With love

Purple queen

Purple Cleome

An image for those dreary days in February or November when you can't see the end of grueling chores, when your back hurts, your feet freeze and your hands bleed from all the raking and cleaning and when you have to fight your way out of a mound of yard debris. Today the garden turned on the love in drones.

Monarda

Wild bergamot

Monardas are a little late to bloom this year, I don't know why, maybe the rain slowed them down, the buds have been there for more than a week but refused to open.

This photo is probably going to find its way into winter articles again and again, it takes some ingenuity to come up with garden writing material when you don't even want to get out of the house.

Cleomes definitely made the list of annuals to plant every year from now on, I only wish I started them indoors sooner, because they take their sweet time to mature. Their stately presence is perfect for this garden, where everything seems to grow over my head, cramping the style of well-behaved annuals like marigolds and begonias.

If you wonder why I didn't choose more compact plants, allow me explain that the thyme is one foot tall and the catmints grew knee high. Even the tame plumbago, which is supposed to be a low growing ground cover, has developed into tallish clumps and now fights for territorial supremacy with some very resolute sweet violets, also extra tall.

At this point I just read the height chart on the plants' package and multiply it by one and a half, in order to get a more accurate expectation of what they're going to look like in the flower border. Two, if planted next to the cone flowers.

Speaking of mighty foliage, I should take an herb garden tour and harvest plants for drying, to keep them from growing out of control. It's summer, people! Oh, blessed summer!

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Surreal

Lilies

The middle of July brought its favorites - the lilies, the phlox, the daisies. I'm not sure whether cone flowers really are supposed to grow five foot tall.

There is fierce competition in the sunny border for the land and the light. I can barely make my way through the bee balms and the cosmos, not even the weeds manage to keep up with the perennials' enthusiasm.

It rained a lot and the summer blooming plants delayed opening their buds, while their mighty foliage grew beyond reason. Among the flurry of leaves and stems, the lilies reign supreme, in an explosion of giant flowers whose fragrance reaches across the yard.

The garden is unruly again, but I finally achieved the wisdom of not fighting its prowess, I know that in this battle of wills the garden always wins. There is a clump of goldenrod asserting its rights over half of the front border and a good chunk of the lawn. It is already in bloom, so I can't trim it, I'll just admire the contrast it provides for the purple cleomes.

Sometime at the end of spring I planted petunias, but they got lost in the forest of tall stems that tower over them.

The daylilies are blessed with a glut of flowers, ready to bloom at any moment. Even the little two year old rose I thought dead sprung a flower.

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