Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yikes! Summer, you are not aging well....

I can hardly believe that August is over half gone! As much as I’ve tried to ignore it, I see the maples trees are beginning to color up. I’ve also noticed that the porch light is on again when I go to leave in the morning. That means that once again, it’s still dark when DearHusband leaves for work at 4:45am. All too soon it’ll be dark when I leave for work at 7:15am. I am definitely not ready for that yet!

I saw my first flock of geese flying in V-formation on my way home today. Southward, even!

However, I do have to admit that I’ve been enjoying the cooler weather that moved in with last weekend’s thunderstorms. I love the sunshine but I do best when temperatures stay below 80 degrees. Of course, 85 is nice when accompanied with a tropical trade wind and a mai tai!

I took stock of my flower baskets today and they, too are looking like it’s late summer. The majority are rather overgown and rangy. Time to weed ‘em out and substitute in some pansies or mums. Not ready to plant flowering kale yet, that’s too much like Autumn!

This year I did some experimenting with my deck planters and window boxes. Instead of planting giant marigolds, I used calendula, thinking lots of smaller yellow/cream/orange flowers might be nicer than one or two giant flowers at a time. I’ll never do that again! That was definitely a mistake! Calendulas belong out in the landscape .

I think the abundant fertilizer caused lots of early greenery that was huge compared to the stock, purple petunias and geraniums planted at the same time. Later, the calendula leaves turned brown and spotty even when kept well watered. Next year I’ll go back to the giant marigolds for my splashes of yellow and orange in my mixed pots and baskets.

An experiment that went very well was the pots of fragrant heliotrope (clusters of dark purple long lasting flowers that remind me of my Papa’s tobacco pouch--cherry vanilla with smokey undertones), white verbena and yellow/orange lantana. They smell wonderful and the blooms contrast very nicely. As do the different shades of greenery. The heliotrope leaves are dark green and larger than the lantana and verbena, which have a lighter shade of greenery.

Another sign that autumn is approaching? All the spring bulb catelogues are arriving. Decisions, decisions!

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