July 24, 2013

Summertime and Fireflies

Rudbeckia 'Indian Summer"

My gardens are bursting with color! Yellow flowers seem to predominate in July, but there is so much variety. The deep golden yellow blossoms of the giant-headed Indian Summer Rudbeckia are definitely a favorite.

Heliopsis helianthoides
'Summer Sun'
Many varieties of bright yellow coreopsis and heliopsis share their cheery daisy-like faces all over the yard. Since these freely spread and reseed, they’ve been planted and transplanted all over the property. So every corner of the yard lights up with little bursts of yellow flowers. The bees and butterflies are in heaven!

Evening brings out flashes of yellow, too. The yard and edges of the woods glow briefly with the lights of dozens of fireflies. Seeing their display makes me smile and feel like a kid again. I want to run and catch them, and watch them glow in my hand. Then I remember the mosquitoes are out there, too, and I decide to enjoy their light show through the window instead.
Fragrant Summer Phlox

Incredibly fragrant summer phlox bows its giant heads of perfumed petals, and I can’t resist burying my nose in the blossoms. These deep pinks and whites add their own color to the show.

Towering over the rudbeckia are the tallest Stargazer lilies I’ve ever seen. They’re still in the bud stage, but promising to be extraordinary after our wet spring. I can hardly wait for them to open and perfume the air with their heavenly scent.

Lovely (or lowly?) Marigold

We've recently had an incredible heat wave in our area. It was so hot that it was difficult to be outside; so humid that it was hard to breathe. When the weather is like that, unless you can spend the day in a lake or pool, it’s best to stay indoors in the air conditioning. A day spent at the water park last week was a brief respite, though there’s only so much chlorine a body can take in one day!

Supertunia 'Pretty Much Picasso'

So what’s a person to do? Staying indoors is disappointing when we’ve waited all winter to be outdoors to celebrate this flush of new life in the natural world. Heavy leaf growth on the trees makes for a thick canopy and blessed shade. Flowering shrubs burst with color, and all the perennials are joyously doing their summer thing. The view from every window lures us out into the sunshine to revel in the summer sunshine.

Annuals, perennials and herbs mingle
Frequent rains of early summer brought great growth rates, but have become less frequent as summer moves on. So all of these gardens require diligent watering to keep them happy and blooming. Mosquitoes eat me alive as I try to keep up with the watering schedule, but the reward of being surrounded by gorgeous blooms makes all the work – and bug bites – worth it.

I wanted to share these pictures of my flowers, and my delight in summer’s glory. The joy I get from every blossom is magnified when a hummingbird or butterfly enjoys my flowers too! Every nip and taste of nectar they enjoy makes my ‘job’ worth it for me.

Large cherry tomatoes

Soon we will enjoy natures’ bounty from the veggies I’ve planted, too. My mouth waters waiting to bite into that first ripe tomato, still warmed from the sun. That, to me, is heaven on earth. 
Plum tomatoes looking plummy

We need to celebrate summertime, and enjoy the fruits of our labors in the garden. For all too soon, the flowers will wither when autumn winds blow, and leaves will begin to fall, ushering in our long Wisconsin winter. The cooler temperatures that arrived unexpectedly yesterday are a foretaste of the cooler days of autumn to come. 

So, even when it’s hard to take the heat (though I know there are some of you out there who love the hot weather), keep in mind that this time of year is brief; and enjoy the little pleasures of flowers and fireflies and Fudgesicles, and all the joys that summertime brings.

Summer scene in my pines

I've included many more photos than I usually do for this post, but I wanted you to feel like you were in my gardens enjoying the flowers. If you want to see a picture in more detail, just click on it and it will enlarge.

Now it's your turn... what's your favorite flower? And do you like the heat or the cooler temps? Being a northern girl, I'm pretty happy with this cool Canadian air in July. It's unusual, but I'll take it over the heat and humidity any day!

Happy Gardening! 

1 comment:

  1. Such lovely pictures! My favorite flowers are the ones blooming at the moment. They are all such a vivid reminder of the beauty only God could provide. Thank you for reminding us! -sb