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Joy in the Garden

Summer is softening now. We have had some cooler days with an edge of fall, and I have been taking it easy.While I am recuperating from surgery, I get to just be in the garden with no weeding or watering or trimming or digging or any of those other chores that can distract from the joy the garden has to give. I am fortunate that Lou is here to keep things under control, for otherwise I might be fretting. Happily, I am able to study and make plans, and I am doing lots of that!

While lounging on the patio, I keep admiring my red banana plant. Forgive me for bragging about it again. When I bought it last year, I wasn't sure it would fit in or if it would survive the winter. No doubt it is now at the top of my list of plants with beautiful foliage. When golden sun shines through the leaves, it is spectacular:Down from the patio Pieris japonica 'Cavatine' is putting out new growth, which I think is particularly lovely:

Another foliage plant I am noticing more lately is arborvitae fern. I have several of these planted under some azaleas. It has taken a few years for them to become established, but our wet summer this year has really helped them to flourish.

I have been disappointed with my peacock orchids. They bloomed the first year I planted them and not since. I am thinking about digging them up. But the other day I noticed their stems. Who needs flowers?

Variegated fig is another beautiful foliage plant. It is not hardy, so it will go into Lou's office for the winter, where it will stay warm and receive just the right amount of light. Lou complains about how I convert his office into a greenhouse every winter, but without an enclosed garage or greenhouse, it really is the best place we have.

Down in my arbor garden hosta 'Francis Williams' is looking good. Voles decimated the hostas in this area earlier this year. I am glad this one is a survivor.

I am fascinated by the changes that occur to hydrangea blooms as they age. This skeletal bloom caught my attention the other day. It reminds me of coral:

Endless Summer hydrangea was bright blue earlier this year. Now the antique blooms are shades of lavender. Here it is with variegated daphne:

More photos of aging hydrangea blooms:

Finally, here are a few flowers that add color to the garden as summer's end approaches. They should stay lovely well into fall:Clockwise from top left: Portulaca, Pavonia hastata, Caryopteris, HibiscusIt's easy to receive joy from a garden. One only has to listen, to look, to smell, to hear, to feel. But one does have to pause to take it in. I am grateful for my garden and for the time to enjoy it.


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Reader Comments (19)

It's wonderful to spend time being present and just observing in the garden--even if it's a forced rest. Your photos show your astute observation of the simple beauties in your garden. I hope you're feeling better every day!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

I agree that it is kind of a little gift to just enjoy the garden and not feel obligated to weed, prune and clean. You get to focus on the beautiful foliage and soak it all in. A mediation of sorts. Plants are such amazing things! I wish you a speedy recovery and make the best of this situation. Jeannine

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine

Isn't it nice when you get those those moments finding yourself just pausing and relishing the garden for what it is? On your case there is a surgical recuperation involved but the garden is now serving as a source of rest and therapy too.

Sometime one just needs to take the time, pause, and relish the garden. Bliss!

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

A beautiful series of photos!
Have a wonderful day!
Lea's Menagerie

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLea

It is interesting how enforced rest makes you so observant of all the wonder in the garden. When you can't be out there to do all the chores, you can look around, and you have beauties to see. We should all learn that lesson!

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Enforced rest can be a blessing. The body needs to heal and what better place to do it than in a beautiful garden. Take your time, the garden isn't going anywhere, it will be waiting for you!

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpauline

It is all too easy not to just sit back and enjoy the garden; the urge to leap up and do some weeding or whatever is a constant threat. I'm glad you're getting to have that time, just sitting and looking, I hope you're feeling more confident every day. Your garden is lovely it deserves to be enjoyed! Christina

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I'm glad you're able to enjoy the garden during your recuperation - I hope your recovery is proceeding with due speed. Your photos are wonderful. The canna picture makes me want to grow canna again in my current garden. I love that pot the ficus is in too!

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

You are forgiven Deb. Those banana leaves are worth bragging about. The hydrangea bloom skeleton is also very artistic. I must say that I find trimming and watering the garden more of a joy than a chore. I hope you will soon be able to enjoy gardening again.

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

I would be bragging about the banana leaves as well, they are gorgeous. It's nice to be able to just sit and enjoy the garden, before you know it you will be busily working in it again.

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

That banana foliage really is stupendous. I am generally not a fan of banana plants, but this one is gorgeous and might make me a convert.

Loved this post Deb - but then of course it's all About great FOLIAGE!

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Chapman

I love that banana plant. The color is so beautiful in the leaves. It make gorgeous photographic images too, almost like a fabric pattern.

August 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Once again the gardener in my is sighing over the plants that I can no longer grow up here, but were common down there...oh well, that's OK, I have a garden here, and only had a patio there.

Your Canna's are lovely, and to think of leaving a banana outside...cool.


August 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Deb, you are wise to use your recovery time to get more time to simply *be* in the garden. Happily you also share your evocative images – including that wonderful one of the skeletal hydrangea bloom.

September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

Still looking gorgeous, Deb! How lucky you are to have such a good helper.
Interesting that pieris is blooming for you - that's usually a spring plant here. All your plants are very lovely - glad your hip is well enough for you to do some neat close-up photography.

September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

Good for you Deb -- the recuperating, the relaxing and the enjoying. With foliage like yours (and knowing how your garden looks as a whole) it is no wonder you are enjoying yourself. I work on my garden during the day but my wife and I make it a point to have our after dinner coffee outside among the plants so we can slowly sip our drinks, discuss the day's events and enjoy the plants.

September 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBom

Deborah what a great tour...and you have a right to brag about that banana...it is stunning as is your whole garden.

September 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Enjoy it while you can! I never tire of seeing your red banana plant. I find that I can only sit back and relax in other people's gardens.

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g
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