In the garden…rescuing a beautiful beetle, transplanting agave, and Monsoon clean up in the pool.

July in our garden is usually spent cleaning up from the storms that head in during the evening hours. It’s also very humid this month. Add some heat to that and it’s not a good combination. In Arizona, we usually don’t have humidity, just around Monsoon season. I feel for you guys out there who deal with humidity all the time, it’s miserable. But all in all this summer hasn’t been too hot or unbearable. I will take humidity if it means rain storms. Love rain storms in the desert.

It’s so messy in the garden right now. Leaves everywhere, twigs along with bits and bobs from huge dust storms that blow in during the evenings. It wouldn’t surprise me if my neighbors umbrella is back there somewhere. The pool, the morning after a storm blows in, is always like a pond out in wild nature.

Where we live we can have animals but not horses. A block away there are homes that have larger lots that are allowed to own horses though. The owners who lived in our home years before us, used to have goats. There are mature trees in our neighborhood everywhere too, which is also very unusual here in Phoenix. Especially being that some of these historic homes are right in the middle of the city. Imagine having horses in a city? Only the historic districts have the streets filled with huge trees and gardens. We are also a neighborhood with no HOA.

Most neighborhoods here in Maricopa county all look exactly the same because of their HOA rules that come with monthly fees. Even when the homes are paid off, the HOA fees stay and can go up every year if they want. Imagine having to pay an HOA fee as high as the original mortgage years from now. Seems like a terrible idea to me. It means you don’t really have a say in your own property. Not a fan of HOAs. Keeps people in that dept slavery system. HOA’s charge people money just to make sure you follow rules. That just doesn’t make sense to me.

When you jump into our pool during July and Monsoon season there are usually leaves to clean up and always some critter that needs rescuing.

This month it was bees, and one beautiful little beetle that needed saving.

I remember as a kid my mother calling these beetles June bugs. Telling me that when she was a little girl she would catch them and tie them to a string and let them fly around her. Is this something that any of you out there have heard of? I never did it though, always thinking that it would be awful to be tied liked that, not having the freedom of being able to fly where you wanted.

I watched my little June bug that I rescued for awhile and then it crawled away. Once it was dry it opened it’s wings and flew off. Such a beautiful color too.

Here are some flowers that popped out to greet us in July. I am surprised we are still getting some flowers but then we did get a lot of rain this summer, that has helped.

Night blooming jasmine is coming out more this month then last month. Night time swimming is filled with the fragrance of Jasmine everywhere.
I forget what these flowers are called. They are itty bitty and so adorable.
What a surprise this flower was. My husband told me one early morning that there were all kinds or pretty lavender flowers in bloom by the garden hose.
Another surprise was this huge cacti flower from a plant that my husband’s aunt who passed away last summer had given us. We have had this cactus for years now since she moved and this year it finally produced a flower. The petals are so soft and transparent. It’s how I imagine angel wings would look like.

There really isn’t a lot to summer gardens in the desert. Desert soil is like cement, makes it sturdy for adobe homes though. I know my regular followers have heard this enough…but we grow our garden mostly in pots not only because it makes it easier to control the soil we mix but also uses less water. Just have to be careful that your potted gardens are in the shade for the summer. Baked roots kill plants.

We buy our dirt from a local business that sells several types of soil by the truck load. It is so much cheaper then buying from the big chain stores that sell soil by the bags. A truck load of soil cost less then two bags of dirt from the big chain stores.

Here are some plants that are still hanging on. Last summer was so difficult, it was super dry and no rain during Monsoon, mostly just giant dust storms. This year our state is experiencing flooding, scary flooding too.

I transplanted some of these baby spiders into pots this month and brought them inside the house.
An old mattress Spring helps protect seedlings from the wild doves and birds that visit our garden. I leave wild bird seed out for them along with water but they still love to pick through our organic garden.
Another surprise were a couple of carrots we found one morning. We haven’t planted carrots yet, at least we didn’t think so. A couple of seeds must have found their way out of our seed library.

One of the big projects I decided to tackle this month was to transplant some agave that my husband planted awhile back. The agave area was a huge mess, still is, so much to transplant and try to save.

Some baby agave are planted into empty food cans. Holes are poked in bottom for drainage. We live in a throw away nation but look around and you will be surprised with all the things that can be reused for other purposes.

Being that it is Monsoon season means the bugs are out. The chickens wait by their coop to be let out and love exploring around the garden after a good rain storm and eating all the little bugs everywhere. We don’t use harsh chemicals in our garden so there is plenty of life out there for the chickens to eat. It would also harm our bees if we sprayed chemicals everywhere.

This month a chick hatched from our hens that was different from the other chicks. It was a speckled black and white chick. My daughter has this fascination with cows and spotted animals so she fell in love with this baby chick and now cuddles with it. She even named it, calling it Lil Tex. I told her if she makes that chick a pet that it will have to wear one of those chicken diapers around the house. No way am I dealing with chicken poop in the house. Chickens are not clean creatures.

We got some berries this month to try and keep alive. I hope we can, these were a gift to us.

That’s about it for July. I’m actually pretty impressed this year with the garden. I was worried it would look so dry and dead out there this summer, like last summer. In the Spring I started planting and propagating only the hardy plants that survive in drought conditions. I have a large pallet garden that peppers and basil are still growing in. I covered it in shade fabric and that has helped it stay cooler. The garden surprisingly looks green with all the cacti I planted. You can spend a little time outside in the early morning hours and at night. Not so bad this year with the heat. Hard work pays off in the end, July was a good month after all. Happy gardening everyone.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. LOL, a chicken in the house would be disastrous! I mean, Lil Tex is cute and everything, but you’re absolutely right; chickens are NOT clean creatures. 😉 I never knew how messy they could be until I got my own. But I still love them, regardless. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way. I have seen Youtubers that have chickens as pets and they are always wearing diapers. I laughed when I saw that the first time. Man, are they ever messy. It is hard keeping up with them outside. I can’t imagine bringing them inside but to each his own as they say.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 1972italy says:

    I love all the beauty you have! Good luck with the clean up and all the animals! I have a small zoo myself but they are mostly low maintenance (haha). But I love them regardless. With all you have I am surprised at how much you accomplished. Well done! You are better than I!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, that is so sweet. It’s important to always have animals around us, they keep so many happy. Taking care of life does take up time but it is a nice way to spend the day. Your dogs are so cute too, they look like smiling dogs. That always makes me laugh when it looks like a dog is smiling. Have a beautiful week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1972italy says:

        You are very welcome. And thank you about my pups. The girls help keep my sanity (mostly lol). Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

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