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The Shrub Queen:Cherry, Cherry on A Hot August Night

In A Vase on Monday: Cherry, Cherry on A Hot August Night

People of a certain age may remember what my title is referring to – a Neil Diamond album popular in the 1970’s.

Here is the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_August_Night

Hot August Night was a favorite of one of my brothers, who played the record a lot. Cherry, Cherry is one of the songs I associate with the album. Sweet Caroline would be the other.

What does this have to do with gardening? Well, the nights are really hot here in South Florida in August – the low temperature  last night was 78 (25.5 Celsius), the high this afternoon is 95 (35 Celsius) with heat index  104 (40 Celsius). I have been installing Microspray irrigation in the perennial beds during cooler hours as the irrigation system that came with the house won’t support anything but widely spaced tufts of torpedo grass. Hand watering while having irrigation is a bit tiresome and I have been planning a more detailed perennial garden.

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So, on these hot August nights when I am toiling at twilight I can smell the wonderful Tropical Gardenias (in bud in the arrangement) Tabernaemontana divaricata, the Tropical Red Salvias (Salvia coccinea) are the perennials in need of more water and the big Red Hibiscus – Cherry, Cherry. The Hibiscus is from an ancient old fashioned shrub and I wish I knew the cultivar, it is one of the great indestructibles. The Asian Ferns in the arrangement are probably going to be too happy after they get more reliable rain from the Microspray irrigation. The crystal Rose Bowl was inherited from my mother and I have not had a rose in it, so far.

The more detailed perennial garden I am working on this fall is going to include some alumni from this Summer’s vases – from all the Cathys, the Italian White Sunflower, Asters from Cathy, and the Cactus Zinnias from Susie and Cathy. I have the seeds and will start potting in a few weeks for planting later in October. A grand experiment is in the works.

As far as Neil Diamond goes, I am still humming Sweet Caroline..

Amelia Grant

A native of Atlanta, Georgia and extraordinarily well seasoned Landscape Architect/Designer/Writer. I began bouncing around South Florida in the late 1980’s selecting and buying plants for Shopping Mall Interiors I had designed.
Eventually my college roommate landed in Hobe Sound and I came to visit and fell in love with the Treasure Coast. My husband was on the verge of retiring from the practice of Architecture so we came down, bought a house near the Indian River and left the big city’s cold and the traffic far behind.
The blog began as an effort to fill what I considered a vacuum in good gardening information for the Treasure Coast. The Shrub Queen name is a nod to a long standing joke, my husband has called me this for years after one too many Architects asked me to “shrub something up”.

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