“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always
been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~Henry James
I wasn’t sure what would be going on in the August garden, but I can say it feels more like late July heat and looks like late September as if fall has descended on the garden already. This has been a most interesting and challenging summer, and as it comes to a close I am hoping to have a bit of a cool off and some needed rain. But like all the rest of the seasons so far this year, we will no doubt see extremes. Nevertheless I will have to garden in whatever weather there is as I have too many projects that must be done before November including planting and moving of plants.
For this month’s journal, I will be joining in with the many memes that are happening this time of the month: Walk in Garden@This Grandmother’s Garden, First View@Town Mouse & Country Mouse; Garden Bloggers Harvest Day (GBHD)@The Gardening Blog, Best and Worst of My Garden@Bumble Lush, Salad Days@Veg Plotting on the 4th Friday of the month and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.
As I write this, we are entering September and summer here has not loosened her grip. I am so surprised by the heat (90 degree temps continue) and drought that continues here. We are probably approaching 9 inches behind in our rainfall with a scant 2 inches of rain falling in August. The drought maps say we are between a moderate to severe (if you garden or farm) drought. But there is hope. Hurricane Issac is headed here by Tuesday and I expect a good soaking. A few inches would help greatly. The drought forecast is also showing we will be back on track as fall ends so I expect that to mean significant rain this fall….just give me weekends in the garden. Although I have been known to garden and plant in rain as long as it is not a downpour.
The sunlight is softening the sky later now with peach and orange colors, and when I get a chance on weekends I love to watch the sunrise in the garden as it takes a good couple of hours to break through or above the trees.
So let’s see what has been happening in the garden; the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Sorry this is a long post.
I have not been able to get to tending the front and side gardens, and not much has changed there except they look a bit overgrown and ratty in spots. So I am concentrating on the back gardens this month. In September I will have had time to get them under control, I hope.
This is the more wild area at the back of the garden. I created a watering hole for insects here as we water the round bed and can keep it filled. I know someone had blogged about this and for the life of me I cannot remember who it was…so if you remember let me know so I can give them a shout out. I have not weeded this area, but it isn’t as bad as in past years due in large part to the drought. Yes that is my gazing ball…sorry I love these remnants of Victorian gardens.
And what is this mess you might ask? Well this is the untended garden bed around the giant ash trees. We haven’t really taken much care here for 2 years so it is a Worst. We always seem to run out of time, but the garden helper has been working on it some. But you know things happen for a reason and this bed will likely be upended in the next few years. I will post about that at a later date. Not a pretty story. In between the grass and weeds are hosta and all assortment of bulbs. That shrub is a native bayberry.
This is a prettier area on the other side of the pond waterfall. I am redoing it a bit since it is dry in summer and wet in spring. The phlox finally bloomed with the little rain we had and the poor hydrangea in the middle perked up a bit.
Moving a bit to the left of the above bed is a wonderful hardy hibiscus, rudbeckia and a volunteer goldenrod. The burnet behind the hibiscus had not flowered yet. I’ll be showing it below. Right next to this, as the bed continues around, is common milkweed. I’ll have to do a feature of this bed sometime in the future as it a circular bed on an incline as it travels around the pond. The growing conditions are as diverse as they could be from one end to the other and top to bottom.
This border is on the left side of the back garden along the fence. As you can see little is blooming, but at least it is green. It should be full of color still but anything that did bloom faded quickly. It also needs a good weeding and thinning. This is the last part of the back gardens I need to weed. Looks like a Worst right now.
This Sanguisorba officinalis or Great Burnet is not a native to my part of North America, but it is native much further North and in Europe and Northern Asia. It is a very interesting plant and one I enjoy seeing every fall. You can see pollinators love it.
This my late flowering Meadow Rue or Thalictrum rochebrunianum. It has come through the drought like a trooper and is towering in the garden although not as tall as in years past. It seems to love the drier sunnier areas.
This was a new addition to the circular raised bed, orange crocosmia. It is lovelier than ‘Lucifer’ I think.
The few Obedient plant or Physostegia virginiana that bloomed are exciting the pollinators and hummers. Usually these not so well behaved natives are blooming all over the garden in massive drifts. This year they are either dried up or just not blooming except for in the meadow where they seem very happy. I moved a few out there last year and they are beginning to bloom. They will create a wonderful effect by next year I bet. This is the view of the flower the critters see.
Here’s another pollinator/hummer favorite, lobelia. Like the Obedient plant, they love water so any that bloom this year are a bonus. I have many different colors of this plant- plum, purple, blue and red. See the happy bee zeroing in on his target. I was happy to see more helenium blooming as well. The picture at the beginning of the post is Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ (I think).
I couldn’t resist showing off my hardy hibiscus ‘Kopper King’. The light shines through it all morning long. It blooms later than the others and I love the coloring of the bloom and foliage. This was a special gift from a dear friend who entrusted this plant to me when she moved to the SW. I have divided it and spread it around the garden.
A little rain helped coax the phlox to bloom. I hope they last. Perhaps with some rain this week they will decide to stick around and bloom some more. The different colors are welcome all over the gardens.
The meadow has been blooming away and here are a few gems I found when I was out cutting off teasel. It is into its goldenrod phase now with a few other surprises still mixed in and blooming.
The pond has been very clear these days which is another indication fall weather is here although the temps are high. The algae should be still growing with all the heat, but it has stopped.
And the water lilies are bouncing back.
Veg Beds Update
Well the harvest continues. Here’s just a bit of what we have been eating.
More long Asian eggplants
Roasted green chiles
And lots of cherry tomatoes until early blight (in August mind you) hit these plants out of no where.
And here are the last of the blue potatoes. Gorgeous in flower, firm wonderful potatoes harvested and colorful, flavorful to eat.
Enjoy some of the August critters (top left clockwise). Robins were still hanging around. Lots of dragonflies too. This cute little hummer found a great perch on the tomato ladder after he drank his fill from the coral bells on the patio. Black swallowtails still visiting. Lots of different pollinators to identify. Frogs have been prolific and all over the garden. The entire back garden and meadow is now their domain. And this Cedar Waxwing was by to take a dip with his friends before departing South.
Gardens Eye Verse
So that is it. Whew, lot’s going on still even with many spent blooms. I will bet September will see a resurgence of flowers that I thought were done…and I love surprises. I leave you with a bit of my poetry to take us into late summer and fall. Hope you enjoy it!
As Summer turns her face to Fall
The birds, the bees, the butterflies call.
Eat, drink and fly for all too soon-
The cooler winds will blow past the Harvest Moon.
It is time for 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: September is forecast to be way too busy for me both in the garden and on the blog. Next Monday will be Garden Lessons Learned especially in the veg garden. On the 13th I will share a special GDDB as I celebrate my second blog anniversary, and I will have another wonderful garden book to share on the 17th. Stay tuned for Seasonal Celebrations revealed on the 21st, and I end the month sharing another favorite native wildflower.
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 once a month on the 3rd Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. The next one will be on the 18th.
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