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.