Saturday, July 23, 2011

115 and climbing!

The mid-Atlantic is in the grips of a hellfire heat wave and I'm hunkered down under the ceiling fan. Our heat index yesterday was about 120, with more brutality scheduled for today. As for all the gardeners who deal with this kind of weather every summer, I think Mike Meyers in Wayne's World said it best. If the movie Wayne's World induces an instant migraine, skip the clip. If not, imagine Alice Cooper is all gardeners who deal with horrific heat annually and I'm, unfortunately, either Wayne or Garth.

Thanks to the SH2 (Soaker Hose Super Highway) and my midnight waterings, the garden looks great and IS FULL OF BUTTERFLIES!!! I've seen several large butterflies including a Giant Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and several big dark butterflies that I think are Black Swallowtails but I couldn't get close enough to tell. Happiness and joy!!!!

Last summer I was given a clump of wildlflowers in a big lump of heavy clay soil a friend had dug out of her property.  I stuck the entire mass in the most inhospitable spot in my garden just to see how tough they were. Here's what they look like today!

Native blue mist flower is growing in one of the driest spots in my garden. An equally tough veronica 'Ericka' grows nearby.

Another clump of blue mist flower grows in the shade near the dog run, but unlike the wild variety, they spend most of the summer hooked up to an aquatic IV.

The plant straddling the metal fence that forms the dog run is also Blue Mist Flower (a type of eupatorium).

White Mist Flower grows in the moist partial shade near the garden hose. It's a vigorous grower that prefers afternoon shade and moist soil.

White Mist Flower and the variegated leaves of Painters Palette.

I just took this picture this morning and the plant is a bit limp from the heat. The rain barrel on the other side of the fence is known as the Big Daddy and holds 156 gallons of water. The White Mist Flower and daylillies next to it were planted this spring.


  1. Your garden looks good even with the hot tempts. I also have mist flower and it is not blooming. I guess I have to look at your blog to see blooms because things are not blooming here. :/ Does Big Daddy have any rain. I would like to get a rain barrel. We definitely need rain in order for it to be useful. Stay cool.

  2. Ooh, that blue mistflower (what I know as Eupatorium coelestinum) spreads like wildfire, but it is a Monarch magnet for sure. Trade-offs, I reckon. The Wayne's World skit cracked me up.

  3. The giant rain barrel is only known as the Big Daddy here at the Casa! I bought it and 3 other rain barrels from My 5th rain barrel came from a local garden center. We can collect 356 gallons of water in a heavy rain storm.

  4. That is 46C?!!! I am melting at 37C and stay indoors. Is it just this year or is it this hot every Summer?

    Good to know you have rain barrels and your garden is still happy despite the heat. I keep rain water too but it hasn't been raining for a while.

  5. Yow. We got to 103, an all time record for our part of New England, and two weeks with no rain. I can't imagine 115 yikes! But unlike your well watered pretty plants that seem to be surviving, I have lots of brown leaves, curled foliage and real stress signs. I water and water, but don't have soakers and it's getting ahead of me. Your hot hot garden actually looks great, and the butterflies must think so too!

  6. I had a bunch of the Eupatorium in my Virginia garden. It is salt tolerant. I do like that Painter's Palette Persicaria, we had the Lance Coroporal in the Learning Garden in Virginia, have only seen Painter's Palette on blogs.

  7. Quick clarification - 115 was our heat index. Actual temp was 103. Still too damn hot!

  8. Dang girl! That's hot for y'all! The mistflower thrives in our gardens down here and the butterflies do love it so. So happy to hear you have an abundance of butterflies! I saw an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail pass through on Friday and you'd have thought I saw a flying saucer! I was sooo happy!

  9. It's been brutally hot here too. Gotta love those Eupatoriums! I have heard of Painter's Pallette before but not actually seen it, it looks lovely.

  10. Lordy lordy. Your garden looks lush and well tended. But take care of the gardener too! Stay cool, gal!

  11. I'm a bit late responding, but ... you can have OUR rain! That's all it does around here - rain, rain, rain. The odd warm sunny day just to tease us.
    I don't envy you that heat, though!


Thanks for visiting my blog! Feel free to comment on the posts or photos.