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Summertime: Good Things in the Garden

I don't like summer in Alabama. There, I have broken my rule about not complaining; it is not the first time and won't be the last, though I usually emphasize the positive. However, the humidity, as much as the high heat, takes the joy of gardening from me.

But summer has its wonderful moments. The other night Lou called me outside.

"Look at that!"

My eyes followed his pointing finger, and I gazed into the darkness toward the woods on the other side of the drive. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of twinkling lights amongst the trees: fireflies, or lightning bugs as I have always called them.This public domain photo (not mine!) is a great image of fireflies in the woods.I have not seen such numbers in many years. When I was a child we always looked forward to catching the little critters each summer, putting them in glass jars to watch their blinking lights. Sadly, for whatever reasons their population lessened over the years. But this year they are back. It looked like Christmas lights, sparkling in the woods.

Other delights wait in the garden for me when I venture out in early morning or late afternoon. Green predominates, but the flowers of summer catch my attention:Vinca and pentas grow in a planter in front of the house. They don't mind the hot sun, but I must keep them watered.

1st row:Crape myrtle; Joe Pye weed; Late blooming native azalea. 2nd row: Monarda; Butterfly bush 'Tutti fruitti'; Encore azalea 'Autumn embers.' 3rd row: 'Tropicana' canna lily; Lantana; Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight.'

After a recent rain I took these images of the 'Tropicana' canna lily that grows in front of the house:

This hardy plant flaunts its hot summer colors and tropical heritage.

Snowflake hydrangea blooms linger for months in the woodland garden:

A pop of blue is always welcome in my garden! This little bottle tree has tiny cobalt bottles:

Here are some images from shady areas of the garden:Clockwise from top left: Heucherella; Old bench on the edge of the fern glade; Boston fern that grows in a large urn in the center of the arbor garden; Japanese felt fern (Pyrrosia lingua).

And finally, a couple of views from the August woodland garden:

Positive thoughts of wonderful moments and blessings to you all!   Deb


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Reader Comments (12)

Lovely, lovely Deb! Thanks for sharing! xo

August 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

Oh, those fireflies! I've never seen anything like that. After my admittedly very brief exposure to the humidity in the east during the Garden Bloggers' Fling, I can more fully appreciate the misery associated with that kind of weather. We've had above normal humidity here of late but it's nothing like you get out there. As I said in response to your comment on my blog, maybe you need to take off and visit coastal Southern California. At least our heat is dry (usually).

August 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

My woods are full of fireflies too! Love them. Everything looks beautiful Deb!

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Your garden looks lovely as always! How wonderful to see so many fireflies, we call them glow worms, that must be an amazing experience.

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

Magical! I don't think I have ever seen fireflies. Your garden seems to like the humidity. It looks beautiful.

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

In addition to thunderstorms, I miss the fireflies too. I don't think I have seen one since moving here and not sure if we even have them here. Your garden looks great!

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

Love your fireflies anecdote.

Summer in the South can be a challenge for sure, although it hasn't been too bad this year in Middle TN except for a two-week stretch in July.

Even then, there are moments of beauty almost every day. And some days are chock full of that beauty from dawn to dusk.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Dalton

As much as I hate humidity I can see its value in keeping plants alive; some plants actually need moisture around their leaves to survive and will die without it even if copious amounts of water are given to their roots. Enjoy what you can - I don't mind admitting I hate summers here!

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Wow, that's a lot of fireflies! Here we see one or two every once in a while. I wonder why they have become so rare?

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I hear you on the heat/humidity. I've forced myself to go out there to do maintenance and there is still more to do but I can't make myself. Love your Tropicana Canna. I've looked for that bloom color here but all I find are the red blooms.

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSouthern Rural Route

I'm with you Deb, summer humidity makes it difficult to enjoy gardening. The foliage from the tropical canna is just stunning! I've always meant to acquire one, but never did. I made myself a note to remedy that next year.

August 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Ruff Leja

Fireflies always seem mythological creatures to me - how wonderful to actually see them!

September 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

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