Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Hot, Dry Summer

It has been a hot, dry summer here in eastern Pennsylvania. Several years ago, in an effort to conserve water, I decided to water only new plants, vegetables, plants in pots and a few annuals. I’ve been lucky the last few years. Summer temperatures have been mostly mild and rain has been adequate.

This year we have had several heat waves (temperature above 90 degrees for at least three days). Rainfall was at least 28% below normal in August.
It was hard to keep my resolve as I watched the astilbe dry up and fade away. The Sedums are fine as expected. Many plants survive (almost thrive) in the August heat without supplemental watering.

Annuals in the sun:

(Above) Snow on the Mountain (Euphorbia marginata) with a few cosmos sprinkled in.

Dusty Miller doesn’t seem to mind the heat or dry.

Snapdragons hide in the herb garden.

Cosmos and Cleome sometime look a little droopy in the hot afternoon sun but nod prettily every morning.

Perennials in the sun:

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare).

Yellow Coneflower Rudbeckia ‘Autumn Sun’ and ‘Sweet Autumn’ Clematis
Mums are in bud.

Perennials in shade or part shade in the afternoon

Lily Turf (Liriope muscari) – one tough plant.

Lavender 'Grosso’ planted in 2004 seems to thrive on neglect
Japanese Blood Grass (Imperator cylindrical) in a sea of Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) and Mexican Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa Siskiyou) ground covers.

There are many more survivors. The plants that don’t make it will have to be replaced with a tougher plant. My garden is no place for sissies.

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