Saturday, August 10, 2019
August Garden Update
There's still lots of activity in our garden at this time of year, though many plants have begun to fade. Our red-hot pokers just started blooming -- I'll get a pic of those in coming days -- and the towering bright yellow inulas, the purple artichoke heads of the cardoon, the spires of pink speedwell and purple loosestrife, and the cosmos and dahlias are all going strong.
Our potted honesty (above) has developed weird (but pretty!) blotchy leaves. I'm not sure whether it has a pest or if it's simply stressed from being four plants in a single large pot. The ones planted out in the garden don't look like this -- they're solid green. I'm not too worried about it, though. They're tough plants, and I think it dies back to the ground in winter anyway.
This is Rupert, our smallest caterpillar and the only one we've named. (The only one we can tell apart from the others, for that matter.) The caterpillars have done well -- most are an inch long now, and on different days I've counted between 27 and 31. Yesterday evening we had a downpour followed by a very windy night, with more high winds expected today -- and this morning I only count 23. So we may have lost a few, or they may be hiding -- they can be surprisingly difficult to see among the leaves and flowers. Nature must take its course, I suppose.
Most of our roses seem finished for the year, but we have one bush back toward the garden bench that's still going gangbusters.
And our milk parsley, in the wildflower area, is just preparing to bloom.
Olga spent lots of time outside yesterday, enjoying the sunshine!
I'm late mentioning the death of Toni Morrison, but I just want to say how sorry I am that she's gone. I read "Song of Solomon" in Peace Corps and "Beloved" while on a trip to Glacier National Park with my family in 1990 -- I vividly remember being in each place with each book. Her writing was magical and mysterious, almost supernatural, and suffused with the same intelligence and insight that she brought to her public appearances. When she gave the commencement address at Rutgers University in 2011, I covered it for the newspaper -- I tried to find my article but apparently I didn't save it. I remember being very worried that I wasn't going to be able to do her justice, summarizing her wide-ranging and free-flowing ideas within a few limited column inches of space. Fortunately, the whole speech is now online for posterity.