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.