We expect July to be hot and humid--that doesn't mean we have to like it!
My Facebook memory feed kindly reminded me that I had linked to a blog post last year on this date, an essay which quite thoroughly expressed my long-standing dislike of hot weather.
The discomfort of stifling heat has this year been aggravated by the fact that both Jim and I are still coughing--an enduring legacy of the respiratory virus which he brought home from his vacation.
I have continued to read, to do the most necessary housework and cooking [we aren't particularly hungry] and to do a bit of gardening.
I didn't cut back the lavender this spring--it quickly broke dormancy and flourished with fresh tips and flower buds.
As the blooms faded and dried the effect became very tatty.
I should perhaps have pruned most of it back to the ground, but I settled for snipping off the dead flower stalks and cutting out bedraggled undergrowth.
I decided to leave the clump of purple violets which appeared in a corner of the herb bed.
Grass had sprouted in the sidewalk cracks and along the edges of the side porch steps.
By the time I tackled this area on Tuesday forenoon the cats had retreated to sprawl on the porch floor out of reach of the sun.
Several varieties of thyme are planted along the outer edge of the walk, interspersed with dianthus and a few spare lavender plants.
Kneeling on an old cushion I snipped and pruned and pulled invasive grass and weeds.
I thought I had been working for about 45 minutes.
When Jim appeared and invited me to go with him for errands I realized I had been working in the hot sun for over two hours.
It was a relief to go inside for a cool shower, clean clothes, and then become the passenger in an air-conditioned car.
When our nephew and his wife were here last month we went with them to explore a wild acreage they have purchased on the other side of the county.
Masses of rambling roses grew along the rough track and clambered through the weeds.
I expect they are escapees from a nearby abandoned farmhouse. C. obligingly brought me back a bundle of roots which I poked into a pot of earth.
Careful watering has inspired the growth of fresh green leaves and hopefully the development of healthy roots. I will find a spot to plant these before frost.
The double daylilies are nearly at the end of their bloom for this season.
Swallowtails enjoying the tall phlox.
The flower garden has gone shabby; lilies, achillea, foxglove, coneflowers finished with their first bloom. The self-sown cosmos have taken over.
I have dead-headed and cut back in anticipation of fall bloom.
I have spread more mulch--I think one could endlessly add mulch.
During a recent hot afternoon I read a small book of memoirs by a woman who gardened throughout her life in the Charleston, SC area.
The basics of her garden were laid out by a well-known landscape designer of the day.
Her attorney husband allowed her a generous budget for plants and shrubs, and perhaps most importantly, she paid a 'gardener'/ handyman to do her bidding--the heavy digging, pruning, weeding.
While her garden was not designated as 'grand' it was appealing enough to be included in garden tours.
What one couldn't do with continuous funds and 'help' in a garden!
I stroll down the lane at either end of the day [when it is cooler] to visit the goats and the barn kittens.
The 'dry' goats have settled into the long narrow pasture that borders the lane.
In the heat of the day they lounge beneath the willows.
It is never too hot to poke a winsome face through the fence in hope of a tidbit.
Barring that, the 'girls' are pleased to have pats on the heads and admiring words.
I will never have the garden of my wistful imaginings.
I doubt I will ever have garden 'help.'
I do, however, cherish the companionship of Willis-the-Cat--my faithful overseer!