Summer Heats Up

Our cool, extended spring is only a memory today as another hot and humid day gets added to the list of hot and humid days.  Southerners will laugh at our complaints over what we call humidity and the Southwest will laugh at what we call hot, but we’re a little delicate here in the Northeast and if you can just give us our moment…

lilium canadense

Lilium canadense in bloom.  A North American native which used to be more common, back when deer were fewer and lily beetles were still across the sea.

The Canada lilies are having their moment.  They’re shorter than in previous years but they’re also sturdier, and I think the leaner living of a dry spring has really paid off, since the flowering is just as heavy and even more prolific than last year.  They’re officially my favorite lily, and I may need to start a few more seedlings, preferably in some dark red shades!

lilium canadense

Morning shade and a downspout keeps this bed damp enough to please the lilies.  I watered as well since I think they’re worth it.

The heat is one thing but it’s the dry weather that slowly wears me down.  I find watering to be a tediously boring job and the blackflies buzzing around my head and diving into my ears and nostrils immediately defeats the zen of sprinkling water.

yellow spider daylily

It’s daylily season as well.  Daylilies lack the distinction of snowdrops so I just can’t tell which are which.  This one I just call “the yellow spider” although I’m sure if pressed I could dig a label up somewhere.

The baked flower beds go a long way in making me feel guilty.  Hardened soil is no fun to weed… so I don’t… and I can only tell the wilted flowers relief is coming so many times before I even stop believing.  Fortunately the wilder parts of the garden are still doing fine.  The meadow is actually fairly green thanks to the shade cast by the aspen sprouts which have now become small saplings, and that’s a fair tradeoff for all the sun they steal from what should be a full-sun meadow.

the meadow

Butterfly weed and rudbeckia have taken over for the fading daisies.

Even though the meadow looks halfway decent I might go ahead and give it an early mowing this year.  My wife will be thrilled, she hates it this year just as much as she does every year but her happiness aside what I really want are the seedheads.  The berm could use some better grass and more daisy seeds, and if I bag the mowings they’ll be perfect for spreading around.

digitalis ferruginea gigantea

Digitalis ferruginea gigantea… I think… all my different foxgloves seem to look alike, but this one stands out as excellent, and it shrugs off drought, and I wonder how a few seeds of this would do on the berm.

The mowing of the meadow may still be weeks off.  Summer weather has a way of dragging things out and in all honesty weeding and mulching should happen first.  Maybe I’ll just rip a bunch of stuff out just so I don’t have to see it wilting, and then sit around all summer considering what new things could go there in the fall.  I could do a good part of my considering from either the pool or the porch, so that’s another plus.


One of the new kniphofia I planted last summer.  wilted or not I love it, and it has me wondering if I can divide it this fall and have an even bigger patch next year!

Don’t let my complaining fool you, it’s not all bad.  I haven’t had to mow the lawn in weeks and last weekend the remains of the sand pile has finally left the driveway.  Some progress has been made and maybe it’s about time I formally introduce the new potager.  It’s very neat and tidy and my wife just loves it, but I’m missing some of the weedy overload of the old beds.  July has just started and August is yet to come so it’s still early, and August has a way of encouraging weedy overload and tropical storms, so all is not lost.

Have a great weekend!

14 comments on “Summer Heats Up

  1. Love your Canada Lilies! Of course my first question is, do deer like them? Are you in the track of all the rain that’s supposed to come today? Expecting about 1.5 inches here, last I checked. I envy your kniphofia! Congratulations on the elimination of your sand pile! I just used the last of the mulch bags that have been sitting in the driveway for weeks. Of course, that just means I need to send Tom out to buy more because I’m not nearly done yet!

    • bittster says:

      I’m going to guess deer would find the Canada lilies to be absolutely delicious. Don’t even think about it! lol
      We finished up the storm with about 2 inches, maybe a little under, and the garden looks like it’s breathed a sigh of relief. I even did some weeding this morning and instead of roots being left behind locked in rock hard dirt I was able to pull a few things out. What a difference. Watering by hand never even comes close to a nice steady rainstorm, so I feel like we are restarting July with this rain!

  2. I used to have kniphofia in the Slope Garden but it’s not there anymore. There is some in the nursery bed so maybe I decided I didn’t like it in the Slope Garden but needed to wait to put it in the Parking Pad bed. The Canada lilies are wonderful and I like the yellow spider daylily, too. I’m with you on the heat and the drought. The rain we were supposed to get earlier in the week didn’t amount to much, so I hope the currently promised rain actually materializes.

    • bittster says:

      Our rain materialized, I hope you got some as well. Dry spells always bring me down, and rainstorms like this renew me! I think I need to get some mulch and do some weeding next week. Time to make the garden look like it hasn’t been abandoned!

  3. Incredible Lilium canadense – superb!

  4. Cathy says:

    The lilies are lovely. Not something I could grow here, so I shall admire yours instead! I think the idea of spreading that pretty meadow seed around is an excellent one… more lovely wildness to enjoy. 😃

    • bittster says:

      The way you’re planting trees you’ll have a sheltered, shady spot for them in no time!
      I love the meadow. I’m trying to turn more spots along the berm into buggy wildness but there are so many invasive weeds trying to elbow their way in. I can’t believe I have to go around with weed killer first in order to grow a wild garden.

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    Your Canada lilies are stunning. We have a few of them along our trail by the river. I tried Martagon lilies years ago, but they didn’t last. The deer are a big problem and I watch for lily beetles, which vary year to year.
    I’m impressed you got through the sand pile so quickly, but I suspect wife and neighbor pressure may have spurred you along. 😉 Looking forward to seeing your completed work.
    I expect you are getting rain from Fay right now– your garden must be happy about that. We were in a pocket of thunderstorms last night and got 2″ and Fay will bring a couple more. Along with the heat, my garden is going to explode!

    • bittster says:

      The sand pile was actually nice to work with, no clumping, easy to rake… I think I’m done with buying topsoil, I might just build sandbeds from now on. I heard it’s a thing now, that grows plants better than you would think.
      Nice that you know a spot where the wild lilies grow. I rarely get out and about before August but this year I really shouldn’t have an excuse, but of course you know how that goes!
      We did get an excellent amount of rain from Fay. I was hoping to make it through July with only a pity mow for the lawn, but if this storm is followed up by a random shower within the week we could see an explosion of green here a well.

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I think your meadow is fabulous! It is a good idea to seed that berm. What a wonderful sight it would be covered in prairie plants. I like daylilies but I don’t want many more of them. I say that but if I saw a really pretty one I might succumb. I love those tall lilies but I don’t have great luck with them. They last until the bulbs run out of juice. I haven’t seen a lily beetle around here but they might be here and I don’t know it. I can’t wait to see your new potager. I hope Faye fills your rain gauge or at least raises your garden to new heights.

    • bittster says:

      Wouldn’t a long berm filled with waving grasses, rudbeckia, and coneflowers be great? I just have to figure out what to do with all the clover. It gets so lush and tends to crowd other things out.. but beggars can’t be chosers!
      I have plenty of plants that I say I kind of like but don’t need anymore, and then something exciting shows up. Right now I’m obsessing about red hot pokers. Red hot is nice but of course now I need lime pokers and white pokers, and… 🙂

  7. Those Canada Lilies are gorgeous!

  8. Same conditions here, and I actually was crazy enough to plant some ferns the other day in a bed that gets morning sun until 11:30. Needless to say, I’m out there with the hose twice a day. That yellow daylily look like one that just started blooming for me, called ‘Late Summer Breeze’. It’s new, and is NOT supposed to start flowering until August but all of the newly planted dayliles – regardless of whether they are designated Very Early, Early, Midseason, or Late – are blooming right now in mid July, thus rendering my “succession planting” plan totally useless. Maybe it’s the heat?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.