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Summer is Here!

Sweat, sex, saunas, and summers in the Deep South - all are associated with heat and moisture. This morning at 8AM, already the thick air draped like a wet, hot towel. I'm going to have to get up much earlier if I expect to do any heavy gardening. Most likely I'm done till September. Till then it's about keeping plants, animals, and humans watered and alive. We are fortunate to have had plenty of rain so far this year. We enter into summer with well soaked roots, and the ground is damp for inches below the surface. Despite the heat, plants are still looking good.

Many hydrangeas are at their peak. While I have already posted on both oakleaf and Lady in Red, I couldn't resist a few more photos of these and other hydrangeas in my yard.Oakleaf hydrangeas separate the lawn from untamed woodlands near the front of our property. Top row: Endless Summer. 2nd row: Annabelle. 3rd row: unknown hydrangea that appeared this year after having "died" two years ago ; Lady in Red. 4th row: Lady in Red and Nikko Blue ; Nikko Blue.

There are some colorful blooms and foliage along this path that curves through a sunny part of the woodland garden:Top: 'Tropicanna' Canna Lily; Clockwise from above left: Elephant Ear 'Mojito' ; Heuchera 'Stormy Seas'; Also 'Stormy Seas' - different plant; Caladium.

 I love the colors of this calla lily that grows beside the stone path in the woodland garden.Clockwise from top left: Gerber Daisy; Heuchera 'Palace Purple'; Rosa Palustris; Purple VerbenaBirds like this garden area, too! Can you find the mockingbird in this photo? This is part of the hillside overlooking the colorful plants featured above.

On the other side of the yard, A pink 'Anthony Waterer' spirea is blooming near the patio. Blue star juniper and rosemary grow in front of the spirea in the photo below.

And finally, even the dog lot has its blooms! A climbing rose, 'Red Cascade' blooms on the picket fence near an old doghouse. The doghouse belonged to Rock, my dad's black chow who came to live with us when my parents were too ill to care for him. My parents and Rock have all passed away now, and our dog Lily, who has her own doghouse, uses this one as her summer house. 'Red Cascade' is a fantastic low maintenance rose with multitudes of one inch red blooms all season. It grows about ten to fifteen feet and looks great draped over fences. Rock's favorite place was the shady corner under the rose between his house and the fence.

The first day of summer is June 21. By then, we'll be counting the days till fall!

Happy blooms to you!  Deborah

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Reader Comments (24)

I can't imagine almost being done with gardening because of the heat and humidity. We're still waiting for it to feel like Spring for more than a couple of days at a time. I love seeing all of your hydangeas in bloom. I anxiously waiting for some here. I love Rock's doghouse and roses. That shady corner does look like the perfect spot for a dog.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Amazing! I love your blue hydrangas. jim

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Groble

I bet your humidity makes the heat much worse! We have been up in the 90's and it definitely feels like summer. Your garden is beautiful. I love all the pretty colors in the next to the last photo! Actually, they all look lovely!! The red cascade is pretty for her summer home. :)

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Beautiful. Between Thursday night and Friday evening we got almost three inches of rain! I have hopes of developing a semi-woodland area next to my home. Your's looks great.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Your garden always looks fabulous! Some days I wonder when I'll get around to planting. It all seems to be prep and fencing and the moment. You give me hope that someday I'll be able to walk outside here, and see something other than weeds! Your rosemary looks wonderful. I have 45 rosemary plants sitting here waiting to be planted, hopefully in the very near future! I love the dog house too...what self respecting pooch wouldn't want to snooze under that blaze of glorious color!?

Beautiful garden. Love your hydrangeas...and the callas...and, well, the doghouse rose garden just left me speechless.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFloridagirl

I really like the way you've used hydrangeas to mark the transition from lawn to woods. I've often thought about using shrubs as a kind of horticultural backfire, assuming that they'd be better able to compete with tree seedlings than perennials are. Since I would also love to have some hydrangeas in my garden, maybe I can combine these two ideas. Thanks for the inspiration.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJean

So you have Rosa palustris too! I love that rose. Where did you get yours?

Your specimen of Red Cascade is magnificent. Great shot of the Canna leaves.

I love all of your Hydrangeas. They look like cascading lace at the edge of the woods.

sigh... I know what you mean about the humid heat. I try to pretend it isn't that bad, and then I have to admit that it really is that bad.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Bay

The Red Cascade is putting on quite a show. Love the hydranga's too! Have not had good luck with them in AL, but yours are sooo pretty.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

wow Deborah it just gets better and better! Most of what you have in bloom now only blooms here in the summer months so I can't wait to see what blooms during the hottest months in your garden. I love the foliage from the Caladiums - a bulb we can only grow as a houseplant here and one I normally kill as I over water it.

I didn't realise that the calla lillies liked a shaded area - we grow them on the patio here or else as a greenhouse plant - thats another one that doesn't like too much water or else it goes all mushy and smelly - a bit like a smelly fish lol

Your backyard must give you so much pleasure

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

You are so right! We can’t wait for summer and when its here, we are dreaming of fall.
We still have reasonably low temperatures, so I can work in the garden. But I’m thinking of getting some kind of lights in my veggie garden, so I can garden during the night, when its cooler.

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervrtlaricaana

Its hard to imagine it is so hot and humid there because your garden always looks so cool and welcoming Deborah! I am always struck by how beautifully your garden is layered.

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

I love that Rose over the old doghouse, very pretty!

I couldn't imagine being unable to get out in the garden to do anything so early in the year... It was bad enough for the past week where it's been too hot to go outside and I've ended up hising in the shade until 7/8pm... Thankfully we're back down to more appropriate temperatures.

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

I feel done, too. The heat arrived so fast and with it the creatures that bite and make us itch! Love the rosemary, spirea photo~very nice layering of textures and colors. So that's what red Cascade looks like in fuller sun! I love the small intense flowers they stand out in my shade garden. gail

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergail

Deb thanks, I have ordered from Petals from the Past once before but had forgotten about them. How, I don't know, it's a great nursery! Thank you for the reminder, and I will have to bookmark their website.

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Bay

Beautiful photos of your yard at this point in time, Deb. I love the hydrangea 'buffer' between the wild woods and your yard. All of the blooms on those hydrangeas are so pretty. While we're not in the 'deep' south, our humidity gets overwhelming here, too....we've already had a couple of days like that already & it will continue to get worse. Being outside is like being in a furnace much of the time here, but I'm sure it's even worse where you are. I'm just happy to see the green after so much snow this winter and will suffer through the heat, somehow;-)

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJan (ThanksFor2Day)

HI Deb, i appreciate your foliage especially the dotted Calla lily. But what i love most is the climbing rose on top of dogie's house, the scene is so lovely that gives a nice accent to that corner! Wonderful.

Red Cascade is impressive... and I had just spent the day yesterday researching it, as I am considering a red rose. Good to know it is easy and carefree, and so stunning. I also love the combo of your juniper, rosemary and spirea, the composition is just so "right"!

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Hi Deb~~ I've been seriously considering 'Red Cascade' but hesitate due to its size. But oh, she is a beaut! Lovely photos all around.

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

Wow, your garden looks fantastic. The hydrangeas are so beautiful this year. Ours are just getting started.

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

Your posts are always so beautiful, lush and full of adventure and nature's beauty...gorgeous!!

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKiki

We're still working through the spring flowers, but I love your summer flowers. Hydrangeas are some of my favourite shrubs, with their large blooms and long flowering time. Your Hydrangea look particularly nice at the base of the trees. They make a wonderful bridge between the woods and the open area.

The closeups of the leaf patterns really show their wonderful texture. I like the subtle veining pattern in the Heuchera 'Stormy Seas'. The Heuchera with silver tones look great with many plants. Together with the Caladium, Canna and elephant ear, they have super foliage.

May 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNorthern Shade

Beautiful photos! I don't know if I've ever seen such a gorgeous dog house garden!

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

what a feast for the eyes! I so enjoy visiting your blog....
You've got one lucky dog -- the roses look so cool over his house!

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

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