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I don't know if my recent travels to slightly cooler and definitely less humid climes made me lose my ability to take heat and humidity, but my oh my, it has been awfully hot and humid outside this past weekend! I spent 2 1/2 hours outside in the garden mowing, edging, pulling weeds, fertilizing and deadheading. I looked like I had been swimming when I came inside. To add insult to injury I threw my back out at the end when I decided to plant one more plant. I twisted and boing, there it went~--I walked like I was 200 years old getting back into the house. It did give me an excuse to stay inside for a bit though. It is hot!

Every day the sky turns black, thunder rumbles, (sending Skooter into panic mode) and we anticipate rain, and nothing happens. No moisture has been falling from the sky in my yard. The sprinkler system is on, but I still have to drag some hoses to areas not well covered, or covered long enough. It is tough when you have different needs for plants in the same zone. In spite of the weather, the garden is looking good.

My vegetable garden could use a boost, but the flowers look great. The hydrangeas of all types are doing well. I still have color on the bigleaf macrophyllas,

but the paniculatas are spectacular in most areas of the yard.

I do have one that is a bit floppy.

As soon as it starts to wane, it is getting a haircut. It is encroaching on the space of many perennials. I have found that some varieties of panicle hydrangeas are not strong upright growers their first few years. My Strawberry Vanilla (which is vanilla in Arkansas) pg hydrangea was floppy the first few years but is strong and upright now. It is just beginning to bloom.

It should be hot pink and white, but pink coloration requires cooler weather than we have in an Arkansas summer. The Little Limes are definitely lime green now,

but they do add a lot of interest in the garden. The panicles don't wilt in the heat like bigleaf types, and they can take full sun to partial shade.

My summer annuals are also doing well. My red theme this year is coming on strong.

I do think my favorites are the Sunpatiens. The large blooms cover the plants and they do well in full sun to partial shade. The begonias are filling in along with the red pentas and the dragonwing begonias are always a winner.

While everyone loves the Vista Bubblegum pink petunia, I like a brighter color. I am trying the Vista Fuchsia and Magenta varieties and both are thriving.

Even in this heat, they are blooming like crazy. I love them. I also like orange, so I have crossandra

in light shade and it is thriving, along with the Vermillionaire cuphea

in full sun which is doing great.

My early lilies were ending as I left town, but I returned in time to see these stunning ones.

Not sure what variety they are, as they were a Mother's Day gift several years ago. They are absolutely glorious. It is nice to have color that changes each week it seems in the garden. Each day you see new things, along with new weeds. Gardening chores never end.

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