The Heat Is On

Bougainvillea Bush
     Well, our brief "cool spell" of mid to upper 90's is gone.  Triple-digit heat will now be with us everyday for the next 120 days. Yes, that's one thing I did not know before our move here.  On average it is over 100 degrees F for 120 days.  The heat can climb to 120 degrees, but most of the time it is 108 to 115 degrees F.  There are several other things I did not know about living in the desert.  The merchants put pot holders on their door handles because they get so hot you can't touch them.  Ditto for steering wheels.  We cover our car seats with towels because the leather/vinyl is scorching hot.  There is no such thing as a cold shower in the summer here.  Water heaters are turned off because the temperature of the water coming out of the cold faucet is 105 degrees F unless you spend a thousand for a chiller.  We use a lot of ice.  Neighborhoods are like ghost towns in the summer because no one goes outside.  You can go for months without seeing your neighbors.  In the middle of summer it never goes below 90 degrees F at night, so forget about exercising out doors.  The thing I dislike the most is keeping all the blinds closed all summer to keep out the heat so the A/C bill is not $600 a month.  You come to hate the sun, and wake up thinking, "Oh, no.  Not another sunny day!"

Bougainvillea Blossom
     But despite the heat, some flowers will bloom all summer here.  I went to Lowe's today and bought celosia and vinca, two reliable through-the-summer bloomers.  I pulled out all my dead pansies and scraggly petunias and will start planting tomorrow.  We do have several bougainvillea bushes trellised against our backyard walls that blossom all summer, as well as the lantana plants scattered throughout the yard.  I am told that lisianthus will also bloom all summer.  I am waiting to see how long my zinnias and cosmos hold up.  The colors of my dwarf zinnias seem to be fading in the sun.  A lot of things get bleached in the strong sunlight here.


White Vinca


  1. I feel your pain. Yesterday the icemaker quit.

    I see you have Esperana/Tecoma stans -- you know it as Yellow Bells. Vinca is a reseeding fav here.

  2. I've never known what it means to live in a desert. Thanks for sharing some of those details. In my part its always so humid and pleasant by "desert standards".

    I wonder if you have any cacti? A cactus garden would do well in the desert; some cacti I know have beautiful flowers.

  3. NellJean,

    Thanks for empathizing about the heat. Yellow Bells seem to grow well here without any help at all. Some of my vinca I planted last year did reseed.

  4. Anita,

    A lot of people would not think humidity is pleasant, but I prefer humidity to the terrible dryness we have here.

    I do have a small cactus garden which I will write about in a future post.