“Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer’s queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear.”
– R. Combe Miller
Can you believe it is August already. I have barely been in the garden. On weekends I manage a couple of hours each day before the heat and humidity force us indoors. Too much heat brings on migraines so I have to be careful. I have been getting a bit melancholy lately as I know August rushes by too fast, and with it the last of summer. Soon it will be fall here in the Northern Hemisphere, and time for another Seasonal Celebrations. I do hope you decide to join me this September 1st to celebrate the coming of another equinox. There will be more information at the end of this post, and in coming weeks.
And speaking of memes, I am linking again to many that are happening this time of the month: Walk in Garden@This Grandmother’s Garden, First View@Town Mouse & Country Mouse, Best and Worst of My Garden@Bumble Lush, and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog. If you get a chance, drop on by and see their wonderful blogs and posts.
Well I think I have had about as much of this weather as I can stand. We had our 21st day of 90+ degree days. The last 2 weeks in July were brutal even with the little bit of rain we had. Many times it didn’t even wet the ground. Most times clouds passed over with no rain only to dump the buckets of water on down the road. But with these sunny days at least we are getting some gorgeous sunsets.
In August we usually have a change in our weather pattern. Sometimes it is early in August, but usually we can rely on a change the last two weeks right before school officially starts here after Labor Day. And before we know it, winter will show up and I will be wishing for the heat of summer since we are usually socked in for 4-6 months with frigid temps and lots of snow. Of course we may have another mild winter if the climate is really changing.
And all this horrid weather did give my knee time to heal more. Can you believe I have not knelt in the garden since last November or was it late February taking pictures. What I am hoping for is a brilliant August with sun, some needed rain and cooler temps by about 10 degrees.
Since I am showing the garden in July it may appear more lush than it is. Many blooms faded right after Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, and I didn’t have the heart to show brown and dying foliage. But I will in August.
Not too bad as the hydrangeas put on lots of green growth but alas no flowers. Maybe a miracle will happen in August, and it will rain enough to give them the refreshment they need. A few day lilies, yellow scabiosa that seeded itself and hyssop in bloom. Don’t the trees still look neat and trim. They have actually gotten a bit unruly of late, and need a bit of a trim soon.
Here’s a wider view showing the other side of the walk. The echinacea and phlox are gorgeous. Some phlox is still blooming to my amazement. I have not had a chance to weed or move any of the volunteers. That will happen in fall.
I love this view over the back fence showing the monarda and echinacea. Hardy hibiscus had not bloomed yet near the pond. The flowers here are a welcoming treat for the pollinators as they buzz happily along the fence. You can just make out some shasta daisies and yellow rudbeckias in the distance.
Here’s part of the white garden after weeding. It actually has perked up now that it is not fighting with the weeds for nourishment and water. This is the only hydrangea blooming still, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’. There are white echinacea and Obedient plant flowering as well.
This is the view at the top of the stairs when you walk out the back door, looking down on the shade garden and patio. There is the miniature hosta container ( thanks to Carolyn’s Shade Garden plants) still growing nicely with the violas I grew from seed. The other pot has torenia I grew as well. The little bird bath was blown down with no damage or was it knocked down. There are a few of the hostas that were spared from the deer but not the slugs.
My crocosmia, ‘Lucifer’ in the back garden bloomed big this year and much to the delight of the hummers.
I decided to make a few collages out of all the blooms of lilies and daylilies that graced my garden this summer. I long ago lost the tags so enjoy the photos and variety. Daylilies have been incredible bloomers through all the heat and drought. Lilies were brave but many were a no show.
Many have finished blooming and need to be clipped back, but some are still squeaking out a few blooms now and again.
You can see the all the different types of lilies growing in July. I still have a few late bloomers who will flower now in August, but I planted them later in June. The gladiolas and dahlias I planted have all been thwarted by the drought, and I am so sad not to see them blooming.
Native yarrow continues to delight although I think it may be about finished. I will cut it back in hopes of some later blooms.
While common and swamp milkweed are done blooming, the native Asclepias tuberosa or butterfly weed was blooming into later July. We see it in the fields and meadows along the roadside too.
Monkshood has also been blooming. It gets so tall in part shade that it flops over and is supported by the hostas.
My native St. John’s Wort that was planted in spring finally bloomed. We did water new bushes (well most that weren’t hidden by weeds) so they had a chance.
Finally my very favorite lobelia has bloomed in a couple of areas that are usually wet or stay wet. I am hoping for a stellar performance from others if we get some rain.
I wanted to highlight a few containers for you. As you can see I adore torenia (top 2 pictures) which was new to me last year. I started these from seed as well and couldn’t be happier with them. They take shade, heat and humidity and just keep on blooming. The pink blooms are of New Guinea impatiens that hang from a wire basket on my maple tree.
The rest of the blooms are of the marigolds I planted from seed this winter and spring. I plant the seedlings in late May in the veg beds and containers to help thwart the critters. They remind me of my mom and her annual flower beds. She loved to plant marigolds. I promised B-A-G@Experiments With Plants that I would highlight mine. B-A-G recently did a post on marigolds. I grow mainly French marigolds, tagetes patula (smaller flowers) or African marigolds, tagetes erecta (big pom-pom flowers). French marigolds are said to be best in the veg garden as they kill root nematodes. I need to remember this for next year and plant more of these.
My precious water lily has been inundated with aphids. They have destroyed the leaves and the flowers. Before we knew it they were upon us. We could spray with an organic compound, but in all this heat I fear they will require more work than we have time. So they were beautiful in June, but not in July. I will have to watch for this early next summer.
The meadow has also been overrun with teasel, Queen Anne’s Lace, thistle and various other invasive weeds. The worst was the teasel, which you can read about in my Beautiful Wildlife Garden’s post. We do have better control of it, and we will fill in the big open areas the teasel left once we took it out. Next to be pulled will be the Queen Anne’s Lace which is a bit out of control as well. I will leave some of it as I know I can’t get rid of it all.
Veg Beds Update
I already gave an update last week about the veg harvest, but there have been a few updates that I felt compelled to tell. First the hundreds of cherry tomatoes have started to ripen just in time for early tomato blight. These are in containers on the patio. One day they were fine, and the next morning they were not. We have sprayed again with copper spray that is safe for organic gardening. I hope we can control it and keep it to a few plants.
This is the main bed which has many perennials planted around it ensuring pollinators. Can you see the roses blooming? Amazing to see them since in spring they did not grow because of the constant freezes. We harvested the garlic, and planted tomatoes and peppers. The bell peppers did not grow, but I planted many rows of carrots amongst the tomatoes as they do love each others company. You can just see the pumpkin blossoms bottom right. We only have 3 pumpkins so far, but you can read in my harvest post why that might be.
Lots of critter surprises I wanted to share.
My first miracle was to see this pair of swallowtail caterpillars munching on the dill on the patio. After a few days they crawled away, and I hope they are snuggled safe in a cocoon somewhere. I saw the black swallowtail around the dill but never dreamed she laid eggs.
I’ll leave you with this final miracle. What a delight to see these little ones and yes those are triplets. 15-20% of does will give birth to triplets indicating a very healthy habitat. These guys were just too much fun to watch. They enjoyed watching us too and mom wasn’t afraid at all. We watched them from the middle of our garage as they crossed the street.
Gardens Eye Verse
I hope you enjoy a bit of my poetry, actually more free verse as I contemplated our summer.
A sea of gold set ablaze in the hot sun.
I squint to watch a monarch with a bee,
Adrift on the sultry breezes.
It caresses my skin and sets my soul on fire.
I am lost in the lazy hum of the garden,
All life here has succumbed to this moment-
There is no other as there will never be again.
Don’t forget that September 1st marks the next installment of Seasonal Celebrations/Garden Lessons Learned. Click the link to learn more. Beth@PlantPostings will be wrapping up this past season with lessons we have learned in our gardens, and I will be setting the stage for next season’s celebrations (fall up N and spring down S of the equator). What do you love to do in the this upcoming season? What holidays or rituals make it a wonderful season for you? How does your garden grow and what favorite plants will be blooming? I hope you will be joining us. Just create a post and link in with both or one of us between September 1st and the 20th, and around the 21st we will reveal those lessons and celebrations.
Next up on the blog: August will be a busy month in the garden and on the blog. Next Monday will be GBBD followed by a special tree post mid week. I will have a wonderful garden book to share on the 20th.
I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
I hope you will join me for my posts, every other Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.
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