We’re all talking about the heat. Unprecedented fire and drought all over the world. We all can’t afford my spending as much water next year as I did in 2018. On July 30, my accounting confirmed that my vegetable garden expenses exceeded the cost of buying the same produce from the farmers market. That’s a moot argument: it isn’t the gardening game and there aren’t enough small farms. We have to become sincere phenologists, we have to think ahead. I’m planting Forestiera, Opuntia and Portulaca for 2019, and reading up on swales and dry farming.
Entrance 7/29. Cloudy day, storms on radar bearing down, only spitty rain came. Two cloudy days followed–the plants had a respite from cruel sun and heat.
Two small barrows, handles sawed off, placed end to end under a Hackberry but still too hot. Tomato ‘Cherry Falls’ and ‘Genovese’ basil. Tomato flowering shut down after the second week in the 90s, early June.
Lilium ‘Scheherazade’, fourth year, now tough. Not a bit of scorch on those beautiful leaves. Seven-footers, before leaning. They share space with a four-year stand of Monarda fistulosa, also a shameless leaner. I’m not an enthusiastic staker but I’ll give them better direction next year.
Lilium ‘Scheherazade’ in flower. The one on the right is a week older than the left. The new flowers have extraordinary substance, almost feel like plastic.
Lilium ‘Saltarello’. Flash in twilight.
Scorch, early July.
Scorch 7/17. Lilium ‘Legend’ and Echinacea purpurea. That was as good as that lily got this year.
Lilium ‘Legend’ again, faring better in the company of Eryngium yuccifolium in a hot, gritty bed.
The Tiger Lilies all bloomed at once and barely lasted four days.
‘Black Beauty’ lily suffering. Rabbits took it down last year, now beaten by heat.
TP and JT put new paint on the garage.
I was glad to bring this Jordan Briceland sculpture down from the South-facing garage wall, placed by the artist seven years ago. It was deep blue then. My plan was to set two posts standing six feet above ground in the thicket along the fence line and attach the sculpture at eye level–a short, pruned path leading to it–to block a dull view and prying eyes. A job better suited to Autumn than 100-degree days in July. I leaned it against a honeysuckle trunk in the interim. Two weeks ago, a storm threw the sculpture to the ground, snapping off most of the protrusions and dismantling the frame, and giving us two inches of rain.
Pearl Crescent Butterfly, Phyciodes tharos, resting on Hibiscus acetellosa.
The Imperial Moth, Eacles imperialis, seven-inch wingspan, 7/28.
The floor of the Gravel Bench. Thyme, Hylotelepium ‘Blade Runner’, and regular self-seeder, Talinum paniculatum ‘Kingswood Gold’, less gold with each year. ‘Jewels of Opar’ is the charming common name of this succulent plant, young leaves good in salad.
Three red stems. Left to right: Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’; Hibiscus acetosella ‘Mahogany Splendor’; Amaranthus cruentus x powellii ‘Hopi Red Dye’.
Three- year Helenium blooming mid-July, a month early. At least its upright at this point–last year it was a groundcover when it bloomed.
Hemerocallis ‘Hyperion’ and Juniperus ‘Moonglow’.
Hemerocallis ‘Wedding Band’, two feet tall with an eight-inch flower. From the Greek: hemeros (day) and kallos (beauty), we get the common name of Daylily.
Main path pots.
Solanum quitoense, Naranjilla.
Seedlings of flowering tobacco, Nicotiana x mutabilis ‘Bella’, on the move after deep rain at the end of July.
Little Path facing East.
Sparse fruit set on the native Sambucus canadensis ‘Burroughs Creek’ this year. Hoping the stressed berries are extra-potent.
View from the table, 7/29.