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Late August Garden Tour

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I was feeling kind of melancholy this evening. I'd taken Phoebe to the plane two days earlier, and it was really hitting me how alone I'd be while Liam was at school this fall. I ached for my girleen, so far away, and I had that dratted autumnal lump in my throat. Listening to too much Jackson Browne, too. I love his music but jeez. The slow crickets in the meadow are his insectile equivalent.

So I put my big rig on and grabbed the iPhone and went out to shoot some goldenrod and ironweed. I highly recommend clicking on the panoramas to get a better effect. Bill has mowed the meadow twice this season, trying to beat back the forest of sumac and honeysuckle, and the goldenrod has responded most enthusiastically! This meadow is so beautiful in the dying light I almost can't look at it without tearing up.

I never tire of shooting the flowers that I've happened to plant in the corner of the front bed. I have years and years of this shot. This time, Salvia guaranitica "Black and Blue," a random tuberose, Mexican cuphea or firecracker plant, zinnas...

Just below that bed, more zinnias, and an opportunistic tall ironweed that looks pretty swell with their party colors.

From there I wandered to the shade garden under the birches. And realized that I have kind of a thing for fuchsias. Gartenmeister "Bonstedt" in bronze and variegated, a little pink and purple one whose name escapes me.

The pink one: Fuchsia Trandshen Bonstedt

The hummingbird beds, full of cardinalflower exploding.  Oh Hell yeah!
More Salvia "Black and Blue" and cuphea here, too. 

'Round the west side, zinnias and Caryopteris "Bluebeard." Both big faves of butterflies, which seem in rather short supply this summer. Come on, people, I have the flowers! 

The newest crop of seedling gray birches I've grown from seeds from our existing trees. 
Believe it or not, that white trunk shard is all that remains of Garret the red-headed woodpecker's home.
I have a stone propped up that says "Tempus fugit" here.

 I wandered around back to shudder at the giant kiwi vine, which has maybe three fruits still hanging after it aborted the crop thanks to a midsummer drought. Sigh. That's a lot of biomass for three kiwi fruits.

Speaking of biomass, here's the willow we planted when I was big with Liam, 16 years ago.

I waited and waited for the first batch of morning glories I planted to germinate. Nada. Wasted three weeks. Went out and bought a new packet of "Heavenly Blue" and they all came up. But by then it was nearly July!
It's gonna kill me to see frost get these plants. 
I hope they get a full mantle of blossoms before that happens. 

Hope is what gardening is all about, after all.

I felt better when I came inside, having at least recorded and saved images of some of the extravagant beauty all around me. I realized that I made most of it happen, and that made me feel a bit better. Of course, the beauty that happens on its own is the best of all.


Gardening, like love, is the triumph of hope over experience.

Posted by Anonymous August 30, 2015 at 3:36 AM

You make a WHOLE LOT of beauty happen in this world! Thanks for sharing some of it in my world. I'm feeling that autumnal slump/lump too and this was perfect.

Julie, this year in the annual flower trial garden beds at Ohio State they have what I think is a Much improved cultivar of the black and blue sage, this one dubbed "Black and Bloom." The plant originator is Ball according to the marker. This new one is a more robust plant over all, thicker, darker green leaves, and those hummingbird magnet electric purple blooms are much more numerous.

Posted by Anonymous August 30, 2015 at 3:02 PM

It always feels better when we are living in the moment and photography and gardening both make us do that as well as giving us beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing the results of your hard work.

Inspiring and beautiful photos! I just began gardening for the first time, and I couldn't agree more with this: "Hope is what gardening is all about, after all." I hadn't really realized that until reading this, and I think the necessity of hope in gardening is partially why I love it. Also, I am enjoying the continual curiosity required to try new things and the reward when hope is realized in the form of sprouting plants or blooming flowers. Thanks for sharing!

He does God's Work
And ever Wisely Sows
Who makes the Waste to Blossom
Like the Rose

Posted by Gail Spratley September 6, 2015 at 12:44 PM
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