It’s entirely possible that everyone shares this same gripe, but I feel summer has been flying by this year. Even more so than usual. The days go faster, the schedule seems busier, and all I want to do is slow the calendar down. I don’t even want to talk about autumn, but those back to school sales are in full swing, and I saw plenty of plasticky orange and yellow fall decorations lining the shelves of the local mart, just waiting for the summer haters to open their wallets.
In the meantime here’s a quick, picture heavy run-through of the garden in high summer. It’s my favorite time of the year out there.
These photos were taken over the weekend, and it was just the beginning of our latest round of gully ripping downpours that hail from the tropics. Monday I think we topped another three inches and unfortunately that does not bode well for the lower lying areas.
The plants seem fine though. Everything is lush and vibrant and other than a little floppiness and extra height it sure beats dealing with another year of soil-cracking drought.
Even with the dampness and humidity it’s much more pleasant to dig in freshly-watered soil than it is to pickax your way through a dry and dusty crust. With some time on my hands and a little too much ‘exuberance’ in the front border I did some editing. You barely notice the vacancies.
Of course the weeds have been a nonstop battle. I finally broke down and bought a few bags of mulch in hopes of clearing out a spot in back… which is definitely out of control. Needless to say it is still out of control, but I used the mulch to neaten up a couple edges in front and that made me even happier. Maybe I’ll crack open the wallet again for a few more bags. It’s slightly addicting.
In the meantime I just love all the color and the busyness of bees, and bugs, and hummingbirds and goldfinches zipping around from sunup to sundown.
Mulching is rewarding, but for the most part for me this part of the year is more a matter of counting your losses, writing them off, and enjoying the successes. I was hoping last year would be my last caladium year, but apparently the obsession continues. They are one plant which has been thoroughly enjoying the rain and humidity and who am I to turn my back on such happy plants?
Something I don’t want to talk about too much are the two new daylilies which have shown up. Apparently people like these things, so who am I to not give them another chance?
As I was working through the foundation beds (finally), it occurred to me that many of my weed problems might have something to do with me. Every week or two I rip out a couple more milkweed shoots as they try and take over the entire front yard. Maybe the ‘weed’ part of their name could have been a tip-off but hey, they showed up on their own and the butterflies like them so I figured what’s the harm in leaving a few. I frequently see eggs being laid but as of yet no caterpillars, and I wonder if that’s the down side to having all those bees and other pollinators flying around. I think they might be adding a little protein to their nectar diets.
Around back there is definitely a need for some mulching attention. Your best bet is to ignore that, and just look at how nicely the jungle is spreading.
As usual there are too many sunflowers, but eventually the cannas and other stuff force their way through and it’s all good.
I can only imagine what shenanigans are going on in the interior of the bed.
Once you reach the backyard it’s practically a wild kingdom. The potager is now on its own and the selfsowing annuals will take over as I make a weak attempt to save a few vegetables. Eight foot sunflowers and persicaria (kiss me over the garden gate) leave little room for a bean plant.
There are a few things though. Peppers and eggplants are coming along, but the tomatoes look as if the rain has done them in.
I forgot the zucchini. There’s some of that in the way back.
Beyond that is just weeds. The meadow needs mowing, and the shade beds are just sitting there (and I’m all for just sitting there) but eventually I hope to whack it back before it all goes to seed. Cool weather can be an inspiration, so we will see if that can snap me out of enjoyment mode and knock me back into taming it for next year mode 🙂
In the meantime enjoy August. I suspect it will go even faster than July!