Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Late Summer Garden

A late summer garden has a tranquility found at no other time of year.
                                                                  --William F. Longgood
                                                     

Each September heralds the change 
from the withering days and sultry nights of summer 
to the cooler hours wrought by Fall.
The shadows grow softer 
and the darkness creeps in earlier each successive night.
Yet, summer does not yield her place so easily.
And I am glad.

Although autumn is officially just three weeks away,
it is still summer here in the Shire.
The sun still shines, the bees still buzz, and the flowers still bloom.
I didn't want summer to pass without writing about a few more of my favorite plants.

In late June, just as the planting season's clock was about to chime
the Mid-Atlantic gardener's eleventh hour, I bought some vinca,
also called periwinkle and the more colorful name, dogbane.
Nothing is better in a hot and dry landscape than these flowers.
They aren't at all fussy and withstand lots of horticultural neglect
--my specialty when the hot and humid days 
kindle my indifference as to whether my flowers live or die.
Thankfully, they seem not to notice that I am a fair-weather gardener.
Here are a few that have survived so far:

The white centers of flowering vinca
are why there is a variety called "little bright eyes."
I love the bright little eyes twinkling in these fuschia blossoms:

These petals are dressed in a hot watermelon red:

I love the way the center looks like a tiny five-pointed star
on this soft white one:

These white ones have the tiniest yellow centers:

And of course, there is a periwinkle color:

Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote 
"the best things in life are nearest:
breath ... light in your eyes, flowers at your feet ... ."
He must have been charmed by some late summer periwinkle.
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1 comment:

Suzanne Adey said...

I am trying to find out about the care of my little white bright eye vinca in the winter her in Virginia. Do i pull them up? Do i cut them back? Can they survive in northern Virginia? Any information will be greatly appreciated.