Monday, August 2, 2021

Beat the heat - if you can!

The garden is suffering after many days of really oppressive heat. This is the time when I start pulling plants out, especially annuals which I know will never regenerate now that August is here. Spring is definitely the best time in the garden here in the southeast. Biggest disappointment this year is that the morning glory and moonflower seeds just didn't flower well at all - yesterday I cut them all down as they looked really untidy struggling on the front porch. 
Luckily, I still have a few great pots of healthy basil so pesto making will continue for a couple more weeks and there will be plenty of little pots stashed in the freezer for the winter soups etc.

The Celeste figs are now ripening fast. Bob picked a lot yesterday and we've started sharing with neighbors who enjoy them. Today I'm planning to bake a fig and peach crisp - or crumble as we call it in England.  Served with a scoop of good quality ice cream (I'm loving Talenti Madagascan Vanilla Bean Gelato) it will be perfect after a mixed salad/grain bowl which has become my daily meal in this heat.
As you can see, the squirrels really love figs. The ones they drop under the tree are then nibbled by what have become our live-in bunnies. . . . .the baby one below and a larger one who might be its mama!

This little guy actually comes up on our front porch now and
 doesn't appear to be afraid of us!

Canna lily above, Rose mallow hibiscus below, blooming but requiring a good
 watering every day in this heat.

We visited Raleigh's local sunflower field before leaving on the New England trip. The blooms were just opening and were lovely. Today we're returning to see them once more and hope to take some photos before wet weather arrives tomorrow. Sunflowers bring back wonderful memories, especially of summer visits to Provence.

Hope you are enjoying your summer days.


  1. There are still lovely pockets in your garden, Mary, in spite of the heat. It's the same here, though, with the heat affecting the annuals. My roses are just beginning a second bloom, much later than normal. I have picked my fig harvest - a total of 2 ripe figs. There are many more forming, but it's doubtful if they will ripen before the cold weather comes. Sunflowers are such cheery blooms. Enjoy your visit to the fields.

  2. Dearest Mary,
    July and August are brutal months for the Southern garden!
    We used to have all varieties of Canna lilies but the ALL got attacked by those leaf rollers, a nasty bug that ate holes and made the leaves stick together and preventing them from unfolding... It was just a messy and ugly sight. With bleeding heart we got rid of them.
    Your Rose Mallow is gorgeous and yes, they love to 'drink' water and lots of it.
    We are trying hard to keep our last remaining double white one from Italy alive. Still have the double pink but it is so tricky to grow anew from cuttings. Pieter did so but then, for keeping them all alive... very tough!
    You can read about that here, our life in Italy:
    Enjoy your resident bunnies; so cute. We used to have some tame ones but having five kitties and they also socialize with kitty friends... (no offspring possible from ours!!!) keeps the bunnies at bay I guess.

  3. I have been hearing your weather is extremely hot. Take care!
    I have not enjoyed the extreme heat here one bit. We have about three more days in the 90's, then supposedly it will cool a bit. Can't wait. Our plum tree occasionally drops a green plum and the bunnies nibble on them. We are still waiting for ripe tomatoes, plums, and figs. Our produce season is more August and September.
    Glad to see you made it safely home from your adventure north.

  4. I had to look twice to realize there was a bee on the orange sunflower. I don't know the difference between a honey bee or a bumble bee, but this one looks to be a happy bee. I have grown morning glories in the past and I had the best results nicking the seeds and covering them with a wet paper towel for a few days before sowing them in starter pots. It may have just gotten too hot, too fast for them this year. There's always next spring.

  5. I love to see all of the beautiful flowers and animals in your garden! I hope that you are staying cool.

  6. Beautiful pictures, as always, of the wildlife and flowers in your garden!
    No heat here that needs beating... it actually feels more like September already, with chilly mornings and evenings. Apparently next week we may expect some more settled, summery weather - that would be nice in time for my Mum's birthday.

  7. Your garden still looks lovely. Those sunflower pictures are beautiful.

  8. Interesting to note the differences in gardens from one part of the world to another. Seems as if you are raising bunnies this year.

  9. Beautiful pictures. Great one of the squirrel. It's definitely fruit season here, all imported, of course. Lots of it comes from Lebanon and Jordan. We had some yummy figs last week. Summers here are only to be enjoyed indoors with temps 110 F and above during the day, nighttime temps are in the 90's. August can also be unbearably humid. Love those pretty sunflowers.

  10. The weather here in northeast IL has been beautiful for the past few days. I've had the AC off and the windows open. So nice to be able to air out the house once again! Tomorrow the AC will go back on with temps climbing and we'll be back into the 90's by this weekend.

    We had dinner with our neighbor friends a few nights ago around a table in their yard and I brought the dessert - homemade strawberry crumble bars. I served them with Haagen Dazs (hope I spelled that right!) vanilla ice cream. Sooo good. I let them keep the leftovers though so I wouldn't eat anymore. Still greatly limiting my sugar intake. :-)

  11. I love your pictures, Mary. Especially that one of the squirrel eating a fig. And, the sunflowers. I am going on Saturday to my granddaughter's sunflower field. Guess I'll post some pictures of those, as well. Can't have too many sunflowers.

  12. Welcome home Mary. I lost my blog reading list from the dashboard for a week and missed your delightful posts. How absolutely beautiful to have those little bunnies visiting you, as well as the cute squirrels. I know, they are often regarded as a pest, but I find them fascinating to watch. The Summer looks fabulous, and I wish I was there to have a piece of your fig and peach crumble. Yum! xx


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