Sunday, September 21, 2014

Savor September

It's hard for me to believe that the first frost is only a few weeks away. I'm still wearing sandals every day, that means summer, right?
Monarch on bicolor buddliea
Green Envy zinnia
Oh, but the mornings are so cool. That's the sure sign that I'm in denial. Summer is fading before my eyes.
Soraya sunflower
Funny Face rose
Dwarf pennisetum with cherry profusion zinnias
It's a little sad, isn't it? I'll miss walking out the door and grabbing dinner ingredients as I need them. But mostly I'll miss the flowers.
Verbena bonariensis
Pearl Crescent butterfly
Karly Rose grass
The hardest part for me is that most of my favorite flowers are late bloomers. I feel like I just never have enough time to enjoy the dahlias,

Dahlias with Sedum Autumn Joy
or the hydrangeas,
Front-Endless Summer hydrangea Back-Quickfire hydrangea
or the Queen Red Lime zinnias especially. When frost does threaten, these flowers are always still peaking. So I end up gathering bouquets for inside, so that I can enjoy them to the bitter end.
Queen Red Lime zinnia
Queen Red Lime zinnia
Queen Red Lime zinnia
I guess I'd better spend every moment I can outside enjoying the last of the blooms. There is still a lot of gardening left to do.
Ruby throated hummingbird on Candy Corn cuphea
Painted lady butterfly on Black Knight buddliea
My husband is always puzzled that I still spend so much time watering the garden. I've reminded him many times that perennials, shrubs, roses, and trees all need to go into winter strong. They'll do much better if they are well watered before the bitter cold arrives.
Hot air balloons! 
Hot air balloons!
But let's not think about that yet. Let's just enjoy the last of summer, and the last of the flowers. They'll be gone all too soon!
Penny ball
Tall Ribbon Mix snapdragons

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Some Summer Sights

Summer is going to fade away soon. It's still warm and sunny, but I know it can't last much longer.
Endless Summer hydrangeas
Colorful coleus container with Sky Pencil holly nearby
Grandpa Ott's morning glory
Luckily, September is an easy transition into fall. The weather is so perfect that it could fool you into thinking it was still summer.
Goldfinch with Bachelor's Buttons

Red Admiral butterfly with bicolor buddliea

Swallowtail butterfly on purple coneflowers
Wait, it is still summer! The kids may be back in school, but the calendar says it's still summer for a little longer yet.
Angel Wing begonia hanging basket

Porch container in front of coleus patch
Unknown wasp on Green Envy zinnia
 I mean, look at these pretties. It's got to be summer with all these flowers still around.
Queen Red Lime zinnia
So take it in, enjoy it. Savor all these summer sights. You'll need these memories when winter comes to call. On those bleak winter days, you'll find it hard to believe that flowers still exist.
Apple Blossom pelargonium

Polka Dot pot
It's still summer folks, go out and enjoy it! All too soon, it will be gone.
Candy Corn cuphea

Dill flowers, very popular with insects!

Black and blue salvia

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Sunshine

These should be the dog days of summer. It's mid August, hot and sultry, right? Not this year.
Queen Red Lime zinnia
Shabby birdhouse surrounded by Sunny Knockout roses
Munstead lavender with black eyed susans

This year summer is more temperate. It's not too hot, it's not too cool. Perfect.
Grandpa Ott morning glory
Gazing ball with Full Moon coreopsis and anise hyssop
Apple Blossom pelargoniums from seed
Summer vegetables arrive daily, full of summer sunshine. There are jars and jars of pickles in the fridge. Tomatoes turn into salsa. I'm looking for the perfect recipe to use the lovely eggplants that are ripening quickly. The freezer is full of zucchini bread. It's all just so perfect.
Summer veggies

I wish I could say that everything is perfect in the garden this year. I'm an organic gardener, so there will always be a few bugs out there munching. The rough winter made many of my plants small and weak. Blooms are often much later than normal.

Verbena bonariensis with purple coneflowers and Karley Rose pennisetum

Black eyed susans
Endless Summer hydrangeas peeking out from armillary sphere
 Butterflies don't seem to visit as often. But they're out there. They too love the summer sunshine. But they sure don't like to pose for my pictures. There are many more visitors than you see here. Yes, I've seen monarchs, but they are the most skittish of all. That's okay, it's good just know they are here.
Painted Lady butterfly
Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar

Summer is a quiet time around my house. Many of my usual activities are on hiatus, leaving me time to putter in the garden more. This is a very good thing. For once in my life, I don't feel so behind. I might even feel like I'm caught up, can you believe it?

Karley Rose grass

Tiger Eye rudbeckia
But the days are cooling a little faster this year. I'm afraid that summer won't last quite as long. I fear that fall will sneak in behind my back. So I try to spend all the time I can spare just enjoying that summer sunshine. 
Summerific Cherry Cheesecake hardy hibiscus