But today I am simply a gardener who at 2:45 pm is still in her pajama shorts enjoying a very quiet day at home. I spent part of the morning wandering around in the garden (in my pajama shorts) and despite several weeks of high heat and no rain, beauty abounded. Here's what I saw:
This is agastache 'Shades of Orange' from High Country Gardens. It loves the heat and doesn't want much extra water. It's much loved by the hummingbirds.
I love peachy orange flowers. When I look out my kitchen window and see this plant in bloom, it's like having a constant sunrise in the garden.
This caryopteris (Blue Mist Spirea) is supposed to be a dwarf cultivar. However, it's huge and has been in a shoving match all summer with a nearby sweetspire. I finally intervened and cut back the sweetspire a bit to give the caryopteris more room. It's been covered with bees since it started blooming.
Phlox 'Delta Snow' has bloomed almost all summer. It stands stalwart under a crepe myrtle, overshadowing it's cousin 'Nicky', enjoying the shade, and growing taller every year.
The bees and skippers busily canvas the sedum even before the blooms open. This is planted near several large trees that contiually rob the soil of nutrients and moisture. On my fall to-do list: compost, compost, compost!!!
I've had so many monarch caterpillars on my bloodflower (Tropical milkweed) that every leaf is gone. I hope the new growth grows fast enough to nuture and feed a few more!
My father in law calls my chenille plant "caterpillar plant" even though it doesn't attract any caterpillars. It was one of the few plants, along with my rue, that survived the horrific spider mite infestation that destroyed several of my potted plants. No amount of blasting from the hose could get rid of them. I plant it in a pot with my rosemary every summer. It doesn't attract any wildlife but it does attract me, so that's good enough!!
Bird seed sunflowers under the platform feeder and verbena bonariensis. The trumpet creeper, giant hog of all moisture and fertility, is off to the left.
This section of the garden is, as we used to say when I lived in the south, a hot mess! I've tried for years to make this a low-fertility, xeric garden bed, but my plants have decided that I'M NUTS!! They would like more compost, please!! This fall I'm planning on digging up the entire 18 ft bed, which includes two small serviceberry trees, raising the soil height by about 5-6 inches with compost and peat moss, and then rearranging most of the plants. Not an easy job. My very strong 6'5" 18 yr old is going to help me, he just doesn't know it yet... He no help me. I no feed him...!!
My gomphrena are so extremely pot bound that they've become a bit anemic but are still beatiful enough to make me stop in my tracks when I saw them hanging out with the yellow lantana. I have a wonderful surprise planned for them: worm juice from my compost bin added to their daily bucket of water tonight. Yum!!
Sorry hostas!! No water for you till it rains!! I finally figured out what was wrong with my hideous heap of siberian iris: not enough moisture or sun. Plus they probably need to be divided. I already have their new home mapped out for them. I hope they're happy.