Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July in the Garden



July in Virginia has been quite hot and humid.  Every year I am amazed to see how quickly plants grow when the temperature rises.  In a very short time the small annuals that were planted in pots fill their spaces with foliage and flowers.




 Now that they are reaching their full potential, a daily dose of water is needed.  It's also time to give them a little fertilizer.  I fill all of my pots and my beds with rich compost, but a nice dose of fertilizer gives them some nutrients to continue to thrive the rest of the summer. 




"What dreadful hot weather we have!  It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."  Jane Austen

I must admit to succumbing to air conditioning.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for it, but sometimes it feels like winter when I don't go outside.  I do believe I am spoiled.  

Last week we received two inches of wonderful rain.  I don't do a lot of supplemental watering in my garden unless rain doesn't fall.  Most gardens need one inch of water each week.  We have county water that has been treated.  I find that rain is a more welcome refreshment to my plants than county treated water.  Of course it's not up to me when the rain falls, so we do get out the sprinklers when needed.










Our grape tomatoes are finding a home on our salads and for quick snacks.






  There is nothing quite like a tomato that ripens in the summer sun!  I have also planted four volunteer tomato plants that came up in the compost.  I'm not sure what type they will be, but I can't resist giving them a chance.

Remember the trailing vinca Grayden planted in the brick planter?  I'm so happy that it is thriving and spilling over the brick wall. 




 My favorite impatiens can no longer live in my garden due to downy mildew that returns year after year.  I have made notes about the trailing vinca in my gardening journal and will probably use it again in this planter.

The mint gives a nice flavor to iced tea.




 Basil is enjoyed on caprese salads and in other recipes.




  My old rosemary is looking a little old this year.  Perhaps I should plant another.  The oregano is also starting to bloom, so I should dry some for winter meals.




  Herbs are so easy to grow, I do hope you give them a try.  There really is nothing better to use to enhance your cooking than fresh herbs.  Don't you agree, Peter Rabbit?




We continue to see bunnies, frogs and a lot of different birds in our garden. Today as Grayden was grilling our dinner we spotted the tiniest of frogs.

For the last couple of years we have had a very friendly squirrel scampering along the brick ledge of our Florida room.  I found today that Sammy Squirrel is indeed Samantha.  She's quite curious and enjoys peeking in on our activities. 




Even though we live in a suburban area it's always nice to see all of the small animals that live and thrive in our garden.







29 comments:

  1. So would it shock you if I said I'd like to shoot a bunch of squirrels and a doe? 😏 Only half kidding. The doe just bit off over a dozen rosebuds. I am going to have to come up with some sort of barricade. Your garden is looking most happy and beautiful. I remember my dismay when I could no longer have impatiens...it was a good long run, but I have missed having them in window boxes. Hope that your weather moderates some so that you can enjoy time in the garden.

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    1. Vee, that doesn't shock me at all. I am so thankful we don't have deer! They do so much damage. I didn't mention my dislike of voles and moles in the garden. Now they are some critters I could get physical with! ♥

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  2. Your garden is coming along nicely, Martha Ellen. How wonderful that you plant herbs as well and use them in your meals. You know, Jess planted a little pot of basil one time on her front porch and used it when she cooked. Look at that bunny and squirrel! How funny that the squirrel keeps coming around. I have to tell you something...I love to take pictures of the squirrels, and often I see them in my front yard cause we have lots of trees, but I don't get too close to them cause they scare me a bit. I'm glad you got some rain, that helped your garden grow so nicely. Those grape tomatoes must taste wonderful on your salads. Your purple flowers are so pretty, and that sweet little angel made me smile. : )

    I wanted to thank you for thinking of me. There seems to be many fires in California right now, but they are in Southern and Central California, and I live in Northern California. Please say a prayer that none come our way. It's been so hot here, Martha Ellen.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri, I don't like squirrels close to me as well. Samantha was outside our window and I was inside. One time a squirrel came onto the patio as we were relaxing and came close to me. I kinda freaked out!
      I'll pray the fires are controlled and don't come anywhere near you. ♥

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  3. Ah, Martha Ellen, it is, indeed, that time of year when watering pots becomes a daily deed! Everything is burgeoning into beautiful blossoms and blooms, but all to quickly we will be in autumn and the air conditioning no longer needed again. Truthfully, as we do not have air conditioning, but wish we did, I cannot wait for those less humid days to be with us again. I'm thankful for recent rainfall here as, being indisposed again, it has saved the task of watering the pots for a few days. As I walk past my two tomato plants, I just *have* to squish a leaf and savour that tomatoey fragrance you only get from plants and home grown fruits.
    Enjoy your beautiful and bountiful garden as best you can in the humid heat! ~~~Deb xoxo

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    1. Deb, the humid days of summer almost require air conditioning in VA. I did not grow up with it and can hardly imagine that now! When it's so hot I wish for frequent rain. I'm glad you are getting a respite from watering and hope you are feeling better each day. Beautiful autumn will be here before we know it! Have a wonderful day. xoxo ♥

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  4. You have a beautiful garden, the herbs are a delight. I am feeling a tad envious but hopefully we will be able to establish a garden for next year.

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    1. Thank you. You have exciting plans ahead. It will all come together when the timing is right. ♥

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  5. Your garden is so beautiful! Gardening always seemed peaceful to me. I think it's so cool you grow your own herbs!

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    1. Thanks Pilar. You should try growing a little pot of herbs--maybe basil or mint. It's so rewarding to gather what you grow and use it in your cooking! ♥

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  6. Those are beautiful images of your garden. My daughter just spent 4 days in VA on business and absolutely loved it there. Your gardens are just gorgeous!!!! xo Diana

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    1. Thanks Diana! It's looking a little tired out there this morning-hot and dry! I'm glad your daughter enjoyed VA. We're kinda partial to our state. Have a great day! ♥

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  7. It is "only" 83 degrees here but the 70% humidity makes it feel repressive when you step outside. I remember the days without A/C and fans constantly going and not getting much else done. My poor hostas will not keep their beautiful blossoms much longer at this rate. This is about the time of year I give up on my garden between the powdery mildew, grasshoppers and Japanese beetles, and relentless sun. Your lilies are looking great!

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    1. Cathy, you live where it is cool, but the humidity is a killer. It's 95 degrees now and feels like 107. When I hung sheets on the line earlier this morning, I could only linger for a short time. My garden is looking quite tired now of this heat. We have Japanese beetles on the wisteria this year--so odd! Stay as cool as you can. ♥

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  8. Your garden is very loved . . . and it shows! So beautiful! I love your little garden friends too. Very Beatrix Potter-ish! Do you have names for them?

    Oh, I raise my hand with number who can be considered "spoiled" by air conditioning. I can't imagine a day like this one without it. I am most surely spoiled.

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    1. Cheryl, through the years we have called every squirrel, Sammy. I had quite a close up of this friendly one and noticed he was a she! So we named her Samantha.
      I'm so thankful to have air conditioning--I've never done well with the heat. The humidity is just brutal. We had a storm this evening and it certainly was a welcome rain with a break in the humidity.
      Thinking of you, my friend. ♥

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  9. Great photos! Been hot and humid here in Nashville TN also, I stay in....I am not a fan of hot weather, when younger I was the other way around.

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    1. Pam, it looks like the whole country is under this heat! We had a rip roaring storm this evening that did break our heatwave. ♥

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  10. Vincas are looking gorgeous..

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  11. Wow! your garden looks so lush. We have heat and humidity too, but the rain has passed us by and I'm doing a lot of watering to keep things from baking! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend, XOXO

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    1. Susan, we had a big storm last evening that dropped 2 inches of rain! I'm so thankful. Summer in the south requires supplemental watering if we don't get rain. I hope you get some soon, my friend. ♥

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  12. I read the Jane Austen quote to my hubby. We are definitely in a state of inelegance here in Florida! haha! It's SO humid but the roses are blooming like crazy. Would love to have some home grown tomatoes! Enjoy your weekend sweet lady. Hugs!

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    1. This past week has been quite inelegant for a lot of us, Diane! I'm so happy to hear your roses are doing well. My flowers are happy as long as I give them plenty of water during this oppressive heat. Have a lovely weekend. ♥

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  13. I'm also watering like mad. It is enough that I am wilting in this weather, no need to take the plants with me.
    Amalia
    xo

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  14. What a lovely peek into your garden in July, Martha Ellen! Your flower photography is just stunning! :) I just love your trailing vinca spilling over your brick planter. So charming! Your herbs are thriving in spite of the humidity. I know how much you truly enjoy them! Stay cool, my friend, in any way possible! Wishing you a delightful week ahead! ♡

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    1. Thank you, dear Dawn. I've been thinking of you and hope the flooding did not affect your area. It seems we either have not enough rain or too much! The humidity is better today. We enjoyed our dinner on the patio it was so nice. I hope you are enjoying your summer days, my friend. ♥

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  15. Lovely to see summer plants, summer vegetables and herbs.
    You can't beat cutting your own herbs, they do add so much taste and flavour.

    All the best Jan

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