Here in Germany, like in many other parts of Europe, there has been practically no rain since late spring. The garden is parched, and no amount of watering seems to make a difference. The strong winds have been relentless here, drying the ground and burning up foliage. Our trees are wilting, shrubs in the hedges we planted are dying, and the flower beds have all but been abandoned to their fate. I know so many of you are also lamenting the lack of rain. It is frustrating, but we can do little about it. So I shall focus on some of the positive things this August.
1. My vegetable garden has done well and I have harvested more than we can eat. My freezer is bursting at the seams! The yellow wild cherry tomatoes are the most productive and easy to care for tomatoes I have ever grown, and taste good too. I have also grown some sweetcorn for the first time this year and we have eaten a few cobs already, although really we should wait another week or two for them to fatten up. Delicious!
2. My Japanese Anemone opened a few days ago and is looking happy, despite a few brown leaves. I love this deep pink one – ‘Serenade’ – a pleasant change from the paler ones that seem more common.
3. The Perovskia looks magical (with the Gaura just about hanging on in the background). In fact, it looks better for the lack of rain!
4. Stipa gigantea is still shining, here with the best of the Tithonia finally reaching about a metre (the others are less than 30 cm high) and a couple of sunflowers – sadly not as grand as last year when I had dozens of enormous sunflowers, but sunflowers nonetheless.
5. The Gaillardia are looking good – one of the toughest flowers I have, flowering non-stop despite gale-force winds and scorching sun. And loved by the bees etc.
6. And finally, a bit of an oddity…. a Hellebore flowering in the full sun in August!
I realised when finishing this post that I had six photos and it is Saturday. So I am finally participating in Jon the Propagator’s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme for the first time. If you visit Jon’s blog you will find links to other gardeners posting six garden-related things on a Saturday. Many thanks to Jon for hosting this meme. 😃
Happy gardening, and wishing all those in a drought lots of long and gentle showers!
We have the same drought situation in parts of North America…my rain barrels are almost empty and I’m just using them to try and prevent newly planted trees and shrubs from withering away. Hoping for rain on both sides of the Atlantic!
Keeping our fingers crossed – we might be getting some mid week. 💦☔️
Must be delightful to harvest from your garden. Looks yummy. The hellebore is on a strange schedule. Wishing you ☔️☔️☔️
Thanks Susie. I have had hellebores flower in summer before, but never in full sun in a heatwave! 😜
Your summer garden looks magnificent, Cathy! I was surprised to see that you already have Japanese anemone flowers in bloom. I don’t expect to see them here until October.
The anemones usually start flowering the last few days of July, and we often get a few ‘autumny’ days early August. Not this year though – not yet!
Wonderful photos and I love seeing the bees on your flowers. Let’s hope that we all get some rain soon (well those of us that need it that is).
Thanks Rosie. Yes, lots of bees this year. They seem to cope with the weather pretty well!
so beautiful is your bounty Cathy!
Thanks Cindy! The vegetable garden has been a great success so far. 😃
You’re so welcome!!! Awesome to hear!! My tomatoes are prolific!💕
Hoping for a break in the weather soon. It has cooled off here, but still no rain in sight.
Your exposure with sun and wind makes it tough, at least we have forest that curbs the wind.
Your veggies sound good and productive. Those hellebores are a huge surprise!
We might get a few spots tonight with thunderstorms forecast, but more often than not the showers pass us by….
A flowering hellebore in August is rather strange! I noticed my cyclamen flowering in July which is also a little odd. Your tomatoes look delicious!
Thanks Jude. It’s been a good year for tomatoes!
Wow! I am surprised to read the extent of your drought, Cathy. Despite the lack of rain it appears your garden is still a delight, for which I am so glad! It is hard for those of us who love our gardens, love the individual plants and enjoy our time caring for them, to not feel some level of anxiety when the rains just do not come. True gardeners will always find a way, but it requires some careful attention and a great deal of flexibility to find ways to keep our gardens beautiful when Mother Nature is texting us! 🤷♀️
It is not unusual to have such a hot dry period here in summer, but the unusually strong and ongoing winds have been so bad and have worsened matters. Today is windstill and very hot, with thunderstorms forecast, so keeping our fingers crossed for rain!
I gave up on watering to no avail and just water a few things. We are 8 inches below normal and dry. Your garden looks wonderfully productive from here, the produce looks great. Gallardia is holding on in my garden but not flowering, hopefully a little water will help from rain. Wishing you precipitation!!
Thanks Amy. Even a short shower would help. 💦
Wonderful Crop of tomatoes. I have grown the little yellow ones this year called sun gold, they are nice and sweet.
The red cherry tomatoes I grew are called Supersweet and really are sweet too.
Anemone and hellebore are two flowers that we do not even bother with in our naturally arid climate. (However, some survive in one of our landscapes.) To me, they both seem to be rather healthy during your unnaturally dry weather. Our hellebore bloom at odd times, and at least one happens to have bloomed recently, but that is likely because they dislike the climate here, and the mundane winter weather. Minimal chill must interfere with their scheduling.
Well, the other hellebores in the garden are all flaked out in the heat, so that makes it even stranger. The anemones are called ‘autumn’ anemones in German and nearly always start flowering at the end of July or early August, signalling a shift towards late summer and autumn flowers. Some asters are also in flower already too. 😃
Yes, our one anemone is supposedly an autumn anemone also; but because it is so confused by the climate, it can bloom out of season, like the hellebore. I think that it tries to bloom more about now and later into autumn. I do like anemones, but will not likely ever get another. This one has been here longer than anyone can remember.
That’s a delicious-looking and substantial tomato harvest! Congrats! I like your plants combos, especially the Russian sage with the gaura, grasses, and is that an eryngium in the background?
Hi Lisa. Yes, Eryngium. It has already gone over and has turned silvery brown. I am hoping it won’t collapse before winter as it would look lovely with frost on it! (A nice thought on a very hot day like today!) 😉
Yes, winds have been dessicating the plants from the top down 😦 . Bad news all round, but you’ve got a good selection of toms. Loved the stripey one! Anemone ‘Serenade’ is a gorgeous colour and doing well in this heat. Some of mine are about 6 inches tall and drooping.
The striped tomato is ‘Tigerella’ – not as tasty as the cherry tomatoes though. This anemone surprised me as the others are wilting and not flowering (one has died!). 🙁
Despite your lack of rain, you do have some nice blooms. It seems that all over the world, it is hot and dry this year.
Yes, I am wondering where all the moisture is going this year!
I’m loving those tomatoes! Mine are still green at the moment.
Mine were rather early as we have had so much sunshine since early May. A perfect summer really. If only it would rain a little….
You have done well to get those vegetables! I am having more respect for the Gaillardia, it is tough but beautiful. Strangely for the first time, one of my Hellebore flowered in early summer – everything is getting muddled. Amelia
I never used to like Gaillardia much, but they fit well into the red/orange theme in my ‘Edge flower bed and I am very impressed with their resilience. I love the seedheads too! Heleniums and Helianthus have wilted in comparison. The vegetables have been pampered with watering, but have stood up amazingly well against the hot wind.
Welcome to your first Six. This shows us that the heat wave affects almost all of Europe. Anyway, you managed to find some great pictures of your garden and yes, we can clearly see the grilled lawn in the background…what is the varieties of the red stripped tomato ? ( red zebra?)
Hi Fred. The tomato is ‘Tigerella’, but they aren’t particularly tasty. The red cherry are ‘Supersweet’ and live up to their name. Yes, dry here too but it looks like rain at the end of the week….
I also grow Supersweet and Green zebra but not Tigerella. Tks, your basket looks beautifully tasty!
Ahah! We have a hellebore in flower too, albeit with tiny flowers – will share it in due course – and bizarrely some late (early?!) flowers on the wisteria too! Reading your post it was fascinating to see what has still done well despite the weather
A small miracle that ANYTHING is still flowering! 😃
My gosh, Cathy, I can barely fathom that kind of wind. It must feel surreal. I’m really saddened by all these weather anomalies, soon to be the new realities if we don’t get our act together. I’m glad you can focus on the good in things. Your tomatoes look delicious!
And the beans were great too Alys! And now I am harvesting sweetcorn and cabbage, onions and chard. 😃
Sweet corn is delicious.