Sunday, July 20, 2014

High Summer

I can't sleep. The tail end of my horrid cold keeps me up all night coughing. And what strange nights we are having in the height of summer -- cold, brisk nights that feel like the end of fall. The temperatures have been in the 50s overnight, and the daytime air is cool and damp.

These cool (really chilly) conditions would be perfect for me to be out in the garden doing the edging that I've wanted to get at for a while. Perfect weather for the work, which is not hard, but does require  a lot of up and down activity. But I'm too sick. So the camera does the gardening instead.

Monarch butterflies love onions, who knew? This one spent half an hour drunkenly flitting in and out of the Allium 'Millennium' blooms. At one point it chased Jim around, flitting right at his head until he moved away.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' is brilliant scarlet red, positively satanic.

In contrast, plumbago auriculata is such a cool delicate blue, highlighted in front of the brick wall.

Tobacco has spread in the garden. This is Nicotiana alata, so delicate and pretty. It is fragrant on a warm humid night, but with our cold nights there has been little scent.

This is tobacco too. It's Nicotiana sylvestris, and is supposed to get 12 feet tall. So far, fully blooming in the middle of high summer, it's only about 4 feet tall, but a striking looking plant.

Summer's evening light spotlights what it wants me to notice.

 Nothing says high summer like big white daisies and a new garden bench under a tree.

Another sight that announces high summer is bottlebrush buckeyes in full riotous bloom. With the cold nights and cool days now, the Aesculus parviflora are not yet blooming. There are tall brown wands rising out of the foliage, but no white bottlebrush rockets exploding. My pictures from past years show all the spikes completely open by July 15. This year the show is still pending.

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