Enjoy the honeysuckle. Even though it is one of the most invasive vines in the entire world, and will choke trees, envelop houses, and swallow entire continents, this one week of the year, the smell makes it all worthwhile. Revel in it, and as soon as the flowers are gone, go out and cut it all away.
Put together a container garden. This is one way to get color that can be moved around the yard when you need it. Whether to use plastic or clay is a personal preference, but whatever you use, make sure the container has good drainage. Plastic pots don’t dry out as fast as clay pots, so they don’t have to be watered as often; they’re also lighter to move around. Or go with terra-cotta or a nice heavy glazed ceramic and leave them in place. When choosing your plants, make sure you have representatives from each of the following categories: you want a thriller — otherwise known as a focal point; filler — stuff that fluffs and fills out around the focal point and complements it; and a spiller, which hangs out over the sides. Container gardens do not thrive on adversity, so make sure you water them often enough in this heat. “Often enough” varies from container to container based on a lot of conditions, so get to know each of your containers’ needs and then give them what they want.
Plant some more peppers. Because the season is winding down, all the vegetable plants are on drastic reduction sales this week, so grab any you can find. The wonderful thing about peppers is that once the fruit starts to form, you don’t have to wait for it to ripen — you can eat it any time it’s big enough to make a mouthful.
Sally McCabe is associate director of community education at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (phsonline.org) and a co-owner of Cobblestone Krautery (www.cobblestonekrautery.com).