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Lush and Ragged

August is the worst possible time to judge a southern garden, which is of course why I’m doing it.

At least it's green...

The whole garden needs work. The grass is long and needs mowing (and in some places, plain ‘ol weed-whacking) and the big established bed needs everything cut back and deadheaded and chopped. Stuff is sticking out at all angles and the wild quinine has not so much fallen over as exploded and I should have chopped back the swamp sunflower in June and the rose mallow has shot up and is waving red saucers like UFOs over the bulk of the greenery.

It needs a serious haircut.

I am not doing any of this.

The weather is partly to blame. It’s about 101 degrees today, and the heat index has been pegged at “Seriously, You’ll Die.” If I get working out there, I’ll keep working and then I will wonder why I have stopped sweating and why everything suddenly seems so sparkly.

The other reason is because the bugs are going crazy. The bee balm is STILL blooming–it’s ugly and ragged and on its last legs, and the insects are still crawling all over it. The rose mallow is covered in swallowtails and occasionally a hummingbird will elbow its way in. And if you leave the coneflowers up, the goldfinches love them (Although we’re awfully light on goldfinches this year…)

I know, I shouldn’t itch at it. It’s not the garden’s fault that August is the worst month. I should just be grateful that everything is still thick and fairly green. And I shouldn’t judge the new beds at all–they need a year or two before I can expect ANYTHING, and the backyard is barely even cultivated, really, and the prairie planting gets another year before I get too twitchy…

But it looks dreadful at the moment. And my desire to get out there and start brutalizing it into shape is intense. All I’d need would be a few cubic yards of topsoil and maybe nine cubic yards of mulch…that’s not much, right?

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.

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I'm supposed to send out weedy bed warnings in the community garden Wherein I Am President and Dictator Of the Workdays, but I haven't had the heart. It's so damn awful, we just harvest and leave. Also my own bed is about 25% grass, and my house is 100% glass.

I imagine somebody with that job has sent out something on the lines of:

"I'm required to send out weedy bed warnings to the people of the community garden. So, I'm warning all the people with weedy garden spaces that it's too hot to be out there pulling plants out of the ground, and to stay inside and have a glass of ice water."


"...and then I will wonder why I have stopped sweating and why everything suddenly seems so sparkly."

And then Kevin will have to haul you to the emergency room, there will be doctors and needles and Very Expensive Medical Bills, and things will be bad in general. Personally, I'm against that.

Just my opinion, of course.

Only problem with that is that Kevin is currently across the country.

It'll have to be the beagle, instead. Can he drive?

Of course he can, snoopy could.

Sweetie. It looks FANTASTIC.
Put the image in your head of your folk's house in Phoenix. In August.

Your garden makes my heart warm to the cockles. Green, lush, blooming, wonderful.

Find some peace with August. The garden is good.

I actually find myself feeling guilty when it comes time to deadhead the mint and hyssop, the bees circle it like lost puppies when I'm done.

I am in Durham and my garden, too, is a giant green mess and it's just too hot to change that. Added to this is that I have a new bed half dug that I cannot bring myself to continue until it's cooler or unless I get up early enough to get out there and with a newborn, my time is so unpredictable.

Oy. I feel you.




I have not managed to keep most of my plants from wilting sadly (except for the vinca which is unkillable by mortal man) and/or completely kicking the bucket. It is officially Too Damn Hot. I go out, I water, I locate and mist the toads whether they like it or not, I go back in. That is all you are to do in this weather.

Are you kidding? That looks totally diveable-in. My six-year-old self wants to craw into the middle of that and not come out until dinner.

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Re: Apollonian & Dionysian

Lovely quote! Also: hello again!

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Re: Apollonian & Dionysian

That is a lovely quote...
and may I please steal your icon? It's quite wonderful!

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Re: Apollonian & Dionysian

I haven't had time to read nearly as much Bujold as I would like, but Miles is quite wonderful. =)
Thank you! Snagging now, and will definitely credit.

Re: Apollonian & Dionysian

I'll have to add it to the library list.

We seem to have enough in common; why not?

"maybe nine cubic yards of mulch...that's not much, right?"

Yes, yes it is. Friends don't let friends mulch.

Yeah, that's just a midge too much mulch.

I'm still doing battle with the ivy that's trying to tear the vinyl siding off the house, but I've been reading your gardening post for ideas on what to do with planting when I'm ready to start putting in and not desperately ripping out.

(if someone ever crossed peppermint with kudzu they could Rule The World!)

Only if they got it right.

("Damn! Another failure - smells like kudzu, spreads like mint.")

"Spreads like mint" is, erm, an improvement on "spreads like kudzu", though I grant you, not much of one. ;)

So far as I know, mint does not climb trees.


You've taunted the mint... The world is doomed.

For gardens, August seems to be that month where it's an in between haircut - not quite long enough to tie back or DO anything with, but too long and wispy to really look like much of anything.

It's doing its job admirably,though! If the insects and birds are happily congregating about the wild-ish looking mass, you've done your job.

This heat? Wait til september to try to do anything. I've been getting DAILY mail messages from the emergencyemail.org people saying to stay inside if possible, reschedule anything to early morning or late evening, and if I HAVE to be outside stay in the shade, drink lots of water, and take frequent rest breaks. It's been weeks since it's been under 100 during the day, and all my weeding/mowing/trimming plans have been shot to hell. I'll... look at filling in the end of that bed late September, and see how it looks next spring. :-S

Mulchaholics Anonymous?

you know...

Lowes and Home Depot frequently have a $2/bag mulch sale going on. At least in Orange County it's only slightly more expensive to get the bagged mulch (when it's on sale) than it is to get the landfill mulch. And it's so very much more portable...

Just throwing that out there :D

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