Summer Sizzle

July 15, 2012

On Friday I watched a lighting and rain storm from my office window at work and drove home through strong rain, but when I got home we had just had a few sprinkles of rain.  On Saturday afternoon we finally got 1 – 2 tenths of an inch of rain.  I hope the farmers got some rain because the corn and other crops really need it.  Even a little helps some, but the yard is so dry I had to get out the hose again this morning.

Drought conditions in our yard on 7/15/12, for the record.  Usually this time of year I am dealing with a mosquito jungle and only enter the garden area with a lot of bug spray on.  There are not so many mosquitoes yet this year, though a lot of wild looking bugs and flying pollinators, as usual.

Still, it’s time for the black-eyed susans to open up, which is always so cheery.  Even they have struggled with the dryness and I have watered them a number of times.  In the background is the Fothergilla bush, one of my favorites.

The lilies have started to bloom, though much of the foliage is brown.

I put petunias in my yard for the first time this year.  I bought them for the largest container, but also put them in a few places in the ground.  They have faithfully continued to bloom all summer, though the deep purple color is hard to catch in pictures.

I planted nasturtium seeds, both from seed packets and ones that I collected from my own plants, all over the yard this spring.  I wonder if this is a seed I collected from a plant, since the color is not what I would have expected.  Many of the nasturtium started well but seem to be dying off from lack of water.

Miscanthus – morning light.  This ornamental grass does not seem to have trouble with the heat.  I noticed I caught a blue damselfly in the middle of this picture.  A lot of grasshoppers, dragonflies and such find a place to hide in these grasses.

This is a different type of miscanthus.  This is its third summer in this location.  It is an example of a good plant in the wrong place, as it hogs all the space and crowds out the other plants.

When we had our garage sale we noticed several wasp nests on the front of the garage.  Dan sprayed those on Friday, but then on Saturday, when I opened the umbrella the wasps had built a nest there, too, so here several angry wasps are flying around inside the umbrella trying to get themselves reorganized.  I decided to stay away from the area for a while.  In general wasps are a beneficial insect and I welcome them in the garden – just not on or near the house.

Dan and I watched Forks Over Knives and are thinking about how to incorporate more plants into our diets….

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