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A Time to Persevere

Hot and sticky today with forecasts of more to come, and it's time to retreat from the garden. The grasshoppers, the white flies, the molds and fungus will thrive, while I neglect my duties in favor of air conditioning and icy drinks. 

Our summer will test the mettle of both plant and gardener, and the weak ones die or go dormant. I make quick forays in the mornings and evenings, yanking a few weeds and checking on the status of my tomatoes and green beans. I hastily tour other parts of the garden. It's green and lush, but on closer inspection I find leaves that are wilted and pitted with tiny holes. Something has been chomping on the foliage, leaving jagged edges. Weeds are sensing my flagging efforts and are putting on a new offensive, determined to take my paths. I won't let them. I will get them with the hoe this Saturday morning. Early.

Normally, people in my part of the country visit the Gulf this time of year. It is part of our culture. In the summer — and other times, too, if we can get away — we go to the beach. Now a great sadness has descended, and we wonder if the oil has reached our favorite spot. I heard that it has come upon Orange Beach. I am glad I spent a few days at Orange Beach earlier this year, before the greatest oil leak in history began its deadly flow into the Gulf. I sigh when I look back at my photos. It seems that summer has no redemption this year.

But I am an optimist. Gardening has shown me the resilience of the earth, and it has demonstrated resurrection and new life. It has taught me to take up my trowel and persevere, for there will be joy in the morning. 

Enough with gloom! Here is what is happening in my garden, today:

Trees are prospering, invigorated by the deep, soaking rains we experienced all spring.

The woodland garden is a quiet retreat.

Hydrangeas are still beautiful.

And a few other flowers bloom, too.top: Caryopteris ( blue mist spirea). Clockwise from above: Asclepsias (butterfly weed); Crepe myrtle; Gardenia; Speedwell

May you never lose hope. May you have courage, and may you have eyes to see things that are beautiful and good.

Happy summer!  Deborah 

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Reader Comments (11)

Deb, As someone who wilts when the temperature gets above 80F, I have sympathy for both you and your plants as you cope with the heat. But your gardens do look wonderfully lush, cool, and inviting.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJean

I hate the hot weather! I'm hoping for the best for the beaches and the ocean but every day it seems like the news gets worse. It is just awful.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

Your woodlands look like a beautiful park!

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGloriaBonde

"May you never loose hope" ................ you'll understand why those words jump out at me when you read my post for today.

Your blue hydrangea's really jumped out of the screen at me when I was scrolling down the page. Your garden looks like a wonderful retreat but I don't think I would cope well with your summer temperatures and would be retreating to somewhere with air conditioning aswell.

I'm sure the roots of your plants are really deep and will seek out every bit of available moisture.

Have a lovely weekend Deborah :) Rosie

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

Dear Deborah, The news from the Gulf is dreadful. It sickens one to read about it and I do so fear for all the wildlife. But, as you rightly say, one must have faith and nowhere is that more reinforced than in your lovely garden - the woodland part of which is, in my view, totally magical. I know it will bring you great joy in the months ahead.

And, Deborah, thank you so much for the kind and thoughtful message left on my recent 'Explanatory Note'. It was, and is, so very much appreciated and valued.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEdith Hope

How your gardens can look so cool and refreshing while it's so hot and sticky, I don't know, but your pictures make it all look inviting. I envy your long spring and how early everything blooms for you, but I don't envy your hot long summers. Stay cool.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Those are nice long view shots of your property. I like your assortment of tree shapes and colours.The gardens under the trees look cool and inviting, despite the real heat. Your blue hydrangea show so well under the trees, with orbs of blue beauty, love it.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNorthern Shade

It was 98 degrees here last weekend, I can more than empathize with air-conditioning (which we don't have) and icy drinks (which thankfully we do!). Despite good intentions, we achieved almost nothing in last weekend's heat. It just sort of sucks the energy right out of me. I'd much rather stay indoors on days like that, and visit the lovely flowers in your garden.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

You will soon have your first 100 posts ;-)

June 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelephant's eye

Deb, Your garden is stunning! The tree's colors and textures are beautiful and your blossoms make your garden a paradise ... a wonderful place to visit and nurture hope... when it is early and cooler. I am so sad for your loss of a favorite beach. I know how I would feel if it were my beloved Cape Cod beaches. Lovely inspiring post. We need clean green energy funding now. Carol

June 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

Judging by the pictures the trees and plants are unfazed by the heat and humidity, but I know they suffer too but just don't show it as well as us poor humans. I was in my garden all day today and I tell you I was thinking it was feeling pretty much like Alabama. Hot, humid and sticky! I was thinking to myself I might need to move more up north in Illinois or Indiana. Just thinking. Icy drinks sound too good!

June 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertina

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