This is my third summer at Mucky Boots, and even though each year has brought different weather, I am starting to recognize patterns in the ebbs and flows of each season. Early spring, with wave after wave of different spring bulbs, is full of excitement and relief that winter is over. Then come the poppies and the peonies, and the garden is lush and green. And right about now, when the warm weather hits, there's a shift change: the rain stops, the soil dries, and the dewy moistness of a few weeks ago settles into hot, baking summer.
It feels like a bit of a trying time. It's harder to work outside, in the heat of the day, and there are fewer emotional benefits: all my friends in the garden seem hunkered down, closed up, doing what they can to make it through the hot, dry weeks ahead. The perennial beds have gone from a riot of purple, pink and red to more uniform green, with a side of baked-earth brown.
But there are still plants to admire, even if I have to go hunting for them now. Many are ones I grew from seed last year, that are flowering for the first time now. Here's a bit of what's braving the heat these days at Mucky Boots.
This is double-decker bee balm (otherwise known as bergamot). The flowers are just starting to emerge - I think the small green pod coming out of the top of the flower will open as well, forming the second layer of petals.
This echinacea looks more than a bit strange to me - are these petals going to unfold, or is this just an anorexic blossom?
This mallow and the nasturtiums below, grown from seed this year, are flowering in the herb garden. I picked up a few different varieties of nasturtium, but neglected to label them properly, so now I don't know what's what.
There is lavender growing everywhere on the property, including about a dozen bushes in the vegetable garden. They're really earning their keep these days, attracting masses of bees that I'm hoping will then go on to fertilize some of my bean and squash blossoms.
What's flowering in your garden these days?