Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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August 28, 2011

August is the Cruelest Month

T. S. Eliot wrote “April is the cruelest month.”  Well, I beg to differ.  In my book, August is the cruelest month.  With the merciless heat and humidity, the prolific weeds seem to be the only things enjoying themselves.  While I do have coreopsis, marigolds, phlox and a lovely crape myrtle to comfort me, I realize my garden is far from being late summer-ready.  Guess that will be my challenge to plan for next year.

This week has been quite a doozy here in Virginia.  A rare earthquake on Tuesday, followed by the news that Hurricane Irene would be a weekend guest, sent most Virginians scrambling to assess damage and to prepare for potentially more. For us, memories of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 will never go completely away.  The wind from that storm brought down twenty trees around our house but mercifully, not on it.  Fortunately, Hurricane Irene proved not to be as ferocious as her older sister, and brought more rain than wind.  Hours of torrential rain can still reap havoc, causing large trees to uproot in sustained high winds, but thankfully, we were spared this time.

This morning, I noticed the garden is bit battered.  The scorched coneflower and black-eyed Susan plants were trampled down by the rain, and the hydrangea looked a little weary. The tomato plants appeared to be in the roughest shape, but I could see no real damage.

I took advantage of the bright, beautiful post-hurricane weather, and started cleaning up the beds in preparation for fall, getting rid of spent flowers and foliage, and making room for my mental planning of next year’s garden. Today was my turn to fight back; the weeds were defenseless against my re-energized, determined hands and the rain-saturated ground that held them no more.

August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Marigold: French Dwarf Double Mixed

August 10, 2011

A Peek Over the Garden Gate: Buffalo

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I escaped the heat and went to hockey camp in Canada.  Spending time in Canada playing hockey with friends during the hottest months of the summer is the best way I know how to cool off and have some fun.  Instead of flying, we drove, and so on our way home we stopped in my husband’s hometown, Buffalo, NY. Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect as the area was wrapping up its annual five-week National Garden Festival, giving us the opportunity to go on the popular Garden Walk Buffalo.  Imagine my luck to have two of my favorite things collide so fortuitously on one trip!

Garden Walk Buffalo is composed of many neighborhoods throughout the downtown area where residents graciously open their garden gates to allow the public a glimpse into the havens they’ve created in their front, side and back gardens.  The walk is self-guided and free, but we were limited in our time, so we decided on one neighborhood to tour, the Cottage District, a neighborhood with Victorian homes and cottages built during the late 1800s and early 1900s.  There were maps available, but we didn’t have one so we just drove through the general vicinity until we saw the first colorful cottages and groups of people strolling along the street.  We parked on the street and made our way down the block, visiting the cottage gardens that were marked by a tour sign in the front yard.  I was overwhelmed not only by the gorgeous gardens we visited but the number of participating gardens.  There were so many gardens on the walk, I know we didn’t get to see them all.  What can be said about the Cottage District in Buffalo is that it is beyond charming; it is enchanting.  Take a look for yourself; I made a meager attempt to capture some of the spectacular gardens we visited:

Garden Walk Buffalo



With long winters, there is little wonder why most people think only of snow and ice when they think of Buffalo.  However, it is exactly because of the long winters that I think the people of Buffalo really know how to celebrate summer.  From my view over the garden gate, I can see Buffalonians take full advantage of milder summer temperatures and embrace all that the warmer months have to offer, and do so with such creativity and heart.  Who knew a hockey town like Buffalo is also a warm, friendly, colorful garden town as well?  I can’t wait to go back…

Let’s go Buffalo!

August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, August 3, 2011

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