The late summer flowers are starting up now. There is always something to keep the bees buzzing. The weather has been a little drier now, but with a few occasionally showers to keep things somewhat green.
Facing west you can see the tall sunflower, which is getting ready to bloom. I got a packet of sunflower seeds in the mail as a promotion, and of all the seeds I planted only this one grew. Right now it is between 9 and 10 feet tall. In front the sedum is getting ready to bloom, but right now the caryopteris, right in the middle of the picture, is busy blooming and attracting many bees. Behind is the spice bush, which had a hard year, but is growing back up from the base. The Baptisia australis – blue false indigo has set some big seeds which are cool looking. On the left the catmint was cut back mid-summer, but getting ready to bloom again.
Caryopteris and bee.
Seed heads of Panicum virgatum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’ – switch grass. In the background you can see the big seeds of the blue false indigo.
In another corner of the garden the hydrangea macrophylla foliage has been great this summer, but with just one flower. Now that the plant finally seems happy, maybe I will get more flowers next year.
Here is a close up of the hydrangea macrophylla. My understanding is the alkaline soil produces pink flowers and acidic soil produces bluer flowers. It looks like I have a little of both colors here. The soil is alkaline, but it is planted right by the three arborvitae, so maybe they make the soil a little more acidic…
Comma butterfly on Joe Pye weed. It looks like I captured a soldier bug in this picture, too. I tried to get a picture with the butterfly wings open, but the wings opened and closed too quickly to get a picture in focus. The Joe Pye weed has turned brown now.
I love dragonflies. It was a windy day and this dragonfly, a widow skimmer, was hanging on to this grass stalk as the breeze blew.
Bumblebee sleeping or resting on pink zinnia. It was just laying on the flower, but when I got very close it flew away. Maybe it was a cozy bed. This bee seemed to be more yellow than other bumblebees I have seen in the yard. I am doing my best to provide habitat for native bees.
It looks like we have fewer acorns in the Chinquapin oak tree this year. The squirrel was in the tree this week and that prompted me to see if I could see any acorns in the tree. I just saw one or two with a quick glance.
A week or two ago I put the rest of all the onion bulbs that I bought in the spring into the ground. They came right up, so I will either have green onions that are big enough to eat soon, or if they overwinter, I will have an onion patch in the spring. Also the lettuce and kale I planted last week germinated right away in the cool wet weather, so maybe we will get to eat that before cold weather comes.
I planted three tomato plants this year. In front is ‘gold medal.’ The red ones are ‘Amish paste.” I also have a nice cherry tomato. I made a big batch of our favorite spaghetti sauce and froze a few buckets. It looks like we will have to cook up another batch to keep up with the tomatoes. Or maybe I will have some tomato salads! The flavor of the Amish paste is excellent.