Wednesday, June 23, 2010

3rd Day of Summer

My substitute for a palm tree, a Crinum (not yet in bloom) I brought back from a trip to Georgia years ago.

The third day of Summer has arrived and my garden looks like an Oasis in the Sahara. Today, the temperature is floating around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In spite of the lack of rains it manages to hold well and in bloom even though some of the plants would rather get a little water. Controlling myself like never before, I did not plant one new anything this year. So this makes the garden fully established which should be very revealing.

I am doing all kinds of testing this year. I am trying to see how far it can all go without my interference. I added 3 more hours of labor pruning out a corner that was way overgrown. I caught one of the last days for pruning flowering shrubs. No more pruning until fall or winter and certainly not flowering shrubs if you want them to bloom again next year. Total so far for the season around 13 hours of labor more or less. Watering 0 except for the pots.

I have taken a new approach in managing the garden based on some factors that may involve my eventual relocation. For now, I continue with the hope of remaining here, but with taxes in New Jersey higher than anywhere in the country and continuing to go up, the future here looks slim without a real job to offset what amounts to over $7,000 in taxes for a small three bedroom house with one bathroom. I am awaiting the arrival of our new tax bills in August for a final take on what strategy to follow. For now, I remain optimistic about all that can happen to stay here. Our elected officials have lost reason and don't seem to have any concern to remedy matters for fear or rocking the boat and loosing their jobs to address tax payer concerns. I will be 59 in August and it will be a crime that the years I have spent and my efforts to make my community a better place will go to some outsider who just has a pocketful of cash. I suspect this is not news, but more how we live in our modern era.

But as I was saying, the garden has produced a wealth of colors. Purple and orange are both in abundance. There are varying degrees of blues that lead to all matter of shades or purple. Similarly, orange is in strong effect with all matter of lilies and day lilies. There are of course a few stragglers hot pink roses and even one of my favorites, a white Flowering Chestnut (Aesculus parviflora) in all its majesty. The birds in the garden seem overwhelmed in the heat, only the Kois, however, seem content in their balmy bathwater pond.

Enjoy views of the garden. Make sure that you avoid watering during the middle of the day. If you do you will be stewing your plants. Best time to water is early in the morning while still cool.

Oh by the way, I hope you have managed a World Cup match or two. The players are the most incredible specimens of our human race in all the prowess of their youth and agility. Rather a contrast with the often obese padded American football players. I have been seriously following it this year. My neighbor from Tunisia and his wife from Serbia and I are all rooting for different teams. The US just beat Algeria to remain a contender for the following rounds in a great match. Happy Gardening!

One of those silly 4 inch potted hydrangeas now produces many of these 18 inch blooms

The massing of plain orange daylilies with my flowering chestnut behind

A triple petaled daylily gift from a neighbor years ago

One of the many orange Asiatic Lilies

Two of my favorite hydrangeas straddling the hose bib even though they don't get watered

Hydrangea paniculata or Peege Hydrangea whose large flowering racemes last dry into fall

Blue Lace cap Hydrangea
Lavender Hidcote

Vitex agnus-castus or Chaste Tree or Monk's Pepper for its pepper like berry

Old faithful Buddleia, one of the many shades in the garden

Filipendula rubra. Queen of the Prairie long pink stalks with raspberry barbed type leaves

Lysimachia clethroides or Gooseneck when massed it looks like a swan lake ballet

Aesculus parviflora Flowering Chestnut with its chandelier look

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