It’s cool under the new Pergola shade structure at the Lost Arts House.
The New Blue Hen Pergola
With temperatures breaking new records, it’s great to have the back deck shaded from the hot afternoon sun.
Resident plants are lantana, penta, basil, sage, and oregano, which makes a lovely hanger. In the garden below the deck are more Lantana and all the animals’ favorite: Mexican Sunflower. (Tithonia Diversifolia)
In the record heat we’re experiencing this summer, we have to water the hangers everyday at least once! It’s so nice to have shade on the hot and sunny back deck, and the plants double as a butterfly garden!
The Main Garden
With temperatures hovering between 95 and 98 degrees and heat indexes over 120 (!), it’s been a very uncomfortable summer for animals, plants, and people! The only crop that chugs right along in the hot and humid is the cover crop, cowpeas.
We won’t start the Fall garden until the heat has broken, probably October! By then we’ll have starts for the cool weather crops, cabbage, broccoli, kale, bok choy, and direct seed the collards and carrots. Can’t wait…
In the meantime we’re rescuing the Main Garden from this year’s dominant weed…three feet tall and with a tap root to rival the tallest Long Needle Pine.
July 2014 …we planted these four little cypress trees in tubs and set them in the sandy backyard, thinking that someday we may want to move them.
Five years later these cute little trees are 10 feet tall and 8 feet around and not likely to be moved! Until July 20, 2019, the day of the mini-tornado at Bent Pine Farm.
I’m always complaining about Florida weather! It’s too hot for 7 months of the year, and the other 5 are hit and miss… we may have days that are absolutely gorgeous, but you know that as soon as we set out those tomato seedlings…Bamm! Freezing temps. Happens every time.
On this particular Friday, or was it Saturday? (When you’re retired all the days run together…so in addition to having more to do than when you were working full time, you have no idea what day it is!) as we sat watching the rain. It came in at a 90 degree angle blowing from the south, then suddenly turned 180 degrees, blowing from the north. We heard “pop”-“pop” – “pop”…not knowing what that was…
When it was over, we went outside to find our 10 foot Cypress trees laying over on the ground with all their tap roots broken off at the base! The chickens had been blown across the garden in their cage! The huge Moringa tree was over flat with its roots ripped out of the ground. Micro-burst!! A little scary.
With Seth’s help we got the Cypress righted and planted in the ground. Let’s face it. It’s the only way those trees would have gotten moved! Florida weather. You gotta love it.
When you live in Florida, you must get used to the total indifference of the weather to personal comfort…
Today was our first heavy-duty thunderstorm for the 2019 season. All those “bent pines” we had been discussing earlier…well, four of them came down and took out the fence around the hogs’ happy home.
Not to be deterred, we set about immediately to order the mess. And in no time flat the downed wood was cleaned up.
There are lots and lots of bent pines on the farm. We know that as they fall, they give back to the soil what the soil has given to them. The good news is that the spot we had planned for a new hay barn is now cleared and ready to start construction…a good sign. Hallelujah!!