Six on Saturday – July 7, 2018 – Rain Dance Visualization

I am writing this on Friday morning, obsessively checking the weather channel radar map to see if the predicted 80% chance of rain is going to get to us. Sometimes it just doesn’t transit across the Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Shore. The ground is cracking and I will lose plants if we don’t get significant rain soon. I can’t water enough to keep up. The gardens are looking sad with a few exceptions. Note: it is now almost 7pm and the rain has just skirted around us. My rain dance visualization had no effect. Tomorrow I will haul hoses.

Here’s my six. Only photos that don’t show the desolation…

  1. This small tree is a Vitex or chaste tree. I prune mine to keep it from getting too tall. It’s glorious for a couple of weeks. A native of the Mediterranean area, it doesn’t mind our summer dry spells.Pruning the suckers on the bottom is on the “to do” list, although they do hide a wonky stem that was the result of someone, who shall remain nameless, backing over the plant when it was small.

vitex chaste berry

2. A couple of years ago I had a wheelbarrow that I didn’t know how to dispose of. So I painted it purple, put potting soil in it and planted it with mint.  I learned my lesson about the invasive quality of mint years ago as a newbie gardener. Now it only goes in elevated pots or containers as the roots will escape through drainage holes. This spring I replaced the soil in the barrow, replanted rooted cuttings and put a chartreuse coleus in the front (because I had been at a nursery and couldn’t help myself). The pot on the right side has left over SunPatiens from planting the window boxes in the front of the house.

I put a drip irrigation hose in the mint which is keeping it fresh, but you can see the drooping yellow jasmine by the fence. I need to run some drip to it.

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3. The cleome that were tiny two weeks ago are going to town despite the drought. The window boxes are planted with SunPatiens which do well given the late afternoon sun on the front of the house. I have drip irrigation in the boxes.

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4. This is heliopsis Burning Heart. I ordered it last spring and it was puny looking when it came. I’ve parked it in one of the raised beds so I could keep an eye on it.

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5. Tomatoes are coming on. These are Shah, a white variety, which I’ve never grown before. The seeds were included with other seeds I’d ordered. Shah’s leaves are different as you can see below the tomatoes. There is also a Sungold in this pot. The leaves of that variety look like traditional tomato leaves.

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6. The photo below shows what happens when you wait too late to prune. I had already cut back the red twig dogwood once but it was over powering the avocado sculpture so I cut it back again. A couple of days of temperatures in the high 90’s with blistering sun and this sun scald is the result. Tony Tomeo wrote a great blog post about summer heat and plants.

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I hope you enjoy my Six on Saturday for this week. The meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – July 7, 2018 – Rain Dance Visualization

  1. Would it help if a few of us joined in the rain dance visualisation?! That vitex is a show and the wheelbarrow planter is a great idea.

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    • The rain went north and south of us. At the farmers market this morning a farmer told me he is running his irrigation 24 hours a day. He said there was an inch of rain two miles from him on Friday and he got just a sprinkle. Farmers have had a difficult year with such a wet spring and now no rain.

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  2. We are all praying for the rain these days… 🙏
    You showed us the best pictures (or the “less worst”) and they are great, though.
    I also grow Vitex agnus castus and mine is not as floriferous as yours. It is suffocated by the nearby hydrangea and I have to give them room next winter.

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  3. With all the cool plants you can grow there, why are you growing red twig dogwood?! I only grow it because it is native and the quail really like it (not that I like quail all that much – there are meatier things out there). Is that a cultivar of Cornus sanguinea? That would make more sense I suppose. Ours are the unimproved Cornus stolonifera. They are pretty, but not ‘that’ pretty. You know, while everyone else has been contending with all this unpleasant warmth, it has been unusually mild here. It only started getting warm yesterday, and may not even get to 95 today.
    I am pleased that you like the article about how warmth can damage plant material. It was recycled from last year. It happened to be unusually warm here at this time last year.

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    • I like the color in the winter when the leaves are gone. It is also one of the few things that will grow in that area that stays quite wet in the spring and then survives the summer drought.

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      • Our native species does not color well, both because it is not bred for that sort of thing, and also because it does not get very cool here in winter.

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    • After an initial flush of beans mine stopped producing so I pulled them out. Then at the Farmers Market this morning while buying beans the vendor told me it was too hot for bean plants to produce. Just leave them alone until the weather cools was the advice. Of course I had already pulled them out. I’ll plant again in August and try again.

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  4. I am so familiar with the situation where rain is forecast but skirts around to dump elsewhere. I hope you get some soon.

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  5. I’m a huge fan of mint. Just love the flowers & taste, so worth confining in my book. Tomato’s looking great & simply love that heliopsis.

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