it’s a dry heat

We have had a LOT of 90+ degree days lately, and hardly any rain. I’ve had to give in and run the sprinkler more days than not lately to keep everything from shriveling up and dying. (And some stuff is looking fairly shrivel-y, to be honest.)

Over the weekend I went out early one morning and transplanted some Asiatic Lilies from the garage-side and driveway-side gardens to the front garden.

front garden

I watered the crap out of them and the ground before and after transplanting, and they seem to be doing just fine.

front garden

They had mostly not bloomed before I moved them, and now almost all of them are blooming, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

lilies

peach lily

Our neighbor’s maple trees are not, however, doing so well. This is the house that has been for sale since last year, and the trees are definitely missing the attention their former owner used to give them.

neighbor's tree

I don’t know if this is like the tree version of heat stroke or what, but both the maples in front of that house have these spots all over all their leaves. Our red and silver maples don’t seem to have been affected, fingers crossed.

neighbor's tree

As you can see, the front yard is looking much less lush than it did only a few weeks ago. The coneflowers are loving the heat, and the butterfly bushes seem just fine, if a little less dense than last year. The forecast keeps calling for thunderstorms, but we haven’t actually had rain in awhile. Maybe this week.

front garden

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weekend update

So I finally decided that I’ve had enough of the neighbors walking on the seedlings in our front garden (nee yard) and put up a temporary fence to keep the garden safe.

temporary fence installed

It stretches all the way along this side of the yard, so hopefully it will be effective. We could theoretically fence off the other edges, too, but I’m not convinced that’s necessary. As you can see, I also planted three new bushes there – blueberry, black raspberry, and red raspberry. I usually like to get edible plants from heirloom seed or from the farmers market (or other reputable organic sources), but I gave in and got these from Lowe’s – the farmers market had nothing to offer and the seeds I’d planted here got trampled to death. I’m guessing that I’ll need to protect these from the birds once they start fruiting. Anyone have suggestions of effective ways of doing that?

In other front garden news, a number of the other plants I put in are doing pretty well! The dark lord geranium is looking good:

dark lord geranium

I also noticed that something is sprouting up through the mulch on the side of the house – I think it might be grapes. Can anyone confirm or deny?

something growing up through the mulch - grapes?

In the back gardens, the daylilies and asiatic lilies are budding and getting ready to bloom.

asiatic lily

daylily

asiatic lily

The lilies beside the garage are really, really tall! Some of them are approaching the point of being taller than I am!

garage-side garden

The golden sweet snow peas are still blossoming, with a gorgeous purple color:

golden sweet snow pea blossom

There are also scads of pea pods! I’ve been eating them right off the vine while I wander through the veg garden. They are so sweet and the texture is divine!

golden sweet snow peas

So the other day, after I finished hosing off the aphids that were hanging out on the potato plant blossoms, I noticed what I thought was an odd-looking ladybug. It wasn’t a ladybug, it was a colorado potato beetle. Yipes! I picked it off and killed it, and found, picked, and destroyed the leaf under which it had laid eggs. I searched but didn’t find any others, but then a day later, I found these!

unknown insect: Colorado Potato Beetle larvae?

They’re larval colorado potato beetles, and they were chomping the hell out of the potato leaves, as you can see above. Ugh! I think I’ve gotten rid of all of them now, so hopefully we’re done with that. I did order some ladybugs and praying mantis eggs which should arrive soon. I fully expect them to fly away, but hopefully a few will hang out and make a home in my garden (and a meal of any other pests). We already have some good pest-eaters in the garden, one of whom made an appearance this week:

toad in the toad house

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