Color and life in the garden

After the rain – mid-August, by Tim DeYoung

As summers wanes I’ve been reflecting on the joy my gardens bring me each year. I don’t have the greenest thumb, but each spring I manage to plant annuals in my front pots and clean up the beds that hug the front of the house.

A few years ago we planted native wildflower seeds in our backyard courtyard. We do have to pull weeds here, but other than that, this garden takes a life of its own.

Each spring I wonder how it will evolve. Every summer has brought something a bit different and I love to experience the evolution.

This summer started with lots of delicate flax blooming each morning. As the flax began to go to seed other things – not all of which I can name – began to bloom, including the sunflowers which did dominate last summer.

Prickly poppies

They grow to be way taller than me – and even my 6’2″ hubby, and bloom prolifically. They have dominated again this summer – and are joined by the purple bee flowers and the black-eyed Susan’s.

The little yellow finches love them, and we enjoy watching them hang up side down as they nibble on seeds. The bees also love our garden and are constantly buzzing about. They don’t bother you if you don’t bother them, and they do wonders for the vegie garden, too.

Bee flower

This summer T bought a hummingbird feeder for the back (we’ve had one hanging on our front porch), and hung it off of the vegetable garden fence. We started seeing a few hummers back there. And since none seemed to be using the front feeder, and we spend most of our time in the back, he moved the front one amongst the wild flowers. It was a great move!


Watching the Rufous try to claim the territory over the Broadtail and the Blackchin has provided much entertainment. The colors on the males, and their antics (watching the Rufous try to claim the territory over the Broadtail and the Blackchin) has provided much entertainment. Watching them buzz among the flowers and stop at the feeders to eat has been such a joy.

Just this past week things changed a bit. We’re not positive, but it seems that the adult hummers may have begun their migration – and their young offspring have been given their independence. They spar with one another trying to claim the feeding territory seemingly unconcerned by our coming and going.

A few days ago I watched a beautiful Swallowtail butterfly flutter amongst the purple bee flowers. Her wings were tattered, and I wondered how much longer she would be flying about, honored that she stopped in our little garden along her journey.

Swallowtail visit

The garden, the birds, the bees, the butterflies – they know that autumn is coming. The plants will be returning to the earth, their seeds hibernating in the soil. The birds and the bees will find their winter home.

Squash flower and baby butternut squash!

It has been such a joy that our gardens have provided food and shelter, and I hope joy, for all these beautiful creatures this summer, and provided me such beauty and entertainment (and food, too).

What reflections do you have as this summer season wanes?


1 Comment

Filed under Creativity, Everyday Adventure, Gardening, Joy

One response to “Color and life in the garden

  1. As summer wanes, I look forward to weeding (has been too hot for that for a while), digging and dividing perennials, getting grass started in bare areas, and just basking in the beautiful skies, air, sounds, sights….Thanks for the reminder to be thankful!

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