Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Complaint

Summer complaint in the nineteenth century and the early part of the past century was a name for diseases of little children, frequently caused by lack of refrigeration for milk and other foods, often leading to death.

Summer Complaint in my garden is caused by heat and humidity in the Dog Days of Summer, leading to impatience for the blooms of High Summer. The first Tithonia has finally bloomed. Perhaps the delay has to do with my depending on reseeding on the plant's timetable.
Another complaint comes when certain plants fail to show up, as evidenced by only ONE Nicotiana and it is not the dark Perfume Purple I wanted to see.

Periwinkles are plentiful but blooms are slow with them, too. They wait for hot, really hot soil in which to grow. Purple Periwinkles are visible just above the stone at far right. Others are just emerging. I gave Salvia leucantha a haircut with hedge shears to plump it up for fall bloom. There's a new white Lantana in the center front of the bed above where a lavender plant failed to return.

Remember when I mourned the loss of White Dawn rose when he-who-mows backed the tractor into its support and then backed up a second time to try to straighten the support? All the canes save one were broken off at the ground.

White Dawn put out strong new canes and is blooming.

Zinnias have commenced bloom. Complaints here are leveled at myself for not planting more seeds. Not seen is a lemon yellow, perfect for this bed.

Butterflies were slow about coming to the garden. At first, I saw one at a time. Then they commenced to come in pairs. This morning there's a trio of Swallowtails on Pride of Barbados.

We'll be seeking frequent shade until Dog Days are over, trying to avoid Heat Exhaustion.


  1. Lovely pics. So many plants I don't have or seen before. Glad to see yours.

  2. Every time I see Poinciana in your photos I'm tempted by the idea of adding one to my own garden. Its projected size is the reason for my hesitancy.

  3. Thanks, Patsi, I do love tropical plants in our hot and humid summers.

    Kris, I don't know about how they behave in your climate but here they get killed back to the roots and are too late putting out in May to grow to 10 feet or more. Mine have never reached more than 4-5 feet tall and no wider. (Now watch them take off this year and I'll have to come back and say it isn't so.)

  4. So nice even in the dog days of summer. That Pride of Barbados is fabulous!

  5. The dog days are definitely here, too. Each day I hope for rain. Everything is so dry, and the hose just is not the same as rain, despite our best efforts. Your garden seems to be taking summer in stride. I love your zinnias and the Pride of Barbados!

  6. We are at a similar stage with things here , too. The butterflies have also been slow, but coming in ones now. Looking for some rain this coming week, so maybe a respite. All in all, not a bad year, just different. I think your stuff looks great.

  7. Nell, I love that 7th shot of the butterfly poised over the Pride of Barbados!

    I finally saw a spectacular large butterfly but was too busy to get outside to take a picture. We still have very few here.

  8. NO WONDER! my perwinkle are doing well....they are in some seriously hot soil!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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