Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hot in Jersey

Pittgrove feeling high and dry

While sipping coffee on the patio this AM, listening to the persistent rapping of a red bellied woodpecker on our maple, I read in the Star Ledger that we have just experienced the hottest summer on record in New Jersey. This is after we dragged ourselves through the hottest spring in Jersey in 116 years. Besides the heat, statewide our rainfall was down 65%.

Last year folks complained about how wet a year we were having and at times it seemed as though we should have switched from growing iris, peonies and daylilies to the cultivation of rice and cranberries. This spring areas of our property that never dried out in 2009 as they normally would, became dry as a bone and remain that way.Blue Mist Caryopteris

Since we depend on well water, John and I have been very judicious on how much watering we do. All our potted iris, peonies, daylilies and various perennials are watered regularly, along with our vegetable garden. But with the amount of plantings we have, all we can do is cross our fingers that most will survive. Some like our cypress have already bit the dust and we will have numerous gaps to fill come spring. Other plants like the Blue Mist Caryopteris look absolutely heavenly and you would never realize they had been so moisture deprived. Our pond which was overflowing its banks last year is down a good 3' in water level and the poor fish must be in stiff competition for oxygen. Pittsgrove in wetter days
After 40 years here, we have seen our share of drought and bone soaking rain. We have learned to adapt ourselves to whatever Mother Nature presents us, knowing it will always be a challenge but one certainly worth it in the end.
Happy Gardening!

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