Gardening in a June Heatwave

When I was young, it would have been inconceivable to have a heatwave in June in Maine. Yet here we are with the temp in the mid 90s. Records have yet again been broken. Back in the day, even at the end of July or the beginning of August, it was rare for the temp to be that high. My parents and grandparents would have been astonished to deal with such heat in June. And not at all happy. Thank goodness we have Eva, our air conditioner.

Nevertheless, I have pushed on with gardening, going out right after breakfast and coming in before noon, the opposite of what I usually do.

Three weeks ago, the plant table looked like this:

This morning, it looked like this:

Here are some of the flowers in pots by our entryway, their cheery colors ready to greet visitors.

A closer look at the violas, or Johnny-jump-ups as they are also called around here.

But for me, none of the newbies can compare with the irises, which have been here for over thirty years.

With such beauty, a closer look is definitely in order.

On this second week in June, the intense gardening is coming to an end. From here on out, it will be maintenance, feeding, watering, and weeding. A part of me is relieved. Planting and getting the beds ready have been a lot of work. But a part of me is also a little sorry that the rush of spring planting has come to an end. A busy time, yes, but also an exciting time.

My gardens are most definitely June and July gardens. Accordingly, for the next couple months, my blog will feature many pictures of the bursts of color that come briefly to this shady yard.

When you have to wait nine months—almost like having a baby—for flowers, the pleasure is oh so sweet when they finally bloom.



68 thoughts on “Gardening in a June Heatwave”

  1. Those purple and white iris are absolutely stunning. I love them. πŸ™‚ Yes, the long to-do-list is a lot shorter now. I sincerely hope we both get to enjoy more normal June temps because I keep wondering if it is this hot in June, what is it going to be like in August.

  2. Planting flowers and seeds and then waiting for the blossoms IS a bit like waiting for a baby….. the long wait, and then the joy!
    Have fun with your gardening and keep cool!

  3. I love your gardens! After building our house 19 years ago, we still have a somewhat working construction site right around the house, and where the goats used to live, we are creating some raised beds for vegetables. I keep a few herbs and pansies by the back door, but someday I want to do a lot more! Your plants are encouraging me!

  4. It is nice to get the plants in the ground and growing! I love irises, too, in all their flamboyant delicateness. They are the Marilyn Monroes of the flower world. πŸ™‚

  5. It’s all beautiful. Having read (at your recommendation) “Maverick Gardeners,” I would think you’d be gardening all year round! πŸ™‚ It’s not even that hot here, but, boy it is humid, soupy, walk into a wet blanket when you go outside. We have had an unusually wet spring. And we’re moving, making multiple trips with loads between houses so we are really sweating.

  6. Your flowers are beautiful! It’s hot here to, I’m in the UP of Michigan which is a lot like Maine. It’s 83 right now, and it’s already after 6 p.m.!

  7. Summer has been coming earlier for years. Privet, a flowering hedge I associate with July, is in full force in Mass. although it’s June. (Really love the handsome signs from the locales in your books. I believe in magical places anyway, but it’s nice to have a sign.)

  8. Well done for getting the plants in.

    It is depressing that from a climate point of view that words are cheap but actions are not coming at the speed required.

    Lovely irises.

  9. I heard today that Maine was getting hit hard. I remember going up (every summer for 2 weeks!) as a kid and we’d giggle hearing the old timers say “It’s a hot one today!” and it was 70!

    Your yard looks so pretty! I especially love the irises, the Great Library Signs, and the stepstool arrangement.

    We’ve been in the low 90’s here, but I (over the weekend) went out in the morning, too, and got a lot of gardening done. I had to work today and it’s a good thing. When I went out first thing this morning I saw a huge black snake where I had been gardening just yesterday. ***shivers*** Made me glad I had to stay inside!

    1. I think the days of Mainers complaining when it’s 70 are long gone. I have to admit I miss the summers of my childhood. The weather was so fine. It’s why people came to Maine for vacations. As for the snake… YIKES!!!!

  10. Beautiful. I can’t believe you go out in this oppressive weather to garden, Laurie. Not me; I’m better with the -10C than with this humidex of 40C!

  11. That was a lot of work, Laurie. Now you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. πŸ™‚ And you are right, we wait a lo-o-o-ng time for our floral fun!

  12. I am delighted to see the results of your splurge on seedlings. Thanks to the lack of water, I too have taken to gardening in containers, so it is good to note what you have done with yours. It will be interesting to see views of your garden as the season progresses, Laurie.

  13. You have reminded me that we need some Irises because we had lots in our garden in France and i miss them. We’ve been eying up some in a neighbour’s garden and they have promised to split some for us when the time is right.

  14. Those irises are gorgeous, and it was fun to see you use the name Johnny-Jump-Up. That’s what we called them when I was a kid, and I haven’t heard the name in some time. You certainly are going to have a lot to enjoy in the next months!

  15. Everything looks so lovely, especially the beautiful irises over your wonderful sign!πŸ™‚ I’m having a difficult time remembering we’re in the beginning of June as It feels like late summer here with temperatures already hitting 90 degrees and the dew point reaching 70.

  16. It must feel very satisfying to have made so much progress with your planting, Laurie. The older I get, the more I appreciate gardening. There is something deeply satisfying and reassuring about the annual cycle of nature.
    I hope your heat will abate!

  17. We have similar heat and I know it is not easy to soldier on in the garden. Even mid-80s wears me down. I try to do most of the gardening early morning or evening. Beautiful Iris!

  18. Those flowers are looking wonderful. Well done for getting them in and the garden sorted for the summer. I don’t envy you the heat – is it an age thing?- I have never been good in hot weather but am definitely getting more wilted by it as I get older! Luckily it rarely gets that hot in my garden.

    1. Thanks so much! Very glad it never gets this hot where you live. Yikes, what weather. I do miss the Maine summers of my childhood, when summers were absolutely delightful. It’s why people used to flock here in the summer. Now, our weather is more akin to southern New England. Changes.

  19. We have some brilliantly colourful violas / pansies in bloom right now, but I’ve never heard them called Johnny-Jump-Ups. The only Johnny-Jump-Up I know is an Irish drinking song, which celebrates the pleasures and perils of cider! – if you don’t know it there are plenty of versions on YouTube, including this:

  20. Heat wave! And still you made so much progress in your garden! Well done, you!

    Your irises are lovely – for some reason, they remind me so much of orchids …

      1. But you know, Laurie, everything looks like orchids to me (I am not great in the garden department – that’s Loving Husband’s job) and I am easily distracted by the pretty colours.

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