Sultry Start to Summer Week End

Emerging from the air conditioned comfort of  home, the Sultana regards the sultry glory of her garden.  Does this sound like you?  I am so happy for you!  I emerged from the house to a sweltry fog where the plants begged for the attention of a cold hose.  This Sultana of the sweatshop will be on the end of a hose directing  water to those who need it most.  But first clean off the lens and record some happenings in the garden today.  The Ground hog/wood chuck continues the rampage in the dahlias.  SO glad I took a photo of the Dahlia ‘Dad’s Favorite’ earlier, in bloom, because this is what I found left of it yesterday.   Dad’s Favorite is the back left, and the joke is also on “Giggles’ in the front; really, no one is laughing.

After storing the dahlia tubers last Winter, I found that so many had come through in good shape, it was necessary to plant some up in pots.  While I find that the dahlias rarely reach their full potential in a pot, at least the blasted woodchuck has not found its way up the 15 feet to the second level of the deck.  Both ‘Esther’

Dahlia 'Esther'

and ‘Bishop of Llandaff”

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'

have started to bloom on the deck.

Do you find that the tubers you stored over Winter have not done as well as a new tuber purchased from a good grower? If so,

the reasons are many; there is detailed information out there in books and catalogs.  This year I am trying to be more careful about my fertilizing.  Some advice says not to use a fertilizer with a high nitrogen which will give small or no blooms and will produce tubers that rot or languish in Winter storage.   Look for high percentage potassium and phosphorus such as 5-10-10, 10-20-20 or 0-20-20.    Some say not to overfeed dahlias, and some say they need heavy feeding.  This is where experience in your own garden makes YOU the expert!  A new garden friend shared her overwintered tubers with our group, and I gladly received a tuber that has produced this magnificent white bloom, which rises above the rest, enclosed in its cage, and thus far safe, from the marauding ground hog.

One plant that my friend over at Let There Be Garden has gotten me hooked on is Agastache!  I purchased a group of them from High Country Gardens in New Mexico.  They know about high and hot!  Agastache is a butterfly and hummingbird magnet!  I saw the first hummer of the season on this plant.

Agastache 'Acapulco'

A welcome sight!  Sultry days and nights do not encourage one to linger in the garden, but you must try to spend some time in the garden, because you might miss this!  ANy ideas what this is?  I love the many “eyes.”

Brave the heat; get in the garden!

Wishing you all a sultry and sweet Summer week end!


About Jayne in Georgia

Wife, mother, and owner of pets much loved. Gardener of three decades, amateur photographer, ardent about art, antiques and books.
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4 Responses to Sultry Start to Summer Week End

  1. Tricia says:

    Yay! You got hummers! I, however, do not. Boo. I think they will eventually find their way back, but since the demise of the monarda, they’ve passed me by. I, too, have mounds of agastache and absolutely love it.

    Your garden looks so leafy and cool compared to our desert. Two hours of watering this morning. Can’t bear that melted look in mid-afternoon, though I don’t think we’re going to avoid it for another week or so.

    As for the moth — polyphemus, perchance? I can hazard this guess because I happened to mention to our local chicken farmer (and source for the wonderful chikety-doo-doo that gave our garden such a good start) that I was having trouble identifying some of the critters in my garden. He promptly produced a copy of Garden Insects of North America and gave it to me on “indefinite loan,” as he has another copy!! Fantastic book!

    Water…water plants…must remember to water myself…


  2. You are very brave to carry on with your garden under the circumstances, heat, hogs, woodchucks and all. On a colder note it is only 14 deg. this evening and I have just put on a cardigan and jeans to combat the cold. What a difference a continent makes!


  3. Hey Jayne,
    Do you have an extension master gardener hotline in your area? They will answer all your questions with research-based answers. I hope they can give you the info to get your dahlias back next year.


    • Hi Patrick, I do save my tubers from year to year and have attended many a dahlia workshop! I just love them, do you? In fact, I am giving a workshop to my garden club on dahlias next year, so I would love to know if you have any special hints on growing dahlias! What I find most fascinating about gardening is the different opinions! I love to know the science behind gardening, but I love the folklore and special advice from seasoned gardeners even more! I hope to make the workshop informative and fun and most of all want to encourage the other members to grow MORE! Thank you so much for reading my blog – I am honored!

      Best, Jayne


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