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I start back to work next week and I’m wondering what I did with my summer. Yes, I had a book (fantasy anthology) published. Yes, I planted a vegetable garden and I’ve been harvesting vegetables all summer. Yes, I’ve made advances on the mural I’m painted up the staircase and I’ve made progress in my writing, but not as much as I wanted to. I do have my class plans ready to go. And I’ve kept the registration for the Tri-Refresher for MGC, Inc. up to date. Still, things didn’t go quite how I planned. They never seem to do so.

There are still great days left to summer and early autumn, so I’m not complaining, but boy, how the last hundred days have flown by! The plants I wanted to move in August were not transplanted and remain on the to-do list. The weeds got away from me in certain parts of the garden (started sorting that problem out yesterday), and I didn’t get some of the things accomplished that I wanted. It was way too hot here during almost all of late July and early August for me to want to be outside.

Today I planted some perennial seeds in planters that hopefully will sprout and grow a little before the first frost. Even then I can move the containers holding them into the green house and they’ll be able to grow some more before winter claims them. Maybe this will work better for me than planting indoors in late winter. That hasn’t been spectacularly successful.

Had a wonderful August garden club meeting in a member’s beautiful yard. Take a look.

August flowers

August flowers


August is almost over, but I still have lots of color in my flower beds. The beds improve every year although I move plants so often, they seldom have time to put down roots. The photo shows one of my favorite plant combinations. The daylily is ‘Fran Hals’ and is a great bloomer that began blooming the last week of July and looks like it will continue until the last week of August.

The coneflowers and daylilies have been spectacular this summer, and the Russian sage adds just a touch of soothing blue. I also had Liatris spikes adding a darker purple and lavender to the gardens. There isn’t too much blooming left, but I have a lot of Autumn Joy sedum which will carry September and October.

As for our hottest month, it hasn’t been. We’ve had one week of temperatures into the eighties. Very cold night temperatures dropped into the forties several times. My tomatoes may not ripen due to the cold, and even with all the rain we’ve had, my apples are dwarfed. I’m praying for a relatively long and warm September. I’d sure like to can or freeze some tomatoes and make applesauce out of all those tiny apples.

After a wet May and a dry June, early July turned cold. Unusual weather. Is that an oxymoron? Doesn’t the weather always seem unusual?

One thing I like about the northern garden is that there is always something in bloom. In my Missouri garden it seemed like there was a lull in summer when the garden went green. Which is a good reason, no matter where you garden, to select your foliage with care so that the garden remains visually interesting even when not in bloom.

Red lilies and blue cat mint, yellow sundrops, yellow and orange butterflyweed and the old-fashion orange daylilies are blooming in my garden right now. The white and pink coneflowers, hybrid daylilies, shasta daisies and the purple Liatrus are starting to bloom.

Early July partial shade garden backing onto pavement.

Early July partial shade garden backing onto pavement.


My garden is only four years old, so it is still maturing. It would mature faster if I didn’t move plants so often. However, it is often easier to move young plants to better locations. There are a few reasons to move plants: you find they will work better for the garden next to another plant blooming at the same time, or the foliage juxtaposition is better next to another plant, or the plant isn’t thriving where it was originally planted. Besides, many perennials need dividing every three years, so you’re bound to have empty spaces.
Hemerocallis 'Stella D'Or'

Hemerocallis 'Stella D'Or'


On my ledge garden the Stella d’Or is blooming. Mine seems more golden-yellow than the yellow often pictured in catalogs. ‘Happy Returns,’ a relative, is more lemon yellow. They bloom at the same time and as long as seed heads are not allowed to form, continue blooming. Great plants for a long-lasting swath of color impact.

Unknown Iris cultivar

Unknown Iris cultivar


I like to know the names both botanical and common of what grows in my garden, but sometimes it just isn’t available, like this iris. Someone gave it to me, or I picked it up with no tag, but curiosity has bitten me ever since. Does anyone know the name of this iris? It’s short, not over 14,” very hardy and a prolific bloomer. It’s a great small iris, mixing with many other blooming plants in the garden.

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