Suddenly, there is rich renewal of flowers after a few weeks lag following the phlox fading away. Now the fountain and miscanthus grass are stealing the scene along with the fantastic show of wild asters.
I must have at least half a dozen varieties and walking the paths around the meadows is such a joyful thing for me! The bees are loving it as well, I often stop to watch them working the flowers.
Did you know that in honeybee’s short life, she makes only a 1/12th teaspoon of honey? Every morning I put a teaspoon of honey in my tea and I thank the 12 hard-working darlings who made that sweetness possible. (Yes, I thank the beekeeper too, but let’s face it, without the bee a lot of us would be out of business.) There was an interesting article in Time (Aug. 19th issue) on the honeybee’s plight and scary a thought it is, to imagine our world without this trusted friend. I am happy to report that my land teems with pollinators, but most are bumblebees and the lesser wasps. Maybe 10% are honeybees. My neighbor up the road keeps bees, but black bears are such a problem here that most people give up after an attack. One person in the next town keeps bees on a shed roof! Otherwise, one needs a high voltage electric fence to protect the hives.
Many years ago I stopped mowing my nearly one acre of lawn and created meadows, with mown grass paths winding through them. (I kept the grass lawn in front and out back near the house as I like a soft place to lay and gaze at passing clouds!) I spend a third of the time mowing as I used to and the ecosystem has boomed. The entire food chain benefits, everyone wins. Insects, birds, small mammals and yes, even the bigger mammals like fox, coyote and deer. So far, everything is in check and I haven’t had the problems that some have experienced. There is plenty for everyone to eat out there!
I’m enjoying the last of the annuals while I can as frost can come any day now. Sometimes I cover a coveted few fantastic bloomers, like the Cherry Profusion Zinnia above, but eventually I must yield and concede my garden to the forces of nature. My Peach Nasturtiums are lovely after a slow start. I collect seeds from the best of the bunch at the end of summer, so the exact lineage is unknown, Peach Melba originally with variegated varieties thrown in. So at least for now, the weather is perfect for enjoying the abundance of the last of summer’s flowers here in my own little piece of paradise!