Thanks to a really hot June, a lot of plants are out of whack here and they think it's mid-August already. The Russian Sage is in full bloom, and the asters aren't far behind. Blue Mist spirea can't wait either. I predict I'll be at the garden center in August buying leggy petunias to fill in the bare spots. The good thing is I've been eating Roma tomatoes for a couple of weeks now and didn't have to wait till summer is practically over to see some ripe ones. Oh, a lost opportunity the other day: I was sitting on the back porch caning a chair and kept hearing a "ticking" sound. I knew there was a Black-capped chickadee flying back and forth to the sunflower seed so I didn't think anything about it. When I finally looked up from my weaving there was a Broad-tailed hummingbird buzzing the empty sugar-water feeder. I'd taken the feeder out of the garage that morning and set it on the bench thinking I'd fill it later on. I zipped into the house and quickly made up some sugar water but of course the hummer didn't come back. The darn bird is punishing me, I'm sure.
Here's a double-flowering pink althea (Rose of Sharon) that's in full bloom in the front yard. When I planted this several years ago, it was a twig and unfortunately, having no vision of the future, I planted a Butterfly bush about two feet away from it. (It's behind the Rose of Sharon in this photo). Both bushes grow to about 7 to 8 feet tall each year and they're a little too firmly ensconced to think about transplanting either one so it's always a race to see who can grow faster and get more space for itself. The Rose of Sharon won this year. The only time the buddleia hogged the whole area was the summer after a huge snowstorm mashed the althea flat and I had to chop it back to the ground. The Butterfly bush had some beautiful racemes that year, and the butterflies didn't need to play hide-and-seek with the Rose of Sharon to get to the goodies.