Entries in summer (9)

Sunday
Aug062017

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

 

Sunday
Jun252017

My Plants are Loving this Sultry, Soggy Summer

I think we have had over two feet of rain in June, thanks in part to tropical storm Cindy. Last year's drought is long gone, though lawns and plants are still recovering. The rain has kept temps moderate, but as soon as the sun comes out, the steamy air gives no doubt that summer is here. 

The plants are loving the tropical feel.The woodland garden looks very green and lush.

Hostas are flowering. Most of my hostas grow in pots to protect their roots from voles, which have a voracious appetite for their roots. 'Francis Williams' grows in two old urns that belonged to my grandparents, and the bees are enjoying their blooms:

I took these next images near the patio. You can see 'Francis Williams' at the bottom of the steps in the first photo. The last image with the wheelbarrow gives a peek into the vegetable garden/work area:

More June flowers around the garden:Clockwise from top left: 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea; 'Snowflake' Hydrangea; 'Stella D'Oro' Daylily; Monarda; Gardenia; A colorful daylily passed along from a friend.

I was surprised when this lovely succulent sent up a bloom after one of our all-day storms:

Down in the arbor garden an assortment of plants grow around a birdbath, including Bromeliad in a pot, Heucerella, and Autumn Fern:

'Tropicana' Canna lily is enjoying the sultry summer:

A few more images around the garden:Clockwise from top left: Eucomis; This wren kept chirping happily, even though his beak was full of worm; A pretty succulent; Iron rabbit guards the vegetable garden.

Down in  the woodland garden, shadow and light play over the wet foliage:

Cool shades of green, white, and blue dominate this shady retreat:

Clockwise from top left: This big hosta is planted in the ground. I dug out a large hole in the middle of an ancient, buried pile of crushed rock, filled it with good soil and dared the voles to find it. So far they haven't; The Garden Lady now has a spot beside the woodland steps; A fragrant, late-blooming native azalea; Peacock Fern, which is really a kind of moss; 'Whitewater' weeping Redbud tree; Peacock Fern and Lady Fern.May you find refreshment and joy this week!   Deb