As for flowers, the situation is much what it has been. The flush of bloom on the lavender miniature rose is over, and I need to do a thorough deadheading. The little creamy one continues to flower. Blossoms of Catharanthus roseus are plentiful, and I keep suddenly remembering how much the plants have grown since I put them in back in May. Above all, Lagerstroemia indica "Rhapsody in Pink" is proving its worth this summer with a very resilient flowering in this difficult season.
However, all is very, very dry. I have not lived here long enough to be familiar with the normal range of extremes, but this has certainly been the hottest, driest summer since we moved here. Granted, our first summer saw record-breaking rainfall, but even last year the monsoon rains supplied a significant season change between June and July, giving a good deal of relief to the plants. This year I have only seen a couple of brief downpours in the garden, enough to cool the air for a few hours, but not enough to really moisten the soil. And overall, the temperatures remain quite high, reaching 105 F - 111 F (41 C - 44 C) daily, which dries the soil further as well as being a threat in itself. There is no residual mositure to speak of, and even the wild desert plants are in emergency mode. Rubber rabbitbrush, last year a reliable source of green in the landscape, is turning brown from the bottom up; many of the wild trees are partially or completly leafless.
|...seen on a walk yesterday morning; July beauty in the desert... Many desert plants are naturally summer deciduous.|
Having moaned and groaned, here are a few of the bright spots in the South Border.
Lagerstroemia indica "Rhapsody in Pink" is a marvel.
This is the only part of the garden where the hedge is nearly complete, though the plan is to have it extend around the east and north sides as well. I have used the variety "Tuscan Blue" for its relatively upright growth habit. If all goes well, it should make a solid backdrop to the borders as well as providing screening from the tack/hay shed beyond. So it is a very integral part of the garden and should certainly be given its full share of care by the gardener!
On this last Tuesday in July, the South Border is still looking fairly good overall. The plants and I are waiting for a break in the weather! Hopefully we won't have to wait till October...!
Posted for the Tuesday View theme at Words and Herbs - thanks for hosting, Cathy!