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barefootinct

Too hot to garden

barefootinct
17 years ago

Okay, I complained about all the rain. Now I'll complain about the heat. It's too hot to garden! Went to the beach today instead.

Patty

Comments (36)

  • martieinct
    17 years ago

    Not at 5:30am :-) I took this week off to garden. Yeah, right. So far I've weeded everything but while watching the sun come up right along with the thermometer. Was planning on hitting some sales and doing some planting but what's in the ground is starting to cringe so decided against that.

    Since it is vacation I'm entitled to certain perks, right? So, hired a great landscape client to come over and edge everything. To me, hiring someone to do something like this is pure luxury!!

    Martie, lounging at 7:15a with a second glass of Iced Coffee

  • WendyB 5A/MA
    17 years ago

    I've been hitting some sales too lately with this heat. BUt I won't plant them yet. I'll just hold them over in pots.

    I actually divided some purchased plants into pots last week and will keep them in the shade for the duration of the heatwave. As soon as things cool down, I'll plant them. Or maybe even wait til September and let them develop more roots til then.

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  • Sue W (CT zone 6a)
    17 years ago

    Everything is on hold here too except watering the pots. Somehow I tweaked my back a week or so ago and have been trying to take it easy anyway. Where was that person in May that I told to remind me not to plant this many containers? Last night was brutal. I went out just after 7 to water and it was still above 90 F. I think I watered everything in record time and high tailed it back into the house. It's supposed to break this afternoon but the downside is potential damage from whatever thunderstorms roll through.

    Sue

  • ginny12
    17 years ago

    This is the first time this year I have had to water my perenial border and island beds. I have a lot of shade which cuts down on watering anyway--tho it also cuts down on flowers :(. The weeds are bad but it's just too hot for me to work out there. My containers are now very large and once a day is not enough. It's pretty unbearable.

  • Cady
    17 years ago

    I watered this way: One for the plants, one for me (running the water on my arms, legs and face). Managed to plant almost all of my pot ghetto before the heat. Tomorrow is supposed to be much cooler, so I'm going to go back to beating back a monstrous privet hedge that has gotten a reprieve for the past couple weeks.

    Yesterday, however, was just watering, then heading for Marshall's to scoop up cheap gardening books ($3.99) and enjoy the air conditioning.

  • sedum37
    17 years ago

    One good thing I've noticed with all the heat is people are holed up at home so the stores are pretty sparse. When has anyone ever gone to Christmas Tree Shop and been able to get a parking spot next to the handicapped parking? I did yesterday! The parking lot and store were nearly empty. I was checking out the end of season gardening clearance stuff. No great finds but if you have a kid going to college lots of neat things for dorm rooms there. Great prices on all that stuff.

    Sue

  • ginny12
    17 years ago

    What! The Christmas Tree Shop is empty and I'm sitting here in front of this computer. I have got to rearrange my priorities!! Seriously--and very OT--don't you find that the Christmas Tree Shop doesn't have as much good stuff since the family that started it sold it a couple of years ago? I definitely notice a difference.

  • sedum37
    17 years ago

    Ginny - It is a fun store to shop in. I now work only 1.5 miles fron one so do get to pop in there more often now. It was very strange seing it so empty though. I don't know if I notice a difference in the goods but I may not be the best judge.

    Sue

  • barefootinct
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Once when my children were little I was shopping at The Christmas Tree Shop and after a few minutes one of my kids said, "Is this the Crazy Store?" Yes. Yes it is. I don't go there often but it always seems pretty crazy there to me!

    I actually prefer Ocean State Job Lots. They have decent gardening things and every year their spring bulbs come up beautifully for me.

    Patty

  • ginny12
    17 years ago

    I must confess that I bought 35 white china Nantucket baskets for $1.99 each at the Christmas Tree Shop and planted them with pink impatiens--in advance so they'd look fuller--for a shower a few years ago. The very same white china Nantucket baskets selling for a princely sum at gift shops elsewhere. Don't you just love a bargain?

  • chelone
    17 years ago

    I thought I was going to die on Wednesday. The shop was absolutely stifling and I was working on a canopy that was roughly 300-350 sq.ft., Sunbrella "True Brown". Under the best metoroligical conditions it's a pretty good work out, but it was pure grit and determination to set the final 108 grommets and then fan fold it for installation. I quit at 10:30, when the vinyl for the cushion job hadn't arrived.

    All cats were very L O N G. Two outdoors, two inside. Outdoor kitties were: sacked out in the shade under the "Tokyo Delight" hydrangeas, in the "bower of death" (behind a large Krossa Regal hosta) pressed up against the foundation near the front door. The dog was on the ground floor, enjoying the cool the slab construction offers. We don't use air conditioning; just awnings and fans when it gets really hot.

    We went out for lunch.

    Thursday was better, but it was still nearly 77 degrees when I left for work at 5:30 AM. According to the helpmeet, the front pushed through somewhere between noon-1PM; he was working outdoors with a contractor to complete the "materials depot" we've talked about for years. Finally! a place for loam, compost, stonedust, all the things you want to have on hand.

    I've been wondering how the more southern participants have been faring.

  • pablo_nh
    17 years ago

    Honestly- I just can't stomach the Christmas tree shop. My ex-MIL would go there, load up on ceramic rabbits and nick-nacky poop for us that we just couldn't stand- so we'd keep it in a closet because we felt guilty just Good Willing it right away.

    "It's only $2!"- ya, and I've...uhhh... always wanted one :)

    Really- I think it's a temple of American consumerism :)

  • martieinct
    17 years ago

    This morning it was cool enough to go out for something other than an hour of power weeding before 7am. The damage assessment isn't as bad as I thought it could be. Lost a few tops of perennials (geraniums, stokesia and columbine took particular beatings) but other than that, looks like things will perk back up in no time.

    The storms we had did nothing other than rinse the dust off foliage and blow down some stuff that needed to be deadheaded, anyway. Watering parts of the southwest-facing border may be in order. It would be the first time this year.

    I [gratefully] didn't do a ton of containers this year and am glad I won't need to do 3x/day watering again for awhile.
    Officially, our community hit a high of 105degF without the heat index that brought it up to around 115. With 70% humidity, I feel fortunate that I didn't lose more plant. Connecticut Z6 plants just aren't use to Z10. My Florida girlfriend called to suggest I visit to cool off :-)

    Give me a blizzard any day.

    Martie

  • barefootinct
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    My two cats were splayed against the window screens on the "cool" side of the house for some time yesterday. Then they tried it outside. The female choose wisely and was apparently cool. The knuckleheaded male couldn't take it and came inside to find some cool corner in the basement.

    Chelone, for goodness sakes, you should have taken a break and tipped a toe or more into the Atlantic Ocean!

    We don't use AC either and it is a conscious decision. Except for a few days and nights each year I don't feel the need for it. I do like AC in my car though.

    Went out to the garden and the beans are forming their own country and holding elections, meanwhile we picked 12 cucumbers. The veggies are loving this weather even if the flowers are drooping.

    Patty

  • hostasz6a
    17 years ago

    You know it is hot when you have to water the containers twice in a day! I ran over to Target to get some things and the young lady checking me out was from Jamaica. I said something like you must be used to this weather and she said this was worse than in Jamaica.

    Boy, we needed the rain. No damage at my place, luckily.

    My pole beans look like a jungle.

    This is a little early, but one of my hardy hibiscus is starting to open. It was a seedling my daughter got from a neighbor two years ago. The flowers are a deep pink. The intense heat really pushes the season along more than I like it.

  • Sue W (CT zone 6a)
    17 years ago

    I thought I was one of the few people left who use air conditioning sparingly-although I have to admit we've been running it for the past couple of nights. My house doesn't have central air. We've gone back and forth about having it installed but usually come to the conclusion that for the handful of days you need it it's not worth the $10K or so it would cost to have it put in. A couple of years ago we bought a new window unit for under $500 that is lighter, more quiet, more energy efficient and cools the whole first floor of the house. People I know who have CA tend to run it all summer. They never open their windows, and have zero tolerance for heat.

    At any rate, glorious summer weather appears to be back. Get out and enjoy!

    Sue

  • chelone
    17 years ago

    Patti,

    I grew up the part of NH where there are lots of lakes. I think the ocean is fit only for floating boats, and fishing. It's too cold to really enjoy, the waves preclude real "swimming", and that cold, coupled with that god-awful scum on your skin makes it about as appealing as a dip in sewer to someone like me. ICK! (and I have a Life Saving certification as well as WSI).

    I've never had the luxury of swimming in WARM saltwater, so the "scum" comment is probably unfair...

  • chelone
    17 years ago

    We have eschewed air conditioning by choice, too!!

    We never had it when I was a kid. Mum always said, "healthy people don't need it, dear and it's really an expensive luxury". I have to say, I think she wasn't too far off the mark.

    I made awnings for the southern windows years ago. Interior temperatures went down by 10 (count 'em!) degrees. I added a canopy for the deck and it dropped another few degrees. Screens increased our "space" markedly.

    We have used old-fashioned means to keep the house as cool as we're able without using more electricity than we already do. I am disturbed that "ordinances" and lost wisdome have relegated the benefits of something as SIMPLE as awnings from our "first line". If we all used these methods we could greatly reduce our dependency on artificial cooling!

    Our next "investment" is probably going to be a "house fan", located in the "attic". One that kicks on when the temperature reaches as certain point. Do any of you use one? How do you like it?

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    17 years ago

    Chelone...

    My, my, my...living right near the ocean and wishing for a lake? ! [g] I understand your reports of the water being too cold. I grew up heading to the North Shore of Mass beaches in the summer and that was the only swimming we got to do and cold or not, we went in. We got used to being numb. lol

    I still love to go in the ocean. I was able to get there a few years ago, and chose to go late in the summer after the heat had warmed the water some. Also, you are near Ogunquit, right? They have that little inlet/river at the beach there and the water warms up there. Plus the water is moving pretty quickly with the tide going in or going out and nothing is more fun than getting on an inner tube and floating down that salt water river. Just like River Country! :-) The last time I went, after the first couple of times, I got used to the water temperature and it was very comfortable and refreshing.

    What is this 'scum' in the water you refer to? Never went in ocean water that wasn't crisp, clear and clean. What is that murky stuff growing on the bottom of lakes? [g] My mother used to tell us how healing salt water is too, and so I always feel like I am getting a special spa treatment. lol

    I agree with your views on a/c, unfortunately, I have some health issues that are greatly worsened by heat, so a/c is a necessity for me. We use window air conditioners and can't wait for temps that allow us to leave it off as much as possible.

    My Mom used to teach us how to keep the house cool when we were small. We didn't have a/c then and pulling the shades down before the sun hit the windows was important. Then once the sun went down, the shades came up, the windows and curtains were opened and the fans went on. No using the stove on hot days if you could help it. Going out for a ride for an ice cream at night if it was too warm. It was great.

    We installed a 'house fan' probably 20 years ago and it was one of our best investments. It really makes a big difference most of the time. BUT, the outside air has to be cooler than the inside air and if it is really humid, you have to be careful as you are drawing moisture into your attic space. But on those days that are really hot all day and then after sunset, the temps drop into the 70s or 60s..wow, it is really wonderful. We get a lot of use out of it. One other benefit, is the sound of it when you are sleeping at night is very pleasant and muffles noise for those light sleepers in the house.

    :-)

  • chelone
    17 years ago

    The "scum" is the residual salt on your skin after you dry off. It dessicates my skin (very fair) and it never ceases to amaze me that I'm surrounded by water and have NO desire to venture in. As I said, I might feel differently if the water was warm enough to be pleasant. But 70-72 degrees TOPS ain't waHm enough for me.

    Interestingly, most of the fishermen I know don't know how to swim! "What's the point? boat goes down the water'll kill ya before you reach the shore or anyone get to ya..."

  • martieinct
    17 years ago

    I am a member of ACA - Air Conditioners Anon. Never was until this summer when my 49yo body started causing heat waves of it's own. Not too pleasant public conversation, for sure, but having grown up in a late 1700's house, living in the maids quarters of a Victorian mansion and a converted summer cottage with -0- windows along with some other not-so-cooling habitats, this year it's on full blast and I'm appreciating the luxury.

    I still find myself going out to breathe "real" air, and tonight it's being shut down in favor of cooler temps. It's kind of like camping -- when one is young a pup tent and fire for three weeks is just great fun, now I'd be thinking about a shower :-)

    Martie

  • barefootinct
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Okay, Chelone, this is too much! You don't go swimming in the ocean? You don't go wading in the ocean? You don't ride the waves? Oh you are missing out!

    I know the water is cold at York Beach, but I say if I get in up to my ankles and I can still feel my feet then head long in I go. It takes one's breath away but after awhile you don't notice it. Then ride the waves. Yes, my sisters, my 67 year old mother, my kids and nieces and nephews, we ride the waves into the shore and laugh like the children some of us are.

    My husband is confused when we tell him the water is "like bath water!"...meaning that is not as cold that day as usual. "Since when do you take a bath in 65 degree water!?"

    Love it...and all my 44 years of riding the waves at York Beach I've never encountered any "scum". Honey, you've got to try it.

    By the way, Martie, next week I will be camping, in a tent.

    :)

    Patty

  • Cady
    17 years ago

    I don't have an air conditioner, but do have ceiling fans in the living room and bedroom, and a box fan I can tote to other rooms as needed. When it gets to that rare time when it's just too hot, I have an excuse to go to the movies or Borders/Barnes-Noble.

    Yes, Christmas Tree Shoppes really is different now since the family sold out. There are still cheap goods, but none of the fun "where did they find THIS?!" stuff that used to be the trademark feature. It's not fun now. And Pablo, they did have loads of non-knickknacky poop. Once they had loads of healthy, fruit laden blueberry bushes for real cheap. And strawberries. You never knew what you'd find, but it was worth wading through the poop to get blueberries.

    I have lots of containers this year, but all within hose range. I just stand at the spigot and point the hose and everyone is watered.

  • mskee
    17 years ago

    What a fun thread! Of course, I am in a better mood tonight, as the intense heat has "broken," and my dahlias did not get destroyed in the storm this week...

    Ah, we New Englanders love to remain tough in the toughest of situations...! I, too, am not a "fan" of air conditioning, but have found it a necessity to sleep at night. In the past few years. AKA, age-related heat disorder. ;) Other than that, the heat really doesn't bother me! I'm out there, walking, jogging, gardening, watching the sun set, whatever. Rejoicing in the fact that it's summer.

    Christmas Tree Shops. I love them too. You have a choice whether you will buy chochkies (sp?), or find a great fiberglass planter...sometimes it's great buys, sometimes it's just entertainment.

    Emily

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    17 years ago

    Chelone,

    OK, now I know what you are talking about. That tight dry feeling you get on your skin after the salt dries when you have been in the water. I don't mind that feeling except on my feet. I hate it on my feet, but they have one of those watering spigots in the parking lot, so you can run the water over your feet. Or we would have bottled water leftover or melted ice in the cooler and rinse the sand and salt off our feet when we got back to the car and wipe with a towel and you're all set for the ride home. :-)

    Yes, I LOVE the shower when I get home from the beach, it is the best, when you really feel you need it. lol But when the salt is drying on my skin after going in the ocean, well, I just imagine how good it is for me, all those minerals being absorbed through my skin. I am pretty fair too, so I have to keep a hat on at the beach and wear a Tshirt in the water too.

    So, since you live so close to the water but don't swim in it, I am sure there is something about living near the water that you particularly enjoy?

  • pablo_nh
    17 years ago

    Just got back from a conference in Hawaii. The waves were great- my wife got the wind knocked out of her, and I got a couple of scrapes from boogie-boarding. (Kauai- picture the most beautiful beach that you ever saw- there's one a dem every 1/4 mile around the island. Wow) Anyway- I just love going where you can stay in the water. South facing on the Cape is pretty good like that.

    We have AC only in our bedroom. We use it at night and getting ready for work when it's hot- it stinks to take a shower then be nasty sweaty before you even leave for work!

  • Sue W (CT zone 6a)
    17 years ago

    Chelone, your unique outlook on everything never disappoints-ocean scum...lol. You do know you live in paradise, woman.

    Growing up I spent many a vacation at Hampton Beach. Next to being let loose all day to the arcades with a couple of bucks as an allowance, the one thing I remember is how your ankles hurt when you first went into the water. Of course that didn't prevent you from spending hours riding waves and dodging the undertow. I'm embarassed to admit that it's been years and years since I've been to an ocean beach. Sitting in the sun is not my thing (sitting in general is something I have a tough time doing) and I don't care for crowds. Maybe one of these days...Crane's Beach in Ipswich is my favorite. As a single person I spent a few years bumming around that whole area.

    Before I moved to CT I never heard of anyone having central air in their house. Here everyone has it. If their house wasn't built with it, they have it installed. We have awnings on all the west facing windows an I do pull blinds and use fans. I agree though that there is a benefit to AC for people with allergies. We've been running it in the bedroom most nights this week and I've never slept better because my allergy afflicted husband isn't snoring. lol Usually I need earplugs and still end up having to wander into the guestroom in the middle of the night. This week has been a dream.

    Martie, I used to backpack for days through the White Mts. Now my idea of roughing it is a Holiday Inn without a cocktail lounge.

    Sue

  • martieinct
    17 years ago

    The weather station is obviously confused as it's forgotten how to register a "6" without another number in front of it. I'm confused because it's 7:30 and I haven't been out to garden, yet. Second cup of coffee here I come!!!

    Maybe the camping analogy was a bad one since I, too, am an ex-tent/backpacker (read 850 miles of the AC over a number of seasons)who would rather swim in the Back Bay than sleep on the ground ever again.

    Chelone isn't alone with not liking salt water. Maybe it's our skin, but after five minutes I'm itchy and rashy and just want a clear water shower. I also hate the idea of stepping on seaweed or sea critters having been bit by a crab in Cape Cod bay as a young child. But I digress.

    This morning all windows are open, gardens are waiting for some serious attention, and all seems right with the world (except for the weather station which will need a few days to get used to temps it can record, again).

    Martie

  • terryboc
    17 years ago

    I love the ocean! But then, I fish and have a boat (and can swim) so I have all the reasons in the world for being out there. I also have been swimming in Bermuda which is the greatest of relaxation. Warm water, nice breezes, being able to float on your back and not sink. It's the best.

    Now on to the AC issue-I couldn't survive without it this year, now that my inner child is playing with matches. I also am a fan of cold showers-I've taken many this year. Especially after a day of grubbing around in the garden.

  • ginny12
    17 years ago

    In February, I was in Hawaii. I remember floating on my back off Waikiki, looking at Diamond Head and thinking, "This is truly heaven", over and over. The water temperature was perfect--not too cool and not too warm, as it can get in the ocean in the South. I could just walk in, hardly noticing a temperature change yet feel refreshed. But most people sat on the beach saying it was too cold to swim. Felt like giving them one-way tickets to Maine, or even the Cape Cod National Seashore. Then they'd find out what cold is all about.

  • chelone
    17 years ago

    I'm absolutely serious, Patty, I haven't immersed myself in the ocean here for well over 10 years. I wade every so often, but not on a regular basis. The combination of the cold and that "scum"... I'm OUT. I might be able to deal with the "scum" if the water was warm, as I've said, I've never been in warm seawater, so I don't know.

    I do get a kick out of sailing, but don't have all that much opportunity to go out these days. And frankly, the sailing in southerm Maine isn't all that great (up and down the beaches or to the Isles of Shoals, a L O N G sail in a 20' boat!)... it would be more fun if we there were more "destinations".

    Prairie., I live here because this was the cheapest place for us to get a toehold on the "American dream", NOT because being near the ocean was remotely important to me. We owned the lot, and used the equity, savings, and sweat and smarts to get a house built. This area is lovely and I very much enjoy the area, but I'm here by default. Really!

    The notion of going to "the beach" is right up there with hanging out in the desert. I burn easily, it's like sitting on a furnace; hot and potentially very dangerous. Forget it! My idea of paradise in the summer? a nice farmhouse with a nice breeze and a couple of horses. And the luxury of wonderful, fresh water lakes nearby, where the beaches are small and have trees to offer some shade... .

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    17 years ago

    Isn't life just so odd sometimes? People who would love to live near the beach can't and people who would rather be on a farm are stuck at the beach. [g]

    Chelone, I've always thought that what you grew up with has a lot to do with what you like when you get older. Either it was really wonderful and memorable and you yearn for that experience again, or it was really awful and you never want that again. The Farmhouse and the horses sounds nice too. :-) I like lakes to boat on and see water fowl, but not for swimming, and I will keep my reasons to myself. [g]

    Now the sailing sounds really great. I have tried small sailboats a few times and it can be pretty wild! What about up in Camden? Aren't there any good destinations up there?

    Bermuda and Hawaii sound heavenly for sure!

    You know what might be a nice summertime trip, Yellowstone Park with camping under the stars and a little white water rafting to cool off. You could probably throw in some horseback riding :-)

  • diggingthedirt
    17 years ago

    It's only 75 in the shade today, but after turning my 3 compost bins, it sure feels warmer. Normally I move very slowly, and almost *imperceptibly* when it's hot, and it takes me forever to get anything done. When you start moving compost, though, you can't stop - at least that's the way my bins are set up, where one load is outside the bins while the others are being moved along. At least I was in the shade - I'd already tried weeding the lawn, and the sun made it impossible to continue. I just keep thinking of how, next February, I'll look back on today and it will seem heavenly.

    Did I go down to the beach after the work was done? Nope, I jumped in the pool. Much closer, and no crowds. In fact I probably won't get into the salt water here this summer, the Nantucket Sound beaches don't do much for me. Might drive out to Truro and do a little body surfing, we do that once or twice every summer. THAT's the beach. Am I spoiled? Probably!

  • Cady
    17 years ago

    I'm just a 10 minute stroll from the beach, and darned if I have been there even once all season. My idea of hot weather luxury is lounging in the garden in a garden magazine. That's what I would do at the beach anyhow, but without the chair or shade.

  • claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
    17 years ago

    I live 70 steps above the beach, and when I was a kid it was a point of honor to run, not walk, up the stairs. I outgrew that mindset.

    I don't go down often, but I look at the beach 50 to 100 times a day, and I listen to it. The waves are slapping now.

    I did go down a few times during the hot spell, and the water cooled me off, but walking back across the hot sand nullified some of the benefit. Maybe when the "phosphorescence" (bioluminescence) starts in late summer I'll go night swimming.

    The coolest spot here was between my ceiling fan and the deck overhang/tree shade (confirmed by my limp cat). I spent a lot of hot weather time there listening to the waves with a glass full of ice cubes and some reading.

    Claire

  • ginny12
    17 years ago

    I'm jealous! Just looking at the ocean and the beach is pure pleasure. I don't even have to be in or on it. Grew up a mile from the beach but am now 45 minutes inland--too far.