Midsummer in the Garden

     It seems like it has been longer, but we are just halfway through our 120 days of over 100 degrees F (38C).  The vegetable garden with its lettuce, carrots, radishes, and spinach stopped producing two months ago.  I have a few chard plants straining to put forth a few small leaves.  I'll keep watering them in hopes they kick into normal production in the fall.  My pepper and two tomato plants never did recover from being wind burned.  They struggled but were unable to produce flowers before the real heat set in which did them in.

     The flower garden is blooming, but without a lot of plants it started out with.  As I posted before, all the cosmos died when it hit 118 F (48C).  The marigolds finally gave up this week.  And the two petunias I kept watering and watering said, "Enough" and quit flowering.  All the strawflowers died, and the weak blue cup,
zinnia flower
Marguerite daisy, blue dianthus and gazania are laboring to produce a flower or two.  They are shadows of their former bloom state and are essentially done for the summer.  The zinnias are the stars of the garden right now and are blooming profusely.   They have filled in a lot of the bare spots left from plants that died.  The celosia and vinca, two workhorse plants that bloom through the summer heat, are doing well in another part of the garden.

Celosia and Vinca
red celosia
white vinca

     Out in the yard, the oranges and grapefruits continue to slowly grow bigger.  We look forward to the fall harvest.  The lime tree produced no fruit this year, but since it lost half its leaves in the freeze last winter, it has grown new leaves on all the bare branches.  Maybe next year.  The flowering bushes (bougainvillea, yellow bells and oleander) are doing well, and going through bloom cycles as are the lantana scattered throughout the yard.  Many trees and plants don't struggle in the intense heat and sun here because of adaptations they have developed..  I'll talk about some of these adaptations in my next post.


lime tree this summer

lime tree after freeze


  1. That's a lot of colour in your garden. You must write more about your oranges and grapefruits. Both these aren't so easy to grow around my part and I'd love to know what you do to get a good harvest.

  2. Anita

    This is the first time I have grown citrus, since I have never lived in a climate before that would tolerate citrus. I will write a future post on the little I have learned about growing citrus.

  3. Sorry your peppers and tomatos didn't recover, I know that's disappointing.

    Your flower gardens look beautiful, Lana. Love the zinnias. The celosia and vinca look great together! I really like that combination. I use those two plants a lot here every year, (they sure can take the heat), but I don't think I've ever had them side by side like that. I'll have to remember that next year.


  4. Sherry

    Thanks for your nice comments. I do like the red celosia and white vinca combination.