August in the Garden

It is hard to believe it is August, this year is going by in a blur of days that mostly look the same.  But there have been a few happenings here, and the flower show keeps going.  Time for a long and picture heavy post!!  Vibrant pink geraniums bloom profusely in just one pot.

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In the front flowerbed, the penstemmon phlox is putting on a show.

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A fleeting glimpse of the hummingbird in the shadows, lower right.  They are usually gone by the time I can get the camera on and focused.

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The hydrangeas are blooming so much that I am cutting bouquets of them for both the kitchen counter and the coffee table.  They still aren’t pink though.  More lime went on them as they keep going back to blue.

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A big storm in June broke off a tree about 100 feet tall about halfway up.  One section was still attached to the trunk and hanging upside down (on the right), and looked to me like the heptopods from the movie Arrival.  My Sweet Babboo says I have an active imagination.  The rest of the broken part was stuck high in the treetops, with another branch stuck in the next tree.

Anyway, another storm recently brought down the broken part, about 50 feet of trunk and limbs, right onto our back fence.  I felt it when it hit the ground, and briefly thought it was a small earthquake.  We have had those before.  But it was the huge section of dead limbs falling out of the treetop.

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It flattened our gate, bent part of the fencing, and made quite a mess.  This happened about two days before the tree guys were supposed to come take it down.  Well, that made their job a bit easier.

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It took a whole crew of guys to get the heptopod down, debris cut up, and small branches run through a chipper.  Some really large ones were moved to the side yard, and a guy is coming later to get them to chop into firewood.  He then will donate the wood to those who need it to heat their homes in winter.

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On the other side of the mountain out back, the gladiolas planted by the former residents of this house have multiplied and were in bloom.

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There is a nice stand of them now, all in a light apricot color.

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Lovely aren’t they?  We can see them from the office window.

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The goldfinches have been here daily, a nice flock of bright yellow birds.

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Yes, the bears are still here, too.  Mom and two cubs were here one morning.

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Thankfully, they are easily scared off with some noise.

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Remember my orchid that finally bloomed?  Believe it or not, the bloom is still going, more than six weeks later.  It opened fully on June 10, and as of now it still looks exactly the same.  The other two buds haven’t progressed at all.  I have it in the warmth and humidity of the front porch now, and moved it yesterday to the railing where it will get a bit more sun.

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More visitors, a mother deer and two daughter fawns are making frequent visits.  They eat the volunteer hostas on the side of the drive, but leave my nice bed of them alone.  No idea why.  I think they are eating the blackberries too.  I went to see about picking some for us, but the berries are tiny and not worth the effort.

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Speaking of bounty, the best crop I’ve ever had of tomatoes are ripening on the plants.

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Every variety I planted is doing well, heirlooms and Cherokee purples will come soon, and some of the Early Girls have already been on sandwiches and in salads.

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The latest harvest, two heirlooms and four Early Girls.  They are small, but so much flavor!!  I see a Tomato Pie coming soon!

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Oliver seems to be behaving himself, and he is getting regular tidbits.

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Another fun thing, two of our neighbors going down the hill have cut trees down.  This has opened up our view again, to our delight. Here’s the ‘before’ view.  You can see that in all the years we’ve been here, the trees have really grown up!


But with three of them gone in the middle of the view from the veranda, we can see much of the valley and layers of hills in the distance again. Our own trees have encroached on the view from both sides, but for now, we are leaving them alone.


This unusual moth was seen hanging off the geranium last week. Parts of its wings were so translucent that you can see the color of the flower through them.

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Also on the veranda, a purple dahlia bloomed this week, with gorgeous deep color.

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We are supposed to get rain for a day or two so I’ll be inside sewing.  I have a quilt along hop to do this week, so look for that on Tuesday.   More later!  What’s happening in your garden?

37 thoughts on “August in the Garden

    1. Connie

      Love your post this morning. Nature is just beautiful at your home, love your flowers, deer, Oliver and the bears from afar. Your purple dahlia sure is a show stopper with that deep beautiful color, my favorite for sure. Have a wonderful day.

  1. Patricia Cline

    Your garden photos always bring such peace and tranquillity especially so in this time of turmoil. Thank you for sharing your paradise.


      Thank you for sharing your piece of heaven. The variety of flowers and tomatoes and wild life is awesome.

  2. Mary Stori

    Wow… explosion of summer! Beautiful photos. Sorry about your tree…..lots of that happening this year…..we had to wait for over a month to get someone out to remove the top section of our river birch that got damaged in one of the many storms this summer. Darn it, now you have a fence to repair too…..geesh…

  3. Lesley Gilbert

    Beautiful photo’s of your garden (and animals) and that purple dahlia – wow – one of my favourite colours 🙂

  4. Sure glad no one was under that area where that branch fell – yikes. We have friends that have a tree removal business and I find it fascinating to watch them work. It’s trickier to remove trees or tree branches than I thought. All of your flowers and plants are looking so good, but that purple dahlia is my favorite!

  5. I don’t know what I like more, the view or the bears!!! We are having a typical H/H/H day today; where the humidity is 91 % and the temp right now at 9 am is already 83, going to 93 today. (Not really hazy yet, but expect it to be later). It is a good morning for sewing and and late afternoon swim with the grand-kids. I’ve given up on my flower bed…I need to go cut the volunteer trees down that have sprung up since I weeded in April and May. Somewhere in the mess are hostas starting to bloom….sigh…

  6. Connie

    Love your post this morning. Nature is just beautiful at your home. My favorite flower was the purple one you saved for last. Thanks for brightening my morning.,

  7. Melissa Mathews

    Beautiful as always, Carole! I’m sorry about your tree vs fence episode but hooray for the improved view thanks to your neighbors tree removal! I’m counting the days until I return to Mimi’s Red House on the 23rd. I know my goldfinch will be happy to see the feeders come out again!

  8. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    I’m so thankful that tree didn’t fall on your house, Carole! Love seeing all your wildlife, especially Oliver! He is so funny!! Who knew squirrels knew out to behave??!!! Your purple hydrangea is absolutely gorgeous! That is my favorite color of hydrangea!

  9. karenfae

    you have such a beautiful place and wild life! My early girl tomatoes are covered in tomatoes but so very slow to ripen this year! and the Roma’s have blossoms and no tomatoes! I wonder why that is they have been fertilized.
    I had to put netting over the blackberry’s that I just planted this year as something was eating them and then we started to see deer for awhile just one week now we don’t see them again.

  10. Rita C.

    Nice gladiolas and dahlia! Love those colors. Who doesn’t love summer tomatoes, warm I might add?! Ugh….the tree damage. The tree cutters’ job was made easier, but now you have another project (fence) to add to the list. So sorry for you on that. Nice canopy exposure with your neighbor’s tree maintenance! Thanks for the garden walk, but those bears!

  11. Such beauty in such a lovely place to call home. Sorry about the fence going down. I have the same problem. My off-shore working son will get it cut up …eventually.and who knows when the fence and gate will be repaired…but eventually.

  12. Lots of beautiful blooms and wildlife at your house, Carole! So glad to hear you’re getting a good tomato crop this year. That was quite the huge tree branch that fell – probably was a little scary to begin with! Your view is wonderful – what a change with the neighbors’ trees taken out!

  13. That cheeky Oliver always makes me laugh! The purple dahlia…WOW! The gladiolus are so pretty, I have always wanted some, but haven’t had success with my few attempts. Maybe I’ll try some pots next year. We had our first tomato on grilled hamburgers this past week. I need to go out this Marin g, I think there will be enough to make a tomato salad to go with the pork roast for dinner! Happy sewing this week. We have had gorgeous weather (high of 80) yesterday and today, so I’ve been sitting on a quilt in the back yard doing handwork with Max. He loves to guard me, though he looks to be napping half the time!

  14. Patricia Evans

    Interesting that you are able to leave the gladioli in the ground year round. We have to dig them up, so I don’t plant them any more. Isn’t it funny that we always seem to want things different. There are plenty of people who would be thrilled to have your blue/lavender hydrangeas and struggle to acidify their soil. I know you prefer the pink. The purple dahlia is magnificent. I might have to look for one of those. Can you leave the dahlia tubers in the ground, too?

  15. Hello, I have been reading your blog for the best part of a year and I do enjoy it. I like your photos of your garden, but I think the plant you labeled as penstemon might actually be a kind of Phlox, both wonderful cottage garden plants. I could be wrong but I was curious and looked them up…our Penstemon is more tubular with a defined lower lip while Phlox is more like your photo. Your flower is a lovely color, while mine are more white or pink.

    I do like your quilt projects, charity projects and especially your tablescapes…lovely mix of china and linens. I am an embroiderer and quilt maker and a retired Antiques Dealer specializing in vintage linens and decorative items. I live in Aberdeen, Scotland and have been spoiled by the wonderful range of antique linens and textiles in this area. My house is chockablock with them…although I am retired I can’t bear to part with them. Luckily my 3 daughters are starting to become aware of textiles and 2 of the 3 have started sewing.

    I wish you all success, keep writing, and keep safe.
    Warm regards,
    Ursula Thompson

  16. Joan Sheppard

    Hard to believe it’s August already – unless I try to go outside. Walking the dog at 6 am and 10 pm. to avoid the heat (and rain).
    Got 3 more baby size quilts in the Crown Collection (corona = crown in Spanish) and made a 2nd harness for a handicapped dog. It’s too hot to go outside longer than it takes to water the flowers. My tomato plants – 8 of them garnered 4 buds – no fruit yet. Your garden is breathtaking. The flowers look better than catalog photos! My gladiolas and hibiscus have buds but up here it’s late before we get any blooms. The roses were decimated by cicadas and fighting to come back. Still practicing free motion quilting and thanks again for the tips and moral support.
    p. s. Loved the Blog Hop which bounced me to other Blog Hops and now follow 3 in Australia, 1 in Sweden and 1 in Germany – in German. I don’t speak German but I speak Quilt and that works.
    Can’t thank you enough for the wonderful photos. Give Oliver a little treat from me and the bears? well, good luck with them.

  17. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, It was wonderful looking over all of your photos while reading about each one. I am fairly jealous with all of your gorgeous florals and even your wildlife. Yet, even though my flowers this year have not been very successful, I still have hope for them. Once the weather starts to cool down, we have been in the high 90’s and 100’s for a couple of weeks now, I plan on moving around the majority of my bulbs. The soil needs to be replenished badly and the things I tried this year just have not made much of a difference. Not much else going on, I have not even been sewing much because of the heat. Again, I really enjoyed your post and always look forward to reading what you share. I hope that you have a wonderful day.

  18. Oh, how I’d love to stroll through your garden, Carole. The gladiolas are beautiful and the little finches so cute. I don’t know anything about squirrels – are they a problem? He looks innocent enough. Unfortunate about the damage to the fence, but at least it wasn’t closer to the house. Were you able to keep the mulch for your garden?

  19. Lots of beautiful colour in your lovely garden. Good to see the wildlife behaving.
    The trees can make a big mess when they fall. Glad it didn’t get near the house.

  20. Susan Nixon

    Just leaving you a comment to let you know I’ve been by, seeing what you’ve been doing. =) This is a beautiful display, as always. In our neighborhood, everyone’s crepe myrtle trees are still blooming in all their colors. My one poor hydrangea made a timid try at coming back this year and then gave up for good. I think I have really awful dirt here! Something in it seems to kill almost everything, or keep the blooms from coming out fully. In a few years, I’ll go back to Arizona, where everything I touch grows. =) The desert does blossom like a rose, with just a little water.

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