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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
… CHIPS ANYONE?
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:
But now, JULY is 'SHAGGY' MONTH
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 )
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…
MY DAD USED TO SAY:
“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.
and MAKE SOME NOTES:
"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.
TRANSPLANTING and PLANTING
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.
DO YOU HAVE A LARGE SPRUCE TREE NEARBY?
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"...
THE DIRT ON DIRT
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...
KEEP BIRD BATHS and BEE WATER DISHES CLEAN and FULL
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.
IT'S TIME FOR:
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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