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.