Wednesday, August 31, 2022

A Steamy August in Robin's Nest

Garden chores tend to slow down in August, and with the steamy weather we've had, that's fine by me.  Often, it's just too hot to do anything but water. Since I'm not a morning person, it's hard to get an early start in order to avoid the heat. The August chores are light anyway, just a little deadheading is needed. I don't actually do much weeding, because I pack my garden beds full of plants so that weeds don't have much room to sneak in. 

I have been busy dealing with my garden veggies though. We're having a banner year for tomatoes and green beans, so every time I turn around, I'm preparing them for the freezer. The green beans are easy, just snap, blanch for 3 minutes, dunk in ice water, then freeze. But the tomatoes are such a project! I'll be so glad that I took the time to do this when the middle of winter comes, and I can make spaghetti, chili, soup, or salsa from my summer bounty. Summer tomatoes just taste better. 

My monarch butterflies are keeping me busy too. It's actually been a slow year for them, but still, I've released about 40 so far. I do have to keep them furnished with fresh milkweed, which has been a struggle since my milkweed is sickly this year. Might have to stop bringing them inside if I can't keep them fed. 

I've gotten so accustomed to watching out for monarchs in my garden, that I sometimes take them for granted. When other butterflies or critters show up, the monarchs take a back seat. But only for a minute! 

Red Admiral with Tiger Swallowtail in the background

Juvenile Red Throated Hummingbird

Red Spotted Purple

Eight Spotted Forester

Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly


Viceroy with carpenter bee

Pearl Crescent 

I've taken the time to visit a few public gardens this month, mostly because I knew that sunflowers were in bloom. I visited formal gardens, sunflower fields, and natural gardens at metro parks. I realized that I visit parks all over town once fall colors arrive, but hadn't taken the time to see them in summer. Sure glad I did!

Smiles of Sunflowers farm

Chestnut Ridge Metropark

Slate Run park

Blacklick Woods

Dawes Arboretum

But my favorite garden will always be own. 

Some of these flowers are probably familiar, but I like to record how much they progress from one month to the next. The window boxes below are a good example, they just keep filling in more and more. 

August is when the zinnias really shine. And you know how much I love my zinnias. 

Green Envy

Oklahoma Salmon

Luminosa Pink


Queen Red Lime

Cut and Come Again

Cut and Come Again

I find that I don't work on my crafts much in summer, but I did stop to make a few fairy house rocks. They've all been slipped into a public garden as a small surprise. I don't know why this project tickled me so much, but I think these turned out so cute. I especially like the yellow one. 

The sunsets this month have been quite varied, with all the humidity we've had. It won't be long until the sunsets swing far enough back the other way that I won't see them as easily from the front porch. Onward to September next. Hard to fathom that unofficial summer is over. But it will still feel like summer for a good bit yet. Thanks for coming by! We'll see you again at the end of September, which is one of my favorite months. Wait, don't I say that every month? Still true! 


  1. What a lovely, colorful, wonderful post. I absolutely admire the butterflies, especially the one with the bee, too, and you have some the we don't have here. I'm still mad at myself for not getting my zinnias planted. Next year. Yours are gorgeous and, of course, I'm envious of your hydrangeas. What's the secret? See you in September--is that a name of song?

    1. I have a few hydrangeas, but I generally feature the Firelight, which is my showpiece. I prune it by about 1/3 in late winter, but not every year. That’s about all I do!

  2. Lovely lady with flowers growing on her head!

    1. I’m so fond of that small planter, and give a great deal of thought into what her “hair” will look like each summer. I’ve been enamored of the tiny yellow flowers she wears this year. I’ll be watching for that plant again.

  3. Hi Robin ;-)
    Your flowers are gorgeous ! ... I had one Black Swallowtail "baby" brought it in with a comfy home and it managed to get out .... where it got to I have no idea and I am still in shock it got out .. noted for next year. Overall we have not had butterflies to speak of , which is sad. However the bees have been amazing ! .. I stick my head in groups of them to do garden chores , and so far they have never felt endangered .. never stung me yet ! .. it makes me happy to see so many and that they are happy with all the plants that nourish them.
    I have neglected my blog ... I really have to do some final posts. My favorite photo is this last one ... the clouds are amazing .. as if painted .. so soft and dreamy, now that is hard to capture with such atmosphere. White flowers are best shot in soft shade, it takes the glare off of them.
    Nice post girl !

    1. I haven’t been stung either, and in fact, I tend to scold them if they get too bothersome. “You wouldn’t have these flowers if it wasn’t for me, so buzz off!”

  4. Such beautiful photos - both the flowers and the butterflies! And your rocks are too cute; you did a really good job on those. Did you paint those or use some kind of special markers?

    1. Thanks Melanie! I used paint markers, something new. Love to be able to paint with ease instead of using brushes.


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