After spring’s luscious garden color popping and growth glory, the summer garden settles in to both production and reclusive habit. Our Zone 14 (sunset) 9 (USDA) mornings trend in grey and cool, while afternoons are sunny warm, a lot of the time super hot. Temperatures do fluctuate despite expert predictions.
For those of you who are enthusiastic gardeners, you still go out in the garden doing all the chores you can maybe between heat bouts. I still garden daily regardless of the temps. I have found through the years of both drought in California and continual drought in Las Vegas, that trimming a plant back helps it live through heat and drought only because there’s less mass to keep hydrated. There are many plants that do not like trimming or can handle very little, but there are many that can handle a nice cut, trim, thin and then they almost go summer dormant but then recover nicely.
For example, If your bearded iris clumps haven’t bloomed well for a year or two, and the clump is pretty large, chances are it’s too crowded and needs to be renovated. Do you have climbing roses? The best time to perform major pruning (removing one or more canes) on a climber is right after it has finished flowering, in early summer. The strong new canes that sprout afterward will then have time to mature and produce roses the next year. I've even trimmed my California Lilacs! And so it goes. And don’t forget to mulch mulch mulch!
Note- the photo is one of my designs where the client had hot sunny southwest exposure.