That beautiful season

That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
And the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It is the middle of the calendar year, that fulcrum on which the earth spins and twists into the depths of summer. This Fourth of July morning, the garden was at the height of bloom, sparking with floral fireworks.


The hydrangeas have grown twice their normal size from the many days of rain in June and sweep the ground with their massive white blossoms against the deep green of the woods. (click on any image in the mosaics to see a full size photo)

The daylilies have stepped forward into the spotlight and are singing intricate songs of color and shape. Some appear gentle, fragile, tender in tints of pink and violet.

Others are bold and daring, as if they’ve thrown their heads back for a hearty laugh.

My favorites are the dark quiet treasures, promising secrets if you listen closely enough.

True lilies are blooming too – Orienpet lily ‘Altari’ is so fragrant that her scent carries over the entire garden in the heat of a July morning. altariWP

The smaller Asiatic lilies are almost done blooming for the season.

The woods have grown dark with summer leaves, promising a cool respite from the summer heat.


The trees have it in their pent up buds,
to darken nature and be summer woods. ~Robert Frost

Coming and going through the garden gate, the sheer bounty of color and life makes me pause for a longer look.

My eyes, weary of staring at luminous screens indoors for days on end, find relief and delight in the complex layers of shadow and light before me. I look across the garden at scenes of color and texture

and look down to the tiniest leaves at my feet. yellowbluefoliageWPIt is like looking at the music that I hear in my dreams but can never quite remember, rich and wild and overflowing with life. It is a beautiful season indeed.

All images and text ©2018 by Lynn Emberg Purse, except as noted.

57 thoughts on “That beautiful season

  1. I love the lilies! Quite a few years ago, the Red Lily Beetle arrived in our part of the world. It decimated my lilies. It has no natural predator and it is immune to pesticides. I finally ripped out all my lilies. But – lilies are persistent – I never did get rid of them all. So, I’m letting them come back this year with the hope that all the beetles moved away when I removed their food! We’ll see!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Margy. I’ve heard terrible things about the red lily beetle – yuk! None here so far but I have trouble keeping my lilies going in our heavy clay soil and with nibbling rabbits. I grow them in pots, either sunk partially into the soil with chicken wire guards or in raised planters. What price beauty! Hopefully, you will have success with them again; I heard something earlier this year about new approaches in England with dealing with the beetle. If I find the source, I’ll pass it along to you.

    • Thank you for the link, Steve – I love Melissa’s site and her work. Haven’t stopped by for a while (was inactive on WP for a bit while working on projects) and was delighted to see her painting. Perfect floral fireworks!

  2. Dropped by for a little rest and some ministry to my spirit and soul (it’s been a rough week). The photos of your garden are so breathtaking that it looks as if one could step through the screen and become enveloped with glorious lilies–the magenta and purple being my favorite. I can’t thank you enough for the way you use your gift to uplift those who come your way. Warmest Regards.

  3. Wow, what a beautiful tour, Lynn! Such a lovely respite after the noisy holiday and extreme heat. My, the daylilies are beautiful, just gorgeous. I’m drawn to pinks, but I really like those duskier purples, too. Thank you for all this beauty, and joy to your July!

    • Thank you, Kitty – I enjoyed the garden on the 4th a lot more than the evening fireworks (Angel wholeheartedly agrees!). We had wild winds and rains that finally cooled everything down here and the last two days have been perfect summer days. Glad you enjoyed the daylilies – I hope your garden is doing well this year 🙂

      • Funny you should mention that…winter kill led to many new planting’s and each in their own cage, because we’re overrun with bunnies this year, for the first time in 21 years! Even scarier: We have a spare acre we’ve always let run wild and it’s covered in ant hills, and dogwoods, which always made me happy. About a month ago, I noticed dark brown ant hills spreading into the lawn and around the gardens, then up the brick steps. Didn’t think much about it, but woke up one morning, still in the middle of a dream and realized in a flash: jumping worms. So bummed. Nothing we can do, but observe, not spread, and hope for the best. Replenishing the soil, although no one has an answer for now. The cocoons overwinter We shall see. My husband retired and we may relocate as planned, but, unfortunately, these worms are north of us as well. Seeking a patron saint to intercede for invasive annelids. 😁

      • Oh Kitty, they sound horrible! I’ve never heard of them before but it seems they have become a serious problem in Wisconsin. There are enough normal checks and balances on the garden, so invasive species really tip the scales. So sorry to hear that, let me know how it goes.

  4. Every year it just gets better and better! This is such a treat, and I like the way you grouped the photos. Rich and wild and overflowing with life…and as you note, such a relief to eyes after hours at screens.
    Did you see/hear this “On Being” interview with Yo Yo Ma? I thought you’d like it.
    I think it will be on the home page, if not, search for it.

    • Lynn, it is always good to hear your reactions to the posts, especially with your photographer’s eye and poetic soul. The garden is exceptionally lush and beautiful this year, even as it spills over its boundaries.

      I LOVE the Yo Yo Ma interview – thank you for the link. He is such an innovator, from the Music Garden in Toronto to the Silk Road collaborations. The cellist, Adam, who premiered Watershed is friends with Yo Yo, which is pretty cool.

  5. Your gardens are beautiful. I especially love all The different daylilies you have. You are definetly interested in all of the different colors and forms…my favorite type of daylily collection. I’m about to head out to weed one of my daylilies beds right now!

  6. Lynn…What a feast! The shots of your beautiful garden are just stunning! Thank you so much for sharing! Just what this overcast morning called for.

  7. Your daylilies are astounding! I only have one and it hasn’t flowered for two years – I repotted it last autumn and had hopes for flowers this summer, but not a sign. What am I doing wrong? And the coleus ‘Sedona’ – great name for such a brilliant colour. Your garden is so lovely.

    • Hi Jude – thank you! Sedona is one of my favorite coleus – just love the color.

      Hmm, daylilies are usually easy bloomers and they do fine in pots with some feeding. Have you been to any daylily specialist nurseries? They can advise what works best in your area – maybe try a different cultivar that is known to bloom easily. They like heat and sun and the ones with spidery petals open better in cool climates.

    • Thanks, Judy. I know what you mean about the AC, it has been wicked hot here too. I turn the AC off in the morning and go outside while it’s cool enough to do some gardening. Fortunately, the house stays cool until mid-afternoon, so we’ve been able to have hours of quiet every day. I look forward to the rainy days!

  8. Oh my goodness, Lynne, those dark purple day lilies! I love ‘Diabolique’ especially! You have photographed them so beautifully, capturing the texture of the petals.

  9. A garden deserving a longer look in indeed. Beautiful! I especially like the blend of colours around your day lilies, all working in harmony together, with the calmimg background undertone of the greens.

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