|Old fashioned phlox need to be well-watered to thrive. Less water won't kill them, but they will not look good.|
|Tiger lilies contrast with cheerful hibiscus.|
A Kansas Country Garden
August 2015All is not wonderful in the mid-summer garden. Unlike spring when each day is a new adventure in the garden and new things continually pop into bloom, summer moves a little slower and a little harder.
|Mid-summer means daylilies are blooming.|
It's the scorching heat of course, relentless and hovering around the century mark, that tries the patience and saps the energy of plants, animals and humans. Add a stout wind and a few days without rain and things begin to get a little grim.
|Exotic hibiscus have very large blooms.|
This is not the time to neglect the garden, but it does seem that the demands lessen a bit.
|Even my beloved succulents benefit from a daily drink when in containers.|
First and foremost is watering. Early morning or in the cool of the evening seems the best time to dispense liquid survival. I want to water wisely so though most containers need daily watering, established plants are asked to make do with less.
|Slightly stressed, but still lovely.|
Some plants are a bit bedraggled from the stress of summer and begin to look unsightly. Crisp leaves and wilting plants are not pretty. Perennials can often be cut back with a good effect. I did this with my apple mint and it looked much better. I never worry about apple mint because it comes up in more places than I want anyway.
|Strawberry Fields Gomphrena self-seeds and comes up on its own every year.|
It would be easy to ignore weeding. After all if the soil is dry and hard, its difficult to remove the roots when you pull a weed, which means that it will probably just come back. The thing is, even when its hot and dry, those weeds are creeping in. For me, the worst is always bermuda grass. It is unfazed by summer's difficulties, perhaps even invigorated by them, and even knowing all that, I still am surprised at how aggressive it is. Mike finds me in the garden mumbling, "Evil, evil, its just evil". The key for me is maintaining a wide edging. Any time it rains, weeding is mandatory the next morning.
|There are many varieties of daylilies.|
|The exquisite beauty of the Surprise Lily (Lycoris squamigera) brightens any day.|
It is easy during the brunt of summer to whine and hover inside. Alas, I'm afraid I'm guilty of doing that all too often. But summer is beautiful, too. Take a moment to see it.