The Dog Days of Summer

This is the time when, for me, I just have to muscle through and keep taking care of the garden. There is not the huge reward of the springtime blooms. But the plants still need water, more than ever. I am looking forward to fall color from the Japanese Maples, so that is a motivating factor, and I’m babying along a few plants that will reward me with blooms next spring. I still buy a few plants at the nursery to motivate myself, and also to fill in some empty spots and add a bit more color to the garden.

Most of my flowering bushes are huge, and I’m letting them go for now, hoping for a big springtime show, and then I WILL PRUNE them. In the meantime, I keep reading up on the best ways to prune the various plants. MLG has been over, and has helped transplant a few plants, trying to find just the right spot for each of them.

Here’s the scene this week.

The phlox are really huge and tall this year. I cut back the rose of sharon after its first bloom, and it has continued to send out a few buds. I like that geranium that I put in the ground, so I will do that next year (usually I put them in pots.) And I like the salvia, but this year there wasn’t much of it that came back, so I will have to buy another little six-pack.


Best buy this summer: a big $2.50 investment of a six pack of these zinnias. They grew like crazy, and have filled in the area behind the carnation patch.


So I got another zinnia, a little bigger variety.


And then I found a GIANT zinnia this week 🙂


These gaillardia have done much better this year. Funny what a little water can do for a plant 🙂


This is the stupidest rose bush. Can you see that huge long stem, going all the way up into the oak tree??? This is the kind of thing that makes me want to replace plants. I am thinking about replacing several of my roses. If you’re going to spend the time and effort to care for roses, I think they should be really nice roses, don’t you?


Here’s the top of that rose, blooming up in the oak branches.


I really like this hydrangea, but it does this every year. The branches don’t seem to be strong enough to support the big flower heads, and so they all bow down like this. I’m going to do some research to see what I can do to encourage stronger stems. Otherwise, I LOVE this hydrangea, and I really love that it blooms in August and looks so nice.


I transplanted this liriope. I really like them, and I have several of them. This one is the only one that is blooming. Boo…


I like this little pink vine, and the new marigolds seem to have taken hold.


Here. This is what a lot of the garden looks like. Kind of sad and messy. Those purple penstemon just kind of fall over on the ground, and the other firecracker blooms are so rangy. Oh, but you know what? This is where I planted the cleome seeds that Lori sent me, and I THINK that one of them might be growing. Also, it looks like there is a healthy lupine growing, and so maybe that came from Lori in with the cleome seeds. I asked at the local nursery about cleome, and she said that they just aren’t available out here, but that she had other customers from the east coast that also inquired about them. Interesting, don’t you think?


This double impatiens is so pretty, but this is what it always looks like. I think its just too hot for an impatien to be happy. If I move it further into the shade, it doesn’t bloom at all.


Also, I think its called the dog days of summer because this is the time everything is so dry, and the dogs bring bits of the outdoors inside every time they come in and out…its a conundrum–do I clean, or do I water?


8 thoughts on “The Dog Days of Summer

  1. I’m laughing at your choices of “clean or water”. FORGET THE CLEANING–that’s winter work. haha Now if you had said “sew” that would have been a harder choice. The colors in your liriope plant are stunning (I see colors for a quilt in there). Now for that rose, did you happen to plant a climber which have a tendency to grow up trees (sort of like a clematis) If not a climber, it’s not getting enough sun where it is currently planted. Re the hydrangeas, Their flower heads are really heavy. I solved the sagging by buying a “cage” that is sold to hold up the heavy flowers on peonies…..MLG may be able to build you a cage out of twigs?? My mind is always racing on this stuff. Keep gardening–it gives all of us a lift when we see your postings. mickie

    • Mickie, you are probably right about the rose–not enough sun. I didn’t want that to be the problem, because after all, it does keep blooming. Your idea about the peony cage is brilliant! I will check that out this week!

    • Mickie has a better solution to your rose issue than I did, which was to think that maybe it’s a trans-gender-plant, who really wants to be an oak instead of a rose. #notagardener

      I love her idea of a twig cage for the heavy flowers!

      • LOL. That is so weird its funny. especially the hashtag. Well, now you’ve got me thinking about how to make a twig cage. Off to google 🙂

  2. That is so weird about the cleome. It’s everywhere out here, you would think they could have it in CA!

    That rose bush, just prune the cane really hard. Every once in a while I will have one shoot up like that. Just check to make sure it isn’t a sucker coming from below the graft (unless this is own root). If it is a sucker,cut that right off at the ground.

    Seems like you have my giant lavender gem zinnia that didn’t grow from my seed LOL!

    You should look at more mid season plants to keep you going. I still have things that haven’t bloomed yet.

    Okay, I have more. A lot of hydrangeas do what your did. The blooms are just so heavy for the stems anymore with the breeding of plants. My tree hydrangea did the same thing and I was going to post about it on the garden blog LOL! If you want to replace it, try Incrediball (I think that’s the name). It’s supposed to have super stiff stems to hold the blooms up.

    • I posted my “giant zinnia” just for you.

      Mid-season plants–must investigate!

      Yeah, I posted about this hydrangea because I noticed you had said something similar. I don’t want to replace it, so am investigating ” twig fences” now. Just what I need, another crafty hobby 🙂

      I keep looking at that rose cane, and I don’t think its a sucker. It did this same thing last year. I thought I pruned it pretty hard in January. But I will be even more ruthless this year!

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