Most nights, Cheryl Fleeger spends an hour dousing her flowers with the garden hose to protect them from the withering heat.
"I'm watering them once a day," the Edgewood resident said last night as she sprayed the flowers in front of her house on Perry Court. "The grass can fend for itself."
On a day when the thermometer reached 100 degrees in Baltimore and 97 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, homeowners, gardeners and farmers all over Maryland struggled to keep their grass from burning, their flowers from wilting and their crops from dying.
In Harford County, where the use of sprinklers has been banned to avoid water pressure problems, a nice yard doesn't come so easily.
"It takes a lot of work," said Ray Hamm, 57, who lives on Perry Avenue in Edgewood. "We don't water the lawn at all. We try to water the flowers every other night."
Like most of his neighbors, Mr. Hamm keeps waiting for rain. He didn't see much in June. In fact, June was hotter and far dryer than usual, according to the National Weather Service.
In Baltimore, the average temperature for the month was 79 degrees -- almost four degrees higher than normal. The thermometer reached 100 degrees twice, with yesterday's high tying the 1959 record.
At the airport, the average temperature for the month was 74 degrees -- two degrees higher than normal.
During a normal June in Central Maryland, about 3.7 inches of rain falls, but last month, only .62 inches of rain fell in the city and 1.08 inches at the airport.