August Garden Slowdown

Bonnie Nowicki

As I slowly maneuver through our triple-digit temperatures and lack of substantial rain, my thoughts wonder about my landscape in general. How is it managing under the scorching sun? Will the treasured, mature trees and shrubbery survive the stress? Am I watering enough in addition to the irrigation schedule? Are you feeling the same? The past few months have been challenging as a homeowner with a yard to care for. In addition to the routine August garden chores, I feel a helplessness when it comes to my plants thriving. I don’t want to throw up my hands and let unpredictable nature have its way.

As Cher said in one of her old movies, “Snap out of it!” So, don’t let lazy August settle in. Put aside the dire thoughts of climate change. It’s a perfect opportunity to really scrutinize the possible deficiencies in our landscapes. It’s so easy to put off minor corrections to the irrigation system or move an unhappy plant. Grab a pen and paper and walk through your yard. Write down problem areas and possible remedies. Perhaps a sheltering trellis for tender shrubbery would be a solution. Look through magazines and garden catalogs for inspiration. Add a focal point of yard art or a dramatic container grouping to refresh a tired-looking area. If you’re starting from square one with a new yard and need ideas about hardscapes, please search for my March article “Garden Hardscapes” at for a variety of exciting options. Stay positive, fellow gardeners. Cool weather is coming.

Attention gardeners who wish to become official Master Gardeners. Classes will be offered on Tuesdays, Oct. 10 through Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an hour for lunch, at the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension Center here in Green Valley, 530 East Whitehouse Canyon Road. A very worthwhile $200 nonrefundable fee is your cost. Detailed information and applications are available now at the above center, a mere 10-minute drive from Quail Creek. Don’t pass up this opportunity to expand your gardening horizons.