A definitive summer day: hot, bright, humid. High summer. I feel the pressure of the sun on my head and shoulders. I’m amazed that plants can stand up to it. But the fresh clean scent of spring, that cool lush feeling of shaded watercress, is gone. We’ve begun to ripen.

And it ends in a storm – a sudden, windswept updraft downpour – I hope.  

21:31:58 PM

It looks like our chickadee house has been vacated, and a new family of house wrens (Troglodytes aedon
) has moved in. Unlike the rakish cap and formal black and white of the chickadees, the wrens come dressed in tidy brown tweed. And they are, as our little guidebook
says, “prolific songsters.” Their almost constant singing
fills the day with thick, fluid laughter.  

10:37:14 AM

Regarding what I said about the best times to transplant – I humbly retract what I said about early morning. Under a July sun, wait for cloudy days or after 6pm. My early morning transplants are wilting in the sun. I hope they make it through the day. The hostas, well-shaded and stabilized by big, juicy rootstocks, look just fine.  

16:40:47 PM

Thanks to our neighbor, whose black raspberries have gone wild, spilling over into our yard, we had some delicious berries with our breakfast today. Our red raspberries are still a few days away.  

18:10:26 PM

Another volunteer I moved from the lawn was, I thought, lamb’s ear (Stachys lanata
), but it turned out to be common mullein (Verbascum thapsus
), an alien plant
. We like the yellow flower spike, though, so it’ll probably stay right where it is.  

9:49:19 AM

26°C (78.8°F) This time I managed to get up and out before the sun cleared the horizon. With a good coat of mosquito repellent on, I managed to transplant some more butterfly weed, and even a couple of stunted hostas before 8am.

The butterfly weed I moved today we sprouted from seed. Transplanting very early or late in the day, or on a cloudy day works best. The two I moved in the middle of the day yesterday were volunteers in other parts of our garden, so I took a chance. They wilted almost immediately, even though I moved a chunk of dirt with them, but they’ve mostly recovered by now (with some leaf damage).

The hostas you’re not supposed to move in the summer. I moved the ones I did because they are in a too-sunny spot, too accessible to deer (in other words, they weren’t much more than nubs). I also had a good spot for them under the crabapples, amongst the periwinkle and ferns.