hot shots

If you have a minute today could you please call Weather Maintenance? I need this heat to go away just as soon as the last down comforter gets dry. Rain would be nice then. Even cool rain would be okay since the blankets will be ready to use.

feathers dryingYou are supposed to wash these feathery ones in giant commercial machines but I don’t always do what I’m supposed to do and really this is a very small infraction compared to some so I’m not worrying about it too much. I just stuff them into the washing machine and then give them a few trips in the dryer and it’s off to sun and wind. And you can see by the grass that we have lots of sun and wind.

We’ve had day after day of 90-100 F. The attic fan was replaced and I had to actually sew exterior removable curtains to block the late morning sun from coming in through the sidelights by the front door.

sidelight curtains

Before that I taped brown paper on the outside but it kept falling off.  The curtains will go away when the weather cools. I miss the view outside…

You may remember my kiwi discussion from last August.

kiwi vine

Well this spring there was yet another murder, a revenge killing I think, wherein the male kiwi was disposed of by his second wife. We replaced him and the current couple seems terribly happy so that I wonder if they had this all planned and there was maybe a life insurance policy or something involved, like happens on Mystery.

The next picture shows the kiwi neighborhood. The guilty girl kiwi grows in that deep but bottomless well-drained not root-rotting pot in the middle of the image, and the grape vine trellis runs perpendicular to the kiwi arbor.

I like garden rooms.


In other news, I grew some asters from “mixed seed” which is sort of like going shopping and buying things with your eyes closed.

mixed up seeds

Anyway the seed packet didn’t lie, it was certainly an assortment, and the outcomes seem to be distant cousins.

I like this pink one, and it keeps forever as a cut flower.

pink Chinese aster

I will save some seeds and hope they don’t turn out more like this purple version.

purple Chinese aster

I guess I kind of like the purple as well. Maybe I’ll save its seeds too. But I have not bonded with this next one.

Chinese aster pink button

See those pinky button-looking blooms? And how would anyone know those plants were wearing pink to the same party where the coneflowers wore orange? Actually I don’t mind that at all, but they are such buttony little flowers. Not collecting seeds there.

I like the salvia in the next image. It’s all one plant, new this summer. I know you recognize it so I won’t bore you with the name. It’s great friends with its neighbor, the anise hyssop “Apricot Sunrise.”

salvia and hyssop

Here’s my dreamy image for this week, which Tammy taught me how to do. It’s of the mimosa tree, which it turns out is absolute last waking up in spring and then grows all summer long, adding feet and feet, and is first to drop leaves in the fall.

mimosa treeOnly two blooms this year so it’s not invasive yet…

Okay please let me know when the Weather repairs begin.

In the meantime take it easy…

Westie on his pillow

And keep cool.




About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in actual plants, Max the Westie, my 19th century house and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to hot shots

  1. I love that you used my “close your eyes and shoot into the sun”‘ technique! 100 grand in film school loans to learn that one. Or I just thought, to hell with it! Let’s see what this turns out like. 🙂 You’re having my summer and VA has relocated to the PNW. We’ve only broken 90 less than 10 times. Very bizarre! Even the grass is still green. Extremely weird…. As for exterior curtains, I use them every summer. They’re great at blocking reflected heat and keeping your plants/house from frying. Love your mixed seed plants. It’s like a party in a pot. 🙂

    • linniew says:

      Well I almost bought that film school thing– flashes of you in a director’s chair! But teaching is certainly something like that, only likely harder. We used to get about a week of 90+ degrees in a whole summer, usually only in August. Now it can start in May, go away, come back a few times in June or July and get entrenched in August. So glad you have green grass and some cool! I have quite a lot of cracked earth between where I’ve watered––– Thinking about Canada some days… In the meantime I’ll keep track of those curtains so they are handy for next summer.

  2. susan troccolo says:

    Well, I put in the maintenance call. We’ll see what happens. I’m seriously fed up with this heat. Let us know when your comforters are dry so we can initiate rain dances. I see from Tammy’s note above that we have swapped weather patterns–global weirding, they called it on NPR. I like that because even the science haters have to admit things are getting a little Weird. Very nice arbor Linnie, and I see a novel in the making. Murder and mayhem among the Kiwi–has a scary, kind of archeological ring to it. I like your choices of flowers from the cut flower assortment and have to agree….those buttony things don’t float my boat either. LOVE the pink spiky flower though and the blue salvia as well as that incredible purple aster, or whatever it is. That is a *fabulous* color. Lots of good color for bringing indoors–you can consider it a rescue mission-:))

    • linniew says:

      Hi Susie! Maybe we should do a few steps of the rain dance right away in case it takes a while– I can always stuff the comforters back into the dryer. I love “global weirding,” it really captures the essence of today. I feel like none of us knows what to expect next and I have kind of a tornado phobia so I get worried. We agree on the deep purple aster– a great color. I saw some beautiful yarn in that hue today. Hard to resist.

      • susan troccolo says:

        Initiating rain dance. Engage! Hope you didn’t resist the deep purple yarn, redheads look great in purple. Unless it’s to be a dashing vest for Monsieur Max.

  3. susan troccolo says:

    Linnie, I am having so much fun this evening reading through your archives. I got especially excited when I came across your beet story because it just isn’t fair: you grow beets accidentally and I can’t grow beets to save my soul. Except for the time I grew One. Solitary. Beet. We share some tongue-in-cheek humor so I think you’ll get a kick out of it:

    …And we love our dogs!

  4. kate says:

    Between the little grandchild and the Albizia, you have images that will make both plant and people families smile, (fairies are present in both, I think.) I will be happy to trade you this year’s squash and pumpkin seeds for some of those lovely feathery asters. I promise, they are very special for squash and pumpkin.

    • linniew says:

      hey Kate! I see Albizia is something like mimosa, but maybe only the tree and not the drink. I’m for anything ‘fairies’ so we are good. And certainly that little girl has fairy contacts, she just isn’t saying. I’ll take the trade as soon as I get some seeds. Maybe we need a little seed exchange do you think? Beets for Susie, asters for you, squash for Max… xo L

      • kate says:

        How does Max like his squash? Our garden dogs usually go for their vegetables raw. One ate only beans, picked them one by one and savored each. Another, only green tomatoes. Sugar Baby prefers melons. With her excellent sense of smell, she only takes the ones that have ripened to perfection. I wish I could use that talent for myself, but it would be cruel to deprive her of her precious melons after all the long nights she puts in protecting them. Count me in on the seed swap. Would Susie like some purple carrots? Close enough to beets and so much easier.

        • linniew says:

          Max will eat most anything dropped on the kitchen floor although he doesn’t harvest vegetables all alone outside. Except I think he dug up a potato once. You are kind to let Sugar Baby have ripe melons. I have exactly one melon, a volunteer, and if Max ate it I would be disappointed indeed. Purple carrots sound awesome but how in the world do you have success with carrots? Oh the tales I could tell of carrots’ betrayal, lies and general annoyance! And I love carrots. We’ll see if Susie thinks they are beet-like.

          • kate says:

            I’ll tell you a secret: carrots are contrary like cats. In fact, the whole carrot family is as fickle as can be. When you plant them, just act like you really don’t care. Scatter them around haphazardly while acting very unconcerned. They will grow like weeds, but only where you don’t want them. It really is Sugar’s garden, she just lets me think I’m in charge. Haven’t had success with beets either.

            • linniew says:

              But, nobody ever told me that before. Oh I feel faint… I have given carrots some of the best gardening days of my life: sifted soil, mixed sand, built special tall long boxes and weeded out tiny weeds until I was almost blind. And virtually nothing grew but little green tops! Vermicelli roots, or bent, or missing. And now I learn to just toss the seeds in like confetti and don’t worry about it? Excuse me while I get a celebratory beer — and you have no idea all the carrot seeds I have in my stash. Next year—

              ps: Give Sugar a treat for me. I feel like I owe her.

  5. I really couldn’t manage in such heat.The mimosa tree looks very pretty. The name even sounds exotic and hot.

    • linniew says:

      Oh but I can’t manage either, Lucy! I remember walking across London in the rain in August once. Wish I had some August rain today… I am fond of the mimosa tree and not just because I like champagne with orange juice-– I planted the tree after admiring one that grew in a graveyard. They are graceful and as you say a little exotic and possibly haunted too, who knows? I’ve been warned that it will seed everywhere but I doubt it will ever compete with the rampant reproductions perpetrated by the maples and walnut trees.

  6. Susan says:

    Canada may not be much cooler or wetter unless you head to the East coast. Our little patch is being grilled by the sun. At least you have a vine covered arbour although by the sounds of it going in alone might be foolhardy.

    • linniew says:

      Some vines are indeed suspect. I have my guard dog though as you know.

      I’ll stop planning to move north for now I guess. Time to review the rain dance steps…

  7. Your girl kiwi is a femme fatale. That last picture is adorable!

  8. Chloris says:

    I’ m just trying to imagine your heat. We had to turn the central beating on last night, it was so chilly. I love the shot of the Mimosa tree, although it looks like Albizia julibrissin to me. Here mimosa is the name we give to Acacia.
    I love your asters, even the buttony ones. They are so lovely for picking. I don’ t know why I haven’ t grown any.
    What an adorable little girl. How clever of her to find a way to keep cool.

    • linniew says:

      It’s the same as Albizia julibrissin. Also called Silk Tree here. But Mimosa is fun to say and easy to spell plus it’s a nice drink with brunch. The asters keep well in a vase which I know from experience this summer. Very pretty with roses too. Clouds today. I live again.

  9. Lol, and I thought we had a warm summer, you must be melting! I love all your self sown asters, even those little pink button ones. I think they’d look rather nice in a container.

  10. Peter/Outlaw says:

    O.K. so I called Weather Maintenance but got their voice mail management labyrinth. “For hurricanes, tornados, and other wind-related weather, press one. For blizzards and heavy snowfall, press two. For monsoons or flooding, press three. For geological complaints, earthquakes, volcanos, and tsunamis press four. For droughts, famine, plagues, or pestilence, press five. If you see one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, press six…” It just kept going on and on with no mention of simply turning the heat up or down so I just started pressing random numbers hoping to be connected with a live person to plead your case. Never got through to anyone but a message said, “Your request has been entered in our system and we’ll address it in the order received.” I entered your zip code at the beginning of the call as instructed. Anyway, I apologize in advance for whatever may happen next. P.S. your last two pictures made my day! So adorable!

    • linniew says:

      Gosh Peter I am so impressed–you endured that terrible phone response system in a truly heroic fashion! And I can report that this morning is much cooler (57 F here) and the predicted high today is only 81, all from your good work I feel certain. Well done, and just in the nick of time as I was getting semi-hysterical about the heat to the point that I replaced the summer garden photo on my computer desktop with an ice-storm image.

      I do kind of wonder what you get when you press 6 though…

  11. Hannah says:

    Wow, you grow your kiwis and grapes on actual trellises. My staked ones turn into jungles until they find a tree then they try to take over. Very Machiavellian. The purple aster has an incredible pincushion effect going on. Great color. I’m hoping the heat gets less soon, though 2 95º days are predicted soon, but the nights seem to be getting cooler toward fall. And to think I was very sad at summer’s end last year, this year I may celebrate, rain dances sound good. Carrots and beets seem to have a no-grow conspiracy for me too. But I’ve gotten Italian radishes that were 3.5 lbs. So I stick with what works. Or what the moles and voles will let me grow. The last photo is adorable. I was blessed mainly with little boy grandkids.

    • linniew says:

      The truth about grapes and it seems also kiwis is that they are opportunists and have no qualms about grabbing a tree limb and going with it, even if someone provided them with a perfectly fine arbor. So growing them on a stake is as good an idea as any Hannah and the outcome is the same. Right this second each of those questionable kiwis in my garden has a shoot wrapped around a limb of the ash tree and tomorrow I really must go redirect them, as is said about pre-school kids. It will require a ladder, and luck. But, What? a 3.5 lb raddish? This can’t be a raddish as I know it. My raddishes are .5″ and have holes in them…

  12. Linnie, I had just become used to the warmer weather where we now live, and then second week of August when it should be getting even warmer, it turns cold with constant weather fronts coming from the North. Ah well, we hadn’t been getting the extreme heat which you are presently experiencing, hope it cools down a bit soon. Your wee dog looks exhausted, (granddaughter) has the best idea.

    • linniew says:

      I find myself looking forward to autumn even more than usual Alistair. Sorry about the cold you are having– it sounds a bit premature. But in spite of my friend Peter’s efforts I’m afraid the Weather is not quite Right. It remains way warm here and no rain so I maintain little green areas but the rest is kind of like desert. I’m just about ready to do my rain dance. Max likes cold dry weather best so I don’t suppose he will help summon the rain…

  13. Hello Linnie Dear. Dang. Has it been a hot summer or what? Despite the brief rain respite, my raspberries are still toast thanks to the record-breaking heat. I’m glad the weather gods decided to give us a cool down and yes I am knocking on wood. That aster assortment is fun, isn’t it? I had no idea there would be so many variations. Max looks as cute as ever and your little grand is adorable.

    • linniew says:

      The nights are certainly cooler but my phone weather app threatens 95F again by the end of the week. We might need caves, or at least some nice cool underground tunnels. I could tunnel to your house and we could maybe meet in the middle and drink lemonade until the sun goes down… I gave up raspberries last year so I’m impressed with anyone who has any success with them at all!

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