Around the Island

Gardening with Galligan: Summer love

This is the week of the summer, actually one of two, because it’s true about next week as well, when I don’t have enough vases, despite the fact that I just bought a nifty tray, tiny little vases, eight of them, at Shelter Island Florist. All of my lilies, another late flush of roses, hydrangea still blooming… what’s a gardener to do? I can’t leave them in the cutting garden. For what? To bloom where no one will see them? That’s no way to treat a plant in bloom. So indeed, I must cut them and bring them in and I have. Running out of table space, I’ve taken some up to my bedroom as well.

I did take one major step this summer that might be relevant to others my age (as in old). Faced with my usual summer program, i.e., filling my deck with blooming summer plants, all of which would need watering and said water would require lugging, actually every morning, I decided to do succulents instead.

Actually, on every surface. Now, almost regardless of the weather, I only have to water once a week, at most, and sometimes not even that, a wonderful change from that “every morning” procedure. And succulents don’t freak out when the weather gets hot, even when it’s oppressively hot, as it is today.

Marders has some gorgeous succulent arrangements, and if that’s your thing, you should stop by and have a look. Expensive? Yes, pretty much, but if you can manage even one splurge, that’s the one I’d recommend.

Make sure to ask if the plants need to come inside in September because some are winter hardy but many are not. I bought one very, very large arrangement because I couldn’t resist it, and have no idea where I can put it in the fall, but I’ll jump off that bridge when I have to. After all, I could always throw away the dining room table. And it was calling my name.

So, my fellow gardeners, try to take things slowly in this heat, pacing yourselves as necessary. There are still a lot of warm days in front of us. Hopefully, you have air-conditioning. Stay inside and get your bulb order together. It’s almost time to send it in.

More about that and some advice next column.