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Baby, It’s Hot Outside

Five Times. I sprayed the last remaining cucumber plant with an organic sesame oil concoction (that claimed to kill whiteflies) FIVE TIMES yesterday, and the little bastards still fly out from under a tapped leaf today. I have already found affordable exterminators in Las Vegas and am seriously going to call them.

And now the entire backyard smells like roasted sesame seeds. Which is not such a bad thing, though it seems to confuse the dog.

Merciful Zeus is it hot out there. The sodding weather service claims it is 85, but I swear they took one too many fireworks to the head over the weekend, because it is at least nine hundred and forty.

This is the time of year in Florida when our gardens get challenged…not only by the immense, volcanic heat, but by the creeping lethargy that overtakes the gardeners. I nearly melted Saturday, pulling weeds from between the veg planters. I seriously go through at least two shirts when working outside in the month of July. So we just have to hope the tomatoes and beans can handle it with the level of attention they do get, that the watermelons and corn will sail on without daily petting, and that the onions and radishes can fend for themselves.

The peppers…the peppers are in their element. You don’t find many of them growing on the slopes of cool, dry mountains, surrounded by lupines and columbines. No, they’re low-landers, they need the hot soil and humidity to do their peppery thing, which is good because red bell peppers are now being imported from Canada by my grocery chain, and are half the size of my backyard grown beauty:

Also fruiting like mad is the Poblano pepper (mmm, stuffed peppers!), and blooming are the Chocolate Bell, Red Rocket, Red Cheese, Marconi and Long Thai.

It’s a good time to be a pepper lover around here.

Bought another plant Saturday. Yes, I know, pretty soon there will be no place to walk outside. But I’ve always wanted an Agapanthus, and the cobalt blue/purple of this “Elaine” proved irresistible:

Even though I Do Not Dig the red and purple together, Elaine has been planted near to the Red Button ginger:

All the cascading foliage and flower spikes over there are going to knock your eye out in a few months.

Other blooms around the garden include the hibiscus:

The crepe myrtle is still putting on a show:

The Wild Blue Yonder rose, that actually does start out kind of purply-blue, is also enjoying the heat:

Picked up a couple of White Swan coneflowers at the same place that roped us in with the Agapanthus:

I swear I’d have coneflowers in every color, they’re endlessly fascinating.

The Boychild’s Bachelor Buttons continue their show:

The eagerly awaited Gloriosa Superba has finally sprouted and has gained about a foot in height in the past few weeks:

It will look like this when blooming. *drool*

What’s blooming in your garden?