On the radio this morning I was listening to a gardening expert trying to deal with the collective angst of southern Vancouver Island gardeners over the dry, lackluster states of their gardens.
Count me in. I'm missing the dewy, lush freshness of the late spring and early summer. The heat is nice, but we haven't had any rain in a month, and I refuse to water the perennial beds any more than is necessary to keep plants alive. Which means the garden is a place of tough, stringy, crisp-around-the-edges survivors these days.
But August is also the month a few flowers finally come into their own. The pots and pots of echinacea I started from seed last year are flowering with slightly goofy purple abundance, and the lilies that are scattered in ones and twos throughout the perennial beds are finally unfolding.
The double bee balm is earning its name, with two tiers of petals. . .
. . . and the sadly neglected roses that I do nothing to except hack back every year are looking beautiful enough to make me reconsider my gardening priorities.
In the vegetable garden some stray onions I swear I didn't plant are flowering, along with the hollyhocks I started last year.
The globe thistles are turning from silvery green to purple, and then erupting in tiny petals which the bees just love. Me, too. There's something about these prickly, quirky plants I find really endearing. Maybe it's because they make me think of a plant Dr. Seuss would think up. Maybe it's because as someone who has spent my life perfecting niceness, I am fascinated by something that is so defiantly prickly. Or maybe it's sheer gratitude: the thriving communities of globe thistles growing in even the driest, scrubbiest looking perennial beds go a long way to help me preserve a few shreds of self-respect as a gardener this time of year.
But the best treasure in the garden? That's easy. My mom and dad, come from Calgary for lunch.