Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Aftermath of the Heat Wave

Crunch, crunch, crunch..

I had been away from the Red House Garden for 10 days during a record-setting heat wave.  The crunching noise was me walking across the very brown lawn from my car to the front door.  Oh, dear... what was the garden going to look like?

Blooms of 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' Rose - lightly toasted
Well, it ain't pretty.  Even though our cat-sitter had watered some of the garden (I frantically e-mailed her from Canada when I heard what the forecast was going to be), the garden looked pretty worse for wear.

The voles already ate a rose bush out of this corner and stressed out the camellias.  I think the heat has now finished them off.
I am saddest about my new little native Sparkleberry tree that I had planted a couple months ago.  It is supposed to be drought tolerant, but I'm sure the new transplant wasn't meant to got through this heat without water!  I don't know if it will recover.

Believe it or not, this little twig with leaves is actually a five-year-old tree.  Sparkleberries are very slow-growing..  
Ah, but not every plant withered under the heat.  My back yard was actually extremely green and lush looking when I came home....

thanks to CRABGRASS!

Ahh, we crabgrass love the sun and heat!
All of the crabgrass apparently threw huge parties in the 105 degree weather and spread like only weeds can throughout most of my mulched area.

Seriously, are there no other plants other than WEEDS that can take this summer heat?

Over here!  Over here!
Thank you, Cosmos Sulphureus, for standing up to the heat!  (Ah, I see you are invasive in certain areas.  Well that explains it..)

Actually all my Coreopsis, Black-eyed Susans, Salvias, and Milkweeds sailed through the heat without batting an eyelash as well (yay!), all being tough, drought-resistant native plants.  Other blooms I owe to the person who watered parts of my garden while I was gone.

Do you see the bee in the middle of this Hibiscus moscheutos 'Luna Pink Swirl'?
Thankfully, though, all I have lost is a few ornamental plants.  My thoughts are with the farmers, for whom this heat affects their livelihood.

How is everyone's else's garden looking?


  1. Our gardens seem to have suffered much the same fate. The grass is crunchy and going dormant. Many of my plants look sickly and stressed. There is brown and crispy leaf edges here and there. I hope we all get some rain very soon, and some cooler temperatures would be nice, too.

  2. Hi Indie. Oh dear that is just too bad about some of your plants. I am glad to see some of them are braving it through. The hibiscus is so lovely. This summer has been terrible so far. I hope we all get some rain and cooler temps.

  3. Indie,
    We have been home and watering. Picture Meg watering with a hose from a rain tote, the sprinkler going and me watering with 2 gallon buckets from the other rain tote. Sorry about the camellia and sparkle berry. My Sparkle berry is I think a winter berry, it is 12 foot tall, the bluebirds and cedar waxwing love the berries, better replace that one. Came close to loosing a new camellia, need to water it, did loose 2 baby seedling camellias I grew from seed.

  4. I hope your little sparkleberry tree makes it. It's always so sad to see gardens going through a disaster and have some things not make it.

  5. Indie,
    We missed all that rain. Last night had dinner in Hillborough, it poured for 30 minutes, nothing at all at our place.

  6. Same boat here with no rain and heat. Plants are only surviving with sprinklers, which I really do not like to use. I will be going away for a couple of weeks and am not sure what I will return to. The ten day forecast says no rain.

  7. Hi Indie
    If you were in Canada, I guess you felt our heat, humidity and drought. We all seem to be experiencing the same conditions. Gardeners are frustrated and sad (at losing some of our favourite plants) - I guess the only happy folks this summer are the sunbathers!!
    Hang in there - sometimes plants unexpectedly come "back'! Let's hope yours do.

  8. I'm glad the native plants are so drought-resistant! Your hibiscus is happy.

  9. Our garden didn't like the heat either...we were out of town too and despite hiring someone to water even the native sweetshurb's leaves were turning yellow when we returned. I hope the rest of the summer isn't so hot and dry. Your hibiscus is beautiful!

  10. Hot tired and droopy describes both the garden plants and the gardeners here. We still have some flowers that look good, but the peas and salad greens are a disaster. But the weeds, crabgrass and friends are doing fine. This is upstate New York for Pete's sake.

  11. Gotta love those native plants. My natives did pretty well during this hot spell. The ornamental grasses did well too.

  12. You have my sympathy. It is sad to see plants perish. Things are very dry here too. It is impossible to keep everything watered. My magnolias, hollies, cedars, nandinas, and crepe myrtles tolerate the heat well, but my beloved hydrangeas whimper and wilt and beg for water, water, water...

  13. We were away and it got really hot at home too. Most of my garden is in the shade or very well-established so there wasn't much damage. Non-gardeners have good intentions whne watering but they really don't understand how much water plants actually need unless you make them use a timer or soaker hose.

  14. I think we are finally in luck, with the weather supposed to cool down this week! I can't wait, and I'm sure my plants can't either! My garden hose burst from the heat, so I've duct-taped it back together until I can get another hose - my poor backyard plants need some water!


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