Wow.  We have been having some work done at the house, extending the back patio and paving the area with pavers, changing out some plants, and getting mulch put down.  Yes, I know, we’ve had workers doing most of the work.  But we’ve been woken early – the workers usually started at 7 or 8 AM and finished by mid afternoon in order to beat the heat late in the day.  Its made for early mornings.  But the planters do look good and the patio extension looks great.  So it has been well worth the expense.

Things I am learning during this work.  Even plants they want full sun can benefit from some afternoon shade.  Many of the pots I had in the back near the patio got moved into what areas I could find that got some afternoon shade.  They are doing pretty good.  The couple of matching pots that were in full sun are growing, but not doing as well.  Moral of the story – afternoon shade helps in this heat.  As a learning lesson the tomato plants that get absolutely no shade, down in the retaining wall planter are big and lush.  They get watered via soaker hose.  But I have gotten not one tomato from them.  Not even a small one.  They put out flowers, but no tomatoes yet.  The plants in the raised bed have given me tomatoes, albeit not large fruit.  But those do get some shade but get full sun in the afternoon.

I’m not taking any of them out, but I will keep tabs on them to see how they do as we cool down.  Speaking of cooling down we may be out of the 100 degree days.  We are still in the 90’s but low 90’s here at the house.  Today we only made about 92, with a heat index of 94.  Much better then the 98 with heat index of 103.  That’s just plain hot.  I wouldn’t say autumn is here, but at least we’re not in the high 90’s this week.

We also were lucky.  We got a little rain – only 0.13inch but we’ll take what ever we can get.  They are saying more rain, 60% chance next week.  Hopefully we’ll get some.  That would be nice.

We’re making a few changes to the front.  One of the crape myrtles just is not doing anything.  The two flanking the stairs look great, the other one, not so great.  So we are going to dig the little one up, and plant two Italian Cypresses in the two cut out areas in front of the house.  That’s tomorrow’s job.  We did some weeding this morning, and that’s hard work.  So we’ll plant the cypresses tomorrow morning.  The little crape myrtle we are digging up we will put in a pot and see if we can get it to grow.  I’ll put it in the back yard so that its safe and it will get water as I water the other backyard plants.  Since I usually water them every other day, they do get good watering.  Let’s hope the little crape myrtle grows and survives.