Summer in the south

Though summer weather has been around for at least a month, the official start of summer arrived on Saturday with the solstice. On Saturday, I read a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, one especially fitting—and lovely—and I wanted to share it with you here:

Summer in the South

The oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and pinety,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.

Orioles don’t hang around where I live, but there are plenty of beautiful birds that do spend their summers here. I saw a goldfinch perched on the butterfly bush on Saturday, but alas, without camera in hand, I don’t have an image of it to share with you here. I will share photos of the flowers that were blooming this solstice day.

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The riotous garden

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood


He stood next to me looking out at our garden and said, “I want a riotous garden – like this.” He pointed specifically to the riot of irises and butterfly bush all grown over one another, and I see the dividing of bulbs that will soon come.

One view of a garden in our front yard

My husband and I built this raised garden when we were still newlyweds, adding stone and dirt and mulch and plants around an old oak tree that needed more dirt for its roots to thrive.

Some areas have grown in better than others. Beginner’s luck, I think, as I happen to get some plants in exactly the right place for them to grow riotously. Like the irises, mostly from my mother’s garden – purples, whites, yellows and sherbet-y combinations – that have taken off this year and created a bounty of blooms.  Continue reading