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This Week

This week has been a blast of heat.  Several days over a hundred.  I just 
don't know why, but little old Ooltewah runs from 4 to 6 degrees above the 
surrounding areas. I have thought it could be because we are located just at 
the foot of a small mountain but really have no scientific clue. At nine this 
morning it is already too hot for comfort or welfare.

I have planted my first two containers of hosta seeds.  Opened three pods 
that had already sprouted. This makes for a very long growing season since it 
will be next April before they can go outside. Having read all of the post 
about collecting seed for storage, I found no help on what to do with seed 
that have roots when taken from the pod.  Feel it would be crazy to freeze 
these. I have two interesting looking sets of pods this year.  One scape is 
from a dark seedling that is streaked with white.  Its pods are black with 
bright red streaks.  The other is from a yellow streaked seedling that has a 
red flower scape.  Its pods are bright green with red streaks.  This is a 
third generation or F 3 of the original.  I remember that the pods on the F 2 
were red with dark brown almost black streaks. The pods on the original were 
mostly red.  The original had the most beautiful scape but that is about all 
I can brag on.  Hope to someday get back to that with a really nice leaf. 
Does anyone know if the pollen parents influences the color of the pods.  I 
just realized that I had always assumed that they didn't.

The more that I work with reds in hostas the more I am convinced that heat is 
a great factor.  The hotter our weather the more the reds fade.  This spring 
I had a great plant with red from the base of the petiole to the tip of the 
leaf.  As the heat increased the red receded. This seems to be normal at 
least around here.  At this time I am more sold on colored scapes than on 
colored petioles.  As the plant grows it covers he petioles anyway. Orchid 
scapes with orchid flowers on a blue plant is fantastic. Red scapes against 
white foliage looks tropical. Black scapes against yellow is definitely 
interesting as are many other combinations.

As I looked my plants over this morning I have been pleased to discover some 
that look as good as they did in early June. Lakeside Roy El is especially 
great at this time.  Considering our heat and drought and since it was up 
early enough to pollinate in May I feel that is rather good. Just from 
observation it seems that the yellow plants in general are beginning to loose 
some of the brightness.  I do have two though that seem to improve in color 
each day. The blues have not been blue in so long that if I did not know 
better I would say the garden had none. 

Last summer was so dry that we lost our grass.  This spring it was a relief 
to have weeds in the yard so there would be something to mow and a little 
green would show. From the way things look now the weeds also may be missing 
next spring.  We have not mowed in weeks. Most of the weeds are gone and a 
brown looking moss is beginning to show under trees. Just hope the moss will 
turn green when the rain finally comes.

Enough for now,
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