Early August 2023
I had to look carefully for attractive garden moments, recently. We've had our usual hot and dry August, so far. A new garden combination in the front garden bed is working out nicely. I transplanted native Obedient plants to the lily and echinacea bed in the front yard. They are doing well and will spread. I purchased gomphrena haageana, 'Carmine' that makes a nice complement to the orchid colored obedient plants. Although, these gomphrena attract pollinators they do not appear to feed on them. I was hoping they would be a food source, but the color combination is quite pleasing.
Southern Charm verbascum with Carmine gomphrena
The meadow garden bed is taking a rest. The only plants that are doing well there are the yellow pin cushion flowers. The lantana hedge that recently had a hard trim due to storm damage is starting to bloom again. Soon, I should have some good pollinator photos. This is a long way of saying there isn't much to photograph in the front yard right now.
I've inserted this gorgeous sky moment from July 31st looking West. I can't tell you how many times we see beautiful clouds go right over us with no rain.
The garden pond is behaving more like a bog garden this summer due to the lack of rain. The Cardinal plants in the pot and Texas Star hibiscus look good though. Hummingbirds feed on the Cardinal plants. I had my first view of this a day ago. Unfortunately, it didn't last long as another hummer dive bombed the first guy.
Close-ups of the Cardinal plant
The yellow twig dog woods are exhibiting stress, but in a beautiful way.
The chartreuse foliage offers a point of interest amongst the green foliage during this flower down time.
Speaking of stress in August.... We have been baby-sitting my sister's pup while she is on vacation. Poor Maddie Rose has been very jealous. Poor Cocoa has had to spend alot of her time in a doggie play pen to protect her. Ian found this beautiful little girl at Beaver Marsh this summer. Annette fell in love and adopted her. Both eyes have had trauma. She is effectively blind, but has amazing spirit and moves around with confidence. We think she has some peripheral vision. She had fun chasing some squirrels just before this was taken. The blue pots hold lemon balm which has a lovely scent when you rub the leaves. Lemon balm deters mosquitoes, if you rub your hands on your skin after rubbing the leaves.
Here's a weeds gone wild moment. I transferred a Chinese Day flower from Mama's backyard a couple of years ago. The blue flowers are gorgeous. I need to pull a few up since they are invading the back of the herb bed. Amazingly, a snap dragon is blooming in this heat. I think of them as Spring/Fall plants.
Our refreshed terra cotta moon bunny. I let the original paint fade to see what it looked like with some green mossiness. It turns out the moon bunny was meant to be white. He looks better glowing and painted. The white highlights his beautiful shape.
I managed to get a photo of this tiger swallow tail at the top of our huge white butterfly bush. We had about an inch of rain this past week which brought out many pollinators. The challenge is getting a good photo when they are out in the morning. The Eastern exposure is too bright for my camera lense. It's much easier capturing photos when they feed on the lantana hedge.
Tomorrow, Ian and I are meeting with a garden professional to get some ideas for the front yard next door. The two willow oaks there make the garden a challenge. I need fresh eyes to get some ideas. I'm feeling a little defeated. This is a husband and wife team that used to be neighbors. They have worked professionally at Duke Gardens, so I am very excited to hear what they suggest. When they lived in the neighborhood they had the most amazing front yard garden. My mother said, "that's just showing off" when she saw it. It was meant as a compliment. I know we can't have a sun bed due to the oaks, but I'm still hopeful they can improve our garden.
I hope that everyone is hanging in there. Fall can't be too far away!
Look who showed up after I posted this blog. He's a young rabbit. When it gets a little cooler, Ian will mow that crabgrass.