It was a hot, hot October here in the valley. We had many a day this past month that peaked over 90 degrees (that's Fahrenheit to the rest of the world). The average high in October was only 85 though, with the average low at just 64, not such bad numbers when compared with summer. In fact, I've heard some locals refer to it as downright cool. There was a catch, though. Here in the valley, we received all of 0.01 inches of rain this whole month! Virtually nothing. There was one day I remember actually getting rain...more like a steady sprinkling for a short bit one morning. It was exciting, though! The whole family went out on the porch to watch it. (One month of drought and you'd think we were desert-dwellers.) Anyway, in hot, droughty weather like this, I am grateful that I have so many tough plants. Indeed, some of them are just gettin' goin' right now.
Susan of Simply Susan! asks us to share our current favorites each month, but I've found the further we travel from winter, the harder this task becomes. I do think there must be hundreds of plant species in my garden. Some day, I will have to catalog the lot of them. It is unbelievable how many plant babies I can cram in this tiny space. Problem is, nearly everything looks great right now, and of course, I love 'em all, so it's hard to narrow the faves down to a reasonable number. Well, I'll give it a go anyway:
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.
It is difficult to believe that summer ends today. It seems only yesterday that my garden wakened from winter. I will truly miss you, Summer. I will miss those long days. Oh, how I dread the days when darkness falls early. Even I, garden-obsessed as I am, will not sit in my garden in the dread black of night. But seasons must come, and seasons must go.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am no garden planner and that I cannot seem to bring myself to plant in large groupings. I write on the sidebar over there that my garden style is "cram-as-many-plants-as-possible-into-a-half-acre-lot." Well, that is about as true a statement as I can make. I don't believe in putting on airs that aren't there. This garden is what it is: a reflection of a botanically obsessed, compulsive plant collector. It is not a garden that will appeal to everyone. It is a far cry from the self-control of landscape design with its perfectly trimmed shrubs, ideally spaced trees, and huge groupings of colorful annuals.
August has brought my hot garden much needed downpours of rain and shady cloud cover. It has been a pleasant month. And now it's time again to search for my best and brightest tropicals for the Hot, Loud & Proud meme hosted at the end of every month by the Plant Fanatic in Hawaii. Here's what I found today:
Three inches of rain in four days! Woohoo! Two days in a row with highs below 90! How great is that! You certainly won't hear me wishing summer away. Surely everyone agrees that these long stretches of daylight are awesome. I'm trying to enjoy every moment I can. The skin-splitting, bone-throbbing, dim, dark days of winter will be with us soon enough, to be followed by a brutally hot, dry spring. I'll take a Florida summer anyday!
First, the UGH. A big mistake was made at PITV this weekend. On Saturday, husband and I set out to my young nephew's to do a little yardwork at his new house. We knew we'd be gone for hours, so we left a list of chores for Only Daughter and Son #2 to do while we were gone. One thing on the list was for Son #2 to clean the pool filter. He was told to leave the cap off, since it's a little tricky to seal it properly, and husband intended to do it when we got home.
Here I sat early this morning, on my porch, eating my usual hard-boiled egg, sunflower seeds, and banana, watching the hummingbirds fight over the nearby bottlebrush, trying desperately to catch a photo of one. Well, that idea is hopeless, for my camera is just too slow. Then my mind wandered out of my garden and into the blogworld.
I am joining up with Simply Susan! again to post my favorites...this month! What a great month it's been in the garden! It's truly hard to play favorites when there are so many wonderful things to choose from. I can certainly say that the curcumas, peace lilies, and blue butterflies have been tops with me this month. However, I've posted them so much, that I'm not featuring them here today.
I don't know what your garden set-up is, but this house has no backyard to speak of. I think it's pretty standard for Florida, especially when a pool is involved. But, seriously, what's a gardener to do? Here on this plot, I have about 10 feet of backyard behind the pool. Oh, how I long to pick up this monstrosity of a house and move it forward 20 feet!
With the stress of the wedding week over, I decided to turn my attention to the blog. I'm not really one to be fickle or ADHD or anything. Seriously. I might rearrange furniture in my living room once every five years. I kinda like things status quo. You know what I mean? I'm a please-don't-move-my-cheese kinda person. Anyway, that new Template Designer button at the top of blogger has been tempting me, killing me reallly, since I first saw it appear there. I finally got the nerve yesterday to click on it, and....suddenly, big changes were taking place in my blog design. I was clicking and HTMLing to the point of no return. So here it is...what do you think? It's still a shock to me when I open it, to be honest.
Like every other garden in the world, mine is dominated by the color green...green grass, green shrubs, green leaves on perennials...even green weeds. But all around the garden, here and there, can be found pops of brilliant color bursting out of that green sea. If you're not careful, you just might get smacked in the face by one of these as you round the corner.