here comes the sun…

 

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It’s SUMMER here in Southwest Florida- no “if”s, “and”s, or “but”s about it.

The sun is blazing and bright, the plants need water at least once a day, and the heat-sensitive plants are beginning to shut down. I’ve been doing a ton of repotting- basically removing the plants before they get too dead (I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to being “hopeful” with an out of season, faded plant…) and shifting all-season plants into the larger containers. I’m moving all the smaller geraniums into large containers, three at a time. I never realized that you can plant several geraniums in one container and it basically looks like one big plant with a bunch of different color flowers. Plus, easier to move when the rainy season starts- geraniums hate being too wet.

On the flipside, the plants that love the heat are going crazy- almost all my hibiscus, even the ones I cut down to the main stalk, are growing, my rose bush is blooming quite a bit considering it never was much of a bloomer to begin with, and new seeds – mostly petunias – are starting to push through.

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Because of the sun and heat, I’ve moved my gardening to much earlier in the day. If I wait too long in the morning before I get out there, any plants with ANY splashes of water on their leaves fry in the sun- the drops of water turn into little magnification glasses. So I try and get out there much earlier and get everything done as quickly as possible. Since there’s so much to do on any given day, that doesn’t leave much time for simply enjoying the garden, but it’s okay. I kind of love the work.

Going into summer, I’m trying to be a lot more conscious of MY sun exposure, as well as my plants. I garden right before I swim so that I can get dirty and full of little leaves and things and just have it wash off in the pool (it’s my own pool, so I don’t care if a little bit of soil gets in it from time to time…). I do wear a rashguard when I garden/swim (a tight 50 SPF long-sleeve t-shirt designed to protect surfers from irritation) and tons of sun block, but in Florida, it only goes so far.

So I’m trying to garden and swim before the sun rises to the far side of the house, which doesn’t give me much time- just enough to get the watering done, get some pruning done, and then maybe do some re-potting.

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I am trying to enjoy this, though, because in a few weeks the stormy weather will come and the garden will basically take a nap until fall. I’d much rather hot sunshine than hot muggy thunderstorms, and I know my plants prefer it, too. So for now, I’m racing to keep up.

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