It has been consistently hot here for about a month. I think we had a week of respite somewhere in the middle there, but my brain is suffering from the heat crazies and I don't exactly remember. We have taken to setting up a sprinkler on the deck to a.) water plants and b.) stand in (Z has learned how to get particularly soaked!) and eating food from the barbecue most nights. Here are a few things that you can do to help your garden (and friends) in times like these.
1.) Refill your hummingbird feeders weekly; even if they're not empty, the liquid can go bad much more quickly when it's hot. I use a 1:4 ratio of sugar to water- so 1/2 c. sugar + 2 c. water for mine.
2.) Pick any flowers that come back over the season, like sweet peas or hydrangeas. This will let you have fresh flowers in your house, but also will promote them to grow more flowers! My sweet peas have been growing for months now, and even though my biggest one is looking mostly dead as far as the stems go, it still is producing more flowers. If you're really quick, you can also plant a few more sweet pea seeds right now for a fall crop. (This is the first year I'm trying this, so we'll see how it goes!)
3.) For God's sake, water your plants! Mine usually look like this by the time I get to them in the daytime; so try to water at night, or really early in the morning. I only water at midday if I have no other choice, since most of the water will evaporate pretty much instantly. I've also thought about adding some plastic jugs with the bottoms cut off- sticking them in the ground near things that need lots of water, then filling them when I water so more of it released slowly into the ground. I haven't done it yet, but it might work in the areas of your yard that are harder to get to. You can also run soaker hoses over any areas that are flat; I've used an "extension hose" to get the soaker hoses down the hill where they are needed the most. Then I can just turn on the hose, come back in 10 minutes, and my hardest-to-water area is done!
4.) If you have a birdbath, keep it full of water. Not only do birds use it, bees need water too!