It's impossible for me to describe how beautiful the flower gardens are this year. My humble words could never convey what it's like to stand in the middle of all the rich green foliage and bright flower heads. I wish everyone could enjoy their remarkable beauty with me.
The salvia I planted in two 100-foot rows are nearly three feet tall and in a full bloom of bright red flowers. Between the rows grows a collection of tall zinnias, sporting showy red, orange, pink, lavender, purple, yellow, and white blooms.
Behind one row of salvia, there is a large bunch of tall dahlias with giant lemon yellow flowers. Flanking the other row is a 30 by 10 foot bed of branched, yellow coneflowers. Seen together, the red salvia and yellow flowers are truly striking.
Bordering the flower beds are several patches of tall New England asters - lavender-blue flowers with orange centers. Their blooms have come as much as three weeks early this year, and their touch of blue adds a pleasant diversity of color to the garden. Also along the borders are yellow prairie coneflowers and purple coneflowers. Several patches of blue/purple phlox loom over large yellow marigolds.
As much as there is to see, there is also much to hear. My ears are filled with the music of humming wings. The flowers are getting a good going-over by the honey and bumble bees, which seem to be everywhere. A dozen hummingbirds visit each day, creating quite a hum of their own.
If you were standing in my garden, you would hear the chirps of crickets from under the gourd vines. You might see a small red-belled snake slithering towards cover, while you listen carefully for the fluttering of a swallow-tailed butterfly.
At night, the garden is visited by many kinds of insects, including various kinds of moths. The past several nights, I've gone out to the flower garden and watched the hawk moths hovering over a large bed of tall lavender phlox. I hear the low, steady hum of their wings as they move from flower to flower, collecting sweet nectar. Nighttime is also an opportunity to watch the little brown bats swoop over the flowers to catch flying insects. By moonlight you may watch a spider at work, repairing her web. As intended, the garden is providing for all who visit.
There is a small, flat wasp nest hanging from a limb of a small elm tree. The empty cells in the nest told me that the paper wasps had already hatched and left. But I saw a single, large yellow and black wasp on the underside of the nest, so I moved in for a closer look. This was not a paper wasp, but a large, Tiphiid wasp, who makes a living by eating the larvae of other wasps and bees. This time, he was too late to find the wasps at home.
A garden is a perfect place to relax and allow all your senses to explore, and now is the best time of year to enjoy it. The garden offers a soothing message any time of day. See how productive he garden is, in so many ways.
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