They say summer ended last weekend and we’re now into fall. I saw pumpkins on porches and people buying chrysanthemums and I thought I’d be ok with a switch in seasons but apparently I’m not. Regular rains have made the garden green again, and although it wasn’t enough to penetrate the maple foliage and give relief to my dry shade, nothing really looks like it’s at death’s door, so it’s unfathomable for me to understand why anyone could wish for it all to be on it’s way out. I love summer. I love the longest days of the year and warm nights filled with crickets. I love saying it’s too hot, and then sitting around for an hour instead of working. I don’t want it to end.
Today after getting home from work we closed the pool. My mother in law can’t wait to get the cover back on as soon as Labor Day is over, and I’m surprised she hasn’t already yanked all the New Guinea impatients out of the planters and tarped all the porch furniture as well. I don’t get it. I’ll milk this weather for at least another month and a half and then hope for two, since in my opinion winters are far too long around here to rush this warm weather out the door. Still, no amount of sarcasm or complaints of sweatiness and hot forecasts could change her mind.
So in her mind summer is dead, but I disagree. My garden seems to peak towards the end of August, and then lingers through September with all the bright colors of summer keeping it hot and vibrant in spite of the fact you can’t cool off in the pool any more.
I deadheaded butterfly bushes and whacked back fennel last weekend, and the garden looks pretty good again. I highly recommend plenty of late bloomers to keep things from going to heck once August rolls around.
Even if you can’t keep things in full bloom, there are always grasses. They look good on their own right, but also do a good job covering up the less than impressive June and July bloomers.
I guess late summer grasses are a seasonal look.
When everything dried out I thought this would be the year I replant bearded iris all over again, but only a few went in before the rains returned. Maybe next year I’ll be more firm. Come to think of it the Arundo donax grass at the end really has become a little overwhelming, and groundcover junipers? So boring when a big patch of iris in bloom could give me some inspiration (says the person who will be grateful in January when the juniper is green).
New iris or not, the front border looks ok but the tropical border isn’t even close to calling it quits. I was hating it in spring, and cut way back on the spring planting here, but it’s still plenty of too much. Maybe not tropical, maybe more just a mess of annual color, but just think of how much more tolerable it makes the September Slide.
Honestly I can’t believe I made it through all the work of prepping, planting, staking, mulching, deadheading, weeding… but I did. Most of it was just a matter of putting my phone down for a while and getting off my lazy….
I’m down to just a few dahlias and it’s so much less work. Thinking about more is a terrible idea and so hopefully I get at least one more year of freedom before another bout of weakness in February strikes.
Dahlias, cannas, elephant ears, bananas… I never know when the addiction will flare up again.
For now I won’t even worry about digging or cooling night-time temps or shorter days. I’ll just enjoy it while it’s here and maybe start thinking about autumn in another month.
Have a great week! The weather here promises to get hotter again tomorrow before cooling off for the weekend. Not cool enough to make me think closing the pool was a good idea, but at least cool enough to sit in the sun and do nothing rather than sit in the shade 😉