Monday, June 30, 2014

The Garden of Raised Expectations: Here Comes Summer



             Even as the much anticipated three day holiday weekend approaches, it seems to me we're at the season's height already. Summer began officially a week ago, with the longest day. For two weeks in this best of all possible Junes, the weather has been superb, the plants growing, flowers opening. 
          And then today the temperature hits ninety. Considerable humidity as well. Do I imagine the snapping of some immortal fingers somewhere. A change is upon us.
            Suddenly everything needs water.We have to work a little harder to keep the garden looking fresh.
            Let me celebrate what we have been enjoying, before it changes
            When the air is dry, the temperature highs around eighty or high seventies, the plants of this climate are happy. Everybody is good. Nobody's depending on me for heroic measures. The June bloomers are blooming, emitting scent -- roses, lavendar. My yellow friends are all at the beginning of their golden cycle. Evening primrose, stella d'oro day lilies, a flowering chamomile, a low winding groundcover with yellow blossoms running rampant in late June.
            Two other mid-summers majors about to open. Orange native daylilies, the first of them today or yesterday; and Queen Anne's Lace, some of these quite tall this year. The first black-eyed susans opened yesterday also, another iconic summer flower.
            In first of these photos I took last Friday, all with the yellow bloomers mentioned above, an annual hibiscus and a few low roses  provide some contrasting dark red. 
           In the next grouping, it's the purple penstemon blooming, while everything else is standing tall. Among the others, the coreopsis directly behind the penstemon is about to spread its hundreds of tiny yellow suns.
           A close-up of some buttery yellow stella d'oro daylilies.  
           The lavender, in the next photo, is blooming at its height, the best it's looked in a couple of years. I wish it would stay that way all summer.
           The pink Knockout roses are planted in front of the house. Behind them you can see a second round of blue clematis growing against the porch. 
           Finally, a closeup of the clematis.
           Everything in season seems to be saying, 'Enjoy it now. This is as well as we can do.' And prepare to roll with the changes.