Thursday, June 22, 2017

Heat Wave Smoothie!

Temperatures are staying high, around 40 degrees C/100 degrees F. Thank goodness for thick stone walls, terracotta roofing tiles, and window shutters. Daily watering is required so the potager behind the house gets drenched in the mornings and the front/side gardens are soaked in the evening. Hand watering is opted instead of sprinklers because there is less wastage plus I can determine which plant needs how much. Calla lilies and fruiting stock receive a lot. Lavender and Rose of Sharon are drought-resistant so not a drop for them.

Iris foliage, potato, and tomato beds

Blackberries are ripening. Enough were harvested to make a smoothie!

Making a bee-line for the cool sous-sol, I passed one of the ivy-covered pillars supporting the pergola and noted this golden leaf amidst the green. Though lovely, it could be a sign of heat stress.

Like many in our quartier, I remain in the house during the rise of sweltering heat as the day unfolds. It's a good 10 degrees cooler there, and in the sous-sol, even more. But still, much better not to turn on the oven or use the stove if possible. Using a stick-mixer, I blended the blackberries picked earlier along with almond meal, a very ripe banana, lemon juice, yogurt, and some ice-cold water. The mixture was sieved and then quaffed down.

In the late evening, I ventured out to water the front and side gardens. Besides hauling hoses and watering cans, I needed to take care of a trembling house sparrow fledgling that was on the hot concrete path underneath the eaves where many nests are tucked away. Sliding a paper towel under the fluffy one, I took it to a shady spot to check for injuries (since birds have no sense of smell, the parents will never know that I touched their offspring). As far as I could make out, its wings could spread out to flutter, and its feet were in working order. The trembling had stopped. It was then carried over to some bushes near its suspected nest and placed under them. Hopefully everything worked out for that avian family. House sparrows have around four clutches in succession during the season which keeps the Mom occupied at home. Hence it usually is the Dad who brings food to the little ones on the ground while they strengthen their wings by flapping them and hopping about. And the heat is a stressor for them so keep those bird baths full, clean, and cool (freeze water in a bowl, place in bath, and as the ice melts, it refills and freshens).

Rock, lavender, Shasta daisies, abelia, and purple plum tree

A pot of dahlias is starting to put out blooms. Several months ago, once the weather was warm enough, two tubers were place in a medium-sized pot filled halfway with loosely packed potting mix which was kept slightly moist since they easily rot. As stems shot up, more mix was added.

Where there are flowers, there are pollinators.

The garden on the west side of the house, and where the baby sparrow was put, boasts of a nice clump of daylilies.

They put out many stems with a lot of buds. Each flower lasts just a day, hence their name.

One more bloom to go!

The Desperado variety wows. I love the delicate, maroon edging.

À la prochaine!

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