Friday, August 31, 2012

T G I F and Farewell to Summer 2012!

Today marks the end of meteorological summer.  Coincidentally tonight is also the start of Labor Day weekend which many people associate with the end of summer.  If you happen to be a seasonal purist, summer doesn't end for another three weeks but no matter how you slice it, the hazy days and sultry nights most of us associate with summer in New England are in the rear view.

Call it summer, call it fall, it doesn't much matter to me.  Some of the best weather we get in New England is in September.  Already I've been enjoying the cooler sleeping nights and crisp mornings that turn into deliciously warm afternoons.  And despite a drought and the ninth hottest July on record in CT, my garden appears to be relatively lush. 

But where did summer go?  More so than usual it seems like everyone I know is asking the same question this year.  Even I have to admit I feel slightly cheated.  So tonight please join me as I attempt to relive the glory days by retracing my steps down that lazy, hazy memory lane called Summer 2012. 

Nursery Crawling

Nursery Sales


Birthday celebrations

And milestone birthday celebrations

Garden parties

Lots of this

And this

AND this

And not enough of this

Never enough of this

Nursery crawling in Oregon

Garden touring in Oregon
Touring fellow bloggers gardens in Oregon

Nursery Crawling in Washington
Garden Touring in Washington

My first trip to Seattle

Toasting a fabulous PNW IU9
Dondero Farm dinners

Farmer's markets

Vacationing at home

And at the beach

Moon rising over Stonington and Fisher's Island Sound

It doesn't get much better than this!

No wonder summer is fleeting-time flies when you're having fun!.  As soon as I hit the "publish" button on this post, I just know I'm going to wish I'd included more pictures.  But hey, with any luck there's always tomorrow so make every day count! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

St. Edmund's Retreat at Enders Island

St. Edmund's Retreat is a Catholic retreat located on Enders Island in Mystic, CT.  Enders Island is situated at the mouth of the Mystic River in Fisher's Island Sound.  From my rental cottage across the water in Stonington, I can see the sea walls of St. Edmund's when they are lit up every morning by the rising sun and watch the lights twinkle all night.

Since I hadn't visited in a few years, during my recent vacation I decided to take the ten minute ride over and stroll the grounds.  As you might imagine the setting is just magnificent and the views are breathtaking.  Even a wayward Catholic like me is drawn to the symbolism and can appreciate the peaceful sanctity.  The gardens are mostly annuals and not extensive but they add to the beauty and tranquility.  

Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption

St. Edmund's Retreat is just over an hour drive from Hartford and is worth a peek even if it's just to sit in quiet reflection and enjoy the view.  If you're so inclined, Mass is said daily and on Sunday. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bloom Day-August 15, 2012

Due to rain and energy sapping levels of heat and humidity, I have been unable to get much garden work done over the past three weekends.  Previous to that I was away for a week.  Weekends are really the only time I can get out in the garden for long stretches so this discouraged gardener is far behind on projects and cleanup chores.

When I realized the 15th was fast approaching, my initial reaction was to bag Bloom Day this month.  But who am I kidding?  Like most gardeners I know, I always think my garden isn't up to snuff or "company ready".  And as long as I set ridiculously high standards it never will be unless I win the lotto and quit work or decide to have no life.  Since it's highly unlikely that any of those things will happen, perhaps it's time I just cut myself some slack.  You know what I mean?

So I came to the conclusion that even though Bloom Day initially appeared to be a chore, by getting out into my garden with a camera, I was forced to look for what was good.  Much to my surprise, it was considerably better than I thought.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this worthwhile monthly event.  But enough with the pity party and on to the pictures!

Hydrangeas of all species are still blooming abundantly.  If I hadn't run out of time and was a better photographer, Hydrangea mania could have been the key note bloomer for August.

A H. paniculata blooming in my reclamation area.  Given the dry conditions we experienced for most of the summer and that this is my driest garden, I'm amazed.

H. paniculata 'Limelight' bowed over by heavy rain and the weight of it's flowers.

H. paniculata 'Quick Fire' and variegated Lysimachia clethroides

Now I know how H. quercifolia 'Amethyst' got it's name

Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'

Calimintha nepeta nepeta

Echinacea 'White Swan' making it's third Bloom Day appearance

Sunpatiens intermingled with one of the Illusion Dahlias

Phlox paniculata 'Shock Wave'.  Note to self: add more

One of my favorites Phlox paniculata 'Norah Leigh'

Another seriously long bloomer Kalimeris incisa

Artemesia 'Guizhou' makes the cut for a second month

A must have plant for all partially shaded gardens Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford'

Britt Marie and friends

Eupatorium 'Little Joe'

A long view of my backyard border

Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' mingles with Aster 'Blue Autumn', another Illusion 'Dahlia and some Coleus

Leycesteria formosa 'Golden Lanterns' has proven fully hardy in my zone 6b garden

Drunken bees in the Leycesteria flowers

A tangled mess of Hydrangea 'Limelight', Abelia grandiflora, Kalimeris incisa 'Blue Star', Leucosceptrum 'Variegata', Spirea and white Sunpatiens

Helenium and Aster frikartii 'Monch'

A wide angle view of the Helenium with more Calimintha nepeta, some reseeded Cleomes and the aging flowers of Hydrangea paniculata 'Dharuma'

Hibiscus 'Kopper King' and Buddleia 'Evil Ways'

Nature places Cleomes best

Unlike it's reseeding relatives Cleome Senorita Rosalita is sterile and thornless

A wonderful Amaranthus that has been reseeding in my garden for years

Hummingbird magnet Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Flower of Canna 'Australia'

Dahlia 'Mystic Illusion'

Lagerstroemia 'Cherry Dazzle' is smothered with buds and getting ready to pop

Mixed containers of tropicals and unusual annuals are the stars of my garden from now until frost.  Although I love the lush, color they provide, by August I start to get tired of the daily watering chores.  Every year I vow to cut back but so far that hasn't happened.

The Twerpinator wants to thank you for visiting and assures you that for September Bloom Day we'll be BAAACK.