Thursday, August 10, 2017

Welcome to my August

It is a fantasy, to imagine someone I love appearing, unannounced, on the doorstep for cake and tea.  Of course, if it were unannounced, the cake would not yet be made, but we could nip on chocolate while we waited for it; there's always a store of chocolate.  Or we could have a bonfire in the backyard, with hotdogs roasted over open flames.  And long, sweet conversation with lots of laughter.

I keep the beds made up with clean sheets, and I stock the guest bathroom with my favorite soap, moisturizer and shampoo.  There is even a stash of new toothbrushes in the bottom drawer!

Oh, the dream of a balm for loneliness.

August is so pretty, when the flowers finally reach their full bloom.

This is the walk to my front porch, crossing in front of my wild tangle of growing things.  Do you see the magnificent rosebush from our 30th anniversary?  There's another on the other side of the garage, but that one only has five or six blooms.  They make my heart overflow with gratitude.

Here is a closer shot of this fabulous bush in its prime.

And a close up of a gorgeous rose.

And another!

This is the bush as it stands today.  Each day, I tell myself, "Today I must deadhead it so it can go again."  And each day, I decide to wait one more day.

Just around the corner, my hummingbird feeder hangs nestled among red four o' clocks.  
The hummingbirds like the four o' clocks even better than the syrup. 
(1 cup boiled water plus 1/4 cup white sugar)

The cosmos are always slow, but hope springs eternal for these lovely blooms.

Further down the line, mini zinnias.  
Last year's zinnias were supposed to top out at 48 inches, 
but they surpassed 7 feet!  
Shawn doesn't like really tall flowers, so I got these minis.  
They offer me a precious surprise each day, 
tucked between four o' clocks and marigolds.

My front door in early morning light, 
while the four o' clocks are still mostly open.  
These flowers are at their best between 8 pm and 8 am. 
and they smell divine all night long.

A riot of four o' clocks

More four o' clocks

Pink four o' clocks at about 8:30 or 8:45 a.m. as they are closing up for the day.

This is how my front door looks most of the day, without early morning light or open flowers.

My front yard lamp-post island garden. Oy, have we worked to remake this!
We'll take a tour around the circle:

Luscious cleome winding in and out of pink coneflowers.  Coneflowers are perennials, and cleome self-seeds, so this is some low-maintenance joy for me.

Coneflowers are so photogenic, I can't stop myself photographing them.

Here we have coneflowers in front of purple salvia.  
I bought the salvia for super cheap this spring, because it had been frostbitten.  
I cut it back and planted it.  It's grown and bloomed like a champ ever since.  
Makes my heart swell a little.

More of my survivor salvia.

And a close up, just because I love this plant.

Here it is in context, between a lily and a daylily (which are both done), 
and in front of sedum (yet to bloom), yellow four o' clocks, and coneflowers.

Beyond the sedum, an obedient plant 
(the one with white flowers--it's also called false snapdragon) 
which I was thrilled to find at the nursery.  
I had one of these in NY and loved it.  
This time, I bought three!

Another view of the obedient plant.

Apricot coreopsis.  I also had coreopsis in NY, and it was a favorite.  
I always seem to plant this guy on the side of the bed 
that I have to walk around to see, but in this case it is also the street side, 
so I hope it does well and gets appreciated.

I adore these pink asters, and they are adding to the butterfly appeal of this garden.  
(This bed holds a collection of plants that attract butterflies, 
and the monarchs have already been visiting!) . 
Unfortunately, I am allergic to these beauties, 
and had a bit of a reaction after deadheading today.

 This is a new plant that I have no experience with.  Malva zebrina.  The literature says it is tough and easy to grow.  Almost invasive, says one source.  
I can only hope that such a pretty (and butterfly attracting) plant will be invasive!!

That's my front yard, my August joy.

When I'm lonely, I can putter in the dirt.
I suppose it is not a strange thing that older women 
turn to plants and pets 
when their children leave home.  
Something to fuss over and care for.


Anonymous said...


Priscilla said...

I'm often lonely too. Your flowers are gorgeous. They really put my gardens to shame. I wish I was more gifted in this area.