It seemed like it would never get warm here on the gulf coast, but I think we can safely say that summer has arrived.  It’s too hot after noon to work in the garden and the mosquitoes are out on full attack.  We are transitioning into the summer flowers like gardenias and gladiolas.

My main task in the garden these dry windy days has been watering.  I’ve been getting up early every other day to give the garden a long drink of water.  The key to efficient watering is deep and infrequent.  So far my garden has not struggled from the lack of rain because of my efforts to keep it moist.  However, I know the buds I’ve had my eye on would probably be open by now if they had a good soak from above.

I know watering the garden can be a chore to many people, but I think it’s a great way to begin the day.  There is not much else that could get me up so early and  cause me to feel so peaceful before 8:00 am.  Each morning I am amazed at how much the garden has grown.  This is the first summer that I’ve had an established large flower bed in bright full sun where my perennials can really stretch out and blossom into maturity.  They are beginning to grow taller than I am!

It’s been a new experience for me to finally have the freedom of growing the garden that has filled my dreams for many years.  Before we purchased this home we were renters, which meant the garden was always temporary.  Now I’ve been able to put down some roots.

Even though I would love a good thunderstorm right about now, I have been enjoying my morning routine.  I get to spend extra time in the garden looking for any issues that must be dealt with before it becomes serious and discovering the first blooms on my perennials after their long winter nap.  No matter how groggy I feel from just awakening, I perk right up when I’m surprised by a new plant in flower.

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Buddleia ‘Lochinch’ has always been a reliable butterfly bush for me with its gray leaves and clusters of lavender blossoms with orange eyes.  They give my garden a subtle sweet fragrance.

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In almost every garden I design Texas Sage has a place.  It’s such a great evergreen native with delicate violet flowers that the bees feast upon all summer.  This large shrub can take some serious heat and once established will tolerate drought.

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I had to really “baby” this plant last year because it was still pretty small.  It’s called Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and it has tripled in size this year!  It’s been using the Shasta Dasies as a trellis with its dainty flowers popping up through the leaves of the daisy plants.  Many of the other plants in the cottage garden are fully budded and I can hardly wait to see those buds open.

With the arrival of pleasant warm summer mornings I am no longer eating my breakfast and drinking my tea in the kitchenette in my fleece pajamas.  I have changed venues spending almost all my free time in the sunroom.  This will be my view for the summer:

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This is the “wild” garden I mentioned.  Pretty soon the hummingbirds will be after my Coral Porterweed.  Right now the Pentas are more beautiful than ever.

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Of course my babies enjoy the view too.  Figaro soaks up all the sun rays he can causing him to go into a deep slumber.  Coach rarely closes an eye when we’re in here.  The squirrels taunt him as they jump from tree to tree.  It’s official, summer is here!

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