Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The First Act Ends

The start of July signals the halfway point of summer, the intermission of the gardening season, if you will. Maybe it's not the halfway mark astronomically, but certainly calendrically and horticulturally. The youthful exuberance of May and June will soon give way to the hot and buggy dominance of midsummer.

Gardens reflect the transition at this point. Irises and peonies are long gone, but the later bloomers such as mums and asters are weeks, even months, away. In the interim, daylilies, roses, dianthus and the like are stealing the show, and the ubiquitous hostas are finally sharing their flowers.

Around here the feel of the seasons has been amplified this year. Spring was extremely cool and soggy, but last week we got a taste of true midsummer with oppressive temperatures and humidity. My mini-vegetable gardening provides a snapshot: I enjoyed fresh, home-grown lettuces all spring, which now have been replaced by heat-loving bell and chili peppers.

This week I ordered spring bulbs to be planted in the fall--proof that the gardening season is both ephemeral and constant at the same time.

Overall, I'm looking forward to the second act of the season. My prairie corner in the front garden will burst into bloom as coreopsis and asters join the sedum; the Joe-Pye weed will beckon butterflies, goldenrod will shine, and those bell peppers, my favorite veggies, will hopefully flourish and ripen. What does the second act hold for your garden?

For more Muse Day thoughts, check out Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It's great that you already got your bulbs ordered. I still have to do that, although I probably already missed the early bird specials. I'm not a big fan of July, even though this is when the prairie plants start doing their thing. At least there will be peppers soon.

Rose said...

Well-said, Rose! It seems like summer has just begun, and yet so many blooms have long since faded. Right now it's coneflower season, which is my favorite time in the garden...well, next to the spring bulbs...and the fall colors. When you say the gardening season is ephemeral, that is so true--we need to enjoy each moment. Right now I am enjoying the much cooler weather!

Gail said...

Reading your essay I find myself wanting to holler...I love summer best of all, but I love spring and autumn equally! It's all wonderful! Except for the mosquitoes! gail

rambleonrose said...

MMG--This is the first time in a few years I've attempted to grow peppers, so I'm hoping for success!

Rose--I am enjoying the cooler weather too! I just wish the sun would come out...

Gail--I can't pick a favorite! There's something to be said for each season.

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