This week in my garden I sent some of my plants to the hospital. To intensive care, in fact.
If I have a plant that is struggling, I will sometimes pot it up and put it in the shelter of my backyard magnolia tree where it gets shade and some protection from the tree's big leathery leaves. Then I try to nurse the sick one along until it either recovers or dies. If it recovers, eventually I'll set it back into a garden bed in an area where, I hope, it will be more comfortable. That spot under the magnolia tree is what I refer to as my plant hospital. It's pretty crowded right now.
This week I sent to the hospital three shrubs that I had added to the garden in spring: a banana shrub, Virginia sweetspire, and a spicebush. They were all in full sun and were slowly dying, even though I was watering them almost every day. I think all three of the shrubs actually need partial shade and, if I can save them, that's what I'll try to give them when I return them to the garden.
I have more plants, things like a volunteer passion vine that's in the wrong place, that will be going into the hospital soon. I may have to open a branch clinic under the other magnolia tree - the one in the front yard!
The high temperature today was 101 degrees. The high tomorrow is expected to be 103, a severe trial for both garden and gardener, and still no rain in the extended forecast. The sprinklers are working overtime. I don't look forward to getting our water bill for June. I'll try to be out of the room when my husband, the family accountant, opens it!
The plants may be sweltering and wilting and the gardener may be sweating, but some of the garden residents are making it just fine, thank you.
Meanwhile, the hundreds of green anoles in my yard have mostly gone undercover. A few weeks ago, I could hardly take a step without disturbing one, but when it gets this hot, even these little reptiles seek shelter.
I do see another reptile around the yard regularly, though. Sammy, our backyard box turtle, shows up on the back porch every day looking for his meal of dry cat food and I often see him when I'm out weeding or watering. Occasionally, I even see him, along with the backyard birds, enjoying one of the sprinklers. Even turtles get thirsty.