Today was blessed with blue skies, pleasant temperatures, and low humidity.
Around the garden, foliage is lush and late summer flowers are blooming, though some plants are already preparing for dormancy. Dogwood berries are turning red. Hydrangea blooms are beginning to dry.Nevertheless, the woodlands are still green and are luminous when golden lights shine through them. Late afternoon is a magical time to be in the garden.
It was a great day to spend on the patio, resting my sore muscles upon the chaise lounge while watching hummingbirds and butterflies.
My muscles are sore because two days ago I transplanted four hostas, four heucheras, three holly bushes, and one very large snowball viburnum. Oh, and also one hydrangea. Then I planted nine new shrubs — including azaleas, gardenias, and upright boxwoods — watered everything well and then put a fresh layer of pine straw around all of it. I haven't quite recovered. But September starts our best planting/transplanting season, and already I have a new list of to-do items, scheduled for my next couple of off days.
The fact is I am never satisfied and am always striving to make my garden meet the visions in my head. The weather, the plants, the critters, and the budget don't always cooperate, but that is the challenge that makes the game fun.
Speaking of critters, I have a new opponent, who sneaks around at night, digging in my garden beds, often uprooting small plants. I suspected but wasn't sure who the culprit was, until he left his muddy paw prints across my patio, coming straight from new holes dug next to recently planted verbena:
Lou, who knows his animal prints, informs me it is a raccoon.
Another, more welcome critter, is a dragonfly. We don't have a pond, so I was thrilled to see a newly emerged dragonfly, resting on a log while he was still drying.
We have a had a lot of rain the last couple of months, so maybe there is water in the creek bed at the bottom of the valley behind our house. Usually it is dry, but sometimes it does get some water in it. I think that is where the dragonflies are coming from.
Plentiful rain has also brought lots of mushrooms, including a dark, warty one I have never seen before:
If I hurry, I may get back outside to enjoy some more of this beautiful day and to plan my next move in this game called gardening. I hope you are having some nice weather, too!