Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hazy, Lazy Days of Summer: GBBD August

There is a reason they call these the dog days of summer. For the past month, we have been living under a "heat dome" with so much heat and humidity that even my dogs don't want to go outside during the heat of the day.  I'm a wimp when it comes to heat, too, so about the only gardening I've done lately is pick green beans in the early morning or just before dusk and drag around the hoses to keep everything watered. For at least the past two weeks we haven't had more than a drop of rain, so keeping everything alive under the blistering sun has been my main priority.


Until today, that is.  The rain started last night, and by early Monday evening we had received almost three inches of welcome rain. My thirsty garden is so happy!  The late-blooming hostas--Hosta plantaginea, I think--are soaking up every drop.


Some of the hostas in the shade garden are beginning to turn a bit brown around the edges, but for the most part, everything is still looking lush and green.


The wild colors of July have pretty much faded away, but there are a few new blooms here and there.  The new Ligularia 'Desdemona' is putting out quite a few blooms in its first year in my garden.  I really think I ought to add an 'Othello' to go with her, don't you?


The dark red coleuses I like to put in pots in front of the house are getting taller and taller.


The elephant ears in my new huge pot have done well, too, 
in spite of the lack of rain the last few weeks.


The surprise lilies or naked ladies, whatever term you prefer, are done now, but a week ago they were in all their glory.  I still see many blooming all around town.


Rudbeckia triloba, or Brown-eyed Susans, are adding some much needed color to the Lily bed.  Even though I thought I had dug most of them out this spring, a couple seedlings managed to hide from the spade.


The 'Vanilla Strawberry' Hydrangea has been loaded with blooms this year.  I only wish the pink petals would last a little longer: I took this picture a week ago, and now they're turning more vanilla-chocolate.


Although the daylilies have been finished for awhile except for a few re-bloomers, this late daylily just began to bloom.  'Autumn Minaret' is a tall lily, a good pairing with 'Challenger,' which is still blooming, too.


Finally, some of the seeds I direct sowed in late spring are finally starting to bloom.  'Knee High Sonata' Cosmos is just starting.  I've been disappointed, though, that I haven't seen a sign of the taller cosmos I planted.


Zinnias are also blooming in several places.  You can't go wrong with these old-fashioned favorites.


And speaking of zinnias, my very favorite 'Zowie Yellow Flame' has not disappointed me.  I had intended to get a better photo, but the rain kept me from going outside with my camera today.  But I'm sure you'll see more of these next month:)


Here's a better photo I took last week while watering at the Nursing Home Garden.  I've raved so much about these 'Zowie's' that I have convinced my cohorts who volunteer with me to plant them here as well.  They really are butterfly magnets!


Another photo from the Nursing Home garden could have been taken in my garden as well--the bumblebees love Russian Sage.


While I haven't been doing much work in my own garden, I have been enjoying watching the visitors the past few weeks.  This Tiger Swallowtail was a blur of fluttering wings as it enjoyed the verbena in a container.


And, of course, my usual visitors as I sit on the front porch.  I could watch them forever as they dance and dive through the air--occasionally buzzing my head as they zoom to the feeder.


We have had so many moths lately, especially at night, that they're rather annoying. 
 I thought this daytime visitor was rather pretty, however.


The coneflowers I've pictured for the last month or more are finally fading away.  Just as I was contemplating cutting back some of them the goldfinches arrived.


Needless to say, the coneflowers won't be cut down any time soon.

Tomorrow is the first day of school for most children in the area, the symbolic end of summer even though there is still a month or more of summer left.  Soon it will be time to start thinking about fall chores and ordering bulbs for the spring.  For now, though, I am enjoying the last blooms of summer.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted the 15th of every month by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.  Thanks, Carol!

43 comments:

  1. How in the world do you get Ligularia to grow? I have tried several different varieties and none have survived as yet. This rain has been a blessing to the garden. My poor garden nearly melted this summer. Happy GBBD.

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    1. This is my first attempt at planting Ligularia, Lisa, so I have no idea how it survived. Just plain dumb luck, I guess:) It's one of the plants I bought when we visited Hornbaker's last year. I was thinking of adding an 'Othello,' but maybe I should wait to see if Desdemona survives another year. Yes, this rain has been a godsend!

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  2. Wonderful photography! All your blooms and garden visitors are beautiful. I especially love that hydrangea. Happy gardening!

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    1. Thanks, Dorothy; I do love seeing all the butterflies and bees and trying to photograph them, even if they do move too fast. I love hydrangeas, and 'Vanilla Strawberry' has been the most prolific bloomer I have.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. The coneflowers especially--I'm always surprised by people who say they can't grow them, but I forget that they are Midwest natives who find our conditions perfect for them.

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  5. Rose, your garden is lovely; especially surprise lilies, I should plant them too. I also liked 'vanilla strawberry', I have only grandiflora hydrangea. Zinnias are very pretty, but I do not risk to grow them - too cool temperatures here in summer. And one more- if you need more rain, write me, I'll send you, am tired of much water in my garden.

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    1. Nadezda, actually I didn't plant the surprise lilies; perhaps my mother-in-law did years ago, so they really were a surprise to me the first time they grew:) I'm glad zinnias like it here, but the we often have hot weather through the middle of September. No thanks on the rain--since I wrote this, we've had plenty!

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  6. The last blooms of summer are looking good to me ... I just so enjoy your colourful posts, thank you.
    Rain is so welcome and it seems some areas have had a drier time than usual, whereas others are experiencing floods. We just have to do the best we can ...

    Enjoy the last weeks of August and look forward to the fall (Autumn)

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks, Jan; I do like color in the garden, so these late blooms are very welcome to me. We have had even more rain since I wrote this, so now I'm wishing for sunny days again:)

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  7. Lovely vieuws Rose. I can imagine you are not going into the garden when temperatures are so high. I hope for you
    your garden is getting the rain it needs.
    Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Marijke, some people enjoy the heat, but not me. The problem here is that we have such high humidity with it, so it feels much worse than the thermometer indicates. We're back to rainy days again, so now it's too muddy to work in the garden!

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  8. I'm a total heat wimp too, and I feel your pain. You have done a great job dragging that hose around, though - your garden looks fantastic! Love all the photos of your winged visitors too - wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, Anna. While I'm not doing much work in the garden, I am enjoying watching all the little visitors to the garden. Sounds like it's pretty hot in the PNW right now, too.

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  9. The strawberry vanilla hydrangea and zinnias are especially lovely. Your garden must be a mass of colour.

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    1. The garden isn't as colorful as it was in mid-July, Liz, but I am happy to have these late summer bloomers.

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  10. How do you keep your Hostas from being eaten by slugs & snails? Over here they get devoured instantaneously! Probably all the wet weather we have.

    All your plants/flowers looking lovely.
    Maggie x

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    1. Maggie, you're probably right about the wet weather contributing to the slugs. I'm not sure why I haven't had a problem with them, but they've never done much damage to my hostas. I guess I should consider myself fortunate.

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  11. Ah, I hate the back to school feeling. Ours have a few weeks left, thank goodness, though summer is currently on hold - it's more autumn outside right now.

    Fantastic blooms as always, it must have been hard work keeping it all alive, but so worth it!

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    1. I always kind of dreaded the first day back at school, Suburbia. Not because I dreaded school itself, but because it meant such a change of pace--from leisurely summer to frantic rush, rush. Now that I'm retired, I enjoy this time of year:)

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  12. Your garden is always such a joy to visit, so much in bloom and so many interesting garden critters.Rain!!! Lucky you. My garden really is suffering from this drought we have been having. Being away for 3 weeks, I suspect a lot of brown plants on my return.

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    1. Thanks, Donna; I really have noticed an increase in all kinds of critters visiting my garden over the years, though we haven't had as many butterflies this year as other years. Hope you've had some rain and your garden is doing well when you return!

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  13. Wow ! Your garden is so beautiful, Rose !! I love your pretty zinnias!
    Happy weekend !
    Greetings !

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    1. Thank you, Ela; I love the zinnias, too. They are an easy-care plant that really brightens up the late summer garden for me.

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  14. Oh Rose what a beautiful image of the swallowtail butterfly. Looks so pretty feeding from the flower.
    The hummingbird is so sweet. I remember seeing them when we visited your garden. Something I will never forget. The only other place I have seen them is South Africa. So for me it was a treat of a lifetime.

    I have planted my Vanille Fraise in semi shade and find it keeps that lovely pink colour.
    Is yours in full sun, if so, do you think that may be the problem.?

    Beautiful flowers Rose........

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    1. I remember the hummingbirds visiting when you were here, Cheryl. Although they are daily visitors here, I never tire of watching them. You are probably right about the hydrangea. Mine is much too big to move now, and I'm running out of space in the shade to plant anything else, so I guess I will have to leave it alone. A friend in the plant business also told me that the early browning can be caused by stress, such as all the heat we've had this summer, and to give it extra water during those times. I noticed yesterday that the blooms are much pinker than usual, thanks to all the rain we had last week, I'm sure.

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  15. Wonderful butterfly and bird pics. Once again I see we share a fondness for white Cosmos and Zinnias - though I haven't tried 'Zowie' yet - maybe next year.

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    1. I do love the white Cosmos, Jason, but I'm really disappointed that the taller mix of pink ones never appeared. You will have to try the 'Zowie's" next year!

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  16. Very lovely garden. I especially like all the tiny creatures. Our goldfinches arrived last month. They seem so exotic to me.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Glenna. I know the goldfinches are around all summer, but I don't seem to notice them until this time of year when the coneflowers set seed. They're fun to watch!

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  17. Hi Rose! Good variety of plants, and those plants look healthy! I'm struggling with my ligularia - I just can't protect it from slugs; it's a constant battle.
    My favorite pics are the ones with a goldfinch, although it's saying that the fall is coming!
    P.S. Thanks for your comment on my MOBOT post! You have an advantage of choosing a not-so-hot day to visit it!

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    1. You're the second person to tell me they've have troubles with Ligularia, Tatyana. This is the first year for it in my garden, so we'll see how it does. Your comment about choosing a cooler day for visiting MOBOT made me chuckle--no matter where I go, it seems like I always pick the hottest day of the year to visit gardens:)

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  18. Wow, that's a great shot of the hummingbird! We've had a few of those too --they keep looking for more food in the bee balm, but I'm afraid it's all gone. I have one male that hangs out near my feeder and seems to chase everyone else away, too. So aggressive and tiny!

    We never had too much of a dry spell up here, but we did have that dome of hot and humid air. Yesterday and today were spectacular, though, with temps in the 70s and very low humidity. Given that it's just late August, I'm sure that won't stay!

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    1. I've been trying to get a decent shot of the hummers in my flowers, Cassi, but I'm just too slow. They are aggressive, aren't they? I've had two or three at a time come to the feeders, but the dominant one always chases the others away. Yesterday and today have been gorgeous--wish this weather would hold for another month or more!

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  19. I just love those pictures of the goldfinches. Such nice photography Rose! I noticed goldfinches on my neighbours sunflowers just yesterday morning. The little yellow birds seem to love them. The surprise lilies in your post caught my eye too. They are super pretty.
    Our weather has been very similar to yours. Yesterday was cool, but tomorrow and the next day the heat returns. Gosh, I hope that is it for really hot, humid days for this summer. I am looking forward to cooler fall weather. I do hope that we don't suddenly get really cold though. The weather does seem to swing in extremes these days.

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    1. I didn't get any sunflowers planted this year, Jennifer, unfortunately, or the goldfinches would be even busier here. I am ready for cooler weather, too!

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  20. Beautiful garden!!! Great photos! :))

    xxBasia

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

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  21. Glad that you have had some much wanted rain Rose. That hosta looks as if it's singing in celebration. As always I've enjoyed seeing photos of your colourful birds and butterflies :)

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  22. What a wonderful shot of the goldfinch on the flowers! Just beautiful. From everyone's posts, I'm in love with that Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea. It's one I don't have. So beautiful. Way better than Pinky Winky which I have. Happy belated Bloom Day my friend. ~~Dee

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  23. Your garden is fanastic, Rose !! I admire all your flowers !!
    Great photos !!
    Greetings

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  24. your flowers are heart warming .loved the black butterfly most never seen before . liked the cute little birds too wonderful sharing thank you so much

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