Having been on the road for seven or eight of the last few weeks, the summer has seemed to fly by. Most people have been complaining about the cooler and wetter conditions that this summer brought, but I am partial to that type of weather. This weekend ,Labor Day, will bring the usual end of summer remarks and complaints, though I have always felt that around here the best of the summer weather comes the first three weeks of September.
The garden has survived my absences, even thrived in many areas, but whether that is due to the milder weather or my absence I will leave to others to decide.
Sitting on the deck in the cool evenings gives one time to assess the successes and failures of the yard. Early plans for next year already being mulled about, though nothing concrete just yet. The gradual extension of the beds will continue this fall. Areas dug this spring are already beginning to be populated
by late season bargain plants and shrubs. The space left empty by the removal of the Cherry tree is now home to a variegated hydrangea, a butterfly bush,some perennial hyssop,a phlox that had languished in the dry shade of a maple and is edged with day-lilies from other ares of the yard as well as some newer varieties from the clearance racks.
The bed in the center of the yard has a group of three Rose of Sharon,self-sowers from another bed, some asters and bits and pieces of other things from around the yard. These are most certainly are not the final configuration of these beds. I am a habitual mover of plants and shrubs. Trying different things out then changing them around, sometimes from year to year. This is a gardening practice that I learned from my true gardening mentor, my mother. She rearranges plants in the yard as one would shift furniture in a living room.
I have tried in the past to lay out beds on paper as I see done in gardening magazines and books, but that approach has never really worked for me. The basic concept for the bed; shapes, forms heights, color and the like may be penciled in, but the actual plant lay out for me tends to be more off-the cuff in style. And in the end most beds do not truly end up as I originally envisioned them. However I still enjoy reading the magazines and laying out beds on paper since in this climate there is little else to do in the winter from a gardening standpoint.
After this week or two of gardening catch-up it is off to Saratoga NY for the weekend to watch a little horse racing, then down to Newport RI to tour a few of the “gilded age” mansions on the Conn. coast. And when I get back summer will still have a few more weeks to go.