Yesterday’s Garden

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I’m happy I was able to get a few shots of my garden yesterday, for today has proved to be too blustery for good shots. The weather has remained warmer than average, and I don’t see that we have a threat of frost for the next 10 days. It is possible the garden could persist for the entire month of October. Last year it didn’t give up the ghost until the second week of November.

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Garden, October 7

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Once again the weather is warm enough to inspire me to turn on the air conditioner in the house. Today’s forecasted high is 81 degrees, and my flowers are loving this weather.

By the way, I’ve posted more images and few little video clips of my garden on Instagram.

Do you post photos on Instagram? If so, please leave a link to your Instagram feed in the comments so I can follow you there, too.

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Garden, October 1

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I am pleased that my pink rose mallow hibiscus has rebloomed for the second year in a row. For reasons I can only guess, the blooms on this second crop are about a third smaller than the large flowers that this bush offered at the height of summer. It is possible that a steep decline in rainfall stunted the growth of these blooms, or maybe the smaller flowers are this bush’s way to rage against the dying of the light (i.e, the end of this year’s growing season).

Today has been such a busy day. It included plenty of walking, necessary shopping, and even a bit of house cleaning. I’m not sure what sparked this interest in cleaning today, but I’ve learned to seize these moments lest my family live in squalor. I even mopped my kitchen floor, a task I detest more than most chores. The floor is linoleum that has aged to the degree that it looks a bit dirty even when it is clean, making the task of mopping seem pointless.

Replacing the kitchen flooring is a project that never seems to rise to the top of our priorities. It nearly made the top of the list a year ago, but the cracking of our bathtub stole its thunder. I suppose this post is supposed to be about the garden, but this is the floor I must confront almost every time I walk outside to the garden. I glance at the worn linoleum, consider what a cluster such a project would be (the stove and fridge would need to be moved out of the way, for instance), and I feel a bit worn out just thinking about it. The vision of it exhausts me a little despite that we would hire someone to do the work.

I will close the subject of the kitchen floor with a mopping tip that my husband offered me. I credit him with filling in many of my gaps in common sense. Anyway, he told me that he mops a floor twice, once with a cleaner and water solution and the second time with plain hot water. This second mopping seemed like overkill to me before I tried it for the first time. I was stunned at how much dirt was lifted through that second mopping with water.

Back to the topic of the garden . . . My sunflowers stopped blooming a couple weeks ago, so I pulled them this week. There weren’t many seeds left on the plants because some yellow finches had been snacking on them. I am grateful that they spared me the task of harvesting the seeds, but I wish they had been less camera shy. A hummingbird has also been visiting my calibrachoa baskets, but he is even less willing to be photographed.

Temperatures have had a wild variation this week. We had a high of 91 earlier in the week, but the temperature dipped down to 39 degrees last night. My petunias and calibrachoa have well endured these challenges.

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Garden, September 24

The heat still rages and is expected to linger through most of the coming week. My petunias are loving this sweltering weather. My hanging baskets have endured the heat with a daily watering.

My tolerance for extreme temperatures diminishes with each passing year. I seem to remember writing last year that eventually I may be left with a ten-degree zone of comfort, likely 60 to 70 degrees with just enough overcast and rainy days for plants to thrive.

While I will not miss these 85 to 90 degrees when they pass, I take solace in the fact they are stalling the start of freezing temperatures that will halt this year’s garden by mid-fall.

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Garden, September 17

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Our summer-ending heatwave has enlivened the garden. The second batch of buds is swelling on my hibiscus bush, so it is looking more likely to rebloom like it did last year:

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The petunias are loving this heat:

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Garden, September 10

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t make a weekly garden post before the first frost hits us, an event which has an unknown date as of yet.

My hanging baskets are loving the cool nights and moderate days, but they’ve demanded a daily watering. I think this is a sign that they are wearing their baskets like painted on jeans.

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Garden, September 3

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I’m lingering more in the garden because its days for 2017 are coming to a close. Inevitably the weather will turn too harsh to sustain these flowers. The unknown is how long the growing season will last. The first frost could come anytime between the middle of September and the beginning of November.

Last year the flowers were still in bloom a week after Halloween, but I cannot depend on a similar season this year. The temperature dipped to the high forties during a couple nights this week. My hibiscus bush is growing new leaves for a second bloom, but I don’t think the warmth will endure long enough for an encore bloom like last year.

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