Still hot and sunny here and not a drop of rain. I am sure my arms have elongated from all the watering cans I have carried!
Plants show you very quickly when they are suffering as the leaves droop and the flowers wilt and I cannot enjoy may garden until everything is perky again. However, perking up everything would take a river full of water and so I ration out my re-cycled bath water to those who seem in greatest need.
Anything growing in a hanging basket or a planter need the most water and I am conscious that growing in containers when you have access to land to plant in, is a wasteful way to garden . Terracotta plant pots are the very worst, as the water evaporates through the porous planter before the roots even use it and so I have given up using them, even though I love their natural weathered look . The bigger the pot you can use, the less watering is needed and so this year I have dispensed with my usual corner of waif and stray little pots of things that are waiting to be planted somewhere else and dry out in the blink of an eye.
While I understand the wilting plants: the forsythias, buddleia, mock orange, hydrangeas, phlox and roses; I am more intrigued by those plants who is the same amount of time have made deeper roots and show little or no signs of stress. Peonies stay green and glossy; the fennel in the veg patch towers over the shriveled vegetables; lavender thrives and the ecinacia flower freely in the dry heat.
I realize of course that what I am observing is the geographical origin of each of my garden plants. In my little garden I am growing plants that evolved perfectly to their natural habitats from all over the world. Those who thrive are originally from hotter drier places and those who suffer are from the cooler climes. As gardeners we want them to all grow promiscuously together and generally we manage this by careful planting each in sunny or shady spots to mimic their original homes; but in a heat wave; when all the garden is hot, this is not enough.
As an English woman transplanted to a very sunny spot of inland Europe I am also trying to recreate my ideal growing conditions and so this weekend I shall be up at dawn, enjoying the cool air, sleeping in the heat of the day and later in the evening watering myself with a long, cool bath and a tall glass of chilled Crémant d’Alsace.