There is only one day left, always starting over:
it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.
(a southern dogface butterfly visits a freshly planted petunia / Julie Cook / 2015)
Don’t panic. . .
It’s Summer, I’m talking about Summer. . .
As in I’m done with it. . .
I’m over it. . .
As in kaput, fini, over and out!!
Actually. . .I’m talking about heat, hot, drying and dying—the tiresome end of all that was once lush, plump and thriving.
In late August, here in this deep South of mine, there is no thriving and there is barely any surviving.
Everything is leggy, yellow and very near death.
And mind you, there is many a day, during this particular time of year, that I feel very much the same.
The little flower bed, just out from our front door, had been full of snapdragons and petunias that were planted back in early Spring when the yard was overhauled.
Had any one asked me, I would not have chosen petunias—I’m just not a fan, but nobody asked me and my husband thought they looked nice. I had to go back in later, as the late frosts of Spring did a number on the petunias, so I threw in some snapdragons in order to fill the gaps. I wasn’t keen on the snapdragons either but I knew they were pretty darn hardy—
Pink snapdragons and crimson petunias.
Not my idea of color choices but again, nobody asked me.
The tiny plants did begin to thrive. . .
Filling out and covering nicely the little flower bed the landscape guys had decided to create for me.
Had I had my druthers, I would have moved the bed, enlarged it and done it a bit differently—
but again, nobody asked me.
The landscape guys had put out some very pretty pine straw all over the yard in the newly formed beds and then for some reason they added bark to the little flower bed.
We had bark once.
It washed like nobody’s business whenever it rained.
I would have a river of bark racing down the front walk requiring scooping and sweeping up after every down pour.
I was done with bark.
However the landscapers were into contrast when they were laying out the yard and again, nobody asked me.
So bark it was and bark it is.
As the Summer has worn on, like a tired old moth-eaten wool overcoat, the petunias and snapdragons have been rapidly approaching their limit. Long, tall, leggy, yellowing, more vine than leaf, shriveled and grossly unsightly. . .I could no longer stand to look at the flower bed without feeling a great sense of anxiety. . .with a touch of disgust added in.
For weeks I’ve been telling myself “not much longer. . .September is almost here. . .then you’ll be able to pull up all that crap and replant it all with some fresh wonderful crisp fall magic.”
Yes, I’ve told myself that for many weeks now.
A tiny cold front passed through the state last night–and please note I use the words cold and front with much rolling of the eyes. . .
I will admit that it did actually drop our temps to the mid 60’s this morning.
Never mind that the high was still 90ish–I’m taking that smidge of crisp and I’m running with it. . .all the way to the local the garden center.
This entire week will see me at dads, doctors, dentists so if I was going to act, it had to be today.
The only problem was that the garden center really doesn’t have in crisp fall magic yet.
They still have in hot summer same ol same ol. . .
No matter–I would make do.
I got home with my assortment of trays.
When I thought I was grabbing some pansies, I was actually grabbing trays of petunias as well as a couple of trays of snapdragons—as in been there done that, it’s too early for violas and pansies so AGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh well, no matter, they’re purple and white and they’ll do until the garden center gets in its fall crisp magic.
I chose white because I like white.
I wear a lot of black, as I like to say it hides a wealth of woe, so I suppose I like it’s opposite as in I think white looks elegant. Never mind when the white elegant blooms die, turning a sickly shade of brown and falling off–I’m sticking with elegant—
And purple because the butterflies like the purple butterfly bushes I recently put out.
I had told the landscapers I wanted some butterfly bushes—
Surprise, I didn’t get any.
Lest we remember that no one was asking and obviously no one was listening. . .
So I spent the remainder of my day cutting all the leggy spent petunias and snapdragons–leaving 3 clumps that still seemed to be “ok”
I then raked off the tired dry grey bark from the bed.
Next I spread a big ol heavy sack of soil—all over the red Georgia clay that makes up the bed.
I had wanted the landscapers to add topsoil to all the excavated ground but remember, no one was listening.
I put in two dwarf fountain grass—
why you ask—
because they caught my eye on the way to the checkout register–
I think we call that an impulse buy. . .however not to fear, I liked them.
I added my trays of the new petunias and snapdragons—experiencing a bit of deja vu as I did so.
I watered, re-spread the tired grey bark- – – but no matter as it now matches the once pretty red supple pine straw the landscapers had put out, which is now dull, crunchy and grey.
One good last watering and I was happy—well, happier than I was.
I’ll really be happy when it’s finally fall crisp and magical. . .
Been so hot and dry that even my Mexican Sun flowers are wilted
I’m telling you—I am more than ready for some “cooler” weather—but the word on the street is that this winter is to be a doozie—now I’m not thrilled to hear that!!
Yeah it stinks too. I work almost totally outside so a just can’t win lol
when I was in the classroom, I use to stare out the classroom window, longing to be outdoors—thinking that perhaps I would be best suited for landscaping or some other job which would take outside more than in—but on those wretchedly cold rainy days, when a job still demands one to be outside, I was glad to be looking out the window rather than in—-the grass always being greener you know 😉
Indeed it is Julie
Julie, you put me to shame as I do the minimum where gardening is concerned. From what I could see, you have a beautiful yard which requires tons of work. God is so good for I have a small yard with a very manageable garden! Blessings as you go about your ministry of looking after your father and stepmother.
It is indeed a handful Lynda—we built this house when Brenton was in the 5th grade–we had more energy and I have always enjoyed working in the yard–but now, it’s almost more than either of us care for. We didn’t even have a garden this year due to my staying more on the road back and forth to Dads and at first the thought made me so sad—now I am so glad as I do not have the time, but certainly not the energy!!
don’t know how much longer we can bush hog, cut and tend. . .but I do so enjoy the wildlife that frequents the yard!
…nobody asked me……………….love that 😉
But the changing of the seasons; how they testify to a faithful Creator.
Nice work in the post here, and in the pics jewels. Labor is good.
Thanks CS, the post was straying a bit from my more heavy, cough cough, meaty posts—but it has been pressing on my nerves—and yes–labor, working, pitting with my hands has always been a catharsis for me—good honest hard work is a soothing blame for so many ills and woes—there is something very satisfying about working on something, a chore of such and seeing it from start to finish—
and oh how I do so love the changing seasons—basking in the works of the hands of the Creator—sheer splendor indeed!!
and I hope you could wade your way through the blasted auto corrects—first it was pittle not pitting–next it was balm, not blame—I know most folks figure as much but after having read some of those stone casters over on ColorStorm, I know that the naysayers often mistake spelling errors, auto corrects and typos for ignorance—but I know you’ve got my back 🙂
Yes indeed friend.
It’s all good.
I loved reading about gardening. Nice to see the pictures to match, too. Last night in New York it was 68 degrees and I sprawled across the bed with both windows open and slept so soundly. It was pure bliss! Autumn is coming. It’s probably sweeter than ever before, because I don’t have AC in my apartment!
No AC—now that just wouldn’t do! Even New York gets too hot in the summer for my liking—-but the coming Autumn will be nice and you will certainly enjoy that natural AC 🙂
Happy Wednesday Tom—hugs—cookie
Mid-sixties is the high during the day here Julie with few exceptions. The drive has been flooded three times in the last seven days. And dear old Beth is eleven days into sixteen under canvas down in Somerset where her small tent appears to have taken everything the British weather has thrown at it! A storm last Saturday took out most of the non-green colour in the gardens around us. But the green is very green indeed!
I don’t know how you manage so much garden. Hope the weather eases off for you soon. But we would appreciate a little of your sunshine and warmth this side of the pond!
We’ll get there David–those grey cold dreary days will be coming—and to be young and full of life living out of a weather battered tent—I was a young camper once—preferring beds and central heat and air these days 🙂
About 3 more weeks now and we’ll be on your side of the pond David–I’ve got my rain gear good to go—maybe we’ll bring the sun with us 🙂
I had almost forgotten you were heading over to the Emerald Isle Julie. I wouldn’t trust any long range forecasts. Be prepared to meet all four seasons in one day! My parents had the fire on the other evening! It would be nice if you could bring the sun with you!
I’ve been dying to go the nurseries too, but I know they don’t have much yet. And I’m sooooooooooooooooo ready for September and cooler days. Please Lord let they come soon this year! I told James today that the first cool, crisp day and we are off to Dallas and my two favorites nurseries. I hope your plantings today perk things up. And I so hope you have lovely cool weather when you get to Ireland. Love, N 🙂 ❤
Ireland is looking cool and rainy–I told David that maybe we’d bring the sun 🙂
but like you—I’ll be so glad when cool fall crisp arrives—for I am wilted 🙂
PS When this nasty heat starts to subside and some real signs of autumn begin to appear, you’ll probably hear me shouting praise the Lord and hallelujah all the way in Georgia or Ireland for that matter if it happens whilst you are gone! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thoroughly enjoyed the “cold front” that rolled through last night. Enjoyed that bit of “crisp” in the air. Guess we’re all ready for a bit of change.
Glad you’re able to relax a bit after the garden overhaul, it looks lovely. Labors of love are so worth it !
Mama always said, “if you want something done right do it yourself!” I’ve often found that to be true 🙂
Have a great evening!
and Mama was always right 🙂