Friday, July 25, 2014

Midsummer's Daydream

Rik Emmett Midsummer's Daydream - music for garden dreaming.

   The days have been warm and sunny, the nights cool and breezy.  The summer has been good to us.  Perfect weather for getting outside in the garden to work, then dawdle, then work a bit more.


 I was wandering around early one morning when I realized that, in summer, my garden is all about attracting the birds and the bees and the butterflies.

African Blue Basil

The bees love my basil and I've planted several varieties for them to enjoy since I keep picking the flowers off the sweet basil so there will be an abundance of it for pesto making in late August.

The purple coneflowers in the back round pull in the American Goldfinches. All summer they stop by to check on the progress of the seed pods.  Then in the fall they keep coming to eat until they have exhausted the supply of seeds.

My 'Carefree Rose' holds court in the center of the herb garden, and is finally acclimated to the move.  And ready for a close-up this morning!

Just as he was purported to do in life, Francis stands so still that the birds often land on his head to rest.  He is almost hidden in the lobelia, but the doves and the cardinals know where he is.

The sunny garden has been handed over to the hummingbirds and butterflies.  There is sage, monarda, honeysuckle, lantana, butterfly bush and trumpet vine along with the lobelia to lure them into my world.

Bee Balm or Monarda

Trumpet Vine

 And of course, what hummingbird garden is complete without this aggressive climber - a trumpet vine.


Last year we discovered this plant, an annual called the 'cigar plant' or cuphea while we were hunting for herbs at the Peconic River Herb Farm.  The hummingbirds were crazy for it at the farm.  So, of course, we HAD to get some this year.  I'm delighted to report that we've had a male hummingbird visiting us at least twice a day for the past two weeks and he visits every nectar plant in the garden before moving on!

Coleus - center stage in the shade

I have fallen in love with coleus For the shadier garden spots.  It is an easy-going annual that can add a real pop of color in mid-summer when the shade plants are mostly green.  The best part of coleus is this.  I can take cuttings at the end of summer, root it, grow it in the sunroom all winter, then move it outside to live in the ground all summer.
Two varieties of Coleus - there are so many to choose from
 I am also spending a bit of time each day harvesting and drying herbs and flowers for use all winter.  Iam collecting chamomile, calendula and St. John's Wort flowers to make a lovely skin cream once I have enough flowers.  More on that another time.  And I pull weeds for an hour or two every now and then.
But mostly what I do is stop to smell the roses, write in my garden journal and
indulge in midsummer daydreaming!

My treehouse
Finally, when the mosquitoes arrive, it is time to retreat to my own private treehouse.  I was trying to get a bug's eye view of the sky with the bee balm in the picture, when I suddenly noticed my sunroom in the back round.  Nice view looking in or out!

I hope you find a garden for daydreaming..... today and everyday.

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