Summer, with its triple digit temperatures, is not a good season for my garden. Several days of temperatures over 110F and everything gets scorched. Add the watering restrictions and only the hardiest survive, let alone thrive. We are no longer under drought conditions, but, I am still limited to a certain amount of water at the lower, tier 1 billing rates. I received the water bill for the latest billing period (July 19 to September 19) today and I went over the tier 1 allocation of 16 hundred cubit feet (billed at $5.67/HCF) and used 17 HCF; that additional 1 HCF is billed at tier 2 rates of $7.30/HCF. The water portion of my bill for the period of July 19 to September 19 is $98.04.
We had a bit of rain, yesterday morning - enough to wet the ground but probably not enough to do much good.
The majority of these pictures were taken at noon with my cell phone camera. My photography savvy friends will no doubt tell me that noon is not the best time to take pictures, but I am not entering any photography contests. :) A couple were taken a bit later in the afternoon, as I decided I needed one or two additional pictures.
Let's tour the front garden:
|View from Front Door|
|Flower Bed Along the Walkway Leading to/from Front Door|
The pomegranate tree is planted at the front because it is supposed to be lucky to have a pomegranate tree near the front entrance; it was a house-warming gift from the monks at the temple. Every year, I lose some of the fruit to birds and some to passers by who help themselves!
|I picked this fruit after I photographed it|
This is the flower bed along the drive way. I had planted several purple iceberg roses in this bed, last year (or was it the year before?). There is one barely surviving rose bush, left! The rest have all died. Some African daisies (osteospermum) have self-seeded themselves and are growing, along with the few gladioli plants that came up from bulbs planted two years ago.
|In Need of Replanting|
The view of the flower bed along the walkway leading to the front door from the garden:
|Front Flower Bed|
The rest of the front flower bed:
|Mostly Osteospermum and Dusty Miller|
Even the succulents planted in the middle aren't doing well. The garden slopes down ever so slightly, so the water pools at one end and that's the only place where you'll find more than two blades of grass!
|Sun-scorched Succulents and Grass!|
The succulents planted at the end along the side wall are faring well; the wall provides them some shade. Euphorbia at the far end, some mixed succulents which are not seen in this picture, aloe plants, and a jade plant in the foreground:
|Succulents Along the Side Wall|
The top-heavy, self-pruning eucalyptus; it does provide some filtered shade to the front garden:
The back yard gets the morning sun, but is shaded by the house in the late afternoon and evening. It fares a little better than the front garden.
|Back Garden from the Back Door|
|Cherry Guava Tree|
The feijoa is doing a little better - lots of tiny fruit on it, but usually, by this time, they are ready to be picked!
When the garden looks as sad as it does, I find myself looking for and focusing on the the bright spots; they are there, but not always apparent at first glance. Under one of the lemon trees, for example, along with the dried out fallen lemons, there are one or two self-seeded yellow four-o-clock plants:
The hibiscus plant is doing well, although its flower has already begun to fade when this picture was taken shortly after noon:
|Fading Hibiscus Flower|
Almost all the rose bushes have died, but, the few that are still alive are trying their best:
|Not much better, is it?|
Hidden among the leaves of the orange tree is a promise of oranges to come:
There is still one zucchini plant surviving! It never produced any zucchini but I kept it because it provides a touch of green. However, the newer leaves look a bit like they might have developed mosaic leaf virus, so should probably be pulled out.
Remember the bed where I planted green beans and okra? Well, the vegetable plants came up just in time to get scorched during the first heat wave. In the meantime, the preparation of the bed disturbed some of the roots of the nearby curry leaf tree, and when the curry leaf tree roots get nicked, they send up new growth! I now have a bed of curry leaf plants! I should call the Sri Lankan stores and ask them if they want some plants - they sell for upwards of $10 a plant at the Indian stores!
|Baby Curry Leaf Plants|
In one corner of the back garden, between the side wall and the back wall, the yucca plant and a schefflera plant are growing very happily:
|Yucca and Schefflera|
Did you see something else in the picture? No, not the euphorbia growing along the backwall to the left, but on the ground; yes, that white round thing:
I am not familiar enough with mushrooms to identify this one beyond "white with brown spots"!
The pink oleander is doing well, at least, the one that can be seen:
Speaking of plants determined to take over the garden:
|From the back|
|The roots grew right through the pot!|
|Under the Pine Tree|
But the shade of the pine tree enables these dayflower plants to grow:
|Dayflower plants (and a gazania in the foreground)|
It has the prettiest little blue flowers:
Another blue flower in my garden:
|Plumbago and Lantana Hedge|
The plumbago and lantana grow along the side wall behind the garage and the shed. It was severely pruned back earlier in the summer and has grown right back.
|I wish the lantana in the front will grow like this!|
Closer to the house, these plants are still waiting to be planted! The two grape vines and the lemongrass:
|Grapes and Lemongrass|
We are enjoying some cooler weather right now (highs of only in the mid 70s), but, it is supposed to warm up again into the mid 80s next week and low 90s by next weekend. Very typical autumn temperatures for us.
Autumn is the time to start cleaning up the garden. My gardener friend started, this evening, with the front garden. He pulled out the dead rose plants and weeded that bed and trimmed back the osteospermum in the adjoining bed. We will continue to concentrate on the front for the next couple of weeks before we tidy up the back.
Hope you enjoyed your tour of my garden at the end of the summer. How is your garden doing? Better than mine, I hope!