A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A cool picture for a hot day. This was taken at a Botanic Garden. Looks refreshing doesn't it?
A friend and I were talking this evening about the gardens this time of year. We plan, plant, nurture all spring and early summer. Then we get hit by the Japanese Beetles. Leaves start to look like lace and those nasty things sit right in the middle of a beautiful rose and munch. Marigolds turn brown from these pests. The next thing that happens is that we don't get the rains that we need. Right now our lawns are looking brownish. To water or not to water...that is the question this time of year. We don't water the lawn anymore, but everyday we water our pots and tomatoes. If we take care in the spring to do things correctly, sometimes we luck out.

Mulching is very important following any planting project. Mulch helps maintain soil moisture and temperature. We don't apply mulch any thicker than about 3 or 4 inches. Heavier applications of mulch can actually repel water if allowed to dry out and can also smother the plants.
Choice of plants is another consideration. Assess your site thoroughly before planting. Determine sun and wind exposure. Use only plants suited for a particular type of environment. That's why natives are so good to plant. They can usually endure heat and drought. Even with proper preparation and mulching, plants can still suffer once temperatures exceed 90 degrees. We are supposed to have the 90's this weekend. Many plants will stop blooming and some will wilt even when watered. The wilting occurs because the plant is transpiring more water than its root system can absorb.Plants that you commonly see wilting during hot weather are hydrangeas, impatiens, and ligularia and even the tough marigold.
Lawns can become quite unsightly during periods of heat and drought too. Cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, turn brown and become dormant when heat waves occur. Warm season grasses like Zoysia fare much better.
Keeping a cool season lawn green during droughty weather requires careful watering. If rain has not occurred in over a week, one can water deeply.We used to water in the early morning as opposed to the evening. This gives the lawn time to dry which helps prevent disease.
But even with all the watering we may do, nothing will ever take the place of a good rain shower. As I type this, Joe is out with the hose, watering the flowers. We take such care early in the season to plant these things...we feel that we want to take care of them. In another month, we will have cooler weather and will be so glad that we took the time to care for these things in our yard. Fall will be here and the marigolds, mums, and other hardy plants will fill our yards with their beautiful color. Our hanging baskets may not look as pretty as we would like, but you can change out some of the flowers and put mums in. Don't tell anyone, I have stuck a couple of artificial flowers in a hanging basket just to add a bit of color. A friend I know, had beautiful yellow sunflower like flowers all along her split rail fence. I kept looking at them as I passed her house. They never changed...always looked the same. She was a member of our garden club. She wouldn't have artificial flowers in her yard would she?Yes she did....that year her flowers didn't do well and she replaced them with a few artificial ones. Most people never knew.


1 comment:

Elenka said...

OMG ! Artificial flowers!! Who would have thunk it??