To the rescue

plum
Hibiscus

These are tough days in the garden. It's too dry out there and much of the first couple of waves of blooms are finished.The monarda has powdery mildew. The coneflowers are beginning to die off. The second clematis flowering is pretty much over. The roses are too hot.

How nice, then, to find the hardy hibiscus beginning to take off. 'Plum crazy' greeted me on my rounds this morning, with the promise of many more blooms to come. I pay tribute, too, to the deep blue morning glories. They're out, as well, only in the morning, of course, but they put on quite a show. They're also covering up an eyesore I haven't yet figured out how to handle - three tree peonies that, in their season, are arresting. Out of season, as in NOW, they're a brown heap on the ground, very unsightly. Now they're covered in morning glory vines. Just as well, and the vines have big heart-shaped leaves. Not bad.

The reliable cleomes have seeded themselves again this year and I say thank goodness. They've popped up in a troublesome blank spot that I'm struggling to fill with the proper perennials. So far, all I've managed is to put some too-short coneflowers in there.

Another bright spot is the crape myrtle, just emerging now. Always a delight. And just in time to rescue us from the mid-summer blahs.

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