July . . . in the garden . . . isn't quite like June.
In June, everything is so exciting! Emerging. Growing. Blooming like mad. There's even some enthusiasm for the more mundane gardening chores like weeding, watering the containers, transplanting, and deadheading. After a long winter inside - dreaming about being out in the garden again - those chores seem (kind of) . . . fun.
By July? Well. Maybe not so much.
The garden story is changing a bit. The excitement has died down. Blooms are fading. Growth is slowing. Weeds are EVERYwhere. It becomes very obvious where the "holes" are . . . which plants didn't quite perform like you'd hoped, for example. Or areas of the garden that need more color or foliage . . . or something. Maybe . . . you wished you'd mulched more. Or . . . damn those deer. And, hey! What happened to the basil? You can see where your irrigation system isn't working. Those mundane garden chores just aren't so charming anymore.
In short, it takes WORK to keep a garden looking good for the whole season. And it becomes glaringly obvious in . . . oh, about July.
For me, this always means . . . Summer Refresh! A time to assess and plot for the even drier, hotter months ahead. What's working out there? What's not? What do I need more of? What can I cut back? Where do I need to up my watering game? That kind of thing.
Luckily, most garden shops and nurseries are there to help me out at this time of year . . . with SALES. Now is a great time to find discounted plants at your local nurseries. Sure. The plants may be more root-bound and "leggy" than they are earlier in the season. But the nurseries price them to move -- and you can get some great deals.
Earlier this week, I visited the annual "cart sale" at one of my local nurseries. They pull out all their excess annuals into their parking lot (we're talking racks and racks of blooming annuals and leggy vegetables) (and a very big parking lot). Shoppers grab a giant cart (a "nursery gurney" as my mom used to call them) . . . and you fill the whole thing up for $55. (When I first started going to the cart sale, it was $35. . . just sayin) There are rules, of course. No stacking. Nothing can be hanging off the cart. But, other than that . . . it's pretty much open season.
And it's a great way to fill "holes" in your garden or containers!
(This is my cart this year. Not as "loaded" as some years, but full enough for sure!)
This weekend, you'll find me in my garden* . . . refreshing containers, dragging some hoses, moving a few plants around, weeding (always), and following my constant garden mantra/refrain: If it's brown, cut it down.
(One of my recently-refreshed front porch containers.) (It really needed some extra oomph this year.)
I'm eager for a refresh out in the garden!
(And, actually, this is all a metaphor for life. But that's for another post, another day.)
I hope you all enjoy a lovely, long weekend . . . refreshing anything that needs refreshing!
* No Up-North-for-the-4th for us! It's too crowded and too busy up there over the 4th. And there are just . . . too many fireworks. (JoJo struggles mightily with the fireworks, and she really suffers when we're up north where it's constant firecrackers ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT, FOR DAYS.) So we stay home for a quiet(er) . . . refresh.