The South Border on a Hot Day

small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, photography, garden photography, tuesday view, eremophila hygorphana

It is fortunate that the cool blue hues of the South Border continue to belie the weather.  Today reached 118 F/48 C, and results in the garden are not good... in spots.  But little is going wrong in the South Border, a fact I attribute to the relative maturity of the plants.  This was, after all, the first space that was planted into and the first to be (relatively) completed.  It is usually the first-summer plants that succumb to the heat, and there are only a handful of those here.


 Among them are some Catharanthus roseus which were put in quite late in spring to fill the edge in front of the Pennisetum.  They, however, are not too likely to die of heat.  They are bit wilted in the photo below, but they perk up quickly when given some water.

small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, photography, garden photography, tuesday view, eremophila hygorphana

Water is another factor that has been making mid-June difficult.  Our water pressure has been very low at intervals.  We are on a shared well, and after a day in which I could not even run the shower, I finally called our neighbor who is the well manager.  She noted that the low pressure times were predictable and agreed that she, too, was having difficulties.  I have no idea what she did after that, but pressure has improved somewhat since.


Meantime, I have watered less than usual - not the best situation for a garden entering the hottest and driest time of the year!  There have been a couple of casualties already; hopefully I can now do some effective damage control.


But as I say, the worst problems are not with the South Border.  On the whole, it is encouraging to look at.  Even my zinnia (yes, one zinnia remains from last spring's ill-starred attempt with cactus-flowered zinnias) - even my zinnia recovered from total wiltdown with a single good soaking.  


Thanks to Cathy for hosting the Tuesday View!

small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, photography, garden photography, tuesday view, eremophila hygorphana
Eremophila hygrophana: the flowers are going a bit crispy in the heat, but the plant seems fine!

Weather Diary: Fair with haze and air quality alert; High: 118 F (48 C)/Low: 83 F (29 C); Humidity: 5%-25%

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Comments: 10
  • #1

    Cathy (Wednesday, 21 June 2017 04:27)

    I think you have made such good choices for that border as it looks lovely even in that scorching heat. I must look up Eremophila as I don't think I have ever seen it before, except perhaps on your blog! Stay cool Amy!

  • #2

    Kris P (Wednesday, 21 June 2017 12:54)

    Given the extreme heat, I think your garden's doing remarkably well, Amy. I always tell myself not to bother planting in spring as those late plantings have little chance of surviving even here if the heat turns up to high in early summer - of course, I don't often listen to myself either. I hope we all get a break from the current heatwave soon. I echo Cathy - stay cool!

  • #3

    Hollis (Wednesday, 21 June 2017 13:01)

    Oh my, 118!!! And here I am posting an "ice age" reply to your comment on my lace curtain post, I wanted to make sure you got it:
    Interesting question, Amy--led to a bigger perspective. I know so little about Arizona. When I searched for AZ Pleistocene lakes, only one popped up: Ancient Lake Cochise, now the Wilcox Playa. That part of Arizona is part of the Basin and Range Province (extending east from the Mojave area)--that is, basins with no outflow. The big Pleistocene lakes I'm familiar with occurred in such basins though some were deep enough to cross divides. Also, they're often called pluvial lakes, meaning water mainly from precipitation, vs. rivers. Anyway, I would google "Pleistocene paleoclimate," "Pleistocene lakes," etc. with "Arizona" tacked on.

  • #4

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 21 June 2017 14:35)

    Cathy - It's been quite interesting​finding what works (and what doesn't) in the heat. The Eremophilas have been fabulous. They originate in Australia and take the weather in stride, bless them!

  • #5

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:04)

    Kris - Spring planting is a gamble and I find myself losing plants I thought had gotten established. I'm especially frustrated this time over my (second) little Aquilegia desertorum, which apparently is only available from HCG and only for spring shipment. But with this second try, I'm beginning to suspect it can't quite take my conditions anyway. Will probably switch to A. chrysantha as it has a good reputation here...

  • #6

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:08)

    Hollis - Ice age sounds unusually good at the moment! I'll try doing a search when I get the chance; I know I'm living in a geologically fascinating region, and I know nothing about it. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • #7

    rusty duck (Friday, 23 June 2017 16:57)

    I thought of you when I heard Phoenix airport was shut temporarily.. too hot for planes to fly?

  • #8

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Saturday, 24 June 2017 01:09)

    RD - That was the reason; apparently some types of passenger craft are less than safe taking off at temps over 118, and they were expecting 120 in the concrete jungle which is the airport. It's telling, isn't it, that I learn of the local airport closure from a comment from Devon and check details by an article from Tucson (which happily explains that no flights are grounded there!). The digital age...!

  • #9

    Diana Studer (Saturday, 24 June 2017 17:30)

    Do you use grey water in the garden?
    I am concerned about Cape Town reaching low water pressure problems next summer. At least the ocean means we don't get the extreme heat except on rare days.

    Hope your water issues stabilise.

  • #10

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Saturday, 24 June 2017 23:57)

    Diana - My only grey water use in the garden comes from reusing the water in which I soak my horse's hay. We're not set up for anything else, and honestly we live so far out that there's not much competition for the water. Our problem is not a low well, but a malfunctioning pump, which must be fixed/replaced no matter what :/ It gets more complicated because it's a shared well and everyone must agree on what actions to take... A rainwater tank such as you and Kris P have installed would be nice to have!