Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dog--and Cat--Days of Summer

Mo and Max relax in the shade, looking cool.

From Camping to Bargains

July has about burned herself out, and she has been bloody hot, not just here in Colorado, but all over the country as city after city has recorded record high temps, making gardening a challenge everywhere. What will Lady August, usually our hot month, bring? Well, Lady bring it on, for you can't be any worse than your sister July.

On Thursday we left the heat of the prairie to spend a long week end in the mountains. With a beautiful panorama of the mountain range vista for our camping front yard south of Leadville, the beauty was outstanding, along with fluffy floating clouds on a azure background. For a couple of days we didn't miss the heat of home or the weeds of the garden or any of the other chores that seem to keep us home bound at the Garden spot. The trip home was arduous, to say the least. The drive from the Eisenhower Tunnel to the western side of Denver should take about an hour, not 2+. Sunday traffic eastbound on I-70 creeps and crawls bump to bumper, backs up for miles making for a long drive. The trip ended on a sour note. The wheel bearings on the trailer got hot. The photo tells the rest of the story.

Meanwhile back the Garden Spot, life thrived.

A small, but surely a tasty crop of black berries once they ripen.

Watermelon--several. I hope they reach maturity. We have never grown them before.

Hail retarded the cukes. Looks like the only ones I will have will be these Chinese cucumbers that grow long and curved, but are huge and sweet.

Mystery weed? Not at all. Asparagus. Newly planted only several days ago, it is already sending up new shoots. We bought two containers half price, so the plants were leggy and ragged to begin with, but I am sure that we will have tender asparagus shoots next summer.

This is supposed to be  a dinner plate dahlia, but I don't pinch off other buds, so I will have more saucer sized. That's okay.

Also new this month, the blackberry lily. I had to cut down the milk weeds that were crowding out these delicate lilies, much preferred over the weed.

The tiger lilies are just starting to bloom. They hold sentimental value in the garden. Taken from great grandma's garden and moved each time we moved, from one garden to the third garden. They are hardy and showy.

Gladiolas are an all time favorite. I purchased these at the super market. They are a small variety. I should commandeer a couple of rows in the vegetable garden to plant my glads, as the head gardener's grandmother did. She had row after row of beautiful glads.

The pond is filling in nicely thanks to plants that daughter Heather shared. The white water lily always blooms easily, but there are two other lilies, a pink and a yellow that have not bloomed all summer. 

The Roses

Tess of the Durvervilles, one of the David Austins, blooms heartily. The roses are small yet, but I am hoping that once it cools down the rose blossoms will be larger.

St. Patrick is a prolific bloomer, but once again smaller blossoms than what it had when I purchased it. 

Gertrude Jekyll is ill. See the yellow leaves. My research indicates one of two problems: not enough water. No. Poor soil. Most likely. I need to give her some nitrogen or iron. Possibly suffering from iron chlorosis.

The climber David Austin James Gallway has plenty of blooms that are still small, but I love the peachy color.

You can see the toll that the heat takes on the roses. The blossoms should be double in size and fade much too soon, succumbing to the sweltering heat. 

I look forward to the cooler days of fall when the roses will bloom gloriously in the cooler weather.

Good by Cosmos. (Thank you Jacob for all of your hard work)

Hello Hydrangeas

I wandered into Lowes looking for one thing and came out with these beauties. They are still on the kitchen counter. I am thinking I'll set them out on a cooler day. 

There's a four letter word that keeps creeping into my mind. I shudder when I think of it, wanting to slap myself out of reality; however, the grim reality will hit all too soon as I must confront that four letter word: WORK. August 27 classes begin at the university. Until then, the summer party continues. I love the guests that range for roses, to weeds, to hydrangea, from tomatoes to cabbages, from hoes to hoses, let the good times roll.

I hope your good times roll right into a swell week end. 


  1. You never mentioned you had to have the trailer hauled away! I am so sorry. That's stinky. I am glad the cosmos are gone. I do not care for them because they become a weed. The roese look wonderful. THe pond is fabulous. I fertilized mine the night I divided them all and the canna is already blooming again! I love the way you write about things. I used to be able to do that, but I fear I have lost that touch.

  2. I'm sorry your trip ended like that but do hope that the rest was worthwhile!? Your garden is looking stunning...the brightness of the dahlias down to the more muted colours of the roses. I love roses but don't have many apart from a few rambling ones that do very well. Make the most of these next couple of weeks and store it up ready for the commencement of classes! Joan

  3. Your roses are beautiful and the melon and cucumber are very exciting - hope the melon mature. Shame about the end of your vacation. Something to laugh about later (not so funny at the time).

  4. your garden looks lovely despite the awful heat we have had too much rain and lots of things are suffering. I love the idea you take your 'family' lily every time you move.

  5. Well, fortunately it was on your way back from a lovely weekend in the mountains, that the wheel bearings got hot. Your roses look good on the photos despite the heath and you purchased beautiful Hydrangeas, especially the blue double one. Yes, it's better to keep them inside for the moment. At last we also have lovely warm weather, we had too much rain.

  6. Oh man what a way to end your trip. I'm not sure if I've said it before but I love your banner!!! The heat did our berries in, but the rain should revive them for a late crop.

  7. Goodbye cosmos....sad to see you go. And what a bad ending to a good vacation, hope that is all underway and fixed now.

    Learned something about the flowers, never knew that excessive heat would make the blooms smaller...we didn't have this kind of heat down on the coast.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  8. Lovely post Ann - glad you enjoyed your break - I noticed how hard-baked your soil looked - it is a wonder you get anything to grow - but you do and it all looks great

  9. Ann, Lots blooming there! Your roses look so healthy! I don't see any black spot.

    Take a peek at Kelli Boyles article on gardening in this online magazine. She's my daughter, as you know, and I was so proud they asked her to write an article. or

  10. Yes indeed it has been hot as you no what everywhere! So glad that you had the opportunity to have a cool retreat in the Mountains. Love the Black berry and Tiger Lilies.

  11. Oh, your gardens are delightful. How lovely to see such colors after it has been so hot and dry!

  12. Ann, even though you have had high temperatures for most of July, your garden still looks like you are getting beautiful blooms. For the first time since I planted seeds (from my Mother-in-Laws plants) I have Tiger Lily blooms too. It took them around 4 years from seeds but they are here now and worth the wait. I do love them. Yours look beautiful!

    This month has been cooler than normal for us. This last week has been foggy each morning, so unlike July. I guess the heat is coming next month!

    Sorry to hear that the camper trailer had problems on the way back from your adventure. At least it was on the way home. I always try to find a bright side!