Gladiolus Tuesday, Aug 30 2016 

Unnamed varieties that I had growing this year out at the top of the winter squash bed. I really ought to give them a better space and more water (everything could use those two things!). They are quite the cut flower, impressive, clean, and easy to manage.

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Ecosystems Saturday, Aug 20 2016 

You know your vegetable garden is well integrated into the natural system when the particular challenge while picking green beans is a frog. To be exact a little orange/brown wood frog about the size of my thumbnail industriously exploring the beans.  I have no doubt that it is a good spot for him.  Probably the off spring of the adult wood frog I saw in the next bed over the other day. The bean patch at this time of the year is fairly damp and rather full of little critters for him to eat.

Finally saw a yellow swallowtail butterfly, the black ones are far more common this year.

Flowers everywhere Thursday, Aug 18 2016 

August is a hard time to have flowers around here: heat, sun, and humidity, combined with a short growing season knock out a lot of things. Most plants that like it in New England are designed to be done by late July, then there is a lull until September when the asters and goldenrods really explode.

That being said the list is amazing: Garden Phlox, goldenrod (of at least four varieties), Black Eyed Susans, Turtle’s Head (pink), Obedient Plant, early wood asters, honeysuckle (still), Garden Sunflowers, native sunflowers, monarda (bee balm), Rose of Sharon, Ligularia (large, mustard yellow, daisy shaped flowers), Shasta daisies, species lilies, cardinal flower (both the blue biennial and the red perennial), plume poppy, hyssop, and probably some things I am missing.

The rewards? Well, an innumerable number of pollinators, a determined song by the crickets, a wood frog merrily hopping through the garden, many Black Swallowtail butterflies, dragonflies, other smaller butterflies, and the list goes on.  It may be late in August after a hard summer, but the life of the world rises in the dusk light on a hundred thousand wings from out of the flowers.

Sunflower Monday, Aug 8 2016 

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Your retrospective continues. Sunflowers from a few years ago. This year’s sunflowers are mostly wonderful dark mahogany (Chianti, I believe is the name) and multi stemmed short yellow. Very elegant and a very nice addition to the garden. Something about a robust annual that you know will be dead in the season and with which one need not fuss….there is an appeal to that!

Autopilot Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

The garden has very much been on autopilot: too busy and the savagely dry weather (now broken) meant that trying to enjoy anything was rather hard. But we had a nice evening tonight and it is remarkable what is happily growing.

A collection of Oakleaf Hydrangeas, now past bloom with soft dusky rose pinks, a set of rhododendrons growing with vigour and all lustrous green, the tall pink monarda running wild beneath the dark shade of the pines, the white candles of snakeroots and clethra, the last fading scents of the great white Casa Blanca Lilies, the first flush of goldenrod, a grapevine so heavy it reaches down towards the path….the green grapes a promise yet to behold. Tomorrow, tomorrow comes even in the heat of summer, and with it a bounty of new things in their day of grace.

Summer colors Saturday, Jul 23 2016 

Purple is a good summer color, it stands out nicely from the greens and balances other ‘hot’ colors.  This purple daylily promises to be quite vigorous in the right spot. It is short, but since the colors are such that one wants to get a good look at it, that isn’t a drawback.  I like its shape as well, I’m partial to the ones with more defined petals.

No name, it was picked from a local nursery that just sort of lets them run wild.

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Garden Produce Thursday, Jul 21 2016 

Let’s see, the peas are pretty well finished. Not that we ever really figured out which peas got planted where. But they had a decent run. The beans are coming along mightily, probably for another week or two.  The zucchini is zucchini-ying and I need to deal with that.  The yellow squash apparently was a victim of the skunk.  The tomatoes are going to ripen….eventually…. The beets, chard, and kale are all continuing along quite well.  I’ve frozen some parsley and have plenty more, the onions are looking good.  Probably the only slightly off ones are the cucumbers, which are producing but seem to be a bit on the bitter side.

Not bad for a not-garden year.

Lily Beetles Sunday, Jul 17 2016 

Every year, I consider giving up on lilies, we haven’t been able to get the lily beetles under control. And what was a carefree flower has become a disgusting headache. I can deal with the voles and chipmunks….but those bugs…..  I just went out and sprayed the lilies that are being eaten with some Neem, we will see if it slows them down a bit. I’m reluctant to use pyrethrin in that garden since I think we may be getting a balance between the predators and the caterpillars and a heavier duty spray might knock that back out again. But, I may have to.

The thing is though, that when we can have lilies, they are worth it.  The colors, shapes, and scent can’t be beaten. They are the mainstay of a summer garden.

I was reminded of this the other day when the few Orienpets that survived both winter, the voles, and the bugs opened.  Leaving aside the lovely ivory and rose colors, the scent is incredible.  The Orientals in a week will be even better.

Nothing is better than late evening, the setting sun in the trees, and those lilies beneath the window.

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These guys didn’t make it this year, sadly. I think the voles got them.  But I have a few by the library.

Green Study Tuesday, Jul 12 2016 

Which isn’t actually green, but it is about green….

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Also yellow daylilies and pink Asiatic lilies

Flying time Thursday, Jul 7 2016 

I was wandering through the pictures in this blog….I didn’t realize that the daylily border is now four years old, no wonder it needed weeding this spring!

Here it is the first year:

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And last year:

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This year promises to be similar, although not quite as tall. The early drought stunted their growth some. This photograph from the second year shows them to their full effect:

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