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Monday, August 29, 2011

August Blooms in Arkansas…

{Happy Monday Everybody! There’s not a bloom to be had at my house thanks to the heat we’ve had this August, so we’ve got a guest blogger here on Everyday Life at Leisure today to share what’s blooming in her Little Rock yard—Susan Wiles, our Leisure Arts Special Projects Director! Enjoy!}

What’s Blooming in August?

Merrilee’s been lamenting the lack of flowers blooming at her house lately, so I volunteered to show a picture of my Portulaca, which some of you may know as Spanish moss.

Portulaca thrives in sun-drenched heat, but you have to come at the right time of day to find the blooms fully open. Mornings and evenings, before and after going to work, I always found the little petals rolled tight. Finally on the weekend, in the bright sunlight of midday, I was able to snap a photo.

August in Arkansas has not been a good month for flowers. With scorching heat and a long stretch without rain, many outdoor plants are barely surviving. At a glance, my landscaping looks forlorn. But if you focus in on little spots here and there, you can see some very lovely sights. Out front, my Knock Out Roses have been knocking themselves out with blooms all summer. The bush as a whole is definitely suffering from the summer heat, but I got a decent picture by focusing in on a single bloom.

Just a few feet away, totally unexpected, was a stand of pale pink Surprise Lilies. It’s so odd how the flower stalk comes up out of the ground without warning, before the leaves arrive. (The leaves in the background here are Liriope, what we call monkey grass.)

A few feet in the other direction, I got another surprise: a single blossom of Purple Coneflower. I put out the young plant months ago, but I’d lost sight of it in the thick bed of Liriope. Very frail and faded-looking, the little survivor was still a welcome sight!

Out back, along the fence line, I spied a few solitary blooms on a spindly Rose of Sharon bush. The prettiest bloom was way up high, probably straining to get a bigger share of the sunlight filtering down through the oak tree above it.

We had some refreshing rain last Sunday morning, and I found this peachy-pink bloom on my potted daylily. The dewy petals remind me of the gorgeous cross stitch flowers that Barbara Baatz Hillman designs.

My most prolific plant this summer has been my chocolate peppermint, so I wanted to include it, to represent all the leafy green plants that are beautiful even without flowers (this one especially, because it smells like Andes chocolate mint candies when you touch the leaves). But when I zoomed in with my camera, there was a teeny little lavender bloom on my peppermint plant!

I’m thankful for every blossom that I found, for all my plants have had a hard life this year. With this in mind, I had to stop typing and go to the kitchen to get a little plaque that I love, so I could share with you The Gardener’s Creed that it bears. It says, “Care for the flowers with patience and love. Appreciate each blossom for its own beauty. Receive sunshine and rain with equal grace and gratitude. Remember each season with pleasure…and use each day wisely and well.”

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