Entrance to main path looking North.
Six inches of rain in 60 hours. Five inches of mulch were swept from the Snake Path to smother a seedling thyme hedge 20 feet away. Balsam responding with first scarlet blooms.
The Ride, facing due West.
August 16. A woman in a red Trans-Am going at least 50 in a 35 zone “lost control of her vehicle” and took out the mailboxes in my neighbor’s drive.
And cruelly pruned a Yucca and flattened a Miscanthus. It was a hit-and-run but the driver behind her got the license plate number. The Yucca is already sprouting and what’s left of the Miscanthus is blooming. If only humans were still as adaptable and resilient as plants.
Beanville. First attempt at growing bush beans in containers, a yellow flagelot. I get a handful of beans most days. They adapt well with daily watering and weekly fertilizing with fish emulsion and the occasional sprinkle of coffee grounds. I over-planted this time: the big pot on the stump contains seven plants. Three next year.
Clematis terniflora. Rampant, to 30 feet in trees. In my garden, this is a tough and cursed weed. And you too would curse it as I do, until late August. For two weeks it scents the air with sweet vanilla. Everyone in the neighborhood enjoys it. It is a Type 3 Clematis, cut hard above the lowest bud break in March.
Leaves of Canna “Red King Humbert” at 7pm.
Flower of Canna “Robert Kemp” at 7pm.
View from back door.
Down the steps.
Off the patio and towards the garden with approaching storm.
Amaranth toppled by a storm. Unless they’re hurting a neighbor, I leave plants to do what they do. Now that the stem is closer to horizontal, every node has a new upwards shoot. Rosarians know this.
The pink flower is Centranthus ruber, a personal gardening triumph for 2017. I have known this plant for much of my life, in Spain and California. Loves free drainage, which takes years of careful soil work in a clay-heavy Kansas garden. This is my third year of growing these plants from seed and I had good germination this Spring. This one bloomed in a pot, perhaps a lesser triumph but I’m very pleased. I have eight more fattening up in my short patch of sandy, gravelly soil and, as a gardener, I expect more triumphs next year.
This elderberry patch was planted with six-inch cuttings in February 2017. “Heavenly Blue” Morning Glories climb the trellis.
Eclipse. Mostly clouded. Leonotis nepetifolia, seven feet so far.
Eclipse. Swallowtail caterpillars undeterred from chomping on fennel.
Eclipse. At the darkest, chartreuse and yellow leaves glowed.
“How does it feeel?” Monty Don joins in on the chorus of one of our favorite garden work songs.
Persicaria virginiana, Virginia Knotweed. Many gardeners here pull this plant as a weed. I find it subtle and elegant. It does run quickly but easily controlled.
Petunias are often tricky in this humid climate but I always pick up a few from Vinland in Spring. They are good companion plants, a Solanaceae. This one, a NoID, appears far more blue in photos than real light, but its a real doer–non-stop blooms since July.
The shy blooms of first-year Lilium “Black Beauty,” an oriental hybrid (L. henryi x L. speciosum). I’ve had it reach seven feet in gardens past.
“Prairie Sunset” in bloom. The fragile blooms usually last for three days, fading to white, unless beautiful iridescent beetles find them.
Third flush on the shiitake logs. We’ve had at least 30 pounds so far.
The Wheelbarrow of Thyme.
View from the table, early August.
Helenium “Flammendes Kathchen, Perilla, Polygonum orientale, “Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate.” The burgundy plumes of Celosia “Dragon’s Breath” in the background, left.
Solanum atropurpureum in fruit.
The bright, fleshy leaves of Talinum paniculatum ‘Limon,‘ Jewels of Opar, are a good salad leaf. Like purslane, Talinum is classified as a succulent. The pink flowers and scarlet seed capsules held on long stalks are charming. A regular self-seeder now.
Sambucus canadensis “Burroughs Creek.”