August Doldrums

The garden is in the fighting-to-survive-until-autumn stage. The area is bracing for one more round of really hot weather before the Tri-State Fair wraps up in mid September, because it is always hot during the fair. That’s just how it goes, and is part of the tradition. We had a grey norther through this week (glory, glory alleluia!), but the 90s and even low 100s are not banished. So the plants endure, just like the rest of us.

The roses are resting and getting their third wind. This year, the penstemon is not doing as much as in the past, for reasons known only to plants. Everyone in town is having this problem. The feral tomato plant is about to produce, although Mom and Dad have no idea where it came from or how it got there (it’s at the base of the outside of a raised flowerbed, far, far from where the tomatoes have been for the past three years.) The autumn sage is thriving, as is the perovskia, to the extent that we had to whack the perovskia back before it ate two roses. The Buddleia are hanging in there, especially the ones by the driveway.

You see, I almost killed one Buddleia, an Ebb Tide rose, and several other plants. I parked in the same place for several weeks. Mom and I noticed that the plants were ailing, and Dad thought it was because of a problem with the soaker hose, so we watered that section more, by hand. After several weeks, and the big butterfly-bush looking worse and worse, I happened to brush against the side of my pickup and felt a lot of heat radiating off of it.

*waits for groans and sighs of recognition to cease*

Yes, I was accidentally baking the plants to death. This had never happened before, but then the pickup has never been parked there with so much August heat before. Last year, I was in Denton, TX during the late-summer hot spell, and parking in the street or on the other side of the drive at other times, so the plants didn’t get toasted every single day. I moved my vehicle, and the plants are perking up nicely, even before the cooler weather began. So now you know what not to do to your plants.

The yard… Dad hasn’t had to mow it for almost a month. It just stopped growing and sort of lay there, panting. The joys of cool season grasses for a lawn, even hybrids developed for this region. Everything else is “resting,” growing roots and soaking up nutrition before winter comes, while trying to survive the heat.


2 thoughts on “August Doldrums

  1. I know just where you’re coming from. Lost a boxwood the same way. Wife had it planted to screen the generator – on the exhaust side. Brown thumb strikes again. I’ll need to put up a couple layers of open-weave baffle first to diffuse and deflect, then maybe something tougher to grow on the far side. On third thought, a non-combustible decorative panel we, er, I can paint.

    “/groan of recognition off/”

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