If autumn makes you think of falling leaves, then that’s what is happening in the garden now.
The grass is dried to a crisp, in fact it is tinder dry. There have been many forest fires in France set off by accidental sparks coming from farm machinery etc. The forest fire in the Landes region just south of here was started by a pyromaniac volonteer fireman and consumed 6,200 hectares of pine forest. Unfortunately, many other regions have suffered forest fires and the heat and drought continues.
It seems trivial after the fires to complain that my Liquidambar tree has yellow leaves that are carpeting the ground underneath it
The old plum tree that lost all its flowers in a late frost is now dropping its leaves. I hope this is its way to stay alive as there is no way to water these trees.
In amongst the desiccated grass there are still clumps of weeds like the cat’s ears that somehow manage to store enough moisture in their long tap roots to produce leaves and flower, and are much appreciated by the bees.
The Dahlias must survive thanks to their tubers and even manage to accept the scorching sun on their leaves better than the Hellebores which have become yellow leaved and exhausted looking.
The Japanese Anemones survive in the drought and the scorching sun. They are surrounded by a host of tiny bees and I should use them more but I find them so difficult to control.
I have patches of Yellow Cosmos in the front garden but these do need to be watered at the moment although I would say that they are moderately drought and heat tolerant.
It cheers me up to watch the variety of bees that they attract. This is a Megachile (centuncularis, I think). It is slightly larger than a honey bee and sometimes chooses a Cosmos already occupied by another bee knowing that the surprised bee quickly cedes its place. Pushy creature!
I can’t forget the honeybees!
I have not been working in the garden lately because of the high day time temperatures. We are now in our third period of “canicule”, that is a period of high day and night time temperatures that last at least three consecutive days. We have never had such a hot dry summer and it is forecast to last at least until Sunday.
I am glad for my pots of flowers near the door. This blue sage does well in a pot and I could always plant it our in the autumn.
My tub of Antirrhynums have been a great success and were very easy to grow from the seeds I collected last year. They attract the bumble bees that squeeze themselves inside.
My two Heptacodium jasminoides (or miconioides) have started flowering. They are in a very hot dry part of the garden but they belong to the honeysuckle family so I hope they will not suffer to much. Once in full flower, they will be covered with bumble bees.
I have made use of the sun and heat and cleaned up the wax from the cappings of the honey frames. You can see how I did it if you look zigzag at the collage above ( I have no longer access to the carousel feature with my free site). I forgot to wash the cappings of excess honey but the wax still came out clean. Today I am processing my friend’s cappings and I have remembered to wash them first!