It's a bittersweet time to be a gardener. My enthusiasm for the small but important jobs around the garden has long since waned. I did some edging this weekend and it was all I could do to will myself to do it even though it was a job that was way overdue and one that I'm always happy with the results of. Some parts of the garden are just coming into their own, while much of the rest of it is looking tired. Even though I'm still calling this The Year Without a Summer, it seems like ages ago that all the foliage in the garden was bright and fresh and new looking, devoid of bare stems where deer or rabbits have nibbled or skeletized leaves where slugs have feasted.

I have a hard time not thinking about next year already: what needs to be moved, what areas need more plants, what just isn't working. What I really should be doing is enjoying the beauty of the garden right now. Because there's a lot of beauty out there to be enjoyed. I just have to enjoy it at face value and not think about how the end of the gardening season is getting closer.

What's happening in your garden these days?

Without question, Rudbeckia is the star of the late summer garden. Although the bright yellow color can be a bit jarring and can be difficult to combine with other colors, Rudbeckia, more than any other plant, defines the season for me.
The nasturtiums, all planted from seed, continue to provide great color in the garden and fill in the holes where other plants have failed.

The Korean feather reed grass is so beautiful this time of year when it sends up its delicate plumes.
'Neon' sedum is starting to show off and the bees adore it.
The oldest of the hydrangea 'Limelight' shrubs that I have in the garden is the biggest it has ever been, at least 7 feet tall and equally wide. It will get a serious pruning next year to keep its size a bit more manageable, even though I don't mind the behemoth as is.

Speaking of 'Limelight', the first blooms are starting to show a tinge of pink. As beautiful as it is, it makes me sad to see it.
In this wilder area of the garden, the Monarda have finally finished blooming and the Rudbeckia has taken over. All except for that one Echinacea. That pink with the bright yellow doesn't work, but somehow the combination doesn't bother me in this area.


  1. I'm over it too! With my daughter's weekend on the weekend, it's been weeks since I've done anything in the garden. And I'm away this weekend and next. By the time I get back in there, it will all be beyond saving

  2. I just returned from 10 days in England, seeing such beautiful gardens. Yes, it was end-of-summer looking over there…but nothing compared to the dry, parched gardens I have! Oh, what a difference. And my Rudbeckia and Echinacea are all gone now; but my Caryopteris is full and oh so blue!

  3. Spent much of the last week buying plants, planting them, dividing things and moving many things hither and yon. I'm hoping for a long fall but I am most interested to see the plant progression next year. Your garden looks good. Just got 6.6" of rain so my garden should perk up a bit.

  4. Lovely photos. I know there is still lots to enjoy at the moment. I am enjoying the same plants that you feature. But still the garden has lost its freshness and it is difficult to love it as much as we did in Spring and early Summer. It isn' t exciting any more. A lot of the pleasure of the early months comes from anticipating beautiful things to come. I think as gardeners, our thoughts are all turning to next year- how we can improve this bit, what we will plant there.
    Lovely post.


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