Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 7,2011- August is the difficult month


I think I have had some writer’s block. Part of that is because there are just not so many wonderful pictures this time of year. I will tell you a few of my thoughts about August.

When you get to August, it seems like the garden season is almost over.
There are a few daylilies that are still blooming. One appreciates those late bloomers.
It is still awful hot…and muggy. But right there in the ten day forecast in Iowa there are temperatures in the 50’s for the evening lows. Who could imagine a week ago that we might need to find the jackets for our early morning walks?
The bitterly hot weather has left parts of the garden not looking so good. There are hosta with toasted or slug eaten leaves, or even worse.
Did I mention that the morning is getting shorter? Well it is really happening. With the heat this last month I have gardened mostly in the morning before either work or the heat of the day. The days when I would go outside at 5:15 are over. I suppose I could just go in later to work. I won’t even think about that.

But there is still plenty of gardening time left. Annuals that are planted now will still have several months before the first frost. It is time to move things around, in that gardening version of musical chairs. There are areas that are now too shady or too sunny. The shady things have to trade places with the sunny places. That is easier said than done. Which do move first?
So I am preparing beds to welcome new occupants, like the landlords in Iowa City with new students. One bed is going to have little bearded iris. They really should be separated.

But there are still some good pictures.

The water lilies have done well in the heat. I liked this particular picture.

Here is the dinner plate flower from the dwarf hibiscus, called Luna Pink Swirl. For August you really should have hibiscus. The challenge is finding them a good companion, since they really come up very late. Maybe daffodils would work.

I have grown castor bean plants for some time. While they are annuals, they produce their own seed, and will do well till frost. Here is a picture of their seedpods. My daughter Maggie made me a T-shirt with a picture like this from a few years ago. I have not seen another one like it. The seed that is setting this early will mature by frost. It can be collected and then you have lots of seed for the next spring.

Finally here is the double daylily Savannah Knockout. When I saw this picture I recalled that mutant daylily from the last post. I realized that what was happening was that the flower was mutating toward being a true double. Little did I know.

That’s it for this week. Please watch for a change in format for next week. I am thinking about trying a post every 1-2 days. Maybe I will just turn this into a little garden diary for the weeks.

In the voting for the last post
Bright eyed doll 15
Rain with daylily 12
Elise the lily 6
Pizzazz 4

That’s it for today.
I must go pull some weeds.

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