Urban Garden Denver Blog

After the Heat

This weekend I have assessed the state of my garden. I was gone for the first 2 weeks of July, then we had a week of HOT weather that kept me away from serious garden chores, other than early morning watering forays. So yesterday I strolled around to pick a bouquet and today I assessed the garden work that I need to resume now that it is less than 90 degrees.

First of all, the fact that our first hot week in Denver was the week of July 20 rather than June 20 is wonderful. Most summers we have already had many hot days by this point in the summer. And our pattern of thunderstorms and rain showers has kept the garden looking better than average this year.

So what did I find on my stroll around the garden?

– Lovely flowers – some of my perennials are on their second blooming this summer, which doesn’t always happen and is a welcome treat. The last few lilies are opening. The seeds I scattered in the back garden area have rewarded me with cosmos, bachelor buttons and small sunflowers.lily

– Many weeds. Many, many, many weeds. After my 2 week absence, I caught up on weeding in the front garden, but I didn’t make it to the back garden before the heat settled in. The cosmos, bachelor buttons, sunflowers and nasturtiums are bravely stretching upward, trying to outpace the grass weeds and bindweed that is competing for attention. This week I must attack the weeds or the flowers will be overcome. Not my favorite part of gardening, but essential so I can enjoy the beauty. I try to set weeding goals, such as a quick spurt of weeding while I grill dinner, or one big bucket of weeds to fill before I take a break.weeds

– My new plantings seem to have survived the heat. Between vacation and the hot week, I took out some salvia and replaced it with lavender. Salvia is a great plant, but I had become tired of the overabundant growth habit, and wanted something more fragrant and less out-of-control looking along my walkway. I know that in an ideal world I would have planted the lavender sooner, but I didn’t want to plant them before I left for 2 weeks. So I carefully watered them during the hot spell and it looks like they have survived. Hopefully they will root well and be lovely over the next few years.lavendar

– My lawn looks shaggy. I purposely didn’t mow last week because of the heat. I need to mow now. ¬†But my lawn is greener than it has ever been in late July, since I am skimpy with water. Again, the periodic rains have helped our normally drought-prone area.cut flowers

I enjoy my imperfect garden, the blossoms, the beauty unfolding, the flowers bravely peering above the weeds. And I enjoy the sense of accomplishment from small tasks, such as filling a bucket with weeds. On the downhill side of summer, I want to savor as many moments in my garden as possible.