Right now, this time of year, my garden is the boss of me. It’s a fact. I plan my day around watering and deadheading and weeding and watering again. The dog days of summer are tough ones on new plants that aren’t well established. Babysitting. That’s what I’m doing.
Webster defines the dog days of summer as: 1) the period between early July and early September when hot sultry summer weather occurs in the northern hemisphere; and 2) a period of stagnation or inactivity. Check and check! The origin of the phrase (first known use in 1538) came from their being reckoned from the heliacal rising of the Dog Star (Sirius).
So I can blame my lack of energy and inspiration not only on the heat but also on Sirius. Good.To.Know.
I remind myself that I’m gardening for the fun of it.
I remind myself that I no longer live in Dallas. That alone is worth at least five degrees Fahrenheit.
So what makes it all worthwhile?
The mere idea that so far I’ve managed to keep my potted flowers alive (included pansies!) pushes me into the next hot tomorrow.
The fact that finally, after months of urging my Black-eyed Susans up through the mulch, they are beginning to bloom beneath my Little Free Library.
The fact that just yesterday I saw a huge black and orange butterfly sunning on a rock in the backyard. I’ve been working on my butterfly garden all summer, so the sight of this beauty made me do a little cheer which, of course, scared her off and woke up the triplets.
What triplets you ask?
Do you remember the robin who built her nest on the bend of our gutter downspout only to lose her home the next night in a storm? (If you missed it, read about it HERE. It involves Blake Shelton.) Anyway, a few days later she regrouped and began building a stronger nest in our Japanese maple.
Today, I saw (and heard) her babies.
Three baby robins with very strong lungs!
Now, speaking of the dogs days of summer, everyone knows the quickest way to cool off after working in the yard is a sip from the water hose. How cute is this video of Lucy playing in the water hose? (Plus Annabelle keeping a safe distance.)
Do you have tips for helping your garden survive the dog days of summer? I’d love to know. Anyone? Anyone?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Sara Watkins, Long Hot Summer Day