The weather has been anything but typical, this summer. I’m seeing a lot of lush growth, a lot of rot, and some very slow to ripen tomatoes. Somehow the flowers still seem to be on schedule.
I noticed how lovely the “weeds” in the field were yesterday. In my garden, I battle wild grape and raspberries, garlic mustard, and creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea). In the wild, all I see is brilliant blue chicory, Queen Anne’s Lace, thistle, and – unfortunately – purple loosestrife. If chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace could control themselves, I’d welcome them into my garden anytime. I don’t see that happening.
The Joe-Pye weed is also starting to bloom, along with the goldenrod and wild phlox. It really is stunning. And it’s amazing how a flush of flowers completely diverts your eye from the rest of the weeds.
Thankfully there is still plenty going on in my cultivate plot. Poor flowers, they have no idea I plan to dig them all out, in a month. I’m actually paying more attention to timing than I have in past years. I want to make sure there’s something to look at each month.
Still a bit on the wild side, but better behaved, is borage. The plant itself is floppy and cumbersome, but oh… those electric blue flowers. I even like the cucumber scent, although I could do without the itchy leaves. This plant is usually considered an herb, because you can use the flowers and tender leaves as a seasoning – they taste as they smell, like cucumbers. It tends to reseed somewhat prolifically, but not to the extent that it becomes a problem, like forget-me-nots. And the flowers attract lots of bees, so I toss some seed in the vegetable garden and let it reseed where it will, throughout the yard.
I was never a big fan of phlox. I don’t even remember planting these, but the plants are doing remarkably well. Not a speck of powdery mildew, and this would be the season to get it. Phlox knows how to carry itself. Despite the big heads of flowers, it stands tall. I can’t decide If I’ll let it stay. Is phlox a good cut flower?
And finally, my various Buddleia are coming into their own. I have a soft spot for them and planted several varieties. Now they are telling me butterfly bush is invasive and I should think about getting rid of them. I’ve had them at least 12 years and never gotten a volunteer. They seem to be happy here. The white one grows well over 6 ft. tall and is never out of flower. The purples tend to stay a bit smaller. Maybe they just need more light. Since they have ridiculously long taproots, I will probably let them stay awhile longer.
There’s also the annual ‘Victoria’ blue salvia, which always takes its time getting around to flowering, but is always a welcome sight. The roses and geranium ‘Rozanne’ are in their third – or so – flush. The zinnias are screaming for attention. And a plant I almost hate to see bloom, Sedum, is starting to blush. Wonderful plants, but they always mean the end of the season is near. Very bittersweet.
I think it’s time to get out and visit a few more gardens, while they are still in peak shape. Although, I always come home with a list of new plants I’d like to try. Live and learn.