The temperature was 37 degrees today, Monday (July 18), according to the very intelligent thermostat in my house. Tonight, the air outside is heavy and oppressive. Everything seems to be slowed down by the heat.
Someone burned down a house in town in what appears to be a revenge matter; four people are dead. Was the heat somehow implicated? People go a little strange in weather such as this. They always did.
But here in the garden, there is no hint of that. The pool is a warm 82 degrees without the benefit of a heater. Glenn has watered us into the poor house in order to keep the flowers and grass alive. Of course, we’ll be charged double; a water and a sewer rate both, for this extravagance, but what is the poor garden to do?
Two nights ago, Glenn confirmed that our midnight marauders are a family of four raccoons who have discovered the cool of the fountain and have been using it to bathe in. These fellows have baffled us for a couple of years and about $50 worth of bird feeders, smashed by their forays into the yard, and a potentially much larger bill when they upset the art deco birdbath our daughter gave us some years ago for a significant anniversary.
We have to discourage them if we can. While we appreciate the garden wildlife, raccoons are just a bit too wild and unpredictable, not to mention, destructive.
The bunny has come back though and is helping himself to a new pot full of goodies. No matter. We have plenty.
We have another occasional visitor; the neighbour’s cat, a friendly type that marks us as her extra territory. She insists that there is a mouse or something hiding in a corner behind the garage door. Glenn checks. Nothing there. Still, I believe Pattycakes (the cat). Wouldn’t you?
In the back garden, the filipendula is struggling into full blossom. It has been trying for two weeks. I think it is held back by the heat and the drought (funny word in a flooded province, but true, nevertheless).
But the lilies are well into their season. So far, no red lily leaf beetles for me. Some folks are inundated, though, so I know it is just a matter of time. To control, most advise going out early and hand picking. I advise this too, but when it comes here, I wonder how I will cope with 7:30 a.m. meetings and such. Probably easier to give up lilies for a while.
They don’t touch daylilies, though, so we can still have that pleasure.
As for how you, dedicated gardeners, will manage, you can douse your plants with talcum or baby powder, according to one of my listeners on CJOB, or you can spray with neem. Neither will kill the adults but the neem interferes with their reproductive system and I imagine the talcum powder will smother the eggs and larva (as will the neem oil).
Now it is cooling off a little. The neighbours next door are coming out and their quiet voices enliven the air. Across the street, Pattycakes has been recaptured and incarcerated with her proper family. The bunny has not reappeared tonight and even the red squirrel seems to be worn out (no wonder). Glenn and I sit back and absorb summer like a heating pad, storing up all this goodness against the inevitable winter.
Living here is so enervating.