The Aftermath of Daffodils

june: thyme is overwhelmed

thyme overwhelmed

As summer glides in, the dame’s rocket is subsiding, and the yarrow and nepeta are stepping up. The long leaves of my hundreds of narcissus turn yellow, and I pull them up by the handful each time I walk along the driveway. Lamium and ceratostigma

june: nepeta does its part

nepeta doing its part

chuff over them in places and even the nepeta does its part to hide the leftovers, but the thyme I thought would do likewise is overwhelmed. Here you can see what worked and what didn’t in the Great Daffodil Cover-up Effort.

june: ceratostigma

ceratostigma wins!


I realize I have a different idea of what constitutes a hot day, compared to most Michiganders. It’s my California experience, I’m sure. They walk around in shorts while I’m still in my sweater; they turn on the air conditioner while I’m sitting on the deck enjoying the breeze. No, I do not think eighty degrees is hot. Eighty degrees means you can finally wear your sandals. Ninety degrees, however, is hot.

june: last resting place

last resting place

This level of heat usually waits for the Ann Arbor Art Fair in July, but there’s no arguing with weather; we’re getting a dose of July right now. Still, the problem’s not heat – tomatoes love it, and the sturdy Michigan perennials, I was surprised to learn, can take it. The problem is watering them. The weather map is festooned with tiny thunderbolts, the weather radar teems with green and yellow blobs, and with much rain predicted I’m not going to run the sprinklers, overwater everything, and encourage rot and fungus.

june: incipient tomatoes

hot, happy incipient tomatoes

But then the large blobs and tiny thunderbolts dissipate into the ether, a monsoon in Grand Rapids, a deluge along the Ohio River Valley, and peaceful blue skies over Ann Arbor. Leaving my yard and garden unwatered. The last three days have been like this, so I watered everything today. This should make it rain tonight, right? I’m doing my civic duty for the benefit of the whole town.

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