It is so hot down here in Florida in the month of July that I rarely go outside. This morning I scurried around my yard and took some photos until I just couldn’t stand being out there. I think I lasted less than 5 minutes. The heat index says it feels like 100 out there. Add in tons of humidity, and you have Yuk.
So lets begin with the flowers. The crotons and hibiscus are loving the heat. They were made to withstand summer heat in this disgusting climate. Thankfully we are getting lots of afternoon thunderstorms that keep me from having to go out and water.
My rose bush hasn’t had any blooms for a while, but I noticed a small rose and bud today. It probably needs more attention, and more fertilizer.
I bought some Impatiens when I first moved into the house, and unbelievably they are still looking pretty good! I also planted my mother-in-laws-tongue, or snake plant, in the ground and it is doing well. I’ve put a few of the big seashells I’ve collected into the garden as decoration. The older, worn shells look good displayed that way. I had to put them out front, away from the raccoons, so they wouldn’t drag them off!
The Persian Lime tree is doing great. It’s still in a pot, and has lost a lot of the fruit it started with, but I still have some good size limes coming. I’ll have to figure out when to pick the fruit.
I have 2 eggplant plants, but neither one is growing any eggplants. They flower, and lose the flowers and keep growing tall. Maybe there aren’t enough bugs to pollinate the flowers. I need more flowering plants in and around my garden.
But I tried. I bought a bunch of marigolds because I always grew marigolds in New Hampshire. They usually became beautiful rounded bushes with tons of flowers. But that is not happening to these marigolds.
The marigolds have been growing for months, and I only have about 3 flowers total. The stalks have grown very long and tall, without flowering. It’s very bizarre. Marigolds are good to grow near tomatoes and other vegetables because they will help keep certain unwanted bugs away.
On to the tomatoes. I have 2 tomato plants still growing, but neither one looks exceptionally good. Both have some small green tomatoes, and I don’t know if I will get red ones to eat before the raccoons decide to help themselves.
I tried covering the vegetable garden with netting, and I think that helped. But a papa cardinal somehow got inside the netting and was trapped in the garden! I went out and freed him, but I had to cut the netting off in the process. He was really freaking out, so I left the garden uncovered.
I’m not trying too hard to garden these days. It’s too hot, and I don’t think the vegetables like it either.
……. Happy 4th!
Finally I have a picture of my blue flowers on the Endless Summer hydrangea plant. It’s nothing too impressive I’m afraid. I don’t think my hydrangeas are getting enough sun to flower abundantly.
In fact, none of my hydrangeas in the front yard are producing many flowers. Usually by July I can see big flowers, as you can see in this post from July, 2013.
This summer – it’s July 12th now – I have two, very small, light blue flowers, one on each side of the plant, near the bottom.
I believe that the problem is that I have two large burning bush trees in the front that shade my gardens. The Burning Bush is suppose to be a bush, but this house was neglected before I bought it, and the bushes were allowed to grow huge. Although I cut them back when I moved in, they have since gotten out of control once again. It’s difficult for me to contain the thick stems as they can’t be cut easily. I’m considering taking drastic measures and using the chainsaw to cut them down. The thing is, I don’t use a chainsaw.
The blue flowers are pretty, but small. Lack of blooms usually means there is not enough sun. We also had a bad winter which I think has affected my perennials adversely also.
On the other hand, my propagated transplants of the Blushing Bride hydrangea are looking beautiful. One has two flowers on it, and both have gotten really large.
Last year I dug up two offshoots of my Blushing Bride hydrangea. The shrub was becoming large, and as the limbs hung down to the dirt, they became rooted. After letting them grow this way for a year, I cut them off from the main plant and dug them up.
I ended up with two nice size little hydrangea plants. Both were planted in my backyard last spring and they are looking good this year.
One in particular is doing very well and has two flowers. I had named it #1, and it was samller than the #2 plant, but it’s doing better. I think it gets more sun than the other one, which helps with flower production. That is it in the first image, taken last year after it was just planted in June.
Below is how it looks in July this year – just one year later!
I’d love to transplant some new blue hydrangea bushes, but I can’t seem to get mine to grow enough to give me new baby plants. I’m also running low on space to plant perennials.
The blooms on my new plant are large and beautiful (picture below). In fact the original Blushing Bride plant has no blooms at all this year. The ‘baby’ looks better than it’s mom. It’s all in the location and sun exposure. Hydrangeas don’t need a lot of direct sunlight, but they do need a good measure to create flowers.