Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Late Summer Garden

 It's butterfly season.
The air flutters with delicate, skittery things.
The pinks of summer remind me of ladies in silk dresses,
lifting their faces as a breeze passes by.
"Oh, what a rainy summer it's been!" they say, fanning themselves.

The purple butterfly bushes are the favorite café for local insects. 

I'm learning that coneflowers and Russian Sage are perfect companions for an August garden, blending pinks and purples.

Globe thistles (Echinops ritro) add color and texture to August.
But where to find them?

Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) bloom like crazy and carry a garden into fall.
 A butterfly feasts on a white cone flower.
Sedum Hylotelephium 'Purple Emperor'  adds a deeper shade of pink,
almost the color of a mum.
Mother Nature knows how to transition seasonal colors, doesn't she?

The crepe myrtles are at their peak.

White Scottish Heather is calling my name.

Every year around this time, I find myself thinking about Fall. I've always been
up to my neck in publishing projects, and I was lucky if I set out a few pumpkins.
This year is different.
This is the year that I turn 60.
This birthday year, I will teach myself to enjoy the here and now.
I'll give it a shot, anyway.
Probably I won't line the driveway with autumn décor.
But mums, pumpkins, and hay bales are on my list.
A container garden won't take long to create and it will last until the first frost.

Maybe I'll make a few containers.
Something to say goodbye to August.
Something to welcome the new season.
Something to welcome a new state of being.

Are you enjoying the butterflies of August?

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  1. Oh yes, and I'm far from planning anything for fall - it will come and I'll deal with it then. No doubt I'll be ready and happy to welcome fall and all it's wonderful new colours, but for now I am deep into the summer moment.

    1. That's a good place to be: in the moment. I finally planted my sage today and found a dead Russian sage. I shouldn't have transplanted it this late in the season. Argh.

  2. I'm already thinking about fall and my decorations. My butterflies are busy in my yard also along with my numerous hummers.
    I wish we would have rain but no chance of that until November.
    Your pictures are beautiful.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Beautiful inspiration, Michael Lee. Amazing butterfly shots! I mix purple sage and cone flowers, but my cone flowers have not performed well this summer. Need to figure out what the issue is. Yours are lovely!

  4. My goats ate the cone flowers in the front yard..but I know that's not the case with your cone flowers! When you find out, please let me know. I have some "iffy" looking cones over at RF.

  5. The butterflies don't seem to have made it to my house yet. These are gorgeous photos!

    1. I'll whisper to my butterflies and tell them to visit you. ;-)

  6. I love the butterflies of August -- which is why I grow parsley, fennel and have butterfly bushes! If you feed them, they will come!

  7. Your photos are astounding..........I have not seen butterfly all year. My garden has all the right things in it but no butterfly this year. I even grew butterfly weed and milkweed for them.
    love your blog and will follow

  8. love your flutterby pics, and your hibiscus is a fav i can no longer have with deer :-(

    enchinops are easy to grow from seed, build a greenhouse! oh my your time puttering outside will increase beyond your imagination~

    i love shasta's that the only thing the deer don't eat at the beach so far...

    "This birthday year, I will teach myself to enjoy the here and now" words to live by indeed!

    wonderful images you collected, soon they will all be in your own garden of eden~

    t'aint no butterflies by the sea, how could they hold in the gale and cold, but i have got grit, and wet and gray galore, ahh, the colors of a coastal summer!

  9. Lovely garden shots, Michael Lee! So many of my plants get eaten by the bunnies hopping around our neighborhood. I'm having to figure out what they WON'T eat! Happy Sunday! xo

  10. Lovely transition. Thanks for sharing, Ginger

  11. Such gorgeous photos, ML...I LOVE that arrangement in the black urn! Last year, I tried to copy Mary Garrity's at Nell Hill, seen here:

    but the shot you shared it much prettier, I think.

    It feels like fall here today. I'm actually chilly & going around closing windows. I ADORE is my most favorite season here in Ohio. Less rain than Spring, less heat & humidity that Summer & NO SNOW, like Winter! LOL

    A good friend just passed away in her sleep at 58!!! Totally unexpected...No sign of illness at all, so yes, life is not a dress rehearsal. I'm trying to look at every single day as a true gift, to be savored & enjoyed to the hilt! Plus, I have too many quilts to make...I can't go yet!


  12. Beautiful flowers and lovely butterflies!


  13. Watching butterflies should teach everyone to enjoy the here and now, they're here for such a brief time. Beautiful butterfly bush photos with the black swallowtail dining! I've seen more butterflies in the past two weeks than I remember seeing in three or four years. Turning 60 calls for a wonderful celebration :)

  14. You should do a post on how you take such stunning photos...course it helps that your flowers are stunning. Love the purple sage...Your photo of the purple sedum reminds me that I need to relocate mine, its not doing so well this year....awww the life of a gardener as I'm sure you know :-)

    Beautiful post, thanks for sharing it