Seasonal Celebrations: Summer 2013
Summer is time for outdoor fun, lazy days, family time, and trips to the beach or the cool mountains. All things I love about summer. One of the things I enjoy most is not adhering to a strict schedule; getting rid of the dreaded alarm clock, and being woken up by the birds singing.
|this wren serenades me every morning! He has a big voice for such a little creature|
In my last post (Lessons Learned~Spring) I mentioned that we saw fewer butterflies and caterpillars this spring and it seems that the cooler weather has played a part. As we are in June now and the weather and humidity are picking up so are the butterfly sightings.
|Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)|
|Black swallowtail larvae on fennel|
Sightings of all species of butterflies have been down this season so I delight even more in those that I do see. Makes celebrating them even more meaningful.
High Heat Survivors
This Spring's bountiful rainfall has spared gardeners the effort and expense of supplemental watering typical at this time of year. Normally, Summer is harsh here. I celebrate plants that can stand up to the high heat and drought. These plants not only provide lots of vivid color in the garden but they also provide nectar and shelter sources for the bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and a multitude of other pollinators. Here are some of my favorites:
This giant coneflower is hard to overlook with its powder blue leaves and tall stalks that grow up to 6' tall! The extra large cone in the center is a pollinator treat.
|Kniphofia uvaria 'Echo Mango'|
This hot poker plant provides continuous blooms during the summer months while attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. The blooms are like torches that glow at dusk.
|bumblebee on hot lips sage|
Pollinator Week is June 17-23. These critical insects play such an important role not only in our gardens but are necessary for a balanced environment in nature. Take a look at the Pollinator Partnership site here to see what is happening in your area and how you can participate.
Fruit is Fast Food
Summer is berry time....blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries...we love them all! Most of the time we pick them right off the plant and eat them in the garden.
|my niece stuffing her mouth with raspberries|
When we are good and full we start collecting them in our basket for freezing. I've never been able to collect enough at one time in our garden to make jams so a visit to our local U-pick farm is a must this summer. I am also registered for a Jams & Jellies class at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia to learn the fine art of capturing summer's best flavors from fig preserves to blueberry syrup.
How do you celebrate summer in your garden? Do share your traditions by going to Gardens Eye View: Seasonal Celebrations for meme details here. Best wishes for a successful growing season this summer and hope that you see lots of interesting pollinators visiting your garden!