“ Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”
If you ever get the urge to visit Phoenix Arizona, skip the month of July. You know, now that I think about it…just skip these next three months. July is the first month for all us regular locals still stuck here, where we tell ourselves “You can make it, you’re almost there” and the “There” is our beautiful Fall/Winter/Spring seasons.
July is a very disappointing month for us gardeners here. At least they are for my husband and I. We are still baby gardeners, still learning how this all works. Plus, we live in a desert after all, which comes with deadly temps and soil like concrete.
Our garden in July is mostly dry and crunchy. We can get up early and water and then water again in the evening, which we do, but each year we always end up with a crunchy garden. We allow our grass to die in the summer, it doesn’t look pretty but to keep it really green would waste a lot of water. Most of our garden is in pots and we water early in the morning or in the evening hours. The water would evaporate if we watered during the hottest part of the day.
What ever new plant or flower that shows up in our summer months is always a surprise to me, a special gift that was already in my garden soil. Like God sent me flowers anyway knowing they are rare here in the desert summer months. During the summer every time a flower pops out I am so happy to get it. Here are this months flowers that greeted me. Jasmine, mini red roses and a pink lily. Biggest surprise was our cacti that only blooms at night gave me six giant flowers this month.
Okay, what has been going on out here…a whole lot of cooking that’s what. It’s an oven outside right now. I’m not cooking, our garden is.
Like I wrote above, we get up early, around 5:30 am, sometimes earlier and water everything. Then clean, water and feed the poultry. The pool also gets cleaned and vacuumed everyday during Monsoon season ,which we are in. Sometimes we have to vacuum and clean the pool twice when our giant haboobs roll in. It is hard to breath during those events. We all go inside and come out after the haboob passes.
I don’t mind watering. I love watching how the light and water dance together creating beautiful pictures. It’s a whole art show out there early in the morning. So many things I am thankful for, and water is at the top of that list.Water is the true gold of our lifetime. There are some corrupt individuals who have known this for decades. They have been storing up that blue gold for a very long time now.
Every living person should always have access to water and I don’t mean bottled up either. Real water from this land we all share, not water packaged all up with a pretty label on it. Anyway, early in the morning I love watching the light change every second that goes by . To do that you have to wake up with the sun.The light coming through our grape leaves creates the most beautiful colors.
Like a painting.
With no new plants to purchase since I have been keeping home mostly, I instead did a lot of cacti transplants. To keep a garden green and pretty during all it’s seasons takes a lot of work. You plant what you have and try to make it work.
The house plants seem to be holding up well. I have been planting baby spider plants in the empty pots I have.
Most of these empty planters were cleaned up and in their place there will be low water plants that do better in the heat.
I had to bring my fern inside. It is struggling right now. I need to find a new pot for it but we kind of have a shortage of pots in our city. There are plenty of really expensive decorative ones but I do not have 100 dollars to waste on a pot to save a fern. Even the second hand shops have a shortage of things. I hope I can keep this giant fern alive. The leaves keep dropping every day. If anyone has tips, please let me know.
My propagating library shelf was taken apart, spread out and moved to other locations around our home.
Some plants were kept inside and some were taken outside. If a plant dies I try to replace it with something alive that is out in my garden. How depressing to walk by something dead or empty. There in lies the beauty of a garden, that never ending cycle of growing and creating. Just like in life with all our struggles, we still keep learning things, appreciating things and growing in all that process.
The tiny succulents I tried to keep alive did not make it.
I had to empty the propagating library for jars, to find a place to store all our jars we have been collecting and using for our Fall canning. My cousin had a cabinet she was giving me and was going to drop it off but then everyone in her family got sick with the Red Monster, including her. We never met up and now she is healing at home.
I also had to transplant our Christmas tree from last year. Poor thing. I had it in an older pot that was just melting away. I hate that when pots do that. I tried to save it by putting a type of glue around it, seeing if maybe that would work…well it didn’t as you can very well see. Another nailed it moment. Hey, at least I gave it a go.
If you see a lot of pots in my garden with rope, twine and yarns wrapped around them, it’s because they were probably falling apart in chunks and melting away at one time. I try to make things last. So upsetting to see these so called planned obsoletes happening with all our products year after year. Such greed will be the end of things if we don’t start turning it around. Even the expensive pots fall apart.
I transplanted last years Christmas tree to this white pot that used to have pretty flowers in it. You all know what happened to the flowers…they got the heck out of dodge. They were not sticking around for our summer months. Smart flowers.
Now I will see if my little Christmas tree comes back. I hope so. Who even knows what this years Christmas will look like, I will try to be optimistic about it. All I want this year for Christmas is for my family and friends to remain safe and healthy. That will be the best gift of all time.
We also transplanted some baby agave. We have no problem with Aloe and Agave right now. It grows like weeds here. Maybe next month I will do my garden post just on Aloe Vera.
We got some new chicks. So sweet and so tiny. I still can not believe how much these tiny little creatures poop. Reminds me of when my children were babies and that shock of how many diapers we went through. Guess all babies poop a lot. Some humor there, but again, they really do poop a lot. So for any of you wanting to raise quail, know that you will be getting up early to clean up after them.I brought this up in my last post, guess with the heat here and all, poop clean up is not fun in the summer.But, oh my goodness, aren’t they adorable little things, who cares about the clean up.
Our indoor garden is not doing so well either. Man, I am just a ray of sunshine this month aren’t I?. We are trying to figure out hydroponics .We have decided to switch to dirt for the summer because it is too hot for hydroponics. We got a bad case of tiny white flies. Nothing a little dawn soap couldn’t take care of.
Summer in Phoenix is just hard, just being honest. I want all you early gardeners out there to know the whole truth when it comes to gardening here in Phoenix.This month was a disappointing month in the old garden department but I was still happy with the things that are still alive. Not throwing in the towel yet and never will. Gardening is too fun to stop.Just the cycle of life and all it’s beauty. I love the struggle and happiness I feel when something does make it. What an accomplishment when a goal is completed and when we don’t get the outcome we wanted, we at least learn what not to do the next time, because of that, gardening will never be a waste of time to me.
Mostly what I did for my gardening activities this month was transplant a whole lot of cacti everywhere. Most of these cacti will be future gifts for the holiday season. I believe plants are the perfect gifts to give out to those hard to buy for people in our lives.
I need to clean up some of my garden chairs, that will be put on next months list of unfinished projects. And this cacti garden my kids put together one year needs an update of some sort. I thought I could paint something pretty in the white areas of the blocks.
Also I have that miniature fairy garden to create. I want to put it in my kid’s old red wagon. That one might have to wait awhile because it is really warm out there right now. Too hot to spend too much time out there working on a miniature garden for the inner child in me. Sometimes you have to keep that inner child happy, keeps the soul happy. Maybe I will save this project for the Fall and even add tiny pumpkins and Fall related items. Visit some local farmer’s markets to get ideas and be inspired by. those little markets I love visiting when the temps cool down. Could be a fun photo opportunity.
I once again was not able to get a photo of the wild lovebirds in our area. One morning I heard the sounds the neighborhood love birds make and way up hanging out in our trees were tiny lovebird babies trying out their new wings. Story goes that someone decades ago had a couple green lovebirds that escaped. They populated the whole north side of our city. They even have a website where neighbors report their sittings. Not local to the area, it is treat to see them flying across the sky with their bright green colors. Like we live somewhere tropical. I never have my camera with me and when I do they are too far away to get a good shot.
That’s it for this months garden updates How are all your gardens coming along?. Happy gardening adventures everyone.
To see a photo of the love birds I am talking about click on this link below. https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/rosy-faced-lovebird
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