The Last Days of Summer
The last days of August, the nights are getting cooler, days are getting shorter and fog has returned to some summer mornings. The late summer garden is a cornucopia of plants in bloom; some plants are finishing their time to shine and some are getting ready to burst their flowers into fall. I love viewing the colorful garden during a foggy morning; the ethereal heaviness of the air and the bright colors in the garden hang in a delicate parity.
This is the time to be out collecting seed, gathering fruit and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Our dreams in spring are now reality. Yet the garden season is not over yet. One of the best times to plant many of our trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs will be here soon, when the rains return.
The maritime west is still feeling the drought, so the late summer garden needs some supplemental watering. It is especially important for many plants that are storing up energy for winter.
We had two years in a row of dry springs and exceptionally hot summers. I see evidence of many of our native trees and shrubs stressed or even dying from the long drought. I speculate they could not adapt to the longer, drier droughts we have experienced the last few years. Even the most drought tolerant plants, adapted to our Mediterranean-type summers, seem to be suffering. It is important to give your garden plants a good deep soak during these last days of drought, to insure your plants are going into winter healthy and hardy, ready to take on any cold our weather will throw at us.
Therefore, as we scurry around getting our last vacations in, gathering the garden harvest, weeding and readying our gardens for the colder months, take the time to relish the late summer and early fall garden. If we planned our gardens for color for this time of year, breathless beauty awaits us.
Photographed in author's garden.
by Debbie Teashon