Friday, August 9, 2013

Can You Believe This Weather?

That's the question that most of us in the Memphis area have been asking each other all summer long.  To my memory, this has been one of the mildest summers we've ever had!  I'm not complaining, it's been wonderful.  Even the rainfall has been adequate; I've had to water my flower pots only a couple of times, albeit they're in a fairly shady area.  I've had them in shade in prior years and still had to water every day because of the heat.

What we have experienced as an almost perfect summer has not translated into other parts of the country, however.  The area that I visit in North Carolina, for instance, has seen rainfall totals that have shattered previous records.  For example, the NWS reported 19.70" for Boone, NC.  The previous record was 13.05" in 1941.  See what I mean?

The vegetable gardens in this area of NC have suffered mightily.  I went to the farmers market in Blowing Rock yesterday.  A lady asked one of the vendors if he had any okra, and he told her that with the cool, cloudy weather, his okra is just "languishing."  Yikes, if okra is just sitting there, what is everything else doing?  The answer is not much.

What's bad for the veggies, though, is great for the flowers and foliage.  Everything is green and lush!  Here are a few photos from my neighborhood.

Pagoda Plant
A word about the Pagoda Plant.  The botanical name is Clerodendrum paniculatum.  It's a tropical plant, that in zones 8-11 is a perennial shrub.  In Blowing Rock, which is zone 6a, it's an annual.  In Memphis, which is zone 7b, but sometimes feels like it's full-on zone 8, it might be perennial.  It would depend on where it's planted.  A grower in zone 9 noted that it's invasive; I doubt that we would have that problem.  What suckers did come up would probably be easy to control.  It's an impressive plant.  This one is about 3 feet tall and the flowers are fabulous and, according to my neighbor, last most of the summer.  Just a thought for next year.

My plan for this weekend revolves around the annual benefit auction at Penland School of Crafts.  If you like art, check out the auction catalog.  The art this year is spectacular and at all price points.  Let me know if you want me to bid on anything for you!

Have a great weekend.

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