Monday, June 24, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

Even though we're just a few days into summer, according to the calendar, anyway, our Mississippi thermometers have been registering in the upper 90s, with heat indexes rising above the 100-degree mark.  

The sultry "Dog Days of Summer," which normally occur in July and August, have already taken a toll on the flowers I planted around our waterfall in the Spring.

I planted lavender Lantana, and they were pretty at first, as you can see in the bottom left of the picture below ... (notice the little plant on the right of the path beside the "Peace" sign, too).

But the lantana quickly became "leggy," and literally took over the flowerbed, strangling the variegated liriope that were scattered amongst them.

Then, they quit blooming, and the flowerbed became a tangled mass and looked "snaky" and neglected.

Everything looked faded and tired, and when I looked at them, they made ME feel faded and tired, too (like these Snapdragons planted in our courtyard) ... not a pretty sight, huh?

Poor Snaps!

Ahhh ... that's better!  I need to get another Hosta to fill in that empty space.

Remember the little lantana plant beside the "Peace Sign?"
Well, needless to say, it grew, too ... almost covering the sign and stepping stones.

This pale yellow lantana plant is a remnant from last summer.  I was so pleased to see it when it first appeared, but, it, too, quickly took on the personality of kudzu and began to cover up the stone path leading to the waterfall ...


We've had an occasional snake check out our pond, and not being able to see where we're stepping is just not an option, especially when our grandchildren are visiting.  So, over the weekend, I decided enough is enough!

I pulled up the lavender lantana ...

And could actually see the liriope ...

And my Peace Sign ...

Then I cut back the yellow lantana ...

And now we can walk up to the waterfall, without worrying about undesirable critters lurking under overgrown flowers.


I think it looks much better now, but I'm not sure I like the mostly "green" look.  Actually, it's kind of boring. The only color I have left is the yellow lantana and some gold lantana planted in the urn.

I thought about replacing it, but it has lots of buds on it and will bloom again soon ...

At least it looks like someone lives here now, instead of looking so wild and bedraggled.  I may add some zinnias for color, if I can find some (like the ones shown in my header picture above, which was taken a couple of summers ago). 

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the lantana that I pulled up ... well, it appears to be happy in its new home -- a flowerbed in our backyard.  It will have room to roam and, hopefully, will bloom again.

And speaking of blooming ... remember our "happy little tomato patch" that I wrote about a few weeks ago?  If you missed that story, you can click here to read about them.

The plants are thriving and we have 13 little green tomatoes!

I'm going to go in search of zinnias later today ... or some other colorful, heat-tolerant flowers, and will post "after" pictures if my search is successful.

I hope you are enjoying the first days of summer where you live.  Hopefully, it's not as hot as it is here in Mississippi!

To be continued ...


C M Designs said...

Hi Janie, How are Avery's flowers doing ? I hope her little garden is thriving in the heat.
Sorry to hear you've had more slithery snakes.. Don't like them at all !
I know you'll enjoy your tomatoes.. There's nothing like a home grown tomato.
Enjoy the peace in your garden.. I hope you find some zinnias.. I had some to come up from seed from last years crop.. Was so surprised and happy.
Happy times to you,
Charlotte in Va.

Beth said...

Yes, lantana is like kudzu! You made me laugh! Here is south Texas lantana is sometimes the only thing that will stay alive in the heat.