A series of light showers this morning were welcome after the previous two days of temperatures in low 90s. Gardenias are fully awake today; a few more red lilies shout their presence.
American Goldfinches keep us entertained. Today I watched one floating from flower to flower on Blue Sky salvia, the slender stems arching gracefully downward with the bird’s weight, then popping upward, the goldfinch having moved on to the next flower effortlessly, like an acrobat on a trapeze .
I do not have an adequate camera to film birds but you may be able to see four goldfinches sitting atop sturdy stalks of echinacea in the meditation circle yesterday. All too soon one signals, “let’s go.”
Verbena bonariensis is going to seed and needs to be trimmed back. The finches love it at this stage so I will leave it a while longer.
Among the signs of early summer in the garden are this lusciously deep, purple gladiolus just coming into bloom.
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ embraces the hot weather.
From the back porch I spied a black swallowtail, I think, on this bush. I searched later but the butterfly had moved on.
This year Salvia uliginosa (Bog Sage) has been taking over a large portion of the northern border. I have had my eye on it and planning its demise, but yesterday I changed my mind.
The sun at early morning was just beginning to filter inside the garden. Air was cool.
There was a stirring breeze. With chimes singing behind me in the meditation circle and a little bird calling and calling, the salvia’s sky blue flowers danced before me and made me smile.
Thought I would share a video from the moment. Hope it might give you a smile as well. Turn up the sound and you may be able to hear peaceful contentment.
Echinacea have been a mainstay this summer, drawing bees, hummingbirds and American Goldfinches to the borders. The blooms on this white one, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, really improved after the recent rains.
By design I have a lot fewer Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort) in the garden this year, both of which were becoming rather aggressive spreaders.
The sap of Tradescantia lately is causing me to have an itchy skin contact rash. For that reason and because I want to control its spread, I tried not to allow it to bloom at all this year, but a few sneaky flowers remind me why I have enjoyed it for so many years.
I have simply grown tired of Shasta daisy after letting it roam for a lot of years. One entire bed was taken over by this plant, so I still have a lot of work to do to tame it.
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) are pairing up in a lovely color combination. This salvia also spreads freely but I have finally learned to be ruthless in pulling it out when it wanders too far.
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is finally blooming again encouraged by the recent rains.
This passalong everlasting Sweet Pea looked miserable most of the summer but, like the Black and Blue salvia, it was rejuvenated by the rainfall. I planted annual sweet peas seeds this year but none survived.
The bird feeder is always a source of entertainment and occasionally the birds plant a few flowers for themselves. I am not sure exactly what this volunteer is but it is cheerful enough.
For the first time in many years my Stargazer Dahlia, did not return, done in by the cold winter I suppose. It was a passalong from a friend and former neighbor and so I missed not seeing it this year. In spring though I had picked up a dinner plate Dahlia bulb, packed in a fairly generic-looking box, but labelled to have come from The Netherlands.
Well the dahlia has finally bloomed. Granted I selected a poor spot for it, but I do not think it will reach the promised “up to eighteen blooms per plant.” Neither does the size nor color correspond to the package at all. The flower is beautiful though and I am happy to have another dahlia for the garden.