Hang in there, Baby!

My little flower patch is still hanging in there.

My little flower patch is still hanging in there.

Every morning when I am awake enough to make it down the stairs, I go outside and start watering stuff. A good tip I got from Enterprise Record is true – water early. Your plants will droop in the midday anyway, it’s their way of protecting themselves from that relentless sun. It’s true – they look like crap about 2pm, but by 8 pm they are perked up again. 

I finally found a safe place for my little strawberry garden in pots – the greenhouse. Would you believe anybody could survive in a greenhouse in this heat?

Safe and sound, and covered with flowers and ripening berries.

Safe and sound, and covered with flowers and ripening berries.

They do fine in there as long as I give them a little drink in the morning, another little drink in the evening. I put netting over the open door to keep the jays out – I think they’re smart enough to avoid netting, it’s too easy to get caught in the stuff and die trying to get out.  We’ve been getting more peaches and apples out of our orchard since we started using it on our trees. It’s not that expensive, and if you’re careful you can re-use it again and again.

Another protected species - I have these echinacea in big pots, see how happy they are with a little drizzle of water twice a day.

Another protected species – I have these echinacea in big pots next to the greenhouse door, see how happy they are with a little drizzle of water twice a day.  They are one of my favorite flowers, their scent is like expensive perfume.

We set sprinkler systems on most of the garden, but there’s stuff that isn’t practical to set up on drip – too far from a water source, the plastic bakes in the sun and the dogs and people kick it around. Some stuff just has to be watered with a hose nozzle or a can. 

Here's my "mother" aloe vera plant, surrounded by her offspring. I cut leaves from these and my other plants every day and scrape the sap into my smoothie.

Here’s my “mother” aloe vera plant, surrounded by her offspring. I cut leaves from these and my other plants every day and scrape the sap into my smoothie.  Biscuit says they’re taking over the patio.

Aloe vera doesn’t take much water – in fact, it doesn’t like too much water. Protected from the harsh weather here on my east-facing patio, they struggle through Winter, but they can make it. They thrive during Summer, as long as they are not left in the direct sun too long.  They’re great for skin problems – like when my son came home from a day at the old swimming hole with a nasty sunburn on his shoulders. The sap goes on cool and smooth, and dries in minutes, without any sticky feeling. 

Yesterday the weather seemed to cool down, if only by a couple of degrees. Or are we acclimating? We still enjoy a few hours under the air conditioner vents every afternoon. We rely on Badges to tell us when it’s too hot to be outside – we throw the ball and he takes it to the patio and sits in front of the door.

Badges says it's time to come in for the middle of the day, hide out in the house.

Badges says it’s time to come in for the middle of the day, hide out in the house.

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