My penultimate GBBD for 2021. It’s been an interesting month.

Since mid-July, the high temperature was 88.7F, a few days ago, and the low was 49.5F, once in both July and August. We had a lot of rain in late July: 6.57 inches, with about half of that coming in one day. August, not so much; we got about 3 inches in the first two days, then less than half an inch since then, during our recent hot spell.

This year’s weather (perhaps) has played havoc with my vegetable garden. Except for the garlic, harvested two weeks, nothing has thrived. (This a third of the garlic.)

Peas grew well but were eaten by voles. Arugula and romaine really didn’t grow much at all, for the first time ever. I planted and replanted carrot and parsley seeds, and not one sprouted. Nor did sunflower seeds, and usually those grow without asking from bird seed. I planted three cherry/plum tomato seedings; all are alive and fruiting but with very few leaves (and no sign of blight). The three cucumber seedlings I planted are also alive, and fruiting, but the plants are not lush in the least. The basil seedlings look a bit better, definitely larger and fuller than when I planted them a month ago or so.

I think besides somewhat unusual weather in spring and summer this year, the compost/loam mix I bought and used liberally in the garden may account for some of the failure to thrive. I used only that mix in some tiered planter boxes and everything I planted in them (nasturtiums, parsley, spinach, lettuce mix, basil, arugula) either died or didn’t grow. There may have been herbicide in the mix. Sigh. There is a fabulous tomato plant growing out of the compost, though.

But, it’s been a good year for perennials, shrubs, and trees. So without further ado, here are some blooms for y’all.


Geraniums, echinaceas, zinnias, and bee balm (Monarda) are all still flowering in pinks, purples, red, and oranges.

I bought three turk’s cap lilies (Lilium superbum) last year and two came back up this year, one in the back and one in the front.

I love gazania as an annual — it lasts from May until October here and it’s got the most interesting colour combos.


The crocosmia is about finished, but the buddleia (butterfly bush – ‘Ellen’s Blue’) is going strong in the vegetable garden.

The hummingbirds are still here all the time. (Still haven’t gotten a good photo of the male)

Also in the vegetable garden are morning glories and cosmos.

This American toad and I startled each other in the vegetable garden recently. S/he blends!

Nearby, the cardinal flowers I bought last year have spread and grown up into the ‘Crimson Passion’ dwarf cherry tree (that has never fruited, though it spun off a sapling that did this year).

Across the lawn in the rock wall, the ‘Ruby Spice’ Clethra alnifolia (summersweet) is a riot of pink. The orange daylilies are almost finished their turn.


The most noticeable flower in the shade garden right now is the Inula helenium (elecampane, horseheal), which grows to more than six feet high. I’ve got several that height and one of the volunteers that’s much shorter, 3 feet tall, but I bet it will be a lot bigger next year.

The largest hosta I have (bought at a plant sale, don’t know variety) is blooming now, later than most of the others.


The backyard is the show for August and September.

Joe Pye weed is just starting to bloom.

Willow gentian as well.

The pee gee hydrangea and white and magenta phlox are brightening up the back border.

It’s a bit harder to see the echinacea and the heather, along with a new perennial grass (and some milkweed).

I used to have only one masterwort plant (Astrantia major), which I bought in 2016 and which blooms in early July. Imagine my surprise when I noticed another one the other day on the opposite side of the back border, blooming now. It’s so elegant.

In the sunroom border, the very spready Echinops bannaticus (blue globe thistle) is looking so starry and ethereal.

Goldenrod is blooming everywhere now, several varieties.

Monarch caterpillars are getting big; I haven’t seen a chrysalis yet, though I think there must be a few out there.


The woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus), also bought last year (one smallish plant), has exploded in the fruit guilt, reaching high into the peach tree.

And now, the peaches have begun ripening on the trees. We had our first ripe peach today and picked about 20 more. Soon, we’ll be picking hundreds every day for a couple of weeks, and then it will all be over. But the bread, scones, pies, and other delicious food we (and our neighbours and friends who’ll share in the bounty) will make will remind us months from now of the sweet summer.

Featured image is part of the front yard, with bee balm. Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. What beautiful colors and gardens you have. Just so much to see and take in. Loved it. Quick question, what flying critter is that on the first photo of the hummingbird tree?

    1. Thanks, Angie!! I’m not sure what you mean by :”hummingbird tree” ? Do you mean the butterfly bush (buddleia)? If so, that’s Hemaris thysbe, the hummingbird clearwing moth. Love them!

  2. I love the gentian and blue globe thistle! Bess suggested Clethra for our front yard after I thin the blue balloon flowers. Bummer about your veggies. It does sound like the compost you bought could be the culprit.

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