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Garden Bliss & Blunder, Issue #025
July 07, 2023


The violets are long gone, but I love this quote.

JULY is HOT...

I don’t know about you, but I am struggling to like July

…. no offence to the month but it is too hot for me.

Malaria years ago makes me struggle in hot weather.

I am so grateful for air conditioning…

But I feel for those who have to work outside

and who can be in danger of heat exhaustion

(dizziness, nausea, muscle weakness and headaches)

which if not dealt with, can lead

to heat stroke - which is very serious and can be life-threatening.

Find some shade, a cool place, drink lots of water

and be sure to find a way to replace the salt and electrolytes.

(could be lime and salt in your water bottle....

Gatorade works , but be careful of the high sugar content...

And even drinking water can dilute your own sodium reserves

so you may start craving salty foods.

Summer just lends itself to icy cold cocktails,

so remember alcohol can lower your sodium too

…both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics,

also causing us to lose a lot of sodium.

Please be careful,

wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat;

keep out of the hottest part of the day if you can

and find a way to replace that salt



This year, the roses have outdone themselves…

They are glorious everywhere I look.. and not just in my garden.

It might have been our long, cool spring here in Zone 5

but whatever the reason, I love roses even more this year….

The day before yesterday they looked like this:


Margaret Roach - in her “A Way To Garden” blog

- refers to July as having the “shaggies”

and those glorious blooms of just yesterday

are “fading” and my gardens need some “editing”.

I love these words

…. although they might actually refer more to me

than my garden in this heat.

I was looking for the right words to describe July

and couldn't find them

till I read her delightful blog,

full of wonder, fun and great interviews…

(you can find it in the link below )

A Way To Garden

It's time to wander about your garden

- deadhead those roses.

Trim back the dead stalks of Iris, Salvia (back to new buds)

and do a little tidying around the edges…


“butter your toast around the edges

and the centre will take care of itself..”

SO now I do this in my garden….

Weed back about a foot ,

and create a nice sharp edge.

Perhaps no one will look beyond that tidy edge.

Save the weeding for cooler evenings… little by little.

Weeding is really about seeing your garden up close

… thing time to see the wee bugs, the new buds.



"maybe I should move this over here;

or, that needs more sun (or shade)

… and plan to move them in the fall when it cools down.


are stressful for plants in the heat

and they need more care too

….so plant if you need to,

but water well and often.

I think it is hard to see the weeds

because now my eye sees the neat edge

- I did weed back about a foot...

Cut dead blooms back on Monarda

When the roses fade on a floribunda,

cut the whole spray back

to a lower, emerging bud

(see sketch above)

and go to the other pages on Roses pruning-roses.html

Water, Water, everywhere... but

Lower your hose and water at ground (root) level

- this can save 25 to 75 % of the water used with a sprinkler system !

It also keeps foliage dry

- however, wash smoke ash off the leaves

during the extensive smokey air.

Water deeply and count to 25 slowly

… then come back half an hour later and it will have soaked in.

You will water less often.

And if you cut your watering down by a third,

you could save 13,000 gallon of water

That's a lot of water !!

And if you need to water new plantings, use your rain barrel.

Water Weekly - not Weakly

I often hear"

I don't need to water, it just rained"

.... but did it Rain enough??

That depends: sandy soil allows water to trickle

into the deeper layers of the soil - but- plants dry out faster.

Loamy soil will retain water longer over a longer period of time

even in spite of a low rainfall.

However, many plants will act like umbrellas

and the less rain, the more the raindrops stay on the leaves.

If it rains a lot, those drops will eventually run off

onto the soil and sink in.


it’s crown is so dense

that even a rainfall of 3 gallons per square foot

(equal to a full watering can)

will barely reach the ground under large conifers.

They actually form a second barrier - a carpet of needles

- which can hold at least one-third of the water

IF it reaches it.

Foliage slows down the force of a heavy rain

helping it to disperse more evenly.

Plants there will need a lot more water.


Don’t water your plants every day

…. too much mollycoddling and the roots will not grow

or extend themselves to find water.

Water once a week and hold the hose or watering can at the root

and count (slowly) to 25

25 seconds of water is about 2.5 gallons

- enough for a plant for a week

This very large Spruce tree towers over our garden

and the plants beneath it -

Ferns, Solomon Seal, Hosta, Jack-in-the-Pulpit,

Ladies Slipper and Trillium

need extra water in a long dry spell.

There is another 'bottom line"...


If your soil is healthy,

your plants will be healthy

and less apt to succumb to diseases, pests and drought.

Feed the soil and let the soil take care of your plants.

Healthy roots = healthy plants which will need not chemical fixes

- pesticides or fertilizers.

Add compost to the top of your soil

… water in…

Don't dig it into the soil as that disturbs the soil nutrient balance

Just a few July tasks...


If they could do it themselves, I'm sure they would...

but without rain, there are no puddles

so do your part... please

A bird bath with fresh water daily is a boon for our wee thirsty birds

... a flat dish with small pebbles and a bit of water will help thirsty bees..

Finally, it's Time for...

Taking it EASY: nap, sleep, rest

FUN, or play, even if you only find something to laugh at

- out loud - every day

DOWNTIME: disconnect everything for an hour (or more is better)

… read, sit somewhere cool

and take time to look and listen.


REFLECTION: deep breaths, listen for nearby birds,

or (other people’s) children laughing

MOVING SLOWLY in the heat;

short early morning or late evening strolls

FRIENDS and those you LOVE

- our brains need love.

Until Next Time....

Lucy says stay cool,

take lots of naps -

get some extra loving


always wear your sunglasses.


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