Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Day of August!

August is my least favorite month of the year. Hot, dry, full of yellow jackets and mosquitos. Hurricane anxiety. Shorter days with weird yellow light.  I think it wouldn't be so bad if it could just be lazy summer all month.   Instead the pace picks up and it's supposed to be autumn already, which in the south it is not - for at least another month or more.  No more beach or pool and back to school, ready or not.

But excuse me while I find my attitude of gratitude.  (Thanks, Mom!)  How about the fact that there are so many fresh fruits and vegetables available in August (and September)?  And zinnias and sunflowers!  All the markets are full of tomatoes, peaches, plums, squash, zucchini, green beans, green peppers, corn, plus flowers, herbs and more.  So many photo ops!  And cooking ops!

Lisa at Get in the Garden is always harvesting and making stuff from her very productive garden. She's an inspiration. Just take a look at her August recipes.  Yum to peach tarts, vegetable relish and corn chowder!

Lemon Verbena Lady made cinnamon basil jelly for her birthday.  That sounds great, too.

Jennah has luffas at her house and she's going to dry them for Christmas presents.

I have yet to make Susan Branch's gazpacho, but it's not too late!  Labor day is coming up and that might be just the right treat for that day.

Other good news:  A few plants managed to weather this extra hot year and our torn up garden fairly well.  Angel wing begonias (top photo) don't seem to mind very dry conditions.  Here are a few more - you know you can make any garden look okay with macro shots!

Shasta daisies.

Buddleia 'Pink Delight.'

Bronze fennel which isn't looking very bronze here.

Tiny pink coreopsis blooms.

Deer chewed phlox that finally bloomed a month late on very short stems. That's fennel sharing its space.

Solidago 'Fireworks' is my current favorite plant. It's new for me. I love the neat shape - it's about 3 x 3 feet. The way the inflorescences are nearly perpendicular to the stems is just so cool. It does look like fireworks in the garden.

This is my Gruss an Aachen rose from Wayside Gardens. It was advertised as a rose for shade and I have it in part sun. It has never done very well for me, but I adore the scent and the colors, and I have so much shade that I'm not sure any other rose would do better.

Buddleia 'Black Knight' with Solidago 'Fireworks' in the background. I like this combination in the garden better than I would have thought. It's bold and autumn-y, I think.

I'm not sure which aster this is tucked underneath my overgrown forsythia. I've moved it since that photo was taken because I could barely see it under there.

Purple coneflowers. I planted these several times and had them totally disappear before the next year. I know deer like to chew the tops off but do voles like them too? Rabbits? I kept trying, and this year I have several plants that are two or three years old. I love them.

Mazus reptans with a tiny bloom. I now have a flagstone patio - it was the summer's biggest thrill and I will write more about it soon. The spaces between the patio stones are filled with Mazus and Pratia. I hope this was a good idea - we do think it's pretty.

I'll leave you with my mushroom volunteers which popped up in the pile of leftover mulch. I wouldn't eat these, but they do make me think of mushroom soup. Maybe Dawn has a recipe for that!


  1. I don't mind August, though it always has felt like a long month. I find it a little sad at the end thinking about getting back into the more rigid routines of Sept. My least favorite has always been February.

  2. Great photos! The second half of August was kind of a dead time for flowers in my garden - the mid summer flowers, even the daisies and coneflowers, were past their prime and going to seed, and the autumn flowers like chrysanthemums and Autumn joy sedum haven't appeared. Buddleia has been one of the only things blooming, and even it seems past its prime. Two months of unusually low rainfall until we got poured on a week ago didn't help improve the appearance, either.

  3. I absolutely 100%, no doubt about it agree with you on August. Yuck yuck yuck. Utterly miserable. What's funny is when I lived in NYC it was one of my favorite months most years.

  4. totally with you when it comes to august. ugh. but your photos are great. and i love the little pair of mushrooms.

  5. I don't like August either! :) I enjoyed your flowers, though! :)