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Summer Views From the Patio

Fallen rose petals lie at the feet of an old rusty rabbit near the patio. Summer is here. Today the official heat index was 98 and felt hotter than that. I don't like summer. Voles have been snacking in my garden again. Today I lost two mature Nandina 'Firepower' shrubs to them. Mildew has found my dogwoods and crepe myrtles. Every year I try to persuade myself to love summer, but the best I can do is to tolerate it. 

Despite my perennial complaints, the garden doesn't look bad. We have had enough rain, and the plants are lush. The landscape is layered with deep greens and jewel tones. Even in the mornings it is too steamy to venture outside for long, but here is a report of what is happening on and near the patio:

Okay, I love summer, after all. Look at my red banana plant!

Above: Pink 'Anthony Waterer' spirea, blue flowering 'Lady in Red' hydrangeas, and common day lilies, which have grown here for over a half century, provide some nice color in the garden adjacent to the patio.

Hydrangeas are blooming now. 'Endless Summer' has striking blue color, proof of our acid soil! The variegated plant in the pot is daphne.

Some more hydrangeas — 'Waterfall' is an unusual one growing at the base of a dogwood tree:Annuals on the patio will provide color through the season, as long as I remember to water and fertilize them.The Talavera lizard above is a nod to the real anole lizards who inhabit the patio every summer. I took the first photo of the lantern below before I realized there was a lizard lookout perched atop the pole. Lou tells me he is there every day.

Something of an oddity, a white poinsettia, left over from the Christmas season, is spending the summer on the patio. It still has its bracts and is now putting on new growth:

One more thing from the patio: I have a little iron bowl ornament, and I have had a hard time finding the perfect place for it. Then one day recently I set it on my penny table, and now it has a home. It looks great with the pennies, and it allows plenty of room for a book and a very cold drink when I am sitting in the adjacent lounge chair.

 Be cool!


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Reader Comments (21)

Oh yes, I like your summer views very much! Last night I had a dream that geckos and lizards could now survive Wisconsin winters because of global warming. While I enjoy the little creatures, I'm thinking it was actually more like a nightmare. Strange what we dream, isn't it? Cute photos of the little guys!

June 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

Hi Deb,
Personally I love Summer, but my garden doesn't. Everything looks wilted and I have to water sometimes twice a day to keep up with evaporation. I also move my gardening to evenings as it is too hot to tolerate in the afternoon, plus the water will be boiling. Love the hydrangeas I like the blue color. Do you fill up that bowl for the birds in summer?

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGraziella

The iron bowl looks perfect there indeed. Love all the colour in your garden this moment. The warmth there in the summer may get a bit much at times but your plants seems to look happy. And the banana will relish the extra warmth too. Gorgeous garden as always Debs!

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Woah it's warm with you! Those hydrangeas are breath-taking. Your garden looks splendid and the lizard is very cute. Enjoy a cool drink by the penny table for me!

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Gardening Shoe

How cool and refreshing your garden looks. The glowing banana is the perfect complement to your layered garden. And the iron bowl on the penny table is a happy combination -- isn't it fun when things fall into place just right? The clear blues of the hydrangeas with the glossy dark green daphne is another happy mix. Your summer garden certainly looks divine even if it really is hot and uncomfortable.

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Your blue hydrangeas are impressive! They're just beautiful. that 'Waterfall' in particular and also the lady in red with yellow hemerocallis. That lizard is so cheerful, how could you not love summer? :-)
I've never seen all the beautiful pictures you have collected on those galleries from the right side bar. Very interesting!

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

Hi Deb...your garden looks wonderful! I really like that rusted rabbit on the rock wall. The lizard is a bit scary. Are there a lot of them in your garden?

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

Seeing your "oh so blue" hydrangeas makes me wish I had acid soil! Our lizards doen't have that red bulge under their chins or at least I've never seen any. I don't like summer either so am pleased it still hasn't quite arrived here yet, We still have a duvet on the bed and it isn't too hot, either that or our blood has thinned and we're becoming Italian in our sensibilities. Christina

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

That is seriously hot! Your blue hydrangeas are stunning, so much nicer than pink I think. Your lizard looks a lovely fellow and knows when he is in a seriously good garden!

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpauline

I love the hydrangeas and your lizards! I actually am not a big fan of summer but that has a lot to do with hot flashes right now. Jeannine

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine

Love your banana plant! Blue hydrangeas look so exotic to me. Here in the alkaline midwest hydrangeas are usually white, occasionally pink.

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjason

Summer in your garden may feel uncomfortable, but it looks beautiful. We are hoping that summer will arrive in Maine any day now -- but I suspect what we call summer (daytime highs in the 70s or maybe even low 80s) is what you would call spring!

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Your garden looks pretty darn great for summer in the south. I too am a fan of those adorable lizards, although I haven't ever seen the red bulge under his chin. Great pictures. Did I understand you to say that the beautiful blue lacecap hydrangea pictured is Lady in Red ? If so, I may need to run out and get one.

Was your garden that was published in Alabama Gardener?

June 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanie

I hate the humidity and mosquitoes of summer but we have only had the skeeters. I love your blue hydrangeas as I only have pink here with our clay soil. I zlso love that cute lizard and the amazing banana...great to see it doing so well.

June 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Hi Deb
It's so hard to get a lovely blue in the garden but you have achieved it with the blue hydrangea. Gorgeous! We have no lizards here in Ontario but they are everywhere when we vacation in Clearwater Florida. To be honest, I enjoy the brightly painted "fake" lizard the best :)

June 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

absolutely gorgeous photos deb, I love the colour schemes and the way you place the decorative bits. It's funny that it's so hot there. Today was our coldest winter so far, I wore a jacket and woolly hat and scarf and gloves.

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

What a beautiful banana! I love the contrast. I am losing lots of plants to a bunny boom this year but looking out at the garden overall, it's hard to tell. I do love summer. I do love the ornamentation in your garden especially that penny table with the wonderful iron bowl! I have missed visiting your garden.

Ah, summer. It's too much in large doses. I go out for short bursts of it, reminding myself how much I hate being cold or facing snow. Your gardens are lovely, with all my favorite things.

It's kind of startling when a gecko decides to be official greeter at your door but they're harmless. My greenhouse crew is geckos, tree frogs and toads. They can put away a host of insects.

June 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternell jean

well Deb dispite the heat your garden looks beautiful as always though I am sorry to hear of the damage from voles and mildew, your banana plant is wonderful and I love the blues of your hydrangeas, that's a sweet little bowl and looks good on your table, keep cool, Frances

June 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

Well, real summer starts tomorrow, but it already feels that way. Still, we are cooler than you are, and even I have trouble being motivated to garden in the heat! So I can just imagine there with you. How lucky you are to have your Endless Summer bloom blue, mine is pink instead, but still gorgeous!

June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL
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