Some Like It Hot — And Some Don’t

By Amy Grant | July 18, 2022
Image by digihelion
by Amy Grant
July 18, 2022

According to my parents the year of my birth was a scorcher. The day my mother had me it was 105 F (41 C), not exactly Death Valley, but getting pretty close. 

I do not remember the day of my birth, but I’ve been through a few terribly hot days in my lifetime. Some seem hotter than others, like the 101 F (38 C) day in Seattle, of all places, catering a wedding. Everything was melting: the bride, the cake, you name it. 

That was years ago, and I got through it (so did the bride). Now when I think of the hottest temps I’ve experienced I think of last year. 

A Year to Remember

Yes, 2021 was a year to be remembered. We were in the midst of a pandemic and we were all begging for winter to end so we could get outside. Things started off okay. The spring was unseasonably warm and my plants shot up like rockets, and we were barely into May. 

Then June hit. It was warm and then wham, it was just plain hot. The heat wave peaked on June 29th at 109 F (43 C)! The apples were dropping from the trees; the pears never did do anything, the almost ripe Bing cherries aborted. 

We did the best we could. We watered deeply in the early morning, mulched, and used shade cloth where we could, and prayed. Oh, and sweated. Despite our hats, cooling towels, covered patio and misting system, we sweated.

Plants and Extreme Heat

The fruit trees suffered the worst but they weren’t the only ones. The snap pea vine just plain shriveled up, and the cukes and sweet bell peppers dropped blossoms like no one’s business. Conversely the hot peppers thrived!

My blooming perennial garden fared fairly well with sufficient drip irrigation however. And the grasses, succulents and other heat lovers thrived. The rudbeckia, Autumn Sun, in particular loved the heat and grew to over 7 feet (2 m.) tall.

So far this year has been unusually cool but there is really no way of knowing what summer will bring. We are as prepared as possible. And if we get another scorcher, well, there’s always the covered patio with the water misting system and an ice cold glass of tea.

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