Dear Carol, Mary Ann and our other wonderful friends,
Sorry about missing last week. My hands were full of maternal and daughterly duties.
This summer has been hard on vegetable plants. While the annual and perennial flowers either bloomed with abandon or hunkered down in the over 100F heat, the veggies were stifled. Our high summer temperatures don’t normally start until the end of July, but this year, the sun decided to spread its warmth a bit earlier. June is usually a month of moderate rainfall (for Oklahoma) and temperatures in the 80s and 90s, but you know the story from my earlier letters.
I’m frustrated with tomato plants that bloom and then drop their withered blossoms as though they’re embarrassed. I have beautiful plants, but very few tomatoes. I did eat two ‘Pink Brandywine’ and several handfuls of ‘Sungold’, but that’s it. Cucumbers are the same way, along with the peppers. Eggplants were abundant for awhile, but have now followed their brethen’s lead. Also, some of my wildflowers decided to smother a few of the eggplant plants and the peppers. Oops. I guess I didn’t allow for their abundance. I also don’t have any green beans. The vines grow and grow, bloom and then drop off unfulfilled.
I am watching this squash closely and hoping to eat it this week. This old-time crookneck variety usually performs well in Oklahoma. I am also watching a few small cucumbers and hoping the hot weather stays away long enough to pick them.
C’est la vie.
Let’s talk about flowers instead. I have these in abundance, along with grasses gently swaying in the breeze, and the crapemyrtles are blooming their little hearts out. I bless them whenever I walk out my back door. Is there any better shrub for Oklahoma than the crapemyrtle? I don’t think so.
The Phlox paniculata are also so beautiful this year they take my breath away. I have the white ‘Mt. Fuji’, ‘Bright Eyes’ and my heirloom pink. When everything else is looking tired, they hold the garden together and give it its flow or chi. What would I do without them?
The Susans are also doing their thing, their golden yellow loveliness spreads throughout the garden unifying it.
This is also the time of year when every plant is abuzz, and I get up close and personal with all of the creatures that visit. I think there are rabbits living therein. I hear them, but can never get a glimpse. They move too fast. I also hear snakes slither and frogs jump, but I’m not worried. They all want no part of me. I’ll leave you with a photo of a bumble I caught the other day on Hemerocallis ‘Peach Treat’. Yes, I still have a few daylilies in rebloom.
Oh, I nearly forgot. I drove to Tulsa this week and got to visit with Pam from Digging and her mother June. Last summer, they visited my garden. It was such a pleasure to get to see them. I also met Pam’s husband and her lovely children. In fact, we all had lunch together. I’m going to try to post about June’s garden tomorrow.
Your garden seems so fresh. And those phlox, just beautiful. Enjoy the last month of summer!
.-= compostinmyshoe´s last blog ..Big Ear in Blue Water =-.
Dear Dee, I love the Heirloom phloxes and find they are the happiest in my less then full sun garden…Yours are beautiful and the Rhapsody In Pink crape myrtle is delightful. Pink is one of my favorite colors! gail
.-= Gail´s last blog ..Through The Porch Doors Into The Wildflower Walkway =-.
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
Thank goodness for Phlox paniculata. Yours look wonderful, in spite of the heat. I’ve also been taking a lot of photos of bees lately, or just sitting out front watching them on the Coneflowers. I find them fascinating.
.-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..The Return of Foliage Friday =-.
sorry your veg. garden is struggling. here in utah it has finally been great garden weather, a wet damp june and warm july. past few years have been a struggle. good luck!
.-= kay´s last blog .. =-.
Those phlox are lovely. I don’t think I’ve seen them available for sale in my area. I’ll watch.
I read the tomato forum at garden web and they complain a lot about the tomatoes dropping flowers and not producing in extreme heat.
I will always have fond memories of the crepe myrtle I grew when I lived in Alabama. I wish it was hardy in my area.
I love me some fried squash. Yum! I have green tomatoes that are taking forever to ripen. The crape myrtle is beautiful.
.-= Phillip´s last blog ..Project update =-.
I love Crepe Myrtles tool. They really reward us with blooms this time of year. I can’t imagine summer without them.–Randy
.-= Randy´s last blog ..Let the Planting Begin =-.
Dee, I’m so glad you came to Tulsa for a garden visit at my mom’s. It was wonderful to see you again.
I wish I could say the phlox you gave me last year looks as beautiful as the ones in your garden. Alas, I think the extended heat wave and drought have stunted it. The three divisions haven’t grown much at all or bloomed. Poor things. They were much happier in your red dirt, I think.
.-= Pam/Digging´s last blog ..Pond watch: 1 week later =-.
Annie in Austin
Glad your flowers are cheering you up after your stressful week…even if the veggies are letting you down!
Sometimes if we can just keep the pepper plants alive until fall they’ll perk up and produce some fruit. Here’s hoping we both get a late crop, Dee.
How fun to see Pam at her mom’s house – remember a long-ago post with a very cool shed.
Annie at the Transplantable Rose
.-= Annie in Austin´s last blog ..Guest Posting New Song for Kiss My Aster =-.
Dee – the heat really is something this year, isn’t it? My cukes have been DOA for a long time. I’ve given up entirely. How nice that you got to meet up with Pam in Tulsa. Your rudkeckia is beautiful — it must love this heat.
.-= Diana´s last blog ..Aarghh… =-.
Carol, May Dreams Gardens
The weather is so key to whether or not a garden, especially a vegetable garden, makes it or doesn’t. We’ve been blessed with a fairly cool summer, and good rainfall. I wish I could send you a dozen or so cucumbers, I’m tired of eating them! Your flowers are beautiful, as always!
.-= Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog ..Letters to Gardening Friends, July 26, 2009 =-.
Dee, I’m so glad you have your beautiful garden as a place of retreat and respite during trying times. I’m sorry the weather hasn’t let you out there more often. Here’s to more rain and cooler temps for both of us!
.-= Cindy, MCOK´s last blog ..Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot =-.