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I can't believe it is already August, but then again, I am ready for August to be over. It has been miserably hot and humid and I haven't had any rain to amount to anything in several weeks. I feel like I have a hose attached to my arm. I still have sprinkler system woes, so I am dragging hoses daily. In spite of that (or maybe because of that) my flowers look pretty amazing. I have loads of panicle hydrangeas

still blooming, along with a return of gardenias,

buddleia and abelia are blooming, cestrum has fragrant flowers that the hummingbirds like,

and my summer annuals have never looked better.

I wish I could say the same for my vegetable garden. I am harvesting a lot of peppers and cucumbers,

but my tomato season is about over.

I have one yellow pear tomato on the deck that is going strong, but all in the raised beds are done. I may plant some more, but for now, I am relying on the farmer's markets to get me through. I went this weekend to St. Joseph's in NLR

and they had a great selection of tomatoes, along with peppers, eggplants, squash, and more. They also have baked goods, jams and jellies, and hummus and some cheese. I was impressed with all the families there not only buying vegetables but perusing the gardens

and the animals.

Their pollinator garden was in full glory with a lot of butterflies around.

There were monarchs on the milkweed laying eggs,

and I saw butterflies on the butterfly bush (buddleia)

and on the gaillardia.

The black-eyed Susan's were full of blooms

but their echinacea needed to be deadheaded

--I did mine this weekend. Deadheading will send more energy back into the production of blooms, but it does take time almost every week to get that chore accomplished.

In addition to deadheading and watering, I have also been fertilizing my annuals and vegetables. Those in containers are getting water daily so the nutrition gets leached out faster. I am applying light amounts of fertilizer and watering as soon as I do. Fertilizer can burn if plants are dry and the temperatures are hot, so apply light amounts and water. I also seem to spend an inordinate amount of time weeding. I have added pigweed to my garden with some compost I got, and that in addition to crabgrass, chambers bitters, and mulberry weed are keeping me quite busy. I am trying to get to them before they get big enough to bloom and set seeds, but that doesn't always happen. A gardener's job is never over! Happy Gardening!

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