Perennial sweet peas are a delightful surprise every spring when they appear at the foot of a wrought-iron fence and soon send out massive tendrils and blooms that create a privacy hedge. The yellow flowers above belong to a tall artichoke plant (a volunteer that sprang up under a cluster of lilacs). Seasoned gardeners may also spy a young goldenrod peeking out from the background.
Wisteria drapes gracefully over a pergola, providing a shady nook on a hot day.
A pale pink rose whose I.D. tag was lost almost as soon as it was planted in June (sigh…) has produced innumerable blossoms now that it is encased in a net cage designed to foil the deer who had dined on the bush a few nights after I had planted it. (Perhaps one of the deer also ingested the tag!)
Of course, deer weren’t the only wildlife to appear in our gardens. We’re home to raccoons, pheasants and foxes, as well as birds and bees. The bee below is finding nectar and pollen in a rose blossom – the fragrant Blanc double de Coubert.
In early summer, gardeners and tennis players alike were supervised daily by a pair of hummingbirds who liked to perch high on a weathervane where they could survey the action in all directions. Although they drank from strategically placed feeders, they also had access to honeysuckle vines and many other natural sources.
The standard bird feeder was a busy meeting place for chickadees, goldfinches, song-sparrows and purple finches. Larger birds, like mourning doves, pheasants and crows, hung around the base of the stand picking up fallen seeds.
A future project includes learning to shoot with a video camera so that I can capture scenes like the dance of the Monarch butterflies that were busy quenching their thirst on a Buddleia in full bloom.
As perennials die back, the old reliables – annuals, such as nasturtiums and petunias – continue to flaunt their bright colours. But, as this newly harvested crop of peaches attests, summer is slowly but surely drawing to a close.
On a positive note, the approach of autumn means the start-up of classes, clubs and workshops designed to energize us all during the cooler months ahead. By coincidence, having recently enjoyed the presence of a large group of beautiful “Monarchs” in our garden, we have just been advised that the first fall meeting of the Chester Garden Club will feature Roberta MacDonald, who will give an illustrated presentation on Monarch butterflies. The meeting is scheduled for September 17, 6:30 for 7:00 PM at St. Stephen’s Parish Community Centre.