Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hope Grows July 2011

Most gardeners have a long winter break, then garden all spring, summer, and fall.  Everyone knows there are exceptions, and Texas is one of them.  We have a short winter break, garden all spring, part of the summer, then have another break when the heat gets unbearable.

Right now, I am in my summer break.  It's almost like a second winter.  I always resist this break.  It seems unnatural.  The rose blooms get smaller, plants go dormant, and watering is intensified.  Some plants die from the heat.  I've learned to watch the heat index indicated for the plant as well as the cold hardiness index.

All that just to say, it's Hope Grows Day!  Last month, my hope was for tomatoes, and to finish mulching.  Well, the tomatoes have not produced.  Triple digit heat, lows in the 80's, makes a tomato plant go dormant, or at the least produce tiny tomatoes.  So, that hope was dashed.

So, too, was my mulching hope.  I did get most of it completed before the heat wave, which came about a month early this year.  If I had just had that extra month!

Don't get me wrong.  It's not like I do nothing.  Some years I have even worked all day in 105 degree temperatures!  But I've been told so many times that I'm getting older, that I believe it myself!  So, I try to limit my work in the garden to early mornings, and quit when the temperatures reach 100 or more.  That time has been spent watering, because of the drought!  Well, you get the picture.  Nothing good to report this Hope Grows Day.

So, what do I hope for this next month?  Mid-July through mid-August are traditionally the hottest time here.  So, I have no work-related goals!  I'm reading several gardening and non-gardening books right now.  Decorating a bit.  Making garden plans.  All the things I do in winter.

Do I have hope for August?  I hope the well is complete by then.  Though the hole is dug, there is still the pump, the electrical work, and other matters necessary to be completed before it's useable.  However, these matters are not in my control.

I hope it rains.  I hope it gets cooler.  These are not in my control, either.

But - 
When the world says, "Give up", Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." 
                                                                                 - Author Unknown

So, I do have hope for August.  I hope my fall vegetable garden has been started by then.  I hope to take joy in every bloom, no matter the size.  I hope to find bees, butterflies and dragonflies, carrying on their lives.  I hope the weather doesn't kill too many plans, but if it does, I hope I'll be able to design a better area, with better suited plants.

Yes, I hope.  Because I am a gardener.


  1. I hope your summer break isn't too harsh on your plants this year. Your Roses look lovely though and atleast you are prepared by watering as needed.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Now I feel like such a sissy, we had a 'hot' weekend here, for Wisconsin that is, and it was not fun working in the garden. (I think we hit 90-something with high humidity) To think you have to endure temps in the 100's! I can definitely see how it is like a second winter of sorts because that kind of heat is impossible to work in. Your roses are so pretty, they are so lucky to have a gardener who tends them through adverse weather conditions. I hope you have moderate temps and nice, gentle rains.

  3. Wow, I knew that it is hot in Texas but not that hot! Gardening all day temperatures being in the three digit range? I don't know how you are able to do that. I am already almost collapsing now when trying to garden in the middle of the day and we have only temperatures in the high 80s!
    The photos from your garden are still looking wonderful and I am amazed that the plants are capable to bloom in this heat at all.
    Your really summed it up perfectly at the end: "Yes, I hope. Because I am a gardener".
    Thanks for another great post!

  4. Hope and positivity goes hand in hand :) Take it easy on your second break, you can only do so much indeed when the heat gets oppressive. When it cools down, you'll be well rested to get gardening full on again.

  5. I can't even begin to imagine gardening in that heat! If the weather hits mid-20s here (70s F) I find it too hot. Like you I love reading on warm summer days. I haven't picked up a book all spring but come July/August I'll find a shaded nook to read away an afternoon.

  6. Ugh--at least when it gets hot here during the day it still cools down at night. Hang in there. I know you'll have come up with all kinds of dazzling ideas for new beds by the time the summer heat is over!

  7. Cher - I hope the break ends soon, too. Since it started early this year, I hope it ends early!

    Karen - Temperature is relative. It's all what you get used to. Although, it's hard for me to take a break in the middle of the summer!

    Christina - I think that's why my family kept telling me I'm getting too old to stay out there! I just feel so unsatisfied, knowing my garden needs more attention.

    Mark and Gaz - Thank you! I find it difficult to take this break, though I know I need to take it easy in the heat!

    Marguerite - Oh, my! I get cold if it gets below 70 F! haha A shady nook to read in is a welcome thing, no matter where it is.

    Stacy - I am coming up with some great ideas! I can't wait for it to get cooler so I can start implementing some of them!

  8. It is so interesting that you sort of get a break in the summer during the bitter heat. Although I love the summer and all of its gardening treasures, it would be nice to have a break sometimes. I also limit my garden work to the mornings. The afternoon sun is relentless, and I have made the mistake of staying out there too long. Happy Hope Grows Day!

  9. 105F, that's 40C. Then I am in the house, which is in summer mode. Sash windows open just a crack top and bottom so the air moves. Shades and curtains against the sunny sides, open for light on shady sides. And the Gardener is sitting here, blogging or reading. NOT a morning person, so I water the garden in sections as the sun retreats and they are cooler and shaded.

  10. Sage Butterfly - I suppose I should learn to like the summer break. The problem is - the weeds don't stop! :) Since temperature is relative, we all need to remember not to overdo, regardless of the thermometer reading.

    Diana - You know how 105 feels, so I shouldn't feel guilty taking a break during the summer heat. Perhaps one day it will feel natural gardening like this.

  11. Great post. We garden like you do too, although it is not quite that hot for quite so long in the summer. I have not been out during the day for weeks... I read more blogs now :)

  12. I just think it's fascinating how gardeners differ according to their zones! Be careful out in the heat, young lady. :) And your hope quote is perfect...trying one more time...thanks for joining in again!

  13. I'm new to you blog! You have such a beautiful plants bloom even though in hot summer! That's great! Hope it rain soon to cool down everything!

  14. I HOPE you get a cool down soon! Your roses are lovely.

  15. Masha - I didn't know how hot it got in California, although I suppose there are so many different microclimates there. Glad to know I'm not the only hermit during the day! I read a lot of blogs, and I'm getting a lot of great ideas to use - when it cools down!

    Hanni - It is interesting, isn't it? I'm careful - and I do drink lots of water! Thanks for hosting!

    Malar - Welcome! Yes, some plants are still putting on a beautiful show. I should only look at them, not the ones in stress!

    Grace - Thanks - I hope it does too!!!

  16. Totally with you. I'm in my second break too. Its all about just trying to keep things ALIVE enough so they can bounce back in late Sept. I guess you gotta pay to piper some time with the weather. Years of living in the NE I could never have ever believed I would not look forward to my favorite season, summer... now I can easily say that August is my least favorite month, followed right behind by July!

  17. growing stronger plants...thats my hope.

  18. Jess - I agree it's about keeping things alive - and I feel like I'm losing this year! Maybe that's why it's bothering me so. I, too, think of August as my least favorite month!

  19. Great post Holleygardener!

    Isn't it hope that keeps us gardening at all sometimes?... Hope of aphids not attacking as bad as last year, Hope of cooler temps and less humid days,hope that the garden in general will be beautiful after all of this work ! hahaha
    Your garden always looks lovely!
    I'm sending "cool wishes" to you my friend,


  20. greggo - Yes, but you have to get them established! Although, I do try to learn from my mistakes and if something can't take the heat (or later, the cold), I usually won't replant it.

  21. Holley: At this point, you simply need to visit us in the north because the weather here is delightful. Highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Heavy-duty gardening here starts on Memorial Day and winds down in November. On really hot days (occasional 100s), I confess I take a lot of breaks, sit in the shade (or the air-conditioned house), and sip lemonade or tea. May-August are my favorite months here. And then the cool down starts...argh.

  22. Karen - Hope is the gardener's only friend sometimes, it seems. "There's always next year!" Gardening is certainly challenging - which makes it exciting, and frustrating at the same time! Thanks for the cool wishes!

  23. PlantPostings - I've thought about vacationing around this time. But then, who would take care of the garden? :) We do start earlier. Sometimes I think everyone gardens about the same amount of time, just in different spaces of time!


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