Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Whine About the Heat

I have a little wooden plaque prominently displayed above my cooktop in my kitchen where I can see it everyday.

It reads:

I wish I could say that I am a faithful follower of that rule, but I have to confess that I have been known to whine "every now and then" ... and it seems that "every now and then" has become more and more often now that summer has arrived, bringing temperatures in the mid-90s and heat indexes hovering around 115.

I've been practically hibernating the past couple of weeks, only going outside to water my plants on our porch, and to watch the flowers planted around our courtyard slowly fade and wither under the sizzling June sunshine. It's as if they are on "death row," just serving their time until the inevitable happens -- I can't stand looking at their little yellowed leaves and scraggly blossoms any longer and pull them up!

I braved the noonday sun yesterday (97-degree high/117-degree heat index) to capture some pictures of my struggling red Verbena patch.

It doesn't look so bad from a distance ...

But when you look more closely, you see that it's really suffering.

Especially when you consider that it looked like this just a couple of weeks ago:

And, sad to say, I've already put some pink Verbena that was in one of my urns out of its misery, and this poor little "death row" plant's days are numbered, too.

This is the way it looked a couple of weeks ago, bless its heart:

When I looked out the window yesterday morning at the red Verbena, it seemed to be gasping for breath and begging for mercy, so I decided it was time to put it out of its misery, too.

While I was out running some errands, I stopped by Home Depot and was delighted to see a cart filled with a new shipment of "Chapel Hill Gold" Lantana plants that they hadn't even had time to price yet. They looked so fresh and GREEN and healthy, and I just couldn't leave them there. I thought they would be perfect to replace the Verbena.

I didn't get the Lantana planted yesterday, but hope to this afternoon when it cools off a little (hopefully, without too much whining about the heat, and before dark!).

Oh, and did you notice what it says on the tag? It says, "Promised Performance." I wonder if that means it will be granted a pardon before reaching "death row?"

I turned the tag over to read the planting information, and discovered that the sale of those Lantana plants supports the Sweet Melissa Lung Transplant Fund. I was pleased to be able to contribute in a small way and thought that was very nice lagniappe. If you would like to read Melissa's story, you can click on the link.

As I continued to read the "fine print" on the back of the tag, I also learned that "Asexual reproduction of plants protected by the Plant Patent Act is prohibited." So, remember that the next time you think about reproducing your plants. You don't want to end up on death row, too! That would result in some major whining, I think.


The Quintessential Magpie said...

LOL! Janie! That is a hoot!

Sorry that you are suffocating. I'm avoiding going outside as much as possible, too. We're had terrifying afternoon thunderstorms, and the other day I literally thought we had a tornado on top of us. The winds were outrageous. There was a lot of crashing of lightening and thunder. Well, when I went out, there was a tree on top of my neighbor's front portico! The one-story portico was propping most of the tree up and keeping it off their roof, although it got the edge of that, too.

They have been out of town three times when they have had things happen to their house, and naturally such was the case. But we were all very thankful it was as nominal as it was. The thing is, they had just completely redone their side yard, and there were trucks with cranes in there trying to get the tree off the roof. At least they have more light now! ;-)

I hope your plants can make it off death row. Another plant that we use down here aside from lantana which grows everywhere is Vinca. It does not like to be overwatered and will actually get fungus when it is.


Sheila... another indoor face!

Stacey said...

It's tough when it's already that hot and stays that way for awhile. I know what you mean. It was 97 here last week but yesterday it was 87. Woo hoo! I love lantana also. It is annual here so I don't always plant it anymore. Perfect for hot summers though.

nancygrayce said...

Oh, yes, it is hot! Of course right now, it's storming here so cooler. I love lantana....when I was a child and the multi colored lantana grew wild in our neighborhood, I thought it looked like bridal bouquets.

Grace said...

Janie you are hilarious and I'm so glad that I have found your blog. Your yard looks beautiful! I'm moving into a new house this week and my yard needs major work but due to the heat I may wait until the fall and next spring. I hate the idea of spending a lot of money for all of it to end up on death row!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I am laughing but it's not really funny! Poor plants on death row! My deck plants are OK because I water them daily but those in the yard are just having heat stroke! I may look for some Lantana! Hope you stay cool!!

Anonymous said...

Hi again Janie! I'm so glad you posted this; I picked up some Lantana too last week but didn't know what I was purchasing - just liked the look and color!lol Mine didn't have a tag in it - unfortunately with my forgetfullness it is joining the rest of your death row plants!!lol I love the delicate yet bold blossoms! Why is it that all the weeds in my garden are thriving???lol Cute post and helpful too! Have fun - Sincerely, Jeannette

Carolyn said...

Good luck with the lantana....we finally had rain and the temps never got above low 90's today...a real "cold front" compared to last week! Maybe this will save any more plants from death row for a while.

Sheila (TCW) said...

Janie, we're having extremely hot weather too, so I feel your pain. I realized that I hadn't watered the plants out in the yard in a couple of days and when I got to one of my New Guinea Impatiens to water it, it looked like it had already been injected with the death serum. The stalks were laying over and the leaves were totally wilted. I watered it and hoped it would revive. Thankfully it did! I'll have to remember not to let too much time go by. I will probably make a point to water it everyday since it is SO hot.

Your new lantana plants look so nice and vibrant! I love lantana. We have a couple of varieties growing in our yard and they are pretty tolerant of the heat.


Deb said...

we've had a few days repreve here in Texas a little rain...the plants are loving it...