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Summer Garden Images

I started talking to the lady in front of me at the check-out at the store, and soon we were mutually lamenting the steamy, sauna-like weather. As she departed, she gave me a big smile.

"Welcome to Alabama in the summer!"Crape myrtle is the iconic summer bloom of the Deep South. It loves the heat and humidity.

It's true. Should one complain about what is completely normal and expected? It would be far worse if we did not have air-conditioning, and I wonder about my ancestors who came to this part of the country without benefit of modern comforts. As I stepped from the store's cool indoor air, I was blasted by the sultry heat. It was a shock to my system, an event repeated many times a day as I go in and out. Would I get used to the heat if I did not have air-conditioning? Probably, but I really like my air-conditioning!

I walk in the garden in early morning or late afternoon. It is quite noisy. There are little birds everywhere, chirping and celebrating life. A young male cardinal keeps visiting the weeping yaupon holly tree outside our kitchen. There were cardinals nesting there recently, and I assume he was one of them. Last week I caught this baby wren in a one of the birdhouses by the patio, the day before he fledged:

Here are some more recent images taken in the summer garden:Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'

Boston Fern in the arbor garden

'Coral' Drift rose

This "Easter lily" originally came from a friend. It blooms reliably every year, but long after Easter! Thanks to commenter Erin Baily who gave me this information: "It is an asiatic lily which faces upward, may or may not have spots and blooms early in summer. It is a tough and reliable grower."

Gardenia. This shrub originally came to me as a cutting from my next-door neighbor.

Japanese Painted Fern and Red Dragon Persicaria

Hosta bloom

Zantedeschia foliage. No blooms have appeared yet this year, and I wonder if they will. Nevertheless, the foliage is lovely.

Marjorie Fair rose, a rose that will bloom in partial shade. This one is in the woodland garden

The blooms of Snowflake hydrangea are double, unlike its common oakleaf hydrangea cousins.

Clockwise from top left: Hosta 'Sum and Substance'; A Bromeliad I received at Christmas. It was inside through the winter, and I thought it had died of neglect. When I put it outside, thinking to throw it on the compost heap when I got around to it, it came to life! Now it is putting out buds; Variegated Toad Lily; Hardy Begonia; Acer japonica 'Aconitifolium'; A colorful coleus in the woodland garden.

 You may also enjoy these previous posts:

 A Gardenia For Me

Summer is Here!

Summer Proof the Garden

Have a great week!    Deb

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Reader Comments (15)

The weather may be uncomfortable but your garden certainly defies the conditions. Lovely images of your lovely garden!

July 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Thanks for another delightful walk around your garden, Deb, steamy as it might have been! I too have grown all too dependent upon AC in the summer months. We had no AC when we lived in nearby beach cities (where temperatures approaching 90F were uncommon occurrences) but, just 15 miles away from our last home and within view of the ocean, AC has become a summertime essential. At least we don't have to contend with the humidity you do (or not often, anyway)!

July 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Hi Deb, I loved seeing the photos from your summer garden! Your hydrangeas are so beautiful, especially 'Snowflake', with the double flowers.
Great shots of the little wren baby bird!
You often said that roses are not doing so well for you, but the 'Coral' Drift rose looks very happy in your climate.
I do find the dry summer heat here in San Diego physically really challenging and I am also very happy about our air condition :-)!
My garden greatly suffered through our latest heat wave, but that is how things are here with the climate change. Nothing that one can do about it, except keep calm and carry on.
Wishing you a wonderful 4th of July!

July 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I think your weather came to Niagara Falls. What is normal for Alabama, seems to be becoming normal for us too. Years of little summer rain was never normal for us. You beautiful garden looks very fresh too. All those trees help quite a bit I am sure. I know if my garden had no trees and shrubs, it would be very different. Grass all over our area is brown and dormant, my garden included.

July 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Dear Deb, The lily you called your easter lily is not truly lilium longiflorum. It is an asiatic lily which faces upward, may or may not have spots and blooms early in summer. It is a tough and reliable grower.

July 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterErin Bailey

Hi everyone, I appreciate each and every comment! Erin, thanks for the information on my lily! While it originally came to me at Easter, I realized it had to be something different. It certainly has been tough and reliable for me. Deb

July 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

If the crape myrtle like your humidity, it is amazing that ours flourished in Porterville's dry heat. Without watering too!

July 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

I remember the humidity when I was in North Carolina last year, I thought I wouldn't be able to live in those conditions and I understood perfectly why everyone needed air-conditioning. The humidity does help the plants though, I noticed how well the Lagostroemia (Crape Myrtle) was growing everywhere I went while mine struggles to produce any flowers and both are smaller than when I planted them!

July 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Your garden looks lovely.

I'm not sure whether I could handle the heat without A/C....

Maybe with a lot of fans and iced tea... :)

July 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Dalton

When I read about your weather, I expected your garden to look frazzled. On the contrary! The plants look wonderful - and I love that little wren! Stay cool. I am wearing a thermal t-shirt and jumper at the moment. Summer is being a little slow to appear here this year.

July 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Shoesmith

I tend to melt in really hot weather, though Chicago can be pretty hot and humid in July and August - though not to your standards, perhaps. I get used to my shirt getting soaked with perspiration, then retreating to the air conditioned indoors. I do wonder how many people would live in places like Texas, Arizona, Florida, etc., without AC. Anyway - lots of summer beauty in your garden. I love those photographs of the birdhouse and its occupant.

July 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjason

Deb, your steamy garden looks like it appreciates the conditions. Here, we had a wet, wet June, July so far hasn't been much better, but the garden still looks not bad.

July 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenteralistair

Was surpised to see a hosta bloom. I didn't know they bloomed. We can't really grow them here in Florida. After bromeliad, the names didn't match the plants.

July 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I was thinking the same thing recently, as the summer heat and humidity go on and on. How did we survive before air conditioning? Many of us lament that children don't play outside anymore, but I think AC is a big reason. None of us had it growing up, so we just went outside to play where they might be a bit of breeze. I get a kick out of seeing your Endless Summer hydrangea in blue, when mine is so clearly pink! It was blue when I got it, but I knew it wouldn't stay that way in our alkaline soil. Darn it!

July 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Your garden is looking so lovely despite the intense heat and you have so many pretty flowers to enjoy. I get into the habit every year of saying that it appears much hotter than normal but it probably isn't at all - its just hot!! The little baby wren was so adorable - I hope he has successfully learned to fly and made it out into the big world!

August 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

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