Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I'm enjoying summer (except for the hot weather) as the days and weeks tick by. Summer always has a vacation feel to me, even though I'm long, long removed from school and the idea of summer vacation.
And even though we continue to be open full~time, and I have plenty of work to do, it’s not super busy like spring, which I guess leads to the lazy, summertime feel.

There are things that represent summer to me as I look arcane-big clumps of blooming coneflower, bushes of tomato and pepper plants and butterfly bushes fragrant basil, cheerful calendula flowers, purple blooms atop white Russian sage stems loaded with blooms.
I do think the butterfly population is down this year, both in number and variety. The only type I've seen in profusion are the cabbage whites and their related cousins. l've seen a handful of larger species - monarchs and swallowtails (more black than yellow and black) and also buckeyes, a few commas, fritillaries, red admirals and skippers. I think numbers have declined steadily since we moved in fifteen years ago. And it’s not for lack of nectar sources.
I've been admiring a new flower I planted ~ amberboa. Haven't found a common name for it, but it'e in the aster family, so l'll call it an annual aster. Very fine texture ~ narrow, linear leaves with a pretty, mauve flower with thin, spidery petals. I found it in a catalog and the picture and description were quite accurate. I planted five in a clump ~ with the fine texture, 1 think you need 3, 5, or more for show. l‘ll have to wait till next year to see if they reseed.
l've been cutting back perennials after they bloom to neaten them up and encourage rebloom. Ditto for deadheading annuals. I had the super dark-almost black~cornflowere that never died over the mild winter. They actually got almost as tall as me end bloomed for months.  I finally cut them down and now have a new crop of seedlings emerging from dropped seed.
The plant sale continues~don't have a huge selection left~but prices are dirt cheap!

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