July came and we were firmly entrenched in summer with hot sun and no rain. Determined not to let one thing expire from the garden, I continued to water. I let the garden go as long as possible without doing it, but when things started to droop and get crispy, I gave them a good drenching. I didn't follow the rules, either. I watered with a sprinkler and I many times watered at night. As dry as it was, it made no difference, not even to the roses.
Ah, the roses...
This summer was my first experience with English roses and for being a rose novice, I had great success. I say "I" because Romie doesn't like roses and will have nothing to do with them except smell them when I drag him over to one and force him to have a sniff. He always says, "I don't smell anything." He's got horrible allergies and they affect his sense of smell. Too bad, because some of them are downright intoxicating.
Take the hybrid tea 'Diana, Princess of Wales,' for example...
I'm on my second one, though. It's a temperamental thing, and the one I bought last year didn't make it through last winter. Yes, it was a tough winter, especially for roses, but this rose has other issues, too. I loved it enough to try it again, though, and while it got a shaky start again this year, by the end of the season it was looking really good. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will live to see spring this year.
Other favorites were 'Chihuly' and 'Hot Cocoa' which I acquired in 2006. New to the garden this year were 'Disneyland' and 'Topsy Turvy.' Both performed beyond my expectations, with oodles of luscious colored blooms most of the summer, well into fall.
By midsummer, I'd gotten over the fact that I was unsuccessful at growing Himalayan Blue Poppies from seed. Oh, they germinated, but didn't make it much further than that. I've not given up, however, and have purchased new seed just recently, of two varieties: Meconopsis betonicifolia and Meconopsis x sheldonii 'Lingholm.' We'll see if either of those agrees with me.
'Zowie' zinnias were a hit, though! All fifteen seeds germinated and I'm giving them two thumbs up because of their outstanding color, endurance, and healthy foliage. Oh, and they're EASY. No fuss, no muss plants. The flower itself lasts for a month or more and I only deadheaded once all summer. No icky mildew either!
More new bugs were discovered, with my two favorites being the hummingbird moth and the ermine moth. Oh, and The Gold Bug. Now that is one very cool insect. Except for the fact that it adored my convolvulus leaves. Adored them to pieces. Literally. Still, I'd grow them again just to see that bug.
The tomatoes were disappointing. We grew 'Mr. Stripey' and 'Sungold.' We got several 'Sungolds' but only two or three 'Mr. Stripeys' by summer's end. But the sweet corn was exceptionally delicious and earlier than we're accustomed to. It was pretty well finished by the first of August, when we're normally just starting to pick it.
A cairn was built in July and a small pond in Max's Garden in August, proving that a garden is never done, whether it be by planting or adding other interest.
After most of the summer bringing us next to no rain, August tried to make up for it all at once and we were flooded. The gardens were appreciative, but our basement not so much. In the thirty years we've lived here, we've never experienced water like that in our basement and I hope we never do again. The sump pump just quit in the middle of the night and we didn't know it. Family came to our rescue and helped with the clean-up process.
August also brought the annual Perseid meteor shower and a total lunar eclipse. We enjoy stargazing and if there's an event in the night sky, you'll likely find us out in the back yard taking it in. We watched the space shuttle chase the International Space Station earlier in the year, too. (Or maybe it was the other way around.)
More garden trips: Franklin Botanical Conservatory with good friend Marsha, Mulberry Creek Herb Farm with Mom and Dad, a local garden tour with Kara, and three days in Columbus with Mom for the Master Gardeners Annual Conference. There, we visited Inniswood Metro Gardens with a friend of Mom's, the gardens of The Ohio State University, and Columbus Park of Roses. We also had the pleasure of meeting Tracy DiSabato and getting to tour her gardens.
Our family had a celebration of birthdays in September and Mom threw a big party in our honor. Dad was 75, I turned 50, and Jenna hit the quarter-century mark. (She'll love me for that.)
Whew! We had a full plate of summer!
NEXT: Looking Back at 2007 (Part IV)