This past summer (2016) has probably been one of the hottest we've had in this area. Although the temperatures hovered around 32-37 celsius for weeks on end during late June and July, we also had next to no rain during these times. It certainly felt drought-like here.
Because of that, most of our neighbourhood watered lawns and gardens sparingly, or not at all. Most of those who watered, only watered vegetable gardens and, like us, neglected the grass and flower beds. Worse yet was the constant dust as the grass and some plants died, and because of the unfortunate fact that there seemed to be double the usual amount of construction in our neighbourhood, you could breathe in the dust and actually feel the grit in your mouth. The plant leaves always seemed to have a covering of dust, and watering only turned that dust into a thin paste, rather than washing it away. It hasn't been a pretty summer, but it certainly has been hot.
The heat I don't complain about much - I love the heat. I love the sunny days, but they really do need
The front garden was neglected up until a week ago, when I started realizing there was much more weed blooming than plants blooming. Because of the heat and drought it looks as though I've lost some plants I've had out there since we created the garden ... the perennial pinks appear to have turned up their toes, and the oriental poppy I planted two years ago seems to have died. To be fair, the front garden is exposed to sun pretty much all day, being southward facing and does need watered to do well. Over winter the snow cover was less than usual, and we had a short period where it all melted in late winter and bulbs started sprouting, but then it snowed again and we had an ice storm and so young sprouts were damaged.
<sigh> I've always loved to spend time in the garden, but this year ... not so much. Too hot to spend extended periods in that blazing, unrelenting sun and not enough water even made the weeding tough. Last week I began a revamp of the gardens, pulling out all the weeds and deciding what to move and what to trash. Nothing is blooming, save the fall asters which are just beginning, so it's a good time to start it. Enough time for moved plants to re-establish roots, cooler temperatures are arriving and the nights are cool enough for recovery. Rain is called for during the coming weeks, hopefully keeping the transplants well watered.
Hostas have been moved from the front (much too hot for them out there) to the back bed. Now that the trees have shaded the bed back there, the hostas should be protected from the constant sun. I've got a big batch leftover and I hope I can find nearby homes for them.
Next spring I can imagine tulips springing up through the grass!