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Desert update

Some of you have had major events going on over the weekend! Hope the dog
Gracie is okay and that no one got flooded out by the hurricanes. Here in
the high desert we are in normal summer weather, it's in the high 90s
heading towards 100+ and not a cloud in the sky. It will be this way for a
couple months I expect. I spent a couple days in the San Gorgonio mountains
last weekend, two days after we left the place caught on fire. Fortunately
they put it out quickly. Just in my area there were over 30 fires on the 4th
of July from people letting off illegal fireworks. Not too much structure
damage though. Another fire broke out yesterday about two miles from my
house, again put out very quickly. But it is going to be a really bad year
for fires, that much is obvious. 
On my desk is a big vase full of Shasta daisies and coneflower. I have
neglected my perennial garden terribly but it is still providing me with an
nice flower show in some spots. Unfortunately I never got around to taking
pictures of some of the better ones, I have some lilies that are heading up
over 6 feet tall this year, and the pink daylilies were awfully pretty.
Right now the roses (the ones I deadheaded) are starting their second flush,
the coreopsis, gaillardia, agapanthus, and more are blooming. Weeds and
snails are also propagating prolifically, ugh.
I apparently was insane when I planted the vegetable garden this spring.
Despite having green beans left in the pantry I planted twice as many beans
as normal. Now I've got almost 100 jars of green beans and more to come. I
have 10 jars of salsa and about 20 jars of tomatoes left from last year, but
I put in another 20 tomato plants. I put in two beds of peppers, not just
one. What was I thinking? Next year I am scaling way way back, I'll do just
enough to have a few fresh veggies and I'll spend my time working on the
ornamental gardens instead. I have a huge list of things that really need to
be done, and some of them - like hacking down the escallonia in front of my
windows and replanting that whole area - are going to be real projects.  

Cyndi Johnson

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