Gardening first, before…

Gardening first, before it got too hot. Lots of planting -- my summer garden has been moderately bare, aside from the big hydrangea shrubs and roses, so this year, I'm putting in some summer perennials. Was pleased to find these all-pink coneflowers with a great shape to them -- the more common varieties tend to have an orange center, which is lovely, but not in keeping with my color scheme. They should be prairie-friendly and drought-tolerant, good for my hellstrip.

Also in the hellstrip for summer, along with some Russian sage and some salvia that I just divided and transplanted (we'll see if it survives my out-of-season shifting), is liatris, that purple spiky feathery thing, also known as blazing star and gayfeather, two names I love. :-) It's almost three feet tall right now, offering some terrific height to the hellstrip.

Another transplant is that pink climbing rose, which has languished in a too-shady spot for three years now, putting out an occasion bloom or two. It is now baking in full sun, with a new little obelisk-y trellis for it to climb (and I will endeavor to keep it off my neighbor's new fence, as they'd prefer not to have plants climbing it).

All the digging and planting this morning was rewarded by a surprise columbine bloom -- late, but very welcome. One of my favorites -- although who am I kidding? In one way or another, I have hundreds of favorites by now. To know them is to love them -- except for burdock and tree of heaven. Even tree of heaven isn't so bad, if you catch it early.

Last, my second dahlia is out and fully blooming, and I LOVE it. Are dahlias worth the trouble of digging them out and storing them every fall? I think so, but even if they're not, they're definitely worth the trouble of planting a few. If my experience is anything to go by, this one will give me a dozen stellar blooms between now and fall. And if I dig it up and replant the bigger version next year, and the year after, it'll end up with hundreds of blooms in a season, each bigger than my outstretched hand, and lasting into October, possibly even November. No wonder some people just fall in love with dahlias and give over their garden to them. I couldn't do that, though. I am catholic in my floral passions. :-)

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