Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's a jungle out there

Not only does the late summer garden resemble a jungle, the humidity today is so thick that it's almost like walking through water. It'd be lovely if it created a buoyant sensation but it creates more of a bogging down sensation.

A view from the upstairs bedroom, showing one of our pastures in the left corner

and our neighbor's pasture to the right. The Bidens have really
sized up and will start strutting their stuff in another couple of weeks.

I hadn't grown kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate for several years.
It's a relative of our Lady's Thumb. Here it is with Texas sunflowers.

I still haven't tasted Malabar spinach but it's worth growing for its looks alone.

The corn is done, and the pole beans are taking over and getting ready to set a second crop.

I love the frosty mauve pink of the wild type Joe Pye Weed. There's a darker version too but it didn't come back in the big bed this year. A mildew or fungus has been attacking some of the plants, mostly the summer phlox and Joe Pye; I can see where it has encircled the stem at the soil line when I pull up dead stalks. I think the extreme heat and general dryness has been making the plants more vulnerable than usual. The Bidens in front of the big perennial bed are a good 4-5' tall. As much as I love these plants one day I hope to have most of them outside of the garden beds, where I can just mow them with the tractor in March. Cleaning up the old stalks by hand is a bear.

The Indigofera has formed a small picturesque tree this year. I love the lacy pink flowers.

The garden is full of insect and bird life; there's currently a Cardinal pair fluttering about the big perennial bed in a state of worry over newly fledged youngsters, and there's always sparrows, warblers, Summer Tanagers and Blue Grosbeaks about. There's a constant twittering of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds as they dive bomb each other and squabble over the flowers. Butterflies, bees, and Hummingbird Moths by day and Sphinx Moths by night. The Sphinx Moths make up for their annoying youth as Tobacco Hornworms by transforming into entrancing fairy-like creatures with big doey eyes and a flight pattern that looks like they are attached to a magical yo-yo.


  1. I love your jungle, very lush and green and I love the purples, mauves and the Indigofera is a new one for me. I look forward to seeing your Bidens in bloom once again.

    Hope you get some cooler temps soon.


  2. Those are the very words I use to describe my gardens Sweetbay. A jungle it is without the humidity though. I love your descriptions of the insects and bird life there. Sounds musical and colorful. Enjoy the last days of summer.

  3. I am amazed at the size and lushness and green exuberance of all your surroundings. A summertime jungle indeed.

  4. Your description of the Sphinx moth is so beautiful, I just love it. :)

  5. You've got such a beautiful jungle! So green and must be very relaxing just resting your eyes on that fantastic landscape!

  6. A see of greens ... Wonderful !!!

  7. All that lush greenery gives quite a false impression - it looks all cool and relaxing :-)
    After reading your description I would love to see a Sphinx moth.

  8. I like it jungly. Even MeteoFrance has reported on the the Summer heat in the Eastern US

  9. I have planted Malibar spinach, and like you, just for looks. I did take a bite from a leaf and pronounced it slimy.

  10. Wow - what a fantastic garden you've got! I love it :)
    It's a very relaxing and peaceful vista - I could stare at it all day!

    We don't have Indigofera here in the UK, but I think it's gorgeous...and I would just adore having hummingbirds!

    Great blog Sweetbay - thank you.

  11. Your description of your garden, birds and insects, swept me away. The photos are large and enticing, as if one could step right inside and hear the chittering of hummingbirds and the drone of bees. Just a lovely post Sweetbay! Thank you.

  12. I love the view from your bedroom window, such a peaceful sea of green. Your garden looks great, and I see rugosas still blooming. Never heard of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate :)

  13. I wonder about the background of the name "Kiss me over the Garden Gate". That name seems to suggest a romantic tale. It seems appropriate that they are hot pink. And speaking of pink, I like the Indigofera. It has a delicate beauty that I think is very pretty. I hope you get a break from the humidity soon.

  14. Whew is has been a humid one this summer. At times, I feel as though we are at the ocean with the humidity in the air. I love the heat but not the humidity.

    Your "jungle" looks pretty nice to my eyes! I love all the lush green surrounded by color.

    Your pictures from Chapel Hill, wowser they have some beautiful treats! I can see why you come home wanting more... I think that happens to us all though....

  15. The Norfolk Zoo had Madagasgar Spinach as an ornamental. Been a rough summer for the gardens!

  16. Your garden is an active place, always growing and changing and providing for you as well as the wildlife!

  17. It may be a jungle out there, Sweetbay, but it's a lovely green one, and I'm sure the wildlife must love it.

    Just got back from Oregon--I think it must be the only place in the country with pleasant weather right now!

  18. How'd you get so smart, Sweetbay? I left the "keep me logged in" unchecked and then went to Dung Hoe where I've been unable to leave a comment and worked.

    I'm out the door in a minute, but will come back to your blog and leave a very wordy comment. You can count on it:)


  19. You've created a little heaven in your corner of the world, Sweetbay. Your garden shows the love you have for it, as well as the little creatures that inhabit it.
    That spinach looks interesting. I'm curious to know how it tastes.
    Oh, I love Kiss me over the garden gate! Have never grown it but would like to.
    Your jungle is a beautiful thing!

  20. So much land, everything looks so beautiful


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