Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Garden in Summer

I haven't written much about the garden this summer, and I'm not sure why. I've done a good deal of revision this year, tearing out the weak and non-performing, rearranging the survivors, and finishing out most of the front. Two of the cape mallows died, and were replaced by red fountain grass, which is a great performer here. (I cannot say the same of the green feather grass, which grows gangly and spreads so much that it may be invasive.) I added more agastache, as it grows well here and attracts all sorts of garden life. Our butterfly bushes seem to attract mostly the standard white butterflies, but we've seen a swallowtail several times, and one monarch! The lizards and the frogs are still in residence, but I don't see them very often.

The weather has ranged from almost comfortable to miserable. We've had a couple of long spells of temperatures in the 80s, which is tolerable here, punctuated by nasty stretches of 100+ degree days. We've only had a few days of smoke, as wildfire season didn't start in June this year. We got some smoke from the La Brea fire though--it's several hundred miles away! It all depends on how the wind blows. It's nothing though like last year, when the smoky haze hung near the ground for weeks, giving us some of the worst air quality in the country. (Public health officials recommended just staying inside.)

I don't have many new pictures. August isn't a month here for new flowers, as the spring-bloomers are long gone, and the fall bloomers haven't come in yet. How often can I expect anyone to be fascinated by yet another picture of my coneflowers? But I should have Tagetes lemonii and Japanese anenome soon, as well as some rebloom of plants that went dormant in the heat.

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