Friday, September 10, 2010

Back to the Garden

Starting in June and continuing through August, the heat and humidity here in Athens make it impossible for me to enjoy working in the garden. If I wanted to sweat like that I'd go to the gym or something. I mean really...have you met me?

For the hot summer months my garden goes on auto-pilot. I might pull a weed or two or drag out the hose to water a bit. Anything requiring more care than that doesn't survive for long in my garden.

Last weekend the weather was absolutely perfect. The humidity dropped with highs ten degrees cooler than we've seen for months. I thoroughly enjoyed the hours I spent outside pulling weeds and otherwise sprucing things up.

The butterfly bushes are spectacular! I have six different varieties planted side-by-side toward the back of a long border. This afternoon I counted more than 15 different varieties of butterflies on them. Unfortunately, between the bright sunlight, the blue and purple flowers and my low quality camera I can't get a good picture so you'll just have to take my word.
I was thrilled to find a couple of river oats in the yard. They were exotic to me 12 years ago when I moved here. Now they've taken over and I'm ready to get rid of them. Still, the seed heads are beautiful, especially in a light breeze. (Click on the picture for a more see-able version!)

My boss gave me a small clump of garlic chives more than ten years ago. Most chives bloom in the spring. These are blooming now beneath a red curly willow. I'll have twice as many next year from all the seeds.

Boltonia is one of my all-time favorite plants. The wild stuff hasn't started blooming yet. This is a cultivar known as Snowbank. It's a great plant to mix in a border as it tends to flop or grow taller to fill available spaces.

I've saved the best for last. This week's Best in Show winner could have appeared before now, but I wanted to wait for the helianthus to bloom. The award goes to a mass planting of ornamental grass (Miscanthus sinenses) and lantana (Miss Huff) with helianthus (yellow daisy-like flowers) It's stunning as the sun sets behind it in the late afternoon.

It's great to be back in the garden. I need the exercise. Spending time making my world a more beautiful place makes me feel like something other than...

The Crotchety Old Man

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