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Since watching your show and following this blog, then fully realizing the dreadful heat and humidity in which you garden, I humbly bow to your stamina, sir. Here in 5b, for me anyway, it's a mad rush to get everything done by early July. After that, it's back into the ac surfacing for routine maintenace only (and an evening cocktail on the patio, of course!)

M. M. McGrath

I moderate a gardening forum and with members scattered around the country we really get an education about the challenges facing gardeners around the country. In the Northeast, cold and rain has done in some crops and helped others and we are facing late blight, a nasty problem. In Florida, torrential rains and voracious insects have about destroyed some gardens almost completely. Our members in the Southwest are not experiencing anything unusual; just the typical high heat, drying winds, inhospitable soils and withering sun. We certainly gain an appreciation for the challenges and benefits of each growing region.


I agree. In fact a friend was by this morning and we were bemoaning the heat and drought. Suddenly we looked around at all the plants that carry on in spite of the heat and drought. Almost instantly we both had the thought that we were indeed lucky to live in a place where we can garden 9 months of the year. The heat and drought is the price we pay for this privildge!

Brandon Gay

My wife and I were recently in the market for a house and the first thing I always did was check out the yard: How big was it? Is the soil good? Is there lots of full sun (shade can always be created where you want it)? Were there any undesirable hard-to-eliminate elements to the yard? I wanted the perfect place to garden. Long story short, we inherited my family house and decided to make it our permanent home. The yard has almost none of what I was looking for. Huge maple trees grow in the front, shading most of the front lawn and robbing the top soil of nutrients with their shallow root system. The back yard is very small and is run over by a very invasive trumpet vine. You can't dig a whole anywhere without hitting a tree root.

At first, I complained about all of these problems. But, then I realized if gardening wasn't challenging, it wouldn't be any fun. The pride and enjoyment we get out of our gardens is from the work we put into creating and maintaining beauty and producing our own organic food. The natural world is a rough one. It gets hot, it gets cold, it hails and it floods. But, that's part of the excitement. Growing a garden is full of ups and downs, challenges and triumphs. It's an adventure. The greater the challenges, the greater the adventure. And, everybody's adventure is a little different.


I can't imagine gardening anywhere except the maritime northwest, except maybe Hawaii, but if I had the misfortune to live anywhere else, I'd garden anyway. I can't help myself.


sharon summed it up well, and could have written that post for me. up until recently, i was an admin on a large garden forum. and i've learned lots about other's situations! and i've decided i'll take 87% humidity over 107 degrees any day!


The heat here in the south is so oppressive because of that humidity thing. This July has been very odd and very wet though here in Tennessee. It's probably been the coolest July on record and last week while I was outdoors most of the week (teaching music at a camp) the temperatures were near perfect. Low 80's, a few clouds, a nice breeze and very little to complain about. But that's not normal. My brother who lives in California had 110 degree temps this week. I'll stay here in TN!


I think this attitude comes from the fact that so much of the literature is of British origin. There it really is warm in the winter, cool in the summer, always a little damp, and everything is covered in slightly acidic loam.
So, when it actually does drop below 0F in the winter, and finding soil other than alkaline clay requires ripping open a bag, you feel a bit put upon!


Well, we had your 107 degree weather in Seattle, and you can have it back. We don't have pleasant air conditioned houses to retreat into. A number of my plants are looking crispy in spite of plenty of water and umbrellas over them. Cloud forest plants don't like a 105.

Barbara L. S.

Living in central Texas, I can understand the hot weather. We are having the 100+ degrees and it's not fun to work outside. (We live in zone 7)
Have a question: While mowing the yard late this afternoon, I noticed green bugs on one of the oak trees in the yard(they have been flying everywhere). The bugs were clamoring all over one another trying to get down into the crevices between the bark ridges. I took pictures in hopes The Gardener Guy, Paul James could tell me what the bugs were doing. It looks like they are trying to get at the sap of the tree and the specific areas looks brown. If anyone has a possible answer, I would appreciate it very much! Thanks for any help! Keep cool in this hot weather!

Monica the Garden Faerie

Learning about regional differences is one of the things I've enjoyed most about blogging. It's especially fascinating to me how some things are on the exact same schedule everywhere, more or less, and how some vary a lot. (I had a really good example plant, but of course have forgotten it now. DOH!)

Advanced horticultural oil

About the green bugs, it is hard to say what they are, but it is safe to say that this product will help get rid of them.


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