Thursday, August 8, 2013

Late summer garden

 The roses are on their second bloom cycle but this is the final act for the hibiscuses.

Perfectly perfect. These roses are not high-maintenance but I'm proud to have learned to care for them.

 Sedum is flowering again, after a hiatus during the hottest part of the summer.

The final round of hibiscuses always bears a pink tinge. The earlier blooms were snow-white. I wonder why this happens but I'm not concerned; I really like the pink.

Bad gardener, I allowed my mint to bolt. But we're kind of minted-out by now anyway.

There are small puddles in the water feature almost all the time now. We get a fair amount of rain, and the air is often humid now too, keeping puddles from drying out. My desert-reared children are thankful for puddles anywhere.

More lazy gardening: bindweed is now taking over one of the beds. But I'm not in a hurry to remove it. We can do it in the fall and besides, I like the little white petunia-like flowers.

The big sunflowers are developing their striped seeds. We so enjoy growing sunflowers. If you're looking for dynamic, hands-on science lessons with kids, you should plant sunflowers.

The smaller sunflowers are still at their peak. These little ones are actually my favorite kind; they're delicate and bright, swaying beautifully on their slender stalks.

The birdbath usually has water in it now too. And dirt and grit, which I know will scratch the pottery, but I'm so eager to attract birds that I let it go. I'd rather watch a bird take a bath than scrub a birdbath.

Speaking of my avian friends, this pigeon spent a few hours in our backyard last week. He was enormous, easily the size of a small chicken. I was concerned about him; he seemed lost, or maybe hurt, though perhaps not hungry. It was a rash decision, but I threw him a saltine cracker, which made him fly ponderously away.

Roses of Sharon bloom on either side of the brick steps leading from our bedroom to the backyard.

Bees congregate in the dusty flowers of the Russian sage. The stalks droop over the patio, blossom-heavy.

I continue to bring in bouquets of anything in bloom, displayed throughout the house in upcycled glass jars. This one contains Russian sage, a red rose, two Roses of Sharon and a sprig of verbena.


We're well past the peak of summer now. The temperatures are already on the decline and the days are noticeably shorter. It's still very warm during the day but the nights are getting cooler. The Bear and I are back to sleeping under the duvet. The sun rises later and sets earlier; it's dark by 8:30. The monsoon continues, bringing at least a sprinkle most days. We've even had a few strong nighttime storms, which is an unusual pattern for us. This morning, before the small Bears were up, the Bear and I stood by the windows in the family room, looking out toward the mountain. It was shrouded in roiling white clouds. It looked like October. Change is in the air.

School starts on Tuesday for the LB, Wednesday for the GB. I took her to meet her new teachers this morning and to have a look at their classroom. The LB had the same teachers for his second year of preschool and we were overjoyed with the job they both did. They are exemplary in their field. I know they will be good for my little one, who is smart and eager to learn but also rather retiring when she's at school. Her teachers last year used the "squeaky-wheel" approach, which usually wasn't to her benefit. I know these teachers will draw her out more. I am excited for her to have an opportunity to build her confidence. The LB, on the other hand, will surely be encouraged to minimize his jabbering. And he was the late talker I worried so much about when he was a toddler.

Thank you for the comments on my post about the old typewriter. I received some helpful tips for operating it and had the chance to read so many wonderful stories about old typewriters in your own lives. It's nice to know that so many people share my love for interesting, old things.


  1. Your garden still looks very lush, Jennifer...
    Those big Hibiscus, almost look like a species called "Disco Bell"...I tried growing one, but failed!
    Hope the kiddies enjoy getting back to school...and you...back to a more regular routine!
    I am sure your crocheting projects will start flying off your hook!
    Enjoy your weekend..we are off to the cottage tomorrow, and we are having friends out for a sleepover!!!

    Linda :o)

  2. Your garden looks very beautiful, mine is an overgrown piece of mush. I must get out there to tend to it but it is so stinking hot out I can't go, not yet. We start school in just over a week, my schedule for work changes then, too. I am not looking forward to even earlier and longer days, but that is life.
    Good news about your little ones teachers, they sound perfect.

  3. It is so interesting to see your flowers and compare what is still going in our garden here in England. Our roses are long gone, the sedum are not ready to flower at all yet, they will be at least another 4 to 6 weeks away I expect. We are in a bit of a garden lull right now.

    Hope you enjoy back to school and that all the bears are happy!

  4. Beautiful flowers, Jennifer! Your developing green thumb has created a most colourful array of lovelies!


  5. Your garden looks so lovely, it's amazing you can get it all to grow in the desert.
    Clare x

  6. Every time I scrolled to a picture I said, "this is my favorite!" And then it was, "No! THIS one!" But I think after looking at them all, I love the crystal clarity of that jar on your window sill. Perfect lighting and composition! What a lovely setting for your family to live within - flowers, bees, birds - a treasure chest of nature's best!

  7. Your flowers are beautiful! I'm sad that we are already into August. Summer goes by far too quickly!

  8. Your garden is so beautiful :D And having just read your last post I have typewriter envy ... what a fabulous old machine!

  9. Beautiful captures of your lovely blooming garden Jennifer - everything seems to have survived the hot and humid summer so well!
    So school time is upon you and it sounds like the teachers will be just right for your lovely Bears - love and best wishes to you all as the new cycle begins!
    Joy x

  10. Beautiful garden Jennifer, lovely to visit you again

  11. What a lovely garden you have, and I just love your birdbath.

  12. Thanks for sharing a gorgeous bouquet of photos, Jennifer! The hibiscus blossom is especially lush! I have gone back to look at it several times and will again after I quit typing to you :)
    Gracie xx

  13. Beautiful blooms, yes changes in the air! :) x

  14. Beautiful photos Jennifer. I've been enjoying the rain and newly bloomed flowers as well. Hope you are having a lovely week.

  15. Jennifer your garden is really pretty. I love the colour of the wall, it provides a beautiful backdrop for those gorgeous flowers.

  16. Your garden looks wonderful, I love the beautiful photo of the rose. Hope all goes well with the back to school routine!
    Marianne x

  17. Hi Jennifer, Your garden still looks pretty awesome!!! Good luck with the schools next week and enjoy a happy crafty fun filled weekend!!!

  18. It's so nice to see the seasons turning, the days are shortening here now too. It's no longer as bright when the 5.30am alarm rings and the garden is looking a little burnt out and tired, although the sun continues to shine. Your garden is so pretty, the rose is gorgeous ~ Sarah x

  19. Your garden looks just wonderful for August! The hibiscuses is gorgeous and I love the pink! Your sweet bouquet in the simple glass jar is darling... I would have one in every room of my house, too!

  20. You have so many different, beautiful flowers growing in your garden! I love your colourful birdbath. I wonder if the bright colours help birds find it?

  21. Your garden is looking good, such a pretty selection of colour (and I have always loved that bird bath)! Good luck with the schools next week, I cannot believe it has come around so quickly. It seems like yesterday that I was writing on your post about breaking up for the summer! I am sure your small bears will have a great year at school. :)

  22. Beautiful flowers! My oldest started school yesterday, I have always home schooled for pre-school so my youngest starts kindergarten next year. I hope your kids have a smooth transition to school next week :)

  23. You still have so many pretty blooms for the "end" of summer! I feel we're still in the middle of it ... it's only the beginning of August, right?! We're still swimming and sweating out in the hot sun here, but our nights too are cooler (better for sleeping). Our kids don't start school until September, so no worries about how they'll fare till then ;) I hope your kids enjoy their new school year, it sounds like they'll have great teachers. Wendy

  24. What beautiful photographs - they're the kinds of images one knows they'll return to again come the dead of winter, when it seems like a million years off until summer finally rolls around again. I love the vibrancy and warmth of this time of the year; the sunshine that pierces everything in its wake and the fact that one can still wear anything and everything they want without the need for much, if any layering (not that I'm against layering, I'm definitely not - but I do enjoy letting my sundresses shine unto themselves sometimes).

    Thank you very much for your wonderfully nice blog comment. It's always awesome to hear about how people discover Chronically Vintage. I'm delighted to "meet" you, Jennifer, and look forward to getting to know you and your blog better.

    ♥ Jessica

  25. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment. Your blog looks like such a lovely place to visit and your garden looks AMAZING!!! I look forward to spending a little more time here! Wishing you a very happy weekend xoxo

  26. Hi Jennifer,
    Your gardens look so beautiful and serene. It must be wonderful to spend time outdoors among your plants and flowers. I hope your children enjoy the new school year and you do too. It is wonderful when the children come home bubbling over with tales of a great day at school...I hope you have a lot of those days :) Have a great weekend.

  27. Hi Jennifer,
    You have a beautiful garden, I have never heard of bindweed... until now that is, I'm pretty useless in the garden, I think I'm letting my city girl show through, I'm ashamed to say, but I really am trying to get more in touch with mother nature, just wanting to eat healthy is helping me to do that! I love your bird feeder as well... YAY FOR THE UPCYCLED JARS!!!
    There are just so many of them out there, why recycle or toss them? No way... not you and me :)
    Have a great weekend girlfriend!

  28. Your garden is looking beautiful! I really love your bird bath it's really lovely. Every seems to be in full bloom. Bindweed drives me mad in our garden but always looks nice when flowering. Hope that you have a lovely weekend x

  29. What a beautiful garden. I remember growing some sunflowers when the kids were small which had gigantic heads. We dried them out at the end of the season and they took them in to school for the nature table. There were plenty left for the birds to feast on too. I adore your bird bath, it's so pretty. The birdies can really bathe in style in your garden.

  30. Your garden is just beautiful. So many of your blooms seem to exotic to me. And I agree, the little sunflowers are adorable. I love your birdbath and think that a garden posy in a little jar is one of life's great pleasures. x

  31. Very interesting to see the flowers that are blooming in your area of the country. I love your bird bath!

  32. Hello, I found you through Down to Earth blog....she has so many great posts doesn't she? I have been browsing through your adorable blog and once I found yummy looking cobbler, that did it, I had to leave a comment☺ Nice to meet you.


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