Finding a spot of cool

Poor Sundae has trouble staying cool with that thick fur coat she wears. She's shed more of her coat than usual this year, but she still has to stretch out in whatever shady patch she can find to beat the triple digit temperatures we've had this summer. As July comes to a close, we're hoping for an unseasonably cool August! And we're still praying for rain!

Ivy covered tower. . .well, ivy covered shed

The sprigs of ivy we planted beside the shed have taken hold beyond our wildest expectations. I would cover the entire house with it if the head honcho gardener would let me. As it is, this little pathway between the house and the shed is as close to a secret garden as I have. If we didn't need someplace to store the lawnmower and rakes and shovels, I'd clean out the shed and hang some pretty curtains in the window and turn it into my own little hideaway.

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus)

The Rose of Sharon bushes are loaded with buds, but really feeling the affects of the extreme heat.

Oh, that these were rainclouds

... but alas, they were not. Our well and sprinkler system are the only reason we have green grass and anything blooming at all. Like so many around us, we desperately need rain.

Back by popular demand: coneflowers!

The coneflowers are beautiful right now. In spite of our hot temps and lack of rain, this clump in front of the rock wall is thriving among the false sunflowers.

Taming the Sedum

This week we pulled out all the spent blooms in the sedum on the flagstone patio.
This is what it looked like all over the patio a few weeks ago. Pretty, but too overgrown now. I like the look of the new "haircut" and tamed patio much better now.

Different Perspectives

I've gotten in a rut of photographing the gardens from the same spots, so I'm trying to think of new perspectives (while still keeping neighbors' homes, the electric meter and the BBQ grill out of the shots). This is the first view we have when we come out onto the deck.


The evenings have been cool enough that we can enjoy the west-facing deck again after sunset. We added twinkle lights under the railing and a lantern on the post. Add a few fireflies to the mix and it's altogether magical in the evenings at dusk. (If you click on the photo to enlarge, you can see the orange-and-white blur who also enjoys evenings in the yard with us.)

Purple Fountain Grass...Every Year

It's always a surprise to see what comes up in the prairie grasses and flowers along the fence. What we plant in the pots changes every year, too. Maybe that's why there is one staple to our backyard garden. The Purple Fountain Grass that goes in the big green pot every single year. And it's never failed to be beautiful. (Sadly, Purple Fountain Grass is an annual in Kansas, but we've learned to buy the smallest size available because it always grows to fill the pot by mid-summer.)