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July 20, 2018
By JOYCE COMINGORE - Garden Club of Cape Coral ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze


Hot enough for you? To put it perfectly and annoyingly obtusely, we're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave. I flit from air-conditioned house, to air-conditioned car, to air-conditioned store. Had a spell without an air-conditioned house but my wonderful son-in-law repaired the air conditioner. These are the times that fry men's souls.

The time to venture out is in the cool, cool, cool of the evening. Coming soon is the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century - July 27, 2018. Problem is, to catch it you must reside in the Eastern Hemisphere. It's just not available to us here in the Americas. The total phase will last 103 minutes, four minutes shy of the absolute amount of time that the longest lunar eclipse can last. During this lunar eclipse, the moon will appear red, the color of blood - a blood moon. In case you are wondering about any hollabalou sounds coming from our world neighbors, this tends to excite some people, claiming the "Apocalypse is coming, the apocalypse is coming," while the moon spends a couple of hours passing through the Earth's shadow. We will get our chance to see a total eclipse of the moon on Sunday night, Jan. 20, 2019.

Colorful moons are nothing new. We spoon under the light of a silvery moon. A blue moon and a total eclipse happened Jan. 31, 2018. A blue moon is the second full moon of a month.

Orange moons happen when lots of dust, smoke or pollution fills the atmosphere between the Earth and the Moon. Yellow moons come when the moon is low on the horizon, just after sunset. The facts are, as the Apollo 8 astronauts told us, the moon is a whitish-gray, like beach sand, because the surface is mostly oxygen, silicon, magnesium, iron, calcium and aluminum. Lighter colored rocks are usually plagioclase feldspar, while the darker rocks are pyroxene.

A strawberry moon happens in June, it is quite different from a blood red moon. The Algonquin Indians gave this nickname to it because it happens at the time of their strawberry harvest.

Gardening in the cool of the evening has its own hazard. Mosquitoes! Therefore, I much prefer gardening in the cool morning time. Be sure to have a water bottle handy and drink often.

Put on a hat and use sunscreen.

It is now hurricane season, so batten down the hatches, keep emptying standing water. The rains, they are a-happening. Slow down, don't move too fast.

The Summer Native and Butterfly Plant Sale is Saturday, July 28, at Rotary Park, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Plan ahead, pick up what you need to fill in your landscape. I will be there from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. to help answer questions. Do you need trees to shade your home, spread coolness, colorful plants to brighten your yard, or help sustain the butterflies and bees? Do you need a rain barrel to capture our recent rainfall and direct it to your needy spots? Show up and sign up for it.

This rainy season is a good time to plant and nourish your gardens, in fact, they need it as nutrients wash out in our sandy soils with our rains. I haven't read much about the usual "No fertilizing until November" warnings, but do be aware of feeding the rain-off that drains into our waterways, causing havoc with its presence.

Sorry to disappoint any of you who thought this column might be an explanation of how to make whiskey, distilling is not my thing. My husband did at one time. In Ohio we had wine brewing on our kitchen counter, blowing up and spraying the whole closet where we were storing it. Such a sticky mess, for a long time. With him went my need and interest in having my own brewery.

Long live any tree you plant. Thank it for its beneficial attributes by giving us fresh air and cool shade.

Joyce Comingore is a Master Gardener, hibiscus enthusiast and member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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