August flew by in a blur. It was a grueling month at work where I had a month to get a huge project done. It was 3 projects now one with a tight deadline that I wasn’t so sure I could make. I spent long 10-12 hour days working in the office and some weekends. By the end, I was exhausted, drained and mentally fried.
And the garden sat by growing with little tending except for my wonderful garden helper who watered and picked veggies (look at all those tomatoes and the harvest has just begun). I spent a total of an hour a week in the garden, picking and clicking pictures. But all in all it was wholly unsatisfying not being able to get out in the garden. At the end of the work day I was too tired to move and usually I was strolling in at 8 or 9 pm due to the hour commute.
I have had 3 vacation days all summer, and with the school year starting we are moving into high gear with more projects ending up on my plate. Not at all what I expected. I was hoping for some vacation time, but I will take a Friday here or there. I do need a proper vacation sometime soon. Some time away, but I cannot leave the garden just yet as she is producing so well. But more on that later in the post.
It is said that we are too busy in our lives these days. And we have become disconnected from our center, nature. I know this to be true for me. I thrive on being outside and my garden has always been that center for me. Not being in it most of the summer has thrown me off kilter. Sitting beneath the shade of a tree, smelling the flowers and grass, hearing the cicadas and birds or sitting beside the pond listening to the water play upon the rocks is therapy that I deary rely upon. It grounds me to what is truly important in life.
If I get into these long days and big projects, I can find myself caught in a downward spiral that will lead to unhealthy habits. So as August ends, I am trying to find that center again. Nature is my renewal and what breathes life into my soul. I am slowing down right now as I try to reconnect with nature rhythms.
I will say there are not many long shots of the garden this month as they are overgrown and unsightly, and a bit embarrassing to show. But the fall chores will start in September and I will be clutter clearing the garden as it needs a healthy dose of attention. As I review this past month, I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.
The best word to describe August is dry. Less than an inch of rain fell all month which is so different than any month so far this year. But the hot, drier, less humid weather has made for a wonderful harvest.
At least I was able to look out of my office windows every day and enjoy the sun. I rose each morning to a fabulous sunrise and drove home as the sun was setting. The color and majesty of the sky did buoy me many days.
The picture of the sky here is but one of those magnificent sunrises as the sun painted the clouds each morning.
This is the front garden holding its own in mid August. It needed some trimming of the lavenders as they were very stressed from all the rain in spring and July, and then the dry hot weather. I lost one so far and hope the others will recover.
This is to the right of the gazebo near one of the rain gardens. Without my intervention the Obedient plants took over the whole area. They make a magnificent drift of flowers in late summer and the pollinators and hummers love them. They even swallowed up the shepherd’s hook that is holding up this hanging pot.
The first aster are out. These are a low growing variety that seems to be starting to bloom in late summer. I believe it is Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’ or as it is know now, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium.
This one of the lobelia that actually bloomed this year. After the drought last year I wasn’t sure if these water lovers would rebound. This one is ‘Hadspen Purple’.
The Clethra out did itself again this year. The smell was heavenly and the bees thronged to it daily. This is Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’ .
The Hardy Hibiscus are stunning this year putting on quite a show. This is a dinner plate size one that has swirls of pink that change as it matures. I believe it is ‘Luna Pink Swirl’ a variety of Hibiscus moscheutos.
This is another rudbeckia. I think ‘August Sun’. It is towering almost 6 feet behind the new birdhouse. Rudbeckias sustain my late summer garden with color much like the traditional ones in the first photo.
And the heleniums are putting on a show especially in the part shade. These are likely ‘Red Jewel’.
My garden is not complete in late summer without the Giant Burnet or Sanguisorba officinalis that is native to Asia.
August has been wonderful. Lots of eggplant and cucumbers. I made my first pickles (refrigerator Bread and Butter variety) as we only grow the pickling cukes. My garden helper does not like cukes unless they are very pickled. These were delicious and I ate the whole jar. And here are those tomatoes again. We lost all but one heirloom plant that is finally ripening. These are all hybrids grown from seed. They are amazing especially the plum tomatoes that are huge, heavy and very meaty. We made homemade sauce from just 4. The beans did not rebound as I was hoping after being chewed down by voles.
This the burgundy okra we grew or I should say its flower. The plant is gorgeous as a flowering plant with its red stems. And isn’t the flower amazing. The plants are 3 feet high producing mounds of okra. Very tasty and tender.
The meadow is showing its messy summer side. The goldenrod is over 6 feet high in some spots.
And speaking of critters….August brought many of the juvenile birds into the garden. Starting top middle…that is a young bluebird looking for any berries left. The many young sparrows visited daily and took baths both in water and dirt and just relaxed on our patio table. Next I think that is a young house finch. The young sparrows also tried to partake of the yummy liquid in the hummingbird feeders. They tried many times to figure out how to get some. They chased the hummers, but the hummers waited patiently and then came back. You can see the coloring of the goldfinches is changing as they become more olive colored in fall and winter. Isn’t the hummer beautiful. I am so glad we opted for a new feeder. The hummers visit all the flowers still and then get some extra yum. Aren’t the feathers glorious and you can see the wings curled to her side.
The Wide Shot
This is something new I am joining. Thanks to Christina@Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for mentioning this new meme. Xericstyle is hosting this meme the first of every month, and all you have to do is post your favorite wide shot of your garden. My favorite one is the view from my bedroom window surveying the entire back garden. Here’s what the beginning of September looks like. A bit messy and overgrown.
The covered spot is one of 4 raised beds. Lots of flowers growing around it and making it hard to manage. Need to gain control of the area again.
Gardens Eye Verse
Well that was August. September is supposed to cool off quickly and I am looking forward to it as I need some cool weather to invigorate me as I work extra hard in the garden in fall. Lots of projects, but those will wait for another post.
I leave you with some musings about August. This hummingbird moth visited often in summer. I was lucky to get a halfway decent picture.
August MuseAugust seems such a strange month. The weather shifting in and out of season. And those glorious golden days, The hot sun still parching my garden. Flowers fading, fruit ripens And my thoughts turn a bit melancholy. As the raucous noise of summer fades, And friends depart for their long journeys home.
I hope you will join me for Seasonal Celebrations which is underway until the Equinox around the 21st. Read more about how to join in below.
Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time. I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether summer or winter or something else. Share your traditions, holidays, gardens and celebrations in pictures, poetry or words starting September 1st.
And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme. What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the North and winter in the South. Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.The rules are simple. Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations. If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts. Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post. Make sure to include a link with your comment.
Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (the 22nd of September). And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog. Your post should be linked in the weekend before the equinox to give us enough time to include your post in our summary. And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create). The badges here can be used in your post. So won’t you join in the celebration!!
Next up on the blog: I’ll be doing more plant profiles in September starting with a Simply The Best post next Monday. And I have a blogging anniversary on the 13th. I may even add a few more reflective posts this month as time allows.
I am 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.
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