Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Summer Shots

Thank you, commentor LaPassionara:

[At top] is a photo of my Hybrid Annabell hydrangeas. They will make quite a display all summer.

Some autumn ferns I planted a few weeks ago. This is a shady area, with some morning sun, and I am hoping they spread and fill in behind the diminished daffodils.

A new bed that I made at the end of last summer. These are castor bean plants, grown from seed. The seeds are poisonous, so they are not favored plants, but I like the red stems and sometimes purple leaves.

This is a typical site in my backyard, lots of different ground covers, with the stray daylily bloom. It started with euonymus winter creeper, with an added splash of your favorite, vinca minor, then some new and unknown spreading plants. I focus my efforts here on weeding out the honeysuckle shrubs and poke salat plants, plus cutting the euonymus away from the tree trunks. A never-ending battle.

Finally, this is now growing in the daylily bed that I repurposed last fall. I had planted rudbeckia seeds in pots on my back patio last summer, then put them in the new spot. They survived the winter and are now growing like crazy.

Love everyone’s garden photos! Thanks for keeping that Sunday morning tradition alive.

I didn’t accomplish much gardening this week, not least because the gas company pulled a surprise raid to replace our meter and left us with no hot water for THREE HIDEOUS DAYS. The tech finally showed up at 7:15pm on Friday, and I cannot express how much being able to take a real shower improved my mood. (I never claimed survivalist credentials, thank you.)

Fortunately, the weather remained damp enough to keep the new transplants hydrated — I checked the tomato rootpouches after today’s violent thunderbursts, and not only did they come through unscathed, but a few of the plants are setting fat green fruit. Today’s project, Murphy the Trickster God willing: Get the Spousal Unit to dig up the handful of daylilies I planted in the shaded raised bed now overrun by his vinca (they’ve survived but don’t bloom there), while I dig up the ragged row of dwarf iris in front of the foundation lilac and replace them with more OsoEasy landscape roses to accompany the one that’s been sturdily thriving, scentless but bloomiferous, for some years.

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

90 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Looking good, LaPassionara.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Hybrid Annabell hydrangeas

    120 or 240? Where do you plug them in?


  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: They are solar powered. ;-)

  4. 4
    satby says:

    @NotMax: @OzarkHillbilly: 😆 you two! Good morning.

    @ LaPassionara, very nice! Hoping my much smaller hydrangeas grow as well as yours has.

    We have a week of hot, humid weather coming up and on the 4th I decided to drive down to Lexington to see my son. Just an overnight trip, a friend will stay with the herd. Today I tackle my eternal nemesis, the lawn. And I started putting in the pound-in edging last night, but the 12 in ones recommended for my sandy soil are sticking up taller than I expected. I wanted them to only be 4 inches high but must be hitting old roots. Now deciding if I should order the eight inch ones instead and use these elsewhere. I wanted to be done with this front bed this week.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    I love hydrangeas and yours are beautiful.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Hey now, he opened the door, I just walked thru it. ;-)

  7. 7
    Mary G says:

    @JPL: Me too. When I took out the grass and other shrubs to save water during the drought, I kept a row of hydrangeas and Camellias on the patio where I can see them from my bedroom window. They take turns blooming.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

  9. 9
    Baud says:


    Good morning.

  10. 10
    Lapassionara says:

    @NotMax: The hybrid is supposed to have stronger stems. But these still flop over after a rain storm. I have cut about 12 blooms off, to put in vases, but there are so many, that the absent blooms are not missed.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:


    And admirably so, with a firm stride and head held high.

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures are so beautiful 😍

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:


    Jason Chatfield (@Jason_Chatfield) Tweeted:
    Cartoonist Michael DeAdder was just fired from the newspaper for this cartoon.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Seeing as I’ve been awake since midnight and up since 2, I’m going to try and catch a little shut eye before I head out to try and beat the expected 93 degrees. Y’all play nice now.

  15. 15
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thanks. I included the photo of the euonymus bed to show that I don’t have to have every place in my yard completely controlled. The yard came with euonymus everywhere, and I have managed to tame it on the south side, where I have my oak leaf hydrangeas and Virginia sweetspire. And now some fern, which I hope will spread.

  16. 16
    Lapassionara says:

    @rikyrah: Thank you, Rikyrah.

  17. 17
    Lapassionara says:

    @satby: I do feed these, per the schedule given by the Missouri Botanical

    @JPL: Thank you.

  18. 18
    Lapassionara says:

    Yikes! I just saw a photo of Trump shaking hands with Kim Jong Un, in North Korea (or the DMZ). What an utter nitwit.

  19. 19
    Baud says:


    I’m glad Kim owns Trump’s analogue of a heart. Beats bombing them with nukes.

  20. 20
    Raven says:

    @Lapassionara: He did step across the MDL. Too bad he didn’t do a little tree trimming.

  21. 21
    Lapassionara says:

    @Baud: Yes. Maybe now he can step into Iran.

  22. 22
    Raven says:

    My bride has a bunch of hydrangeas, I call them mums!

  23. 23
    chris says:

    Couple of pics from last week. Bunchberry crop is looking good and the lupines are just hitting their stride. Everything is so late this year. We’ve had some warm days but I lit the fire a couple of nights last week to combat the damp chill. Usually (doesn’t really exist anymore) the wood stove is clean and the chimney capped by the middle of June. In my dreams we’ll have a short warm winter but who knows anymore.

  24. 24
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning! Feeling lazy today, and with so much to do!

  25. 25
    Raven says:

    @satby: xactly what my wife says . . .every day! On the other hand I talked to a woman at a dinner last night who is misery in her retirement. She’s can’t find “meaning” anymore.

  26. 26
    Raven says:

    @Raven: in misery

    If y’all haven’t seen the Dylan movie check out Joni

  27. 27
    Ken says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Two viewpoints on “solar-powered” plants, both paraphrased:

    Green goo is amazing stuff. You just give it water, carbon dioxide, and a few minerals, shine light on it, and it creates all sorts of useful chemical feedstocks. – Charles Stross, Saturn’s Children

    We think of plants as passive in contrast to animals. It would be more accurate to think of plants as little chemical warfare factories, generating substances that allow them to kill or control animals for their benefit. Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire

  28. 28
    satby says:

    @Raven: my friend just retired. She hated her warehouse job but loved the “structure” of work, so she calls me once in a while and says: “c’mon! Adventure before dementia!” because she wants me to go travelling with her. Travel requires some structure.
    Left totally to my own devices I would putter endlessly with lots of spells of reading or just sitting outside on a beautiful day listening to birds 😀
    The difference is I think that’s a fine way to spend time but “structure” people just think it’s wasted.

  29. 29
    Lapassionara says:

    @Raven: When I was growing up, in Memphis, a neighbor had something we called a “snowball bush.” The blooms were not white, so I don’t know why it had that name. And I don’t know whether it was really a hydrangea. I preferred the lilacs, which were fragrant. Now I cannot have enough hydrangeas.

  30. 30
    debbie says:


    Despotism is Trump’s new drug. He can’t help but be attracted to it.

    Back to gardens, my neighborhood is filled with hydrangeas of all kinds and colors, white to pink to blue to purple. Maybe because it’s been so rainy (28 inches so far, compared to last year’s record total of 27 inches), there are more blooms than ever, and some are approaching the size of a volleyball!

  31. 31
    oatler. says:

    @Raven: How young we all were.

  32. 32
    debbie says:


    I probably won’t have much meaning either when I get to retirement, but it will still beat the hell out of working.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Immanentize says:

    Nice growing, L.! I have a large limelight hydrangea bush. Same beautiful light color. Not flowering yet, but I will send in pics in August when it does….

  35. 35
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    I’m in Greece right now, having moved on from Santorini to Naxos, now joined by youngest daughter.

    I just managed to get a short vid uploaded (connectivity is slow, which I find charming) – it is from our private terrace with hot tub overlooking the Caldera in Santorini. We tried not to leave it much, saved a lot of our clothing and had an awful lot of room service….

    I’m saddened by the daughter joining in Naxos.

    Yeah, it was pretty magical…

  36. 36
    Immanentize says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    Mean Bastard. Gloating are we?
    (I do hope you are enjoying all that beauty and beautiful weather)

  37. 37

    @satby: I like having a project of some sort. And I do give my life structure–morning stint in the gym (then good off), afternoon stint in B&N (then more goofing off).

    For the first time in three weeks, I woke up feeling like my digestive system had decided it wasn’t going to make me miserable. Three different meds had to be changed to do it. Life used to be easier when I was taking nothing but OTC stuff.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    chris says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Sucks to be you!//
    Damn, that’s a beautiful spot.

  40. 40
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    The sky is cloudless here on Naxos. Our Cyclades sail got cancelled and the beach has been red flagged at a few points.

    Weirdly, radar shows clear all the way to the Black Sea.

  41. 41
    MomSense says:

    My peonies are blooming. Still waiting on one but the rest are glorious.

    I need to do some weeding and edging but I also need to clean the house.

    Lapassionara, your gardens are lovely.

  42. 42
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    This is my vista as of 4 minutes ago.

  43. 43
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I think years of working from home made me feel less dislocation and loss when that job ended. For people who had to leave home, commute, stay and socialize at a worksite, commute home, etc, it’s multiple losses and changes but we lump it together as one thing. And then we don’t understand that for some people that’s a lot of changes at once to manage.

  44. 44
    Immanentize says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I love Greece. I have not yet gone to the western islands — but Crete (especially Xania) are all I would ever need in retirement. Except the not speaking Greek problem….

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    @MomSense: That’s my favorite flower. lucky to be you.

  46. 46
    MomSense says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    They probably just don’t feel like doing it today. Mama made arni kleftico and everyone is going home for Sunday dinner.

    Hey do you think Americans would want to stay in small apartments near Syntagma Square in a once nice but now a bit mixed (but real!) neighborhood? With all the budget cuts, Athens U isn’t offering as many classes and the students aren’t renting apartments anymore.

  47. 47
    satby says:

    Ok, I have to get started before it’s too hot and humid for me outside. Which will probably be before noon.
    One night in Lexington will probably kill me, I have no idea how you southerners manage during summer.

  48. 48
    Immanentize says:

    I have always been a structure person. Always too many projects lined up to work on and loving it that way. This summer, for the first time, I have the opportunity to lick back and do less. I am just really hanging at home, puttering about, catering to the Immp’s food and drink needs. 😉. It feels weird. I sometimes wonder if I am depressed or just enjoying a different place. Clearly, I am transitioning.

  49. 49
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    Like Italy, everyone here speaks better English than I do. Otherwise, I have yes, no, thank you, good, half liter, liter, white wine, ouzo and tsiporo/raki down to a science.

  50. 50
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: I would. How many apartments do you have?

  51. 51
    satby says:

    @MomSense: I would. During the Greek version of winter anyway. I travel to warm countries in January. The natives are freezing in 70° weather and I’m happy as a clam in T-shits.

  52. 52
    MomSense says:


    I think it’s a cool location because you can walk to everything and it’s a real residential neighborhood. I’ve been thinking of going over this winter to fix them up and then try to get them listed for next season.

  53. 53
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    Maybe “yes” on the apartment. My youngest daughter has been staying close to there (we’ll get to see it day after tomorrow), and really enjoys it.

    I haven’t had a meal here I haven’t enjoyed. If mama made the lamb, it may be worth a day off. We had a driver on Santorini that was touting mama’s dolmathes and bragging that she’d sent him a large container full of them.

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Was expecting nude beach. Disappointed.

  55. 55
    MomSense says:


    Two. There are only four in the building – all have balconies.

  56. 56
    Immanentize says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: my wife and I took the best hike of our lives down the Sumerian Gorge. We were bused up to the top and hiked all the way down to the Sea of Libya. We had a guide who seemed to have a bone to pick with Americans because we flush the toilet too much. She mentioned it at least three times. “flush flush flush — for no reason!”

  57. 57
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: oh, I have enough projects to last until I die! There’s just no time crunch to try to finish something before I have a huge work project tying me up 60 hours/week anymore. Which admittedly means I putter around doing some of one, and maybe a smidge of another. I’m pleased when I finish something, but no longer stressed about the pile of stuff waiting 😊. It’s wonderful.

  58. 58

    @satby: That’s a good point. I was used to working from home a lot of the time, and to having summers free to structure on my own.

  59. 59
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: I have a sabbatical next Spring semester. I am handy at fixing things!

  60. 60
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    I think Raven works mostly from home — so that may ease his move to bliss this fall.

  61. 61
    satby says:

    @MomSense: send me info too, please. I want to do an Elizabelle style few months in Europe next year, renting a few weeks to a couple months in a couple of countries and living more like a local than a tourist. That sounds exactly like what I want.

    Oh, Athens meet up?!?

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    A little light toplessness and thongs abound on this beach – full nudity is on on the far end of Plaka, a couple of miles away. There was a little more on Santorini, but it was genuinely no big deal.

  64. 64
    MomSense says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    It’s also great with goat meat. It’s basically slooooooowly oven braised meat in a clay pot with lots of garlic, fresh herbs, and kefalograviera cheese (feta or other Greek cheeses can also be used). The slow cooking and the cheese make even tough meat delicious. Some people now do leg of lamb and add other vegetables but I think it spoils it. The dish is “bandits’ meat named for the Greeks who were on the run fighting the ottomans. After building a fire in a pit, they would bury the meat with cheese and garlic in the clay pot so the Ottomans wouldn’t smell the food and find their hiding spot.

  65. 65
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize: @satby:

    Cool! I need to get organized!

  66. 66
    Spanky says:


    I have no idea how you southerners manage during summer.

    Air conditioning. And doing the inside things in the afternoon.

    Day 107 of retirement, and the structure thing is a sticky one. By nature I tend to not structure my time, so having that freedom suddenly thrust upon me let me drift a bit. I finally got fed up with inefficiently using all of that time and have started getting the stuff done that I had put off “for retirement”.

    And not surprisingly, more stuff keeps getting piled on as the days go by.

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Yeah, sucks to be you.

  67. 67
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    Wife and youngest daughter did that hike either last year or the year before – they adored it, as well as their stay in Chania. I think the rate was crazy cheap – like 35 euros a night.

  68. 68

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: What you learn in that situation is that most people look better with their clothes on.

  69. 69
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    I had some with baby goat last night – it was fantastic and I don’t generally enjoy goat meat.

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Ha! If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that….

  71. 71
    Spanky says:

    @Spanky: Also too, Balloon Juice was a great way to spend my time while employed, but now that my time is my own I notice I’m not here as much. :^)

  72. 72
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    It’s usually about 50/50 in my experience….

  73. 73
  74. 74
    MomSense says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    I would make some right now but it’s too damn hot for the oven. Last night I pan seared blackened, yellowfin tuna for about a minute total and made Asian sesame vinaigrette, wasabi cream, and a seaweed salad.

  75. 75
    Spanky says:

    On the retirement discussion, I LOLed at this quote I just found:

    ” You’ve been preparing for this your entire life. Don’t screw it up.”

  76. 76
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:



  77. 77
    Lapassionara says:

    @chris: Thank you!

  78. 78
    oldgold says:

    The problem with me retiring is-
    how could anyone tell?

    Well, with the slimy snail wars behind me and the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, I am getting ready to plant West of Eden. Tomorrow, probably, I am going to fire-up my “work” pickup and head to Hope and Les’ Garden Centre.

    My old friend Les Mohr normally holds back a few plants by the dumpster and out of date seed packs in the freezer for me. Of course, as always, Les will be of two minds as to the ethics my master plan of planting with no hope of harvesting. To assuage his troubled mind, I always bring an angel food cake and deviled eggs as partial payment. Hope just shakes her head.

  79. 79
    chris says:

    @Lapassionara: Welcome! They’re quite popular around here.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) Tweeted:
    People have questions about @KamalaHarris record as DA in SF and AG of California. The questions are valid, the distortions are not. I hope this piece gets as much traction as the lies.

  82. 82
    chris says:

    @rikyrah: Excellent article, thank you. I like several of the contenders but Kamala’s my first choice. Heh, not that I can vote for anyone.

  83. 83
    Gelfling 545 says:

    In my early gardening days I disliked hydrangeas. That might partly be because most of them around us were single, straggly specimens trying to decide if they were pink or blue. Now they are at the top of my favorites list. As I told my daughter yesterday, you can’t go wrong with massed hydrangeas. 😊

  84. 84
    satby says:

    @MomSense: well, if you’re going in the winter months let me know if I can help!

  85. 85
    MomSense says:


    That could be fun!!

  86. 86
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Raven: That’s so sad. After all those years to feel one was only “the job”. But one doesn’t find meaning. One makes it. I was lucky enough to
    have the great example of my Mom & Dad whose post retirement years were filled with their Church, their community, friends and family.
    Example: After retiring they moved to Seneca Falls NY on Cayuga Lake. I got a call from them asking If I was coming down there to attend their “weed party”. After I expressed my confusion about my straight laced parents hosting such an event I was informed that it was basically a keg party to raise the funds needed to remove invasive weeds from the lake.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Epic view! I could definitely see ordering room service and just hanging out.

  89. 89
    Denali says:

    Gardening these days = weeding. So much rain.

  90. 90
    Denali says:


    My wintercreeper has come down with some sort of fungus- leaves are turning brownand dropping. Don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?

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