Thursday, July 8, 2010

I thought I was living in New England

The weather lately has NOT been typical for a New England Summer.  For the past week our temperatures have been running about 6 degrees above average (and one day it was 20 degrees above average - ouch) and we've had humidity.  It feels like The South.

Plants don't mind the heat, or the humidity.  Most plants do well in humid conditions (unless they get Powdery Mildew).  The humidity is probably the reason I still have a garden.  In the past month we've only gotten 0.84 inches of rain here on The Edge.  That's well below normal.

[I can be that exact because I measure rainfall for a group called CoCoRaHS - they took over organizing volunteers from the National Weather Service.  Check them out sometime.  It's a great place to find local rainfall (and snowfall) information.  They're always looking for more volunteers - hint, hint.]

The heat and dry conditions have made our grass go into dormancy.

This is normal in The South but some of my neighbors are alarmed.  The good news is that it won't need mowing until we get more rainfall.  The other good news is that most of my neighbors are smart enough to let it go dormant instead of trying to keep it green with copious watering.  The bad news is that the weeds seem unaffected and show up against the brown background (or is that good news?  I could go out and hand weed the lawn now...  Of course I'm planning to get rid of this lawn so why waste my time?  The gardens need weeding!).

Some of my newer plants are suffering.

Like this Lewisia.  It's supposed to be drought tolerant.  I'm hoping it's going dormant for the summer.  Notice the crab grass and other weeds are nice a green. 

This Hellebore is also suffering.  It was bought at an end of the spring gardening season sale.  I have several end of the season plants all in the same area and I'm struggling to keep them well watered.  Time to clean the fishtank.  [I carry buckets of old fishtank water outside - it's high in all kinds of goodies like nitrogen and it's "free" water.  I'd be getting rid of it anyway and using it on the garden is a type of reuse.  The tank is 55 gallons so I have plenty of water to spare.]

My little patch of pansies and viola by the fireplace is done in for.  Last summer I managed to keep these going until August.  This year, not so much.  It's a warm spot and usually the viola do quite well.  

[The pile of dirt to the left of the picture was removed by a ground nesting wasp.  Her ancestor nested in this area last year - see post here.  It's good to see the current generation digging in to my garden.]

I'm off to do a rain dance.  We could use a good tropical storm heading up this way!

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