Urban Garden Denver Blog


Summer started this week, and even though we enjoyed a wonderful cool day on Wednesday, now it is hot, hot, hot. Not the most enjoyable time in the garden. I did get out Weds and deadhead, weed, trim and water. Now I am observing my garden from the porch or from inside. It’s just too hot to do anything in the garden, other than water. And watering too much makes me feel guilty, because already some of the rivers in the mountains are running very low due to the drought. The Yampa river in Steamboat Springs, a lovely place to spend a day, is now closed to tubing. And while it is all drought, heat and fire in Colorado, we read of floods in other parts of the country.

To be a good water citizen, and to protect some of my new plants, I am adding some spot watering to my garden cycle. Instead of just watering everything more frequently because of the hot weather, I am focusing on a little extra water for perennials that I planted this spring and early summer. I’m giving them an extra drink either in the morning or the evening, when the sun isn’t beating down on them. I have also moved a pot of flowers off the front steps and into the shade of the porch. My pots of lilies are almost done blooming and they are in partial shade anyway, so I didn’t move them. I am also mowing my lawn less frequently, and with the hot, dry weather, it isn’t growing as fast anyway.

This hot, dry weather reminds us that Denver is actually a semi-arid climate, and all the vegetation that we enjoy in our landscape is not native. I am so thankful for those who planted trees in my neighborhood many years ago. We have 2 large trees which shade our home, one on the east and one on the west, otherwise it would be truly unpleasant.

Water and shade are metaphors for spiritual refreshment as well. In the writings of Isaiah, an ancient Hebrew prophet, he talks about a hoped for time when righteous leaders … “will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert  and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.”  (Isaiah 32:2)

As I drink extra water on these hot days, I will be grateful for the gift of water, and for the refreshment it brings to my body and to the earth. And I will seek refreshment for my soul as well.

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