I used to sing “You are my sunshine” to my kids when they were little. Years later it has new meaning for me”¦
You Are My Sunshine Garden
The southern side of our brick house has always been hot, especially during summer when the sun beats down on it for much of the day. That garden area also stays fairly dry since the sun bakes it, but surprisingly, my irises seem to love it, daylilies too.
Across from it used to be a partially shaded woodland garden. We recently had some large pines and understory plants taken out so this isn’t the case anymore. Now this section of our property gets all day sun. Unfortunately, most of the plants there were meant for partial shade; hence, I’ve had to do some renovations in my new full sun garden. I relocated a majority of the plants to shadier areas while adding more sun lovers to the site. But not just any sun lover will do here. With the trees gone, I’ve noticed the wind has increased, vastly. Whatever resides there now must not only enjoy basking in the heat and bright light, but also be super tolerant of windy, arid conditions with humid, sticky air in summer. UGH!
In situations like this, native plants are life savers. They’re already accustomed to the climate in your zone (mine being 7a to 7b). And if you look for plants that share similar growing conditions, or in my case plants that love sun, it’s not so bad. What is bad, for me anyway, is working in that area of the garden. My goodness does it get hot! All my shade is gone. I may be native to the area too, but I’ll be first to admit that I cannot handle the heat and humidity our NC summers bring – spring has been difficult enough – and my raw chicken white skin can’t handle all that sunshine either. Unfortunately, sunscreen doesn’t always help. I still come out looking like a lobster if I’m not careful. I’ve tried hats but they make me feel hotter, even though they’re supposed to be breathable. And once I start sweating, I’m the bullseye on the mosquito target. Still, none of this stops me from getting out in the garden. It’s my happy place, even when I’m miserable from heat and bug bites.
Gardening in sun-filled areas of the yard just means choosing the right plants and protecting oneself from the harsh rays. I try to get what I need done in the garden early, like watering and weeding, so that come midday when the sun is at its brightest, I’m tucked away indoors enjoying the AC. Then by evening once the sun is gone, though still muggy, I can get back out there and finish my gardening chores or enjoy the scenery (albeit covered in bug spray to ward off those pesky blood-sucking skeeters!). I’m a diehard gardener. It’s what we do in spite of the obstacles.
You are my sunshine garden. You make me happy when skies are gray”¦ and even when they’re not. I wouldn’t have it any other way.