Summer is Here!

An orchid received from precious grandson for Mother's Day is still performing beautifully. (Photo (c) Hilda M. Morrill)
An orchid received from precious grandson for Mother’s Day is still performing beautifully. (Photo (c) Hilda M. Morrill)

The first day of summer officially arrived on June 21. Also known as the Summer Solstice, it is the longest day of the year.

Typical grandmother, I must admit that I’m really enjoying the beauty of a gift orchid, which our grandson and his dad gifted me this past Mother’s Day. Not very knowledgeable about orchids, I’m surprised that it’s still performing so well.

I am really encouraged to find out more about orchids. Searching through some notes and photos from a Massachusetts Horticultural Society exhibit from several years ago, I found out that, “The orchid family is among one of the largest families of flowering plants: species counts range from 17,000 to 35,000….  ranging from microscopic plants … to others that can reach 45 feet in height, and still others that weigh up to a ton.” Yikes, it looks like I’ll have a lot of work ahead of me, if I ever get to it.

In the meantime, I want to focus on our outdoor gardens. It has been a rainy June and our rhododendrons and azaleas performed the best that I can ever remember. The peonies suffered, though, because we never got to set up the peony cages and the rain knocked them down. Some of the blossoms were brought indoors.

Performing well are the clematis, roses, foxgloves, irises, bridal wreath, climbing hydrangeas and baptisia. Especially pretty are the white blossoms on the Kousa dogwood trees.

I’ve got tons of trimming/pruning to do and may try to get someone to help me.

Perennials such as the sedums, mums, asters and Perovskia are also being trimmed. Although they will bloom later than usual, they will throw off multi branches resulting in more blossoms and sturdier plants.

Hostas have spread and could use some dividing. Others have mysteriously disappeared. Naughty ground hogs and voles come immediately to mind.

Fibrous rooted begonias are doing very well in our containers. I especially like them because they will persevere if/when I forget to water them.

In the vegetable garden, the bunnies have not eaten all of the lettuce, and the pole beans have germinated beautifully. Six tomato plants are coming along nicely. It’s time to sow more seeds!

Daffodil foliage has yellowed and comes up easily. Speaking of daffodils, advertisements have begun to arrive for ordering the bulbs!

And, unbelievably our first 2018 calendar has arrived! It’s beautiful and full of gorgeous photographs. A sincere “Thank you” goes out to The Nature Conservancy!