a period of rain is expected.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Warnings to stay indoors? at 100 degrees? Goodness, in Trona it might only get to be less than 100 degrees at night for the entire summer. (I mean, it sometimes cools off at night.) It had been unusually cool so far this year, but nonetheless, predicted to be over 100 degrees daily for the foreseeable future. What made it worse recently (although the weather was slightly cooler) was that air conditioning was inoperable without electricity for quite a while after the earthquakes.

    1. Dave says:

      In summer, we routinely wake to humidity of 90%, with temperatures that drop only into the high seventies or low eighties due to the heavy air. The lack of nighttime cooling is the cause of much of the summer plant stress, though we receive regular rainfall.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        ICK! That humidity would do it!

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