August frustrations




It's officially the part of the growing season where I want to cut the garden down and start over.

I went outside after our second scary thunderstorm of the month to find toppled plants, mulch moved by rain runoff and hibiscus sawfly pests on my perennial hibiscus.


It's my fault for not applying NEEM to this earlier, and now the plants look like swiss cheese. I've tried handpicking and removing them, but there are so many this year.

via my Bitmoji account.
Needless to say, I'm looking a little like an angry version of my Bitmoji self (as seen at right).

Part of the problem (I believe) is that the summer is expected to be filled with glamour. Ideally, there is sun-shiny weather, weekends filled with fun activities, and warm weather where you'd just like to curl up with a book and lie on a deck chair to read - and maybe take a little snooze in the warm sun. Oh, and in my perfect summer daydream, I'm surrounded by beautiful flowering plants, like a photo spread out of a garden magazine.

But instead - at least for me - my summer daydream has not developed. The weather is crappy. There. I said it. The weather has been the absolute pits. And as a result of me not braving the humidity to cut back flowers, or say, mow the lawn, the front garden is starting to look overgrown and unkempt. I've barely kept up with feeding the hummingbirds and checking for caterpillars (basically I've now regulated August to just being able to care for these two garden creatures).

In addition, I've started to apologize for the front garden:

"Sorry - I've been working and going to grad school." 

"Sorry - don't let the plants along the walkway attack you."

"It's a little more overgrown than usual ... but I do like the cottage garden look... I guess this is extreme cottage gardening."

"Oh - I didn't realize there was crabgrass growing in my path. Oh look, it's everywhere."

And while the weekends have flown by and since the squirrels have made my deck chair their place to snooze in the sun and a comfortable place to eat the tomatoes they have stolen, let's just say I'm ready to tap out on summer.

I realize August frustrations is a common theme among gardeners in the late summer, and the recent humidity and excessive heat isn't helping anyone. But really, what gives? It would be great if we could pass this part of the season where we all just want to throw in our trowels and walk off. And say, pick up in another spot where my summer daydream exists. But I don't have access to a Hollywood movie set - so much for that.

But then, there's a flower that begins to bloom. And despite it's swiss cheese leaves, the bright, tropical blossoms of perennial hibiscus remind me that the summer will soon be over. And with it, will come some shorter days, but a little cooler weather where I can whip this garden back into shape.

And somehow, it will all be OK.



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