I knew it was time to wave goodbye to summer when I saw frost on the neighbor’s roof early yesterday morning. Where did those months go! It seems like only yesterday that we were bidding farewell to winter. Because the weather has been so hot for the past few months I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but languishing in the air-conditioned comfort of the house, achieving little in the way of outdoor activities such as gardening and walking.
Thankfully the dahlias in our garden, Tahiti Sunrise and Wanda’s Aurora pictured above, and the gigantic Croydon Masterpiece and Spartacus shown below, survived the heat and have given the place a splash of color if you don’t count the brown of the lawn which is, in many places, scorched beyond hope and the green of the weeds that took advantage of my absence.
At the Chicago Botanic Garden I caught a glimpse of an egret as it waded about looking for something to eat. I expect they are already making their way south. This one didn’t stay for too long, probably mindful of the long journey ahead.
There are still plenty of flowers at the Garden but these sunflowers particularly caught my eye; their last hurrah before Autumn takes hold.
The first significant downfall of rain that we’ve had in the past few weeks and, all of a sudden, everything is going berserk out there!
It’s been pretty quiet in the garden during these hot, arid summer days. Apparently I’m not the only one to feel lethargic when the heat is on. But now, the birds are chirping like crazy and the bees and other insects have come out of hiding and are getting on with whatever it is bugs do.
Weeds seem to have popped up overnight and even the parched perennials look as though they may live to fight another day although the flowers, for the most part, are done. The dahlias, thanks to a little judicious watering, are holding their own so I’m hopeful that we will at least be able to look forward to those blooms a bit later in the season.
It’s still cloudy so we may not have seen the last of the rain yet, but 90 degree temps are in the forecast for the next week at least, so I don’t anticipate being able to do much out in the garden for a while. It’s weather like this that makes me look forward to Autumn!
Finally we’ve received some much welcome relief from the heat wave that has been hovering over us for the past week or so. Although it’s still in the 80’s, that’s a lot better than the 100+ temps that we had for three days straight.
No rain, however, and everything in the garden is pretty much fried to a crisp, but still there are signs of life. One or two of the hardier plants such as the White Swan Echinacea and purple coneflower are hanging on for dear life and I refuse to give up hope that we will again see some lush growth out there once the rains come.
Before the drought we had some very nice daylilies, Red Magic, Stella De Oro and Raspberry Pixie as well as the Sentimental Journey and Cascade Queen lilies. Now I’m pinning all my hopes on the dahlias that I planted earlier in the spring.