Social wise...it was a great summer. Spent a lot of time with good friends, read a lot of good books, took a little trip, went to a reunion...
Here's the group picture from the reunion. This is a group of about a dozen families that get together every two years at a resort near Gore, Oklahoma. It's been going on since the mid-80's. Isn't that cool? We have three generations at this point.
But what I'll remember most about this summer is the heat and my suffering gardens. Over sixty days of triple digit temperatures took a deathly toll on them. I read in my daily newspaper's garden column that once temperatures reach 95, most plants go into survival mode. All the energy goes into not dying. No growth. No showy blooms. Just not dying.
I've taken an inventory of my gardens and broken the plants down into three categories:
1. Plants that died.
- everything in my new sun bed, which surprised me because I used plants that had been successful in my old sun bed - gaillardia, verbena, artemisia, lavender. Those usually can take anything Oklahoma summers dish out.
- the rhododendron in my new experimental pergola garden. I learned practically nothing from my experimental pergola garden because results were all skewed by the extreme heat and the early summer invasion of munching bunny rabbits.
- three coral bells
- two asters
- and a partridge in a pear tree
2. Plants that survived, but look pitiful.
- a few hostas
- two coral bells
- lenten rose
- rose bushes
3. Plants that didn't seem to be affected by the heat
and drought at all.
- my new climbers in my experimental pergola garden. The Carolina jasmine and the clematis look great.
- red twig dogwood - thank goodness. I love this shrub and would have cried big tears if it had died. It's growing like crazy right now.
- a few hostas
- ornamental grasses
I'm looking for the life lessons in this summer's gardens. They're there. I know it. They just haven't revealed themselves to me yet. Gardening always teaches me great spiritual truths and once I find the lessons from this gardening season, I won't have to count it as a miserable failure.