It seems like the dog days of summer came early this year, with heat and humidity in June that we usually do not see until early August. It has made sitting outside a rare occasion when usually we spend some evenings sitting in the rockers or eating on the veranda table. The additional limitation of waiting over two weeks for paint to dry has also curtailed outdoor enjoyment. But the flooring is finally dry, and the plants are put back in place. The rockers came out, and the table is ready for a meal. The garden continues its show, starting with the rhododendrons on the mountainside out back. Delicate white with just a hint of pink, they are lovely.
More buds will bloom through July. The pink is more prominent on the buds.
Fully open blooms are more white.
Also on the mountainside out back, there are a bunch of gladiolas blooming. I think they must have been originally planted by a previous homeowner, and they are spreading a bit.
A pretty apricot color, they are providing lovely color in the green.
Out front, the hostas are in full flower.
Tall spires are loaded with small blooms.
The hostas behind the garage along the stone wall are also doing well. I can see these from my basement sewing room, and often see hummingbirds on them. Both the ruby throated male and his lady have been by several times. Unfortunately, every time I reach for the camera, they fly away.
At the feeder, the goldfinches are enjoying the bounty. It isn’t unusual to see 10-12 all on the feeder at once.
A pretty bluebird takes advantage of the premium seed that DH likes to get them. The pig doves found this feeder so we’ve had to take it down for a while. The doves will sit on it and sleep, not allowing anyone else to have a bite from either feeder, so I run them off when I see them. When they get persistent, we take the feeder down for a couple of weeks, and just leave the cage one up that the doves cannot reach.
A mother cardinal brought a juvenile to the feeder on this day.
She feeds her daughter, trying to show the little one how to get the seed from the feeder.
Back on the veranda, a Carolina wren started a nest in my little bucket. I left it alone, but moving the cart it is on to paint the flooring caused it to abandon the nest. I might use this in a project for the fair later.
One early morning, the fox came strolling by. The picture is blurry as he was moving a bit fast as I grabbed the camera for a quick shot. He is skinny, but just so pretty.
In the corner of the veranda, my cleome is doing great. I haven’t seen any seeds yet, but plan to scatter some in the island in the driveway circle. I’d love to have some there next year.
All three of the pots in the mosaic table bases are full of impatiens loving this heat.
The penstemon is winding down, but still have a few blooms.
My crops are doing better too. The parsley is taking off, giving me lots of freshness for cooking.
A spaghetti squash is developing nicely, but something has already nibbled on it. I cut a hole in the side of a plastic bakery box to put around it to keep the critters from getting it. This worked on the peaches last year so I’ll try it here.
And speaking of peaches, I checked the tree and the bear has beat me to them. Not a single peach remains. But, the squash plants that died were replaced, and the new ones are growing well, just not flowering yet.
Getting a late start on these tomatoes too, as they are replacements as well. But hopefully I’ll have more later in the year. These are Cherokee purples.
The Beefsteak tomato planted in the biggest pot on the veranda is doing great! It is four feet tall, and has several ripening tomatoes. The begonias I put with it provide some color for that corner.
Back to the flowers on the veranda, the torenia hanging baskets are really liking the heat and humidity too.
All the pots are trailing down like this one, full of flowers. The hummingbirds visit regularly here too.
Yellow torenias spill over the rectangular planter…
as well as the oversize mug planter sitting on the table.
A couple of years ago I threw some morning glory seeds out in the front flower bed and forgot about them. I actually pulled some up as weeds last year, not remembering that I had done that. This year, when one of the vines made an appearance, I carefully lifted it out of the irises where it was twined around a lot of leaves. Training it up to the railing, it is now producing gorgeous deep blue flowers.
In the bed, tall purple phlox are blooming now. There are two large flower heads like this one.
The hydrangea is getting bigger, with flowers spilling over the railing on the steps. It was so overgrown that DH asked me to trim it back so people could come up the steps. Some of the branches were reaching all the way across the steps! Some of the blooms are a pretty pink.
Some of the blooms are more lavendar. This is my favorite color of the hydrangea blooms.
I took all the blooms I had to cut, and put them in vases on the table inside. The variety of color on one bush is amazing. From blue to lavendar to pink, this one has the full spectrum. It has to do with the pH of the soil in that particular part of the root system that gives the blooms their color. It took two vases to hold them all.
Other plants are growing well in the birdcage and the planters. Red geraniums were cut back, so they will bloom again soon. The newly painted flooring is a lighter color, nice that it is clean and fresh. DH isn’t happy with the skinks now though, they keep pooping on his clean steps.
In the corner, I have placed several containers together to fill up that space with greenery and living art. My replacement basil plants are doing well now, nice to have the fresh herbs for the kitchen.
The bench has some summer pillows, and the rockers are back in their places. Didn’t DH do a nice job painting the flooring? I like the lighter color.
Most of the planters are next to the railing so they get enough sun. Surrounded by greenery and colorful flowers, it is a feast for the eyes when sitting outside.
I did a video of the firefly show we see every evening for most of the summer. The video is less than a minute, and very dark due to the time of day, at the end of dusk and beginning of night when the fireflies are most active. But they look like twinkle lights, lighting up in huge groups over the front lawn and the meadow. Enjoy.
What is happening in your garden?