Practice constant vigilance against the mosquitoes. Any standing water, no matter how small, is suspect. Send me recommendations for your favorite brand of non-DEET bug repellent.

Pick a view and give it visible impact. With all this heat, gardeners are spending a lot more time indoors gazing longingly out the window toward the garden. I don’t know about you, but the view from where I sit typing this is blocked by low-hanging tree branches and helianthus. Behind it, somewhere, is a beautiful phlox and blue lobelia display. Take your limited time outdoors to clear up that particular space, and ignore the rest of the mess. Once it is done, you can sit in the air-conditioning feeling righteous, looking out the window at a seemingly spotless landscape.

Take a leap of faith. Throughout the spring and early summer, my neighbor and I nurtured and distributed billions of what we thought were a bumper crop of blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) that had sprung up everywhere in both our yards. We were very excited that it was having such a good year. Well imagine our surprise when the first ones came into bloom last week, and they actually were exactly what we thought they were! Neither of us has a clue why they are taking over the world, but at least for this year, we’re going to enjoy their amazing blue color.

Freeze blueberries. In this season of plenty, buy up all the local blueberries you can find and give them some space in the freezer. Rinse first, then allow to air-dry before sealing them in a well-labeled, dated airtight container, and use them up before next year. A recent freezer mishap at our house revealed that we still had 4 quarts of 3-year-old thawed berries now needing to be dealt with. Jam, anyone?

Make jam. Or pie. Or smoothies.

Sally McCabe is associate director of community education at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society ( and winner of the AHS Great American Gardener Jane L. Taylor award.