Its been a warm week once again and it looks like we will be entering stage three water restrictions. This is new for the south coast of BC as we are used to having so much rain. We really take water for granted here and we need to rethink how we use it. I sit here writing after coming in from watering the vegetable garden. I am trying to get used to what may be in place as early next week, hand watering. So what is hand watering? Hand watering is using a hose sprayer that shuts off so you don’t waste water or carrying watering jugs to water the garden. Its time to prioritize what we need to keep watered in our gardens. It’s certainly not the lawn. For me its the large trees as they are our most valuable asset. From providing shade in the hot summers and reducing energy needed to heat our homes, trees have to be on the top of the list. If you think about it the annual flowers use the most water, perennials are deeper rooted. Remember to water around the drip lines of your trees. That’s where the outer edges of the tree branches are, not near the trunk. For me that means if I run a soaker hose in the garden beds the trees will get some moisture. So how is your garden doing? I must admit I have already seen the loss of some annual flowers. They just couldn’t take the heat. If I can keep my trees and vegetable plants alive I will be happy.
Signs of fall are everywhere. Rose hips are forming on the roses and I am telling them no. I am not ready for fall colour in July. There is leaf fall happening all around us. Just yesterday I drove by a dead tree near city hall. It’s happening. This is our third hot summer. Damage from drought doesn’t always show up immediately. Next spring will tell us whats made it or not.
The berries of the dogwood above will soon turn red to the delight of the birds. Look at how the tips of the leaves are browning.
Some plants love the sun. The first of the Dahlias is out. This is Dahlia ‘Mango Sunset’ and is part of the new kitchen garden. This garden is full of flowers for cutting. The idea was to have flowers near the vegetable garden to attract pollinating insects. It must be working as I have cucumber and tomatoes forming on all the plants.
The Phlox is out in full bloom this week under the rose arbor. The scent of this one is intoxicating.
I have to show the plant that has been a huge success in the garden. Last fall I bought some Violas and planted them along the front walkway. Farmer Jim looked at them and said, “You are wasting your money, they won’t last.” Well, those Violas are planted at the front of the house where it gets very warm most times of the year. This year they are getting more sun than ever and I expected them to go to seed. No, they are troopers and keep on blooming. What plant blooms from November to July? You can be sure I will be planting more of them in the fall.
Because of our extremely dry weather, this has been the best year for roses. The pink roses in front of the house are stunning this year. I cut them back this week to encourage new blooms. They normally repeat bloom until frost.
A new plant for me is Penstemon ‘Dazzler Blend’ from Botanical Interests. Isn’t it lovely? I hope it comes back next year. It is a perennial and a drought tolerant one. I love the pretty pink flowers. I must grow more of them next year.
Over the next few days rain is in the forecast. I won’t hold my breath as it may be not enough to wet the soil. So there Farmer Jim and I were, out placing a tent over the tomatoes to keep them dry while we are away at a wedding. It was windy this morning and it looked like the weather was indeed changing. Of course, after all that work, the sun came out and there is not a cloud in the sky. We really need the rain for the forest fires in BC. I am lucky to not live close to the fires but we have smoke in the air each day.