Green Thumbs and 55 Gallon Drums: Mid-July Update

This past weekend, our Master Gardener group participated in the Green Thumb Clinic at the Indian River Mall.  Coordinated by Brenda Davis, we dispensed  brochures, fact sheets and knowledge re: native plants, xeriscaping and integrated pest management.

Indian River Master Gardeners at Green Thumb Clinic, July 14, 2012

I’m the empty chair next to Brenda! 😉

Sponsored by KIRB, (acronym = Keep Indian River Beautiful) the event highlighted the importance of water conservation.  One of the biggest draws of the afternoon was the agency’s demonstration (and sale) of rain barrels:

Rain barrels at the KIRB booth

Painted Rain Barrel

An artist was available to help with the painting!

I really enjoyed this day of community outreach geared specifically to year round residents!  Vero Beach is such a seasonal/resort locale, with most events scheduled from Fall to early Spring when the population increases. Kudos to KIRB for bucking this trend. 🙂

When I got back from the mall, I spent a significant amount of time in “gardening housekeeping”: weeding, repotting, moving a few plants from “wrong” spots to (hopefully) right ones! 😉  Oddly, I enjoy busy work in any setting because it allows my mind to wander, and wandering is what makes my mind happiest!

While puttering, I realized how different mid-July feels here compared to New England, and not just in terms of temperature/humidity!  Come mid summer there, a horrible trepidation would grab me…the days grew perceptibly shorter, the nights cooled quicker, fall back-to school clothes appeared when we still wanted shorts! Even Dick Albert‘s forecast for Dog Days of August was mockery ➡ “You like this hot weather? HA!  40degrees comin’ at you fast!!”  Then, a few months later, the ULTIMATE taunt: 3-4 days of Indian Summer with temps so nice and  trees so beautiful it could move you to weep…but really the tears were for an impending heating season colliding with the Christmas spending season and THIS most horrible of realizations ➡  It doesn’t get better til… next…. MAY????


So glad that cycle’s behind me! 🙂

Mid-July feels SO different here–there’s much to anticipate that’s pleasant, like orchids going into spike:

Brassia Maculata spike July 16, 2012

A spike in July means this Brassia Maculata will flower by early autumn.

And see the yellow Wedelia Trilobata behind the orchid? Known as Creeping Oxeye, this low perennial ground cover also makes pretty hanging basket arrangements:

Creeping Oxeye

By Halloween, these Wedelia Trilobata will be densely trailing from baskets on my porch!

My perimeter garden has evolved into a vine wall, half by design, half by nature, but everything there has one trait in common:

Vine Garden along the Perimeter

Everything blooms from fall through winter, and some go year round. 🙂

I love this next fact! Even when you start seeds behind schedule, they STILL have time here to germinate and bloom:

Snapdragon, seeded late, but blooming!

This snapdragon, started late, blooms despite the heat. When temps cool, it will rejuvenate and flower again!

In closing, there are only 3 things I miss about New England—my boys and tulips!  (oh, all right, 🙄 one more: occasionally I’m nostalgic for lilacs, too!)

Until next time….

🙂 🙂

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14 thoughts on “Green Thumbs and 55 Gallon Drums: Mid-July Update

  1. Jealous of your weather! It’s hazy hot and humid here in New Hampshire, and like you say , right after this we’re most likely going to go directly into Winter!

    • LOL that’s how it seems sometimes, I know!
      I check the MA weather via cell app every day, to see what my boys are dealing with; I’ve noticed how outrageously hot New England (and upper Midwest) have been over the past weeks! Let’s hope this above average trend continues through winter for all of you!

  2. I had so much fun with you that day! Thanks for posting my pictures-NOT! Oh, phones ringing, might be the congressman! Gotta go!

    • Thanks, E.C. and back-at-ya!! I just viewed your garden “mutants” (funny!!!) but also marvelled at how great your “normal” produce is growing! Keeping things healthy through your ludicrous heat-wave is NO easy task!

  3. My part of Maryland gets 4 seasons, a real change from northern Illinois where it usually felt like summer or winter. Another plus is the winters usually aren’t too bad. 🙂 Of course, summer can be brutal, like it is this year. But that seems to be true everywhere right now. Rain barrels are such a great idea. I wish more people would use them!

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