The Dog Days of Summer
When I was a kid I would hear that it is “the dog days of summer” during times of persistently hot weather in the summer. I assumed that the term dog meant that outdoor dogs suffered from all the heat day after day.
To my surprise I learned several years later that the term had nothing to do with real outdoor dogs but rather dealt with a Star in the constellation Canis Major that is one of the brightest stars in the sky and is approximately 8.6 light-years distant from Earth. The Dog days is named after Sirius, the Dog Star. The Dog days come when the Dog Star begins to line up with our Sun (lining up is called conjunction).
It was thought long ago that when the Dog Star aligned with the Sun that they combined their energy to make the weather even hotter. Of course, we now know that no Star would warm the earth at even the smallest fraction that the Sun does since stars are very far away.
However, the term stuck. In July and August the background of stars beyond the Sun includes the Dog Star Sirius. In July and August during a persistent heat wave, do not be surprised to hear, “we are in the Dog days of summer”.
With regards to gardening though, the dog days of summer can put a damper on your “oh so gorgeous” flower beds that you so enthusiastically planted back in April and May. Come August you find that many of your blossoms are fading away quickly and many flowers are also.
But there’s a solution for that and all it takes is some thoughtful and careful planning to have a colorful garden right through the “dog daze of August”. Below are some options and some tips for making it through this hot month OK.
You may hesitate or tend to shy away from perennials because you’ve heard they don’t bloom for very long and then look drab. Well that is NOT the case with all of them. The following is a list of long-blooming perennials suitable for our growing area.
Sea Pink or Sea Thrift
Fringed Bleeding Heart
Take time this month to pick off the old dead flowers from your spring planting. This will help your flowers continue to bloom longer into the season. Here are a few annuals that bloom for a long time. Mix these in so you always have some color.
And last but not least, remember the shrubs. Often associated with spring, many shrubs bloom in late summer. There are Beautyberry with gorgeous berries for the birds, Blue Spireas, Abelias, the Butterfly bushes and more.
Still not sure what to choose? If you want a garden that will look beautiful all through the seasons, almost PERFECT Landscaping can bring your visions to life. Check out our reviews on Google.
August seems to fall in the lull between the explosive growth of Spring and early Summer, and the cleanup and Winter prep that occurs in the Fall. As such, many homeowners look at the month of August as an opportunity to take a break from yard work and gardening. But while the list of gardening tasks for August is indeed shorter than in many other months, there are still tasks to perform in the garden