Seeking Oasis from the Heat of Day …
While out watering the newest section of my garden this morning, I caught this toad —nestled amongst the cool, green & white, spotted leaves of Pulmonaria ‘Raspberry Splash’— waiting for his daily shower.
With temperatures soaring this week, watering potted plants, vegetables and annuals around my home —as well as the newly installed garden designs I manage for various clients— takes up quite a bit of my time. When Mother Nature doesn’t provide it, the plants in our domestic landscapes count on us for a regular supply of water. Be sure to give all potted plants a daily drink; especially hanging baskets, which may require more than one soaking on very hot days. And even if they were planted months ago, remember to provide new perennials and shrubs with an inch or more of water per week during dry spells. Try to water your garden in the early morning hours, and always saturate the soil deeply and thoroughly; setting your hand-held spray wand to ‘soak’ or ‘shower’ and focusing the water toward the base of the plant. Organic mulches help to conserve water —particularly well rotted compost, leaves, bark and other natural materials— by reducing evaporation and retaining soil moisture. Mulching plants also protects surface roots from the scorching summer sun. Soaker hosesÂ or drip-irrigation systemsÂ placed at the base of the plant or beneath mulch work very well in gardens large and small, because they focus water at the root-zone, where plants need it.Â Â Trees planted this year will be especially vulnerable during periods of dry weather. When installing new gardens, one of the landscape contractors I work with uses Treegator bags to keep large trees thoroughly hydrated throughout the growing season. I find that they work exceptionally well. And, if you’re planning to be away on vacation this summer, consider investing in a timer for your watering system.
Lemon-Mint Sun Tea in My Garden (Click Here or on Photo for Recipe Post)
And remember, while out caring for your garden, you need to hydrate and protect yourself from the sun as well! On bright summer days, I pull out my clear glass pitcher and make a batch or two of lemon-mint sun tea (click here for recipe post). I also have learned to wear a wide-brimmed hatÂ and spf 30 sunscreen, as well as light, cool clothing. Mindful of the sun’s damaging rays, I usually opt for early morning and late afternoon gardening sessions at this time of year; reserving mid-day hours —between 11am and 3pm— for studio work and lunch.
That’s me, working in my friend Eve’s garden (photo by Eve’s daughter, Ivy).Â Â When working outside in the sun,Â I always wear a lightweight hat to protect my skin.
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4 Replies to “Seeking Oasis from the Heat of Day …”
Hi Michaela, Excellent reminder not to overdo it on hot days like today. I like your sun tea recipe. I did not know about the treegator, it’s just what I need for an Eastern Redbud I planted in Spring.
@ John – The treegator bags are working great at the new BMAC Sculpture Garden installation. I think they are key to success with planting trees in warm weather (or anytime really). I can not say enough good things about them. And a Redbud?! How exciting. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on the blog, but that is one of my absolute favorite trees! Enjoy it … And hopefully some sun tea too! ;) M
Hi Michaela, I’ve been looking for a wide-brimmed gardening hat that’s breathable and maybe even washable. Just wondering if one like your’s might be available for purchase online?
@ Deb – I actually love the Scala hats. The prices are reasonable, especially considering the quality. I get them on Amazon. Check those out and see what you think! The paper-based ones aren’t machine washable, but I do hand wash mine. xo M
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