If you haven't heard me grumbling and gnashing my teeth for the past couple of years, your ears have been plugged and your eyes covered. This heat crap has got to go! *grumble, grumble* It was too darned hot/humid for me to take a walk, today, as it never got below 80 degrees. I thought about going swimming; but, it's been so long since I've put in my laps that I'm out of that habit. The thought of driving 10 miles (one way) in order to use the pool wearies me. Yesterday morning and this morning I've spent considerable time watering things. In addition, my volunteer endeavors have kept me plenty busy this year, and my blog friends have kept up their posting (yes, that means you!) or I would probably be in a deep funk by now.
Hunky Husband takes care of the lawn. We have an irrigation system that is set to water the grass every two days in this heat/drought - about 30 minutes per station which probably equates to 1/3 - 1/2 inch of water. The plantings, I care for - weeding, mulching, watering.
Most of the plantings are bushes (coniferous and deciduous) or ground cover (mostly sedums and, thanks to Bogie, creeping phlox); but, there are food-bearing plants, too (strawberries, dill, fennel, coriander, tomatoes, peppers, onions, Rosemary, thyme - no parsley). The food-bearing plants get coddled. I try to water them at least 1/2" per week (I'm picking the blossoms off of the strawberries to conserve their energies, having lost about 1/4 of our plants to the drought last fall.) Other plants don't get that much water.
Established plants get about 1" of water every third or fourth week, while the things planted within the past year (I try to remember so that they) get two or three gallons, each, every week or 10 days. As you might guess - the amount of water that anything under my care gets is dependent upon my thinking about it. My plants must have a will to live!
Here are a couple of the trees that I transplanted a couple of months ago. I think they are both black walnuts; but, the one on the left (which I planted in the partial shade of chard plants that have gone to seed) looks really peculiar - and - most of it has died back. We shall see. The other tree, on the right, I transplanted into a nice spot in the woods.
There are also three other black walnut and oak trees that I've transplanted into the woods, of which there are no photos.
Next are the only two bushes that are less than a year old. On the left is a little euonymous that I planted last fall. On the right is a purple leaf sand plum that I set out in March 2012. The bright green, thriving little plant to the left of the sand plum is a sprout (one among millions - well - tens) from the neighbor's bugle vine that has been attempting to take over the world for the past 10 years. You can tell by the darkness of the mulch around the bushes (and around the above trees) that they were watered this morning.
Lastly, below are a couple of shots of ice plant - the one on the right showing the beautiful California Poppies growing nearby. The ice plants were planted in March or April while the poppies sprouted from seeds that I don't recall planting. I must have spread the seeds last fall. Actually, I don't water the one on the left since the neighbor's (different neighbor) newly installed irrigation system oversprays it.
Ice plant blossoms close, at night. For a view of one that is blooming (it was planted a year ago, so doesn't get watered as "frequently"), please see Obligatory Fall Photos from late last October. Forty or fifty years ago, no one would have thought of planting ice plant in this part of the world; but, as they are succulents, they are well suited to the hot, dry weather we've been having for the past couple of decades.
While I'm at it, I'll tell you that our bluebird nesting box (which I had not checked for at least two weeks) has a nest with five bluebird eggs in it. We had earlier been disappointed that the bluebirds did not choose to use the bluebird nesting box this spring. I will keep watch, but I don't believe the eggs are being tended. I did not even hear a bluebird this morning. Not a good sign. The Carolina wrens have not (wisely, I believe) chosen to establish another clutch of eggs in the nest on our front porch.
I don't know where our family of Carolina wrens went, but I don't catch sight of them - although - I do hear adults scolding at times. We do enjoy watching the families of Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, and turkeys that fledged this spring. The turkey family started out with nine chicks; but, it has been stable at seven for two or three weeks, now. The "chicks" are nearly adult size.