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August started with cool weather and ended on a wet note! Too bad what came in between wasn’t quite so good. It was really hot, dry and humid for much of the month and gardens and lawns started to suffer if they didn’t get some extra irrigation. All of that has changed in the last few days with copious amounts of rain and quite a bit of wind. Even though some trees did go down across the state, I don’t think the storms were near as bad as what had been predicted. I got over 3 inches of rain on Thursday and the wind blew hard enough to topple some of my containers, but that was it. I am not exactly certain how much rain I had since my super-duper weather station had a melt down and the precipitation feature is catawampus! I guess it went for too long with dry conditions, so it didn’t know what rain was!

I had to rely on my old-school rain gauges. I did get another good shower Saturday afternoon and again during the night, and more is predicted this week. It sure perked things up in the garden—and for me, not in a good way, although 4 days in a row not watering has been nice! I water religiously when it is dry, so my desirable plants haven’t missed a beat. Areas in the back yard that are just mulch, I don’t water, and the drier conditions really helped keep the Virginia creeper from creeping as much, and it kept the brambles and vinca down.

One day of rain, and poof, they are back and growing with a vengeance. Weed-eating is in my near future for sure this week.

I do need to start transitioning my vegetable gardens, but for now I m just making do. I love the variegated common impatiens,

and although not as large and vigorous as the Sunpatiens,

these common impatiens

do great in my shadier areas of the garden. My purslane has done great all summer too.

It opens in the morning and closes at night. A friend was telling me about the palm tree that is in the bloom—do you see it?

The bees have been having a field day on the esperanza

which has bloomed like crazy all summer. It has also gotten quite large. I have the tail end of the sunflowers blooming

and I have some mature milkweed seed pods beginning to open.

While I have not had any monarch caterpillars (in my yard) I do have a nice collection of milkweed bugs

that have arrived to eat on the seed pods. When they hit, they hit big. While not hugely destructive, I don’t like them, but for the most part I ignore them. It is not like they are in much competition for monarchs in my yard. I have seen a few mature monarch butterflies, but not many. I do have swallowtails and other types, but no monarch caterpillars. Sigh! I have tons of hummingbirds and bumblebees though.

I have been surprised with my dianthus this summer.

Normally they shut down for the hot summer months, but they have had a steady supply of bright red blooms all summer long. While not as full of flowers as they are in the cooler months, I will take what I can get. A non-stop bloomer in my summer garden is althea or Rose of Sharon.

It takes care of itself and just adds color. A winner in any garden!

We all wish we could look in the crystal ball and predict the weather for the month, but unfortunately, we can’t. September has been known to be hot and dry, but we can always hope. Our gardens are getting a good drink to start it off, which will help as some plants continue to set flower buds for next season, and others are beginning to set seeds to end their season this year. We are in a transition, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

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