Although there's a case to be made that every day of 2020 has been a dog day, nonetheless, the official Dog Days truly start Today.
Despite everything that's happened this year, the Dog Days are just beginning.
July 3rd always marks the beginning of the Dog Days.
As with Lent, the dog days are a period of 40 days. The Dog Days are traditionally the hottest and most miserable days on the calendar weather-wise (unless you live in Minnesota - see my earlier comments on winter...)
The Dog Days won't officially end until August 11th. Excuse me…
(**Google - Remind me to play ‘The Dog Days are Over’ by Florence and the Machine as a wake up song on August 11th.**)
Now, in case you're wondering, there's actually a celestial rationale for the term Dog Days.
During the Dog Days, the Dog Star, Sirius, is rising. So the Dog Days, refer to the days Sirius rules the sky.
At this point, as my English Major friends like to say, "Let the alliteration begin…"
So Sirius and the Sun make the world a sweltering sauna and cause serious summertime suffering. Whew.
And, of course, you know what they say about the Dog Days? They're rough.
In fact, as people, our bodies tend to shut down during the Dog Days. So, if you thought you were a couch potato before the Dog Days, just wait.
Why do you think they call them the lazy days of summer?
So channel your inner Bruno Mars…. "Today, I don't feel like doing anything... "
It's time to kick back and relax. Lemonade. Beach Towels. Dishes in the Sink. Take Out.
And, probably more weeds in the garden.
Now that likely got your attention.
Yes, as the Dog Days roll in, we usually beat a hasty retreat out of the garden.
But before you hang up your garden apron, let me make a little suggestion for your garden: Brighten it up with Hakonechloa 'All Gold.'
Every now and then, the plant gods smile on us with a clearance sale featuring something genuinely spectacular like Japanese Forest Grass or, in this case, Hakonechloa 'All Gold.'
Last year, my local Lowe's was clearancing them for $3 a pop - and it was just what the plant doctor ordered to dress up the garden at our cabin up north.
This year, I'd buy them again - even if they weren't on sale.
I love it that much.
I loved it immediately after planting it, and I love it now.
It's the kind of plant you love like a member of your family - More Than Yesterday, Less Than Tomorrow...
In 2009, my garden idol, Margaret Roach, tweeted,
"Another plant I cannot garden without Hakonechloa 'All Gold.' Solid gold in the shade."
And you know what? She's right... Again.
(xoxo Thanks M!)
The Hakonechloa variety 'All Gold' is sassy grass perfection.
Sweet, mounding, graceful, tactile (so if you have kids in the garden they will love touching this grass) - it's bright, and beautiful (thus the 'All Gold' moniker), and easy - you don't have to do anything with this plant. Just let it grow.
Plant it next to anything red or purple-leafed, and you'll have something truly amazing in your garden. Mine is next to purple salvia, sedum, and hydrangea. And - I have to confess, it was the first thing I was watching to come up this spring (and I'm not much of a hoverer in the garden). So, props to Hakonechloa - it has my full attention.
The best part about Hakonechloa 'All Gold' is the spectacular pop of color that it adds.
Now, Hakonechloa prefers part shade, and up here at the cabin, it's in a garden that faces Northwest - so it's in the shade for much of the day. Then, around summertime, it enjoys some time in the sun. And, that part shade is no problem for Hakonechloa since I like to say that it brings plenty of light all on its own.
So full circle moment here:
Plant Hakonechloa 'All Gold' in your garden, and your Dog Days will be lighter and brighter.
With any luck, you'll smile from your hammock as you admire your beautiful 'All Gold' Hakonechloa.