Monday, July 10, 2017

The Garden in July

Today, I walked around the garden in the evening and took some photos.  We've had a few days of triple digit temperatures and this is how the garden looks in July:

The front garden:

All the grass has died again

But the pomegranates are coming along

And the Plumeria is leafing out

The newly transplanted mimosa (or silk tree) (Albizia julibrissin) seedling (at least, that is what I assume it is!) seems to be doing well, too.   My gardener friend and I found this plant, then about 8 inches high, growing in the middle of the back garden, last year.  We dug it up and planted in a pot and it grew despite being crushed and broken once or twice, by the garden cats who liked to sleep in the pot!  We transplanted it in the front garden last month or so, and I am hoping it will grow and provide some shade as well as pretty pink flowers, eventually.

Mimosa (?) seedling

Directly behind the mimosa seedling is a planting bed that is located under my living room "picture" window.  The window faces west.  The evening sun shines full blast on this window from about 3:00 p.m. until it sets.  It more or less bakes everything I plant in front of the window, due to the radiant heat, like these succulents my supervisor gave me:

Sun-scorched succulents

I need to rethink and redo this planting bed.  The plants along the other bed, lining the walk up to the front door fare much better:

Dusty Miller and African Daisies (Osteospermum)

 The back garden:

No grass here, either!

My poor patty pan squash is not coping well with 108F temperatures! 

Pre-baked baby squash!

The tomato vine is doing better!

The rose bushes are trying valiantly!

"We are doing our best!"

A bit sunburnt!

The pink oleander along the back wall is doing OK


So is the plumbago along the side wall

 Although the lantana that is mixed in with the plumbago has set fruit (berries):

Desiccated Lantana Berries

The hibiscus flower is almost done for the day

The white agapanthus is still going strong

And here and there, throughout the back garden, there are self-seeded four-o-clocks, providing a little color:

Four-o-clocks in front of the star jasmine vine

And more along the wall in the side yard


Where the feijoa or pineapple guava are forming

The garden in July is a place where the plants are adapting to the heat.  But, if one looks closely, there is still some beauty to be found:

One last look at the back yard

Thank you for coming on a tour of my garden in July!  How is your garden growing?


  1. Wow! It is a sharp contrast to how my garden is right now. Following some recent rainfall mine is looking more like a jungle.
    You have some beautiful flowers showing through. X

    1. Yes, my garden is getting ready to go into dormancy for the summer! We've had no rain at all in most of May, all of June, and so far in July. Not expecting any in August or September, either. I am watering the plants about twice a week, but that is not enough and the sun and heat cause a lot of damage. You have to take some pictures of your jungle and share with us!

  2. I watch BBC news at 6:00 am while I drink my hot cup of tea. Today they spoke about the terrible heat wave and fires in California. They did mention that the fires are quite common this time of year. Hope rain comes soon.

    It is also very hot and dry here. We may have some rain toward the end of the week but no break in the heat. Unless I get out and walk very early before the sun comes up I will not go outside any more than I have to!

    We did have one lovely ripe tomato but the plants are now looking very bedraggled.

    1. Our fire season starts around April, when the rainy season ends, and goes on till about October, when the rainy season starts, again! Last winter's heavy rainfall promoted a lot of vegetation growth in the hills and now that the rains have stopped, all that extra new growth has dried up and has become an abundance of fuel to burn!

      We are not expecting any rain until October at the earliest. Occasionally, we'll get a rain shower in the summer and that is truly a miracle!

      Your one tomato sounds like my one strawberry! LOL. Are you able to grow anything in the winter? Or do you get snow? Over here, I am able to garden year round and I am already planning my "cool weather" plants (carrots, lettuce, snowpeas, etc.)

    2. No once the ground freezes nothing grows. Last winter we did not get a lot of snow or ice but lots of very cold weather.

  3. Those roses are so pretty! I had to look up Lantana berries and I see that they are edible but poisonous for dogs. (I can't imagine any self respecting dog eating them but you never know). There is something about the late afternoon sun that is very fierce here, too, and it really attacks the side garden by the dining room wall. It is not as hot here as what you are getting, but I always find the sun particularly fierce here in North America, and when I was in Europe recently the full sun was far more bearable to be out in. Maybe we still have that hole in the ozone layer?

    1. Maybe there's more moisture in the atmosphere over Europe? That might help diffuse some of the sunlight. Our air is so dry.

      I've read both, that the ripe lantana berries are edible and not! I don't know for sure. All I know is that, as a child, I used to eat the ripe berries (not that they taste all that good) and I've lived to tell the tale!

  4. Deciding what to plant must really take some thinking about where you live Bless. I'm surprised anything lasts in the heat you have but the roses have surprised me most of all. They actually look like they're very happy in your climate and the peach coloured one is beautiful.

    I've just shown Amy and Thomas your garden with no grass and they're both shocked lol. xx

    1. No lush English lawn and borders, here, Suzanne, much as I would like! Not unless I am willing to pay hundreds of dollars on my water bill! I am turning more and more towards succulents and other drought tolerant plants and such. I have been wanting to landscape the front garden with mulch and pebbles, etc., but I haven't actually drawn up any plans or done anything. I've been a bit distracted with health issues and have let things slide.

  5. Your garden looks quite nice despite all the heat! As usual, I'm jealous of all your fruit :) I'm posting some pictures of my "garden" today too, I'm just happy what is there is mostly surviving without my having to do anything right now!

    1. Thank you, Nathalie!

      "I'm jealous of all your fruit" says the lady with the pineapple empire! LOL.

      One of my friends was telling me to plant prickly pear cactus - drought tolerant, edible paddles and fruit! But all those prickles!

  6. Your flowers are so pretty! Isn't it interesting that your plants all look so green and vibrant, yet you can't coax your grass to grow? Wonder why that is? Altho it's much easier for your gardener ... he doesn't have to mow or trim. My hubby would love that! :) Am so glad you have lots of colorful plants to enjoy.

    1. Selective watering, I suppose, Carolyn. The plants get watered more than the grass!

    2. That's true! We have a mix of St Augustine grass (very little) and pasture grasses that turn a golden color during droughts. Nearest our house we have a sprinkler system mainly to water our foundation. The grass that gets watered stays a bright green (and unfortunately needs frequent mowing) and areas further away from our home need less frequent mowing. We maintain 3 acres and this time of year it's a daunting task. Your temps seem to be much higher than ours yet your plants don't appear to be struggling as mine are. Perhaps you have a bit more shade ... most of my plants are in full sun.

    3. A lot of my plants are in the full sun, too. The front garden, especially, get full sun from about 10:00 a.m. till sunset, although the eucalyptus tree provides some shade. A lot of my plants are drought tolerant, though (the dusty miller, osteospermum, lantana, plumbago, oleander, etc.) All the more tender plants have been allowed to die out over the 5 years of drought! The only more or less tender plants I tried to cosset were the roses and even they haven't fared so well (considering I had almost 100 rose bushes when I started out!)

    4. I remember well your beautiful roses and was always amazed by how many you had. Have you tried Knockout roses? They're very hardy. My hybrid and antique rises didn't survive but the Knockouts bloom continuously. Go figure! :)

    5. I remember you mentioning them, before, Carolyn, and I think I looked them up, but didn't buy any. I think I will give them a try! Thank you!

  7. I adore four o'clocks. My grandmother had them all along one side of her house and I always called it the fairy garden.
    We have high temps through the last week in October, but 3 digits is the exception rather than the rule here, plus it's a humid environment so the heat doesn't bake everything.

    1. I don't know which is worse, Anne. Hot and humid where one steams or hot and dry where one bakes! Stay cool in the heat!


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