On the first day of summer 2021 I was frozen. Really! I had to stay inside as I was doing a colonoscopy prep, and it was near 100° so Iqbal turned the a/c on. My den just kept getting colder and colder. By bedtime I wanted winter blankets. Yesterday I closed the a/c vent and the door and opened the window. Much better. Today the a/c is back off and all the windows are open and it’s an absolutely beautiful day. Unfortunately, three digit temperatures will be back this weekend. As much as I hate a/c, I will be glad to have it if it really gets to 108°!

I ordered a new laptop. It will be nice to see colors not laced with what I call digital red and now also digital blue. I persevere, but when I use my desk computer, I realize how bad it is. The disk reader just arrived as I’m writing this. The laptop will be here by the end of the month. I’m pretty excited. It actually has enough to do embroidery digitizing and other graphics stuff. Woohoo!

This is my view from where I sit right now. I think I’m going to figure out how best to get power to the balcony just outside this window and do my reading and laptopping out there. It’s really nice in here, but it’s glorious out there. With a cold drink, I can handle the heat enough to sit there. It’s eastside, and completely shady after about nine in the morning. This time of year it has only a leafy, filtered sunlight before nine.


Today I stopped by my sister’s to lend her my rake (and pick up a shirt pattern). Apparently her neighbors are dismayed, but she’s cutting back all her overgrown bushes. Because they were so overgrown (apparently just trimmed enough to shape as boxes), they look pretty bad right now. She’s cutting out all the dead inner growth and they are basically healthy, so they should look great next year, if not by the end of this summer. She lives in the lowest spot in her neighborhood, and apparently over a spring. It’s not so great for her foundation, but even her cut down, rotted trees are still growing tons of new shoots. Seems like anything will grow there.

Anyway, I gabbed some nandina and andromeda branches. I’m going to try to root them. If they root, they will be pot bushes for me. I might have room for one small bush along my back fence, but with a ten foot wall holding up the back of my yard (and probably a lot of concrete fill beneath the dirt), my lot is the opposite of my sister’s and in need of water all summer. I’ve already lost one pretty bush (a California lilac) and a lot of iris, so I’m not inclined to put anything there that’s not drought tolerant and still able to handle saturated soil in winter (if we get normal rains).

My roses are decidedly happy up on the old driveway. So are the lilies. There are a couple of other things in what used to be the rose garden that will probably end up in the new rose garden (former driveway), happier in full sunlight. The old rose garden is going to be a potted forest. I’ve been potting all the holly, needle evergreens, maples (two kinds) and even a few oaks. I’m hoping I can keep them as large bonsai. I’ll find out this year as I have to root and branch trim a couple of them. I’m very hopeful for the needle evergreens. Any that were rooting beneath the pot have already been trimmed back to the pot. One (the largest) is in a too small pot and didn’t get enough water last year, but didn’t reach below the pot (probably because it kept falling over), so the branches dried out a lot, though they didn’t die. This year, however, there is a lot of growth along the trunk and branches close to the trunk. More than at the ends of the branches.

It seems like it’s going to be a very hot summer. I need to flip from night owl to early bird. That is not an easy thing to do, but if I want to work in the garden this summer, morning is the only reasonable time. We’ll see how it works out. It’s just too hot by noon and the mosquitoes have a feast if I’m out watering after dinner. In hot weather, potted plants need water every day and in ground plants need a heavy soaking at least once or twice a week, depending on what and where they are.

The one thing we really ignore in the summer is the lawn. It would be lovely to have a lush, green lawn all summer. However, it seems irresponsible to us to use precious water to keep it green. Even when it’s not an official drought with water restrictions, it doesn’t seem to be a good use of water. Fortunately, we don’t live in a neighborhood where green lawns are a requirement. I’ve been looking into a clover lawn. If it’s what we had when I was growing up, it would be great. We always had a green lawn without watering it, although it was a mix that people with the perfect, regularly watered lawns would consider half (or more) weeds. I always like clover in the lawn, though. And clover looks better (and feels better to my feet) than this:

But even if nothing changes, grass is hardy, and even when it stays brown all summer, it survives and greens up in the fall and spring, and usually stays a dull green through winter despite being dormant. (The bare spots need to be fixed, though.)

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