If you want to see plants waving fronds, flowers, and foliage in the air like they just don’t care, come to my garden now. If you want to watch purples, pinks, whites, greens, yellows kaleidoscope as they flop atop each other, lounge on the lawn, collapse carelessly hither and thither, now is the time to visit.
While I do plant spring bulbs and early blooming perennials, my gardens are primarily August and September gardens. They come into their own now, fully formed, hosting a variety of pollinators, pretty much untended by me, messy and abundant and vibrant. And there’s something about the late summer sun that also enters into the sensual equation, where colour plus languidness plus light concoct the kind of shimmering magic that keeps me in the garden more and more often now.
Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. –Sam Keen
(As if laziness weren’t always respectable!)
I planted a couple of wildflower mixes this year, two kinds for sun and one for shade, and some zinnias and cosmos from seed, plus a few late-season annual plants like a pink phlox and some grasses; I love the surprises that pop up; I’m going to do it again next year!
The back border, home of the many monarchs, also hosted bees and mimics of all stripes, a small tree frog, dragonflies, birds, and lots of others:
Same with the fruit guild:
The side bed, with some new plants (like the tall vervain, below), really came to life this year:
And the rock wall, partly planted by me (hazelnuts and clethra this year) and partly by former owners and airborne seeds:
The front and sunroom borders (and even the patio, which hosted this garter snake) are a joy to behold:
And then there is the back “edge” (my narrow “forever wild” strip), the back fence itself, and other nooks and crannies where plants and animals come together as summer slips away …
from Three Songs at the End of Summer by Jane Kenyon
A second crop of hay lies cut
and turned. Five gleaming crows
search and peck between the rows.
They make a low, companionable squawk,
and like midwives and undertakers
possess a weird authority.
Crickets leap from the stubble,
parting before me like the Red Sea.
The garden sprawls and spoils.
The garden sprawls and spoils, collapses, feeds, fertilizes, hosts, rots, roots, holds on, lets go, careless, carefree.
Hi Molly, Especially loved these photos of all the blowsy, luxuriating flowers — really gorgeous! I guess I need to try sprinkling some of those packs of wildflower seeds in my “meadow” — it really didn’t go very far this summer, although I’m still hoping some of the plants I set out there will settle in and do better or at least drop some seeds that will have a chance of blooming next summer. Susan
Thanks, Susan. I tried this another year, another garden, with a packet of wildflower seeds and they never really took off. This year’s seeds did much better, especially those for sun, the Bring Home the Butterflies seeds (https://botanicalinterests.com/products/view/7009/Bring-Home-the-Butterflies-Seeds/srch:bring%20home%20the%20butterflies) … More like Bring Home the Bees, but that’s good, too!