The heat is back on after a couple of days respite. We greeted the day with 90F (32C) and 59% humidity. There have been a few scattered mini showers lasting only long enough to dampen the soil and create the wonderful rainy, "wet pavement" smell. The pair of house finches displaced by a marauding raccoon came back to perch on the branch from which the birdhouse is hung. I assume they were surveying the damaged nesting material pulled and hanging out the birdhouse opening. They then spent some time eating thistle seed from the sock feeder, so I imagine they are not leaving the garden. Life goes on in nature...
I had a modest harvest of veg today. It is quite gratifying to actually grow your own food. The French radishes with their lovely pink and white tint, grow well in our heat and do not become so spicy they are inedible. The yellow pear tomatoes and the romas are starting to ripen. I am hoping to get enough to cook up and preserve as pasta sauce for use this winter. That event will surely make for an interesting blog post as my only caning experience is with apples for applesauce.The garden gives challenges as well as bounty.
The thunderclaps have started and it is now absolutely pouring down rain. Always a welcome garden event and at the very least cleaning the road dirt from plant leaves. The gladiolas have started to bloom, oddly enough singularly instead of en masse. Their colors are always a surprise and I tend to think they magically change colors from year to year. I know that is probably not true but their blooms are always a technicolor treat. The pinky-yellow one here by the knockout rose, which I swear has never been this shade before, is absolutely lovely. With my blog documentation, I can now keep track of these bloomin' glads and will definitely check color locations next year. Truly though, I love them no matter what color bloom they sport. Gladiolas grow well here with minimal attention, mainly just staking the droopy flower spikes with bamboo sticks and pipe cleaner twist ties. Even though our Midwest winters can be brutal, I do not pull out the bulbs, instead I just throw a little extra leaf mulch over their growing areas in the Fall. This year I'll probably toss around some bone meal too, for an extra bloom boost next season.
As I've said in a previous post, I add new multicolored gladiola bulbs every Spring and purchase more bamboo stakes to add to my collection. The garden becomes larger every year with brilliant patches of color from the bulbs, daylillies and divided perennials. My initial goal was to feed the bees and hummingbirds with my plantings, but I also feed my soul with the beauty and amazing environment of the garden.