Bye-bye garden blahs, hello new life

late summer 1

Suddenly this summer: the hydrangeas puffed out and the phlox bloomed large, the ‘Karl Foerster’ grasses made themselves known and the echinacea took on a strong supporting role, ending my attack of the summer blahs

One thing I like about the garden in late summer is that it signals the end of the mid-summer blahs, that time when everything looks so awful you wonder why you ever took up gardening in the first place.

In late summer something happens. Suddenly the hydrangeas are huge and gorgeous, like massive white–or chartreuse or pink tinged–bowling balls; the Phlox paniculata is in full glory, and the black-eyed Susans are putting out their cheerful yellow faces by the hundreds. I’ve been trying to banish those Susies from my garden for years, but late every summer they redeem themselves by being a bright spot in a sad-looking garden, and so they have managed to stay.

Almost every gardener I know goes though these annual blahs. Partly it’s us–we’ve spent months planning, buying, planting, weeding, mulching, deadheading, and by early August, we (me, anyway; I should speak only for myself) are tired of it all. I can hardly work up the enthusiasm to turn the compost, which is often the only thing in the garden that’s doing well. Continue reading

Plant volunteers: what’s not to love? (Hint: it’s blue)

catchfly on path

Vivid pink catchfly is the big volunteer in my garden this year. It’s getting a little out of hand, to tell the truth, but it looks so good right now I can’t bear to take it out.

My dear departed Mom didn’t love forget-me-nots, which still volunteer to bloom in my garden every year. “They’re invasive weeds. You’ll be sorry if you don’t rip them out,” she’d advise emphatically whenever she saw them showing their little blue faces among my spring bulbs. Continue reading

My ‘Graham Thomas’ rose lives–and blooms! Is this a miracle, or what?

 

Graham ThomasHere’s a bit of  good news: the ‘Graham Thomas’ yellow climber growing in my back garden is boasting a few  brave blooms! As I said in a previous post, I’d given it up for dead until my husband Continue reading

Beauty bush: My favourite shrub–this month, anyway

beauty bush/ gazeboThe amabilis in Kolkwitzia amabilis–beauty bush’s botanical name, after Richard Kolkwitz, a German botanist from the 20th century–means lovely, and that’s an apt if understated description of this old-fashioned, dependable and flower-laden shrub.

Add “fragrant” to its list of attributes. Continue reading