Monday, September 15, 2014

As the Summer Winds Down

Summer isn't at all interested in shoving off and allowing autumn to take the stage and for this I give a wholehearted standing ovation. The drawback to its senescence is the threat of wildfires. Although none were burning close by, the smoke of a distant burn was directly overhead all day today. It was awful. Thankfully the winds have shifted and we can breathe deep this evening. It's a bit unnerving.

Here's a few happy plants.  

One of many Dianthus I've had in the garden for years, putting out a rare late-summer blossom. 

I've never grown Kniphofia because I'm not a fan of the usual orange color.
I do, however, love its structure and form and when I spotted this soft yellow
one at a plant sale last weekend, I grabbed it. (Kniphofia 'Pineapple Popsicle') 

I planted a small plug of Cup and Saucer vine last May.
Finally it's blooming. 

Even the buds are interesting.

The first blossom has fallen but what a sweet way to depart, don't you think?
Directly into the Nicotiana foliage. 

I also found a replacement for the Pitcher Plant I lost during last winter's cold.
(Sarracenia x Wrigleyana 'Scarlet Belle') 

Isn't this new, pink-flowered Delosperma cool? 

This industrious honey bee sure thinks so. 

Spiraea japonica 'Neon Flash' is in bloom again. I've found that giving
it water every now and then makes it happy. (Duh, right?)

Ditto for my roses. Here, 'Knock Out' puts out a perky cluster of goodness. 

And look at how happy my Clemmy 'Pagoda' is! 

One of my favorite flowers.


I've had this rose forever. I am ambivalent of its existence but on rare occasion
when it blooms, all doubts evaporate.

There is something kind of magical about Kale, don't you think? 

This is the new birdbath I bought on Craigslist for... wait for it....
Twenty dollars! 

My youngest daughter Susan has no qualms about helping out
a sleepy bumblebee. 

Eventually, after gently setting him down on a leaf, he woke up and flew away. 


  1. The risk of wildfires must be a huge worry Grace - glad to read that the wind changed direction. ' Pineapple Popsicle' looks most attractive despite its name.

  2. I need to go shopping with you for garden ornament bargains....I am happy to see your garden is going strong and that summer is not giving in to has caved here and fall is slipping over the wall with cold night later this week down to 35...once the first freeze happens the skeeters will be gone which is the only benefit.

  3. Loving your new plant finds. Girl you always find the best bargains for garden pieces. I love the bird bath.The spirea has such a pretty pink color, almost neon pink. The g blooms are about gone now in my garden and it always makes me sad... or maybe it is SADD settling upon me already.:) Have a lovely week and I hope the fires get stopped and do not come near houses.

  4. That's a brave daughter! I can't let any insect crawl on me, whether or not it's a stinger or biter. I would really like for summer to shove off now. With this warm weather I feel a compulsion to keep my garden limping along. If only fall would come I could claim the declining plants on that instead. I'm so sick of watering.

  5. Love the Kniphofia and Clemmie Pagoda...hope I spelled those right. That birdbath is to die for. Pink roses always remind me of my Mother...they were her favorite flower. Great photos as usual Grace.

  6. It's good that you are raising fearless daughters...but then what else would one expect from you.

  7. You do still have some good looking blooms and daughter to grace your garden. ;o) Good deal on the bird bath! It looks like it belongs right where you put it. I wouldn't be able to be outside with the odor of the fires in the area. I hope they are able to keep those at a minimum.

  8. Why don't I ever see anything like that birdbath up here on Craigslist? Instead, I get to scroll through lawn mowers and noxious weeds that people are selling as garden perennials. Fooey!

    Christine in Alaska

  9. That Clematis 'Pogada' is very sweet. Clematis just never thrive in my dry garden . I keep falling for them; and plant them , then feel bad when they look miserable

  10. I remember a comment by a local garden writer years ago (it might have been Robert Smaus) that his kids used to "pet" bumblebees. That's easy to imagine when I see photos like yours - they seem quite docile if they're not threatened in some manner.

  11. Sending a little prayer that you will be spared the devastating wildfires, Grace. Your September garden is full of color and that clematis is darling. Congratulations on your Craigslist find. P. x

  12. I grew that cup and saucer vine last year and remember thinking the dang thing was NEVER gonna bloom. And then it did, and it was soooo awesome. I wish I had planted one this year.

    I love that clematis. Added to the list of wants. :)

  13. Grace, your gardens look perfect! In pure end of summer splendor. I always admire your plant choices and lush gardens.

  14. Hello Gracie girl !
    Your daughter was very kind to help Ms. Bumbly out .. I have seen a few "sleepy" ones here too .. especially when the temps dip.
    I have to really make it up to my garden now .. haven't been in it at all lately and it is thirsty.
    I love that clemmy ! it is gorgeous as well as all your other plants .. The replacement for the pitcher plant is awesome !
    Your garden is looking very happy!
    Joy : )

  15. I'm hoping for rain this week, everything is so dry. The wildfire situation is scary. I'm glad the smoke went away for you. Your flowers look wonderful, the Cobaea makes me think of gardens of yesteryear, so genteel, your wonderful blooms are tempting me.


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