Summer Returns

     Now that it is September, summer has returned.  It was a very cool August, but now that it is meteorological fall we have a week of above 90 temps.  It was 96 degrees here yesterday.  Why couldn't we have had this in August?  We were at the beach for three days last week, and it was downright cold with temperatures in the 70's and 20 mph winds. 
     Like a lot of other gardeners, I haven't seen many bees, moths and butterflies in June or July, but I have seen more in August.  They love my zinnias.  I saw no monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants, only one milkweed tussock caterpillar.There is a lot going on in the back yard garden.  Here are some photos of what's blooming.


     My biggest hosta just opened its flowers this week.  Blooming has been over weeks ago on all the other hostas.

garden angel

     My garden angel is overshadowed by the cosmos that have taken over part of the garden.


     The cosmos which are about five feet tall are on the wane now.


     I have a nice stand of zinnias in the back yard.  I hadn't originally planned for zinnias in the back garden, but I had seeds I wanted to use up.

Japanese anemones

     One of my favorite fall flowers, Japanese anemones, are flowering now.

hardy begonia

     I love the leaves as well as the flowers of my hardy begonias, which have just started to bloom.

black walnut fruits

         The black walnut tree is full of fruits that will drop in October.

Yoshino cherry

     Almost all of the Yoshino cherry trees in the neighborhood look like this tree in my yard with most of the leaves gone.  I don't know why they are so stressed.

     I am going to enjoy this week of hot weather.  I dread the coming winter after hearing The Old Farmer's Almanac prediction for a colder and snowier than normal winter here in the mid-Atlantic.

Last of Summer Blooms

crepe myrtle

 While we were gone on vacation, there was a lot of activity in the garden and yard. The crepe myrtle tree bloomed just as we left.  The side and back yard gardens are lush with blooms.  Here are photos of blooms in the side garden.

black-eyed susan
     The rudbeckia, or black-eyed susan flowers, are doing well despite being eaten after emerging.

butterfly bush
     The butterfly bush has filled out nicely after suffering severe winter damage.

     The zinnias, one of my favorite flowers, are gorgeous.  I plant seeds every year so I can have fresh cut flowers in the house.

     In the back garden, the cosmos that reseeded have taken over about a quarter of the garden.

     Some vinca from last summer that also reseeded showed up in a few places.

     Some of my loriope plants have started to flower.

     I couldn't resist showing another photo of the beautiful standard impatiens in one of my patio pots.

     The Yoshino cherry trees all over the neighborhood have lost more than half their leaves.  Isn't it a little early for that?  The acorns started dropping off the oaks a week ago.  There is a hint of fall in the weather.  We have had temps in the 50's at night and 70's and low 80's during the day for the last two weeks.  And it is only mid-August. The local meteorologist said our temps have been below average 45% of the time this summer.  I hope this doesn't mean we are going to have a bitterly cold winter like last year. 

Vacation Highlights

Buffalo/Erie County Botanical Gardens

     My family and I just returned from a driving vacation through New York  state.  I wanted to share some of the sights we saw on our trip.  We stopped at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garens.  The photo above shows the Victorian conservatory opened in 1900.  It was designed by Lord & Burnham, and the design was based on the famous Crystal Palace in Kew Gardens Palm House in England.  It is a national historic sight and is incorporated into a Frederick Law Olmstead-designed park.

     The cacti and succulent collection (which I will detail in another post) was my favorite among all the collections at the botanical gardens, which included palms, ivy, bonsai, medicinal plants, orchids, tropical plants, epiphytes, ancient rainforest plants, a rose garden, a shrub and perennial garden, and a children's garden.
A Penwiper plant, part of the succulent collection.

     We visited the Corning Glass Museum, where they have items from at least 400 BC to today.  I did not realize there were so many kinds of glass:  painted glass, etched glass, stained glass, and more.  We saw plates, bowls, glasses, windows, tables, chandeliers, paperweights, eyeglasses, jewelry, sculptures, bottles, vases and much more all made out of glass.

A painted drinking glass.

A modern glass sculpture.

Another stop was Niagara Falls, roaring with power.

A Maid of the Mist boat takes poncho-clad passengers up to the base of the falls.

We took a cruise on the still-navigable Erie Canal.

We went through two locks on our cruise on the Erie Canal.

Another stop was at the sight of the renowned 1969 Woodstock music festival.

The hill where the festival attendees viewed the stage, which was on the left corner of this photo.

On the way home we stopped in Philadelphia to see the Liberty bell.

While in Philadelphia we also toured Independence Hall.

     It was a very enjoyable vacation.  Next post I show you what was going on in my gardens while we were on our trip.

Midsummer Blooms in the Back Yard

The Asiatic lilies finally opened!  Here they stand between the hosta and cosmos blooms.

A close-up of a lily.

Now that the tulips are gone, I added some begonias under the pink dogwood tree.

My large deck pots are lush with blooms.  Here is a pot of tuberose begonias.

Another deck pot of New Guinea impatiens.

My favorite pot of standard impatiens.  I realize this is a no-no to plant because of the fungus that is wiping them out, but I couldn't resist.

This is a railing pot of diascia, a favorite flower of mine.

I have some red and white begonias in another pot.

Petunias are another favorite flower that graces my deck.

This coleus needs some water.

I was finally able to catch one of the resident foxes with my camera, trotting across my driveway in the middle of the day.  We usually see them at dusk.

Not long after the fox visit, three deer went through the yard and crossed the street.  It was a day busy with wildlife

     There is a toad that has suddenly started to sit at my back sliding glass door each night.  The dog doesn't know what to make of it, and she just walks around it and barks at it.  I will try to take a photo of it soon.

     Our family will be leaving for a week long vacation next weekend to New York state.  I hope to bring some great photos back to share with you.

Garden Growth On The Fourth of July

seashells cosmos
     In the back yard garden there is a pause between spring and fall blooms.  The seashells cosmos that reseeded are one of the few plants that are blooming.  The following photos show what else is blooming there.

The hostas are all blooming.

There are still some blooms on the hellebores.

The Asiatic lilies have still refused to show their blooms, although I have seen some blooming in the neighborhood.

I added solar lights all along the perimeter of the garden.

In the garden surrounding the electrical box, the milkweed  are blooming, and I hope for some monarch caterpillars this year.

The daisies in front of the electrical box are in full bloom.

In the full sun side yard garden the zinnias are producing a riot of colorful flowers.

Although the daisies by the electrical box are blooming, the ones in the side garden that the deer/rabbits ate, are finally recovering under my netting, but no blooms yet.

The under-the-netting balloon flowers that were also eaten are recovering nicely and are starting to bloom.

The oriental fountain grass "Karley Rose" is beautiful now.

     In our area it is a delightful day with plenty of sunshine, breezes, and low humidity.  Hope everyone has a joyful fourth, with good food and fireworks.