The Colors Of Summer

Towards to end of summer, the gardens at our cottage are a blaze of color. You might say it is their last hurrah. The vegetable garden is just coming into its’ prime with ripening tomatoes and large basil plants whose leaves are just waiting to be made into pesto. Birds are picking at the Rudbeckia and bees are slipping into the Monkshood looking for pollen.

Asiatic Lily…The Oh Wow Factor In The Garden

A walk through the yard is so pleasant in the morning or early evening to enjoy the flowers but I can start to see a change. The once bright blossoms from several weeks ago are starting to fade a little but are still lovely. Seasons in Maine are short and before long the cool, crisp days of fall will be arriving. I feel like a child getting ready to go back to school and not wanting the beautiful days of summer to be over.

Many hours are spent on our deck in the Adirondack chairs with a good book or lap top.

Adirondack Chairs On The Back Deck

The garden that lies next to it is the one that changes the most over the course of the summer.

The Vivid Pink Appears To Glow
Foliage As Pretty As The Flower
Monkshood Has A Sinister Reputation
The Back Deck Garden Will Brighten Anyone’s Day

The colors of the back deck garden can brighten anyone’s day no matter what the weather is like.

The garden at the lake’s edge gets full sun and is a wonderful mixture of pinks, purples and yellows.

Garden At The Water’s Edge
Butterflies, Birds, And Bees Visit Here Often

Summer days seem to pass so quickly…make the most of them.

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167 thoughts on “The Colors Of Summer

  1. We were able to feel the change in the weather at the cottage this past weekend too, Karen. It’s a sad and happy time, as another season approaches. Your garden is gorgeous; ours is more wild as we’re not there often enough to tend to it.

    1. Hi Eva, Thank you for your nice compliment. I know that your lakeside cottage must be lovely. We subscribe to Cottage Life and enjoy seeing the rugged beauty of the Canadian lakes so I can appreciate what your wonderful getaway must look like.

      1. Thank you kindly Karen. How nice that Cottage Life is available to you in the States. If you ever see a black and white dog on the cover, it’s one of my photographer friends canine called Gary!

      2. Would you believe it was my husband that subscribed to Cottage Life…we love the magazine. It lets me envision where my Canadian bloggers summer each year and it is truly beautiful.

  2. Your Summer garden is a delight of color and texture. Just looking at the pictures lifts my spirits (it’s raining here, which we desperately need, but oh so gloomy). Thank you for the beautiful stroll through your garden!

    1. Hi Marlene, I’m glad that you are getting your much need rain. Nice that my photos brighten your spirits on a gloomy day. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  3. What a beautiful collection of plants and grouping. Love your rocks border. You obviously do not have deer problem. What is the name of the plant with the yellow flowers and variegated leaves?

    1. Hi Norma, Thank you for your compliment. Rocks are so much a part of the landscape in Maine that we thought they would go well with the granite steps and stone walkways. We have loads of deer at our New Hampshire home so I don’t have many flowers there but here in Maine there is no deer problem. I wish I could help you with the plant you asked about but I don’t know. When I buy a new plant I always put in a name tag but between snow and mulch it is no longer there.

    2. Norma/Karen,
      I was wondering what this flower was too. After doing a little research it seems to be Heliospis ‘Loraine Sunshine’ or more commonly a false sunflower. I hope this helps.

      1. Hi Laura, You are a dear for researching the plant for Norma and I. I do appreciate it very much. Blogging friends are so great!

  4. You sure have beautiful gardens but it’s odd hearing you say as the end of summer nears as we are in the dog days of summer and the end is 6-8weeks away.

    1. Hi my friend, Thank you for your nice compliment. I know what you mean about summer. We used to live in Florida where it seemed like an endless summer. Maine’s summer season is very short in more ways than one. Days will start to cool and nights will bring out the blankets in a few weeks. The little lake town where our cottage is located is very seasonal. People usually open their summer getaways around Memorial Day and start closing them up after Labor Day. The restaurants depend on college kids and when they start back to school they usually start to close. There is only one restaurant in town that stays open all year.

    1. Hi Uru, Out of all the flowers in our garden, I think the Asiatic lily is the most beautiful. They are so big and the blossoms last a long time. Thank you for your nice comment.

  5. With all that colour in your garden it certainly does look summery indeed. I hate that feeling that summer is on its way out. At the moment here in Sydney we have all been a little excited over the past couple of days because it’s been quite warm and we all thought winter was over and Spring had come early. But alas, a change came through last night bringing a wild storm that brought enormous trees to the ground and there’s been more rain and it’s freezing once more (freezing for Sydney standards!) Won’t be long before we swap with you though – your summer for our winter! xx

    1. Hi Charlie, We had a terrible storm over the night as well. The lightning and thunder was constant for over thirty minutes. The tomatoes took a beating from the wind and rain, the umbrella on the dock was ripped off and chairs blown across the yard. Yours must have been worse with trees brought down, that is a shame. Yes…pretty soon we will reverse seasons. Here is to warmer and gentler days for you soon.

    1. Hi Alli, I’m glad that you enjoyed the colours of the blooms in the garden. I can tell you about one that is not only not edible but extremely poisonous and that is the purple Monk’s Hood.

    1. I agree Monique, when these plants finish blooming the garden is basically green. I will still have my large pot of Geraniums and will then add some pots of Chrysanthemums for color.

  6. I can practically smell the warm heavy scent of the flowers you photographed – and I don’t know if you have them way up there – but the cicada’s song – playing in the background. It’s so great that you have late summer pretties to look at. As usual, ours is all burned up! : )

    1. Hi Kelli, This summer has been brutal for so many people. We have had hotter than normal weather but not like the rest of the country. When we lived in Key Largo, Florida some years the sound of the cicadas was incredibly loud. Occasionally we have them here but not many. Thank you for your nice comment.

  7. It seems like just yesterday that you were transporting your tomato plants up to your house in Maine. I can’t believe that was two months ago now, my how this summer has flown by! What a lovely flower garden you have too.

    1. Hi Laura, This summer has just flown by it seems. I was looking at photos of the tomatoes from one month ago and can’t believe their size. You are right…it doesn’t seem so long ago that we were loading the tomato plants into the car to plant in the Maine garden. Thank you for your compliment.

  8. Karen, you are right. Some of us complain of the horrible heat, but summer is still such a wonderful season and we will regret it when chilly days arrive…No more beautiful flowers in gardens, no more colourful produce on the market (or in garden if one is lucky to have a garden). Thank you for sharing these fantastic summer photos. I like flowers the best when they are outside, in a garden, a meadow or a forest and not even on a balcony.

    1. Hi Sissi, We will be putting the blankets on the bed before we know it and will be longing for the heat of summer. Flowers always add so much color to our life in summer and early fall. And yes, all the wonderful fresh vegetables that we get this time of the year. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, thank you.

    1. Hi Pattie, Thank you for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. St. Louis and other portions of the country habr had terrible heat this year. The heat really is hard on plants especially when accompanied by limited rainfall.

  9. Good morning Karen, Oh how it breaks my heart to see the summer days and gardens wane, I just love them so much! I’m just one of those people who refuses to acknowledge summer’s end until that date in September, I just like to squeeze ever ounce of warmth out of the sunshine! As you know, our New England winters can be very long!

    With that said, your gardens are just beautiful. I love lily’s, and my favorite in my garden is the Casablanca lily – it’s a white show stopper! I also love all the daisy like and wild flower’s that you have in your shore garden – it’s just beautiful!

    We’ve been enjoying our back yard and the gardens we’ve added over the last two years at our cottage, with books, friends or cocktails.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you Mary, for your nice compliment. I do enjoy our gardens. We also try to extend our “summertime” at the lake for as long as possible. We are always one of the last people to close our cottage. We will sit on the deck in jeans and sweat shirts and enjoy the sun until it gets too cold. When the temps are in the thirties at night, we know it is time to drain the water pipes and head back to New Hampshire. Have a lovely weekend as well.

  10. Oh, so pretty. I especially love the combo with the Heuchera. Gorgeous!
    I’m looking forward to the cooler days of autumn. Our nights have cooled considerably already–and I’m still hoping for a ripe tomato. Have a great weekend, Karen.
    : )

    1. Thank you Sue, I love the color of the Coral Bell (Heuchera). I had more in the garden but some didn’t come back this year. I had Banana Cream shasta daisies in that grouping but lost them as well. I have a few holes in the garden that I will replant “next year” as you recently talked about. Your tomatoes should be ready any day, I would think. I’ve only had five heirlooms so far that I have picked. Have a lovely weekend as well.

    1. Hi Giovanna, I do hope the rest of the summer will be pleasant. I’m especially looking forward to the tomatoes which I’m just starting to pick a little more frequently. Autumn really is a lovely season here and gently gets us ready for winter.

  11. Such beauty and serenity in your garden, Karen! The Asiatic Lily is gorgeous, and don’t you just love the fragrance! I’ve never grown them, but when I need a treat I purchase them. I think our summer heat would “do them in” but perhaps in early spring we could be successful. What a lovely deck area, too. I am sure you’re holding onto summer until the last drop! But your fall must also be really beautiful. Lovely post. You know I love to see your garden areas! Debra

    1. Hi Debra, I do enjoy the garden in Maine. Yes, I try to hold on to summer as long as possible even though fall can be spectacular. You might try planting an Asiatic Lily in the spring and see if it will grow. The heat (mid 90’s several times this summer) didn’t seem to bother them.

  12. Beautiful garden! Your Asiatic Lily reminds me of those my grandmother grew in Portland, Maine. She was gracious enough to let me pick their petals to use as my Barbie’s bikini! Tropical Barbie!

    1. Hi Francesca, Asiatic Lilies do very well in Maine. Your grandmother sounds very kind to let you pick the petals for a bikini for your Barbie. Very tropical indeed. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and they brought back nice memories. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Donna, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of my gardens. I hope that you will get much needed rain and have a better chance of a lovely garden next year. This has been a very strange year for most gardeners I think. I had several plants that never bloomed and one that is way behind. My tomatoes are ripening but slower than usual. I think it was all from our very wet and cool beginning to summer.

  13. Awww, it so beautiful. No wonder you love it so much in Maine. Great photos…wish I were there.

    1. Hi Bliss, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of the garden. Who knows…one of these days you may visit Maine. It really is lovely in the summer. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Mandy, for your lovely compliment. My husband and I do find the cottage to be a peaceful place to spend summers. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of the summer garden.

    1. Hi Angie, I love the Asiatic lilies. They are probably the showiest flower in the garden. I took the photos just in time as we had a terrible storm last night and there isn’t a petal left. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Marina, I love Black Eyed Susans too. What is nice is when the birds start eating their centers. They are happy and what they drop gives my new plants for next year. I love the bright colors in our garden this time of the year.

  14. Your garden, Karen, looks so beautiful and I’m so glad for you. Given the terrible start to the season your area had to deal with, seeing things not just OK but thriving must be especially gratifying. You should be spending as much time as possible on that back deck. Your garden worked its little heart out to provide you with that view. 🙂

    1. Hi John, We were so lucky that the gardens survived all the flooding rains this year. The only thing that really suffered was the bearberry plants at the water’s edge. Thank you for your very nice compliment. I do love my gardens as you do your lovely roses. Flowers give so much pleasure.

    1. Hi Gary, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. Thank you for always stopping by…you are one of my first readers and I appreciate your comments.

      1. I follow many WordPress blogs now. Mostly I have edited their delivery to never or daily. Yours I keep on instantly 🙂 Not that I’m awake usually when you post but I like that when I wake up, often there is a good read from you waiting for me 🙂

  15. Your garden is lovely. Is it strange to say I miss the fleeting seasons? We are spoiled here in California that way, but as a New Englander, I like the change.

    1. Hi Lynda, Thank your for your nice compliment. I don’t think it is strange to miss the fleeting seasons. After living in Florida where no one ever mentioned the seasons, I love New England where you look forward and appreciate the change of seasons. I think I would have a hard time going back to basically one season. I know that California is wonderful but I know you must miss many things from your life in New England.

    1. Hi Betsy, I lived most of my life in the south where summer does really seem endless. Here in New England, summer is short…I think it is why we love and embrace every day and all that if offers. Thank you for your lovely compliment. The Asiatic Lilies are the most beautiful plants in my garden.

    1. Hi Carolyn, Thank you for your nice compliment on our cottage gardens. The lily is my favorite as well. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    1. Thank you Adventurer, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. There is a lot of color in our summer garden. It has a happy feel to me. Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Hi Stacy, Thank you so much for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos. If you came to the lake, you would usually find my husband and I in the Adirondack chairs most afternoons. It is where I do most of my blogging…a very pleasant place in the summer.

    1. Hi Celi, Thank you for your compliment. All the colors in the garden put a smile on my face each day. I think all summer gardeners are preparing for lots of pesto and its delicious flavor. I freeze mine to enjoy all during the winter.

  16. Your beautiful cottage garden photos have made me feel warm and relaxed on this, our Saturday afternoon. Like ‘hotlyspiced’ I have been blown to bits over the past 48 hours: luckier than her, as I live slightly inland about 100 km SSW of Sydney and there has been but little damage. Just can’t wait until next month when I’ll stand like a kid in a candy shop at the local nursery looking at every plant and punnet of herbs and vegetables, saying ‘for me, please’ 🙂 !

    1. Hi Eha, Thank you for stopping by to visit and your nice comment. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the photos of my summer garden in Maine. I know that you are looking forward to the end of your winter season and your stormy weather. I know that I always look forward to spring and the start of the gardening season.

    1. Thank you Ladyfi, for your nice compliment. I’m luck to have two kinds of gardens in our yard. The vibrate colored gardens that get daily sunshine and then my peaceful shade gardens. The lily is the star in my gardens…a real show stopper.

    1. Hi Tandy, I’m happy that the photos of my garden could cheer your day. I’m wishing you warmth and sunshine soon. Thank you for your comment.

  17. WOW …. you have a garden of Eden … stunning photos of bright colors and summer – wouldn’t mind having a BLT and ice tea in that environment – not a gardener, but I’m so happy for every one like you that put the afford and pride into your garden – so I have beautiful gardens to look at. That lily photo is stunning.

    1. Thank you for your compliment, Viveka. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos of our gardens. Yes…the lily is the most beautiful flower in the gardens. We did have our BLT’s sitting at our table outside enjoying the view of the gardens and lake. Enjoy your weekend.

    1. Hi Tania, My husband and I do enjoy our summers at the lake. The gardens are one of the things that make it special. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Nancy, We all eagerly await the warmth and glorious sunshine of summer but it passes so quickly. In another couple of weeks most of the color will be gone from my garden as plants consentrate all their energy to their roots as fall and then winter approaches. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Norma, I’m glad that I have inspired you to do a post on you New York City garden. I can’t wait to see your photos. Thank you so much for your comment.

  18. How beautiful Karen! So nice of you to share your flowering world with us! The everchanging seasons of flower and growth is a true beauty. I appreciate so much more what God has made than indoor furnishing!

    1. Thank you Linda, for your nice compliment. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the photos of the sunny parts of my Maine garden. Between my shade gardens and the ones that have full sun the gardens are constantly changing. This is when my gardens are the most colorful.

    1. Thank you Grace, for your lovely compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of my garden. I wish I could take all the credit for my gardens but a lot of the credit goes to Mother Nature. Some years the gardens are wonderful and other times there are problems. This year was very different because of the early spring, early summer floods and unseasonably warm summer. But all in all the gardens are still lovely this year.

  19. Your pictures are simply stunning! You are very lucky to have a weather that permits you to have these beautiful flowers! In Italy is so hot that most of the sunflowers in Umbria have dried out.

    1. Hi Ambrosiana, Sorry to hear that the lovely sunflowers of Umbria have dried out. The picture of sunflowers in Tuscany is like the lavender fields in Provence…firmly etched in my mind. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos of my garden. Thank you for your compliment.

  20. I know what you mean about the slight change “in the air” already…we have beautiful yellow finches picking the seeds from the spent blooms of the zinnias and purple coneflower. The hummingbirds are buzzing around, probably getting ready to migrate somewhere else, and the tomatoes are fading fast…signs that a new season will be on us in a little while!

    1. Hi Susan, I love the little yellow finches as they balance on the tops of flowers to eat their seeds. A new season will be here before we know it. Thank you for your nice comment.

  21. What a wonderful tour of the gardens! beautiful pics! We enjoy most all of the same flowers here in our yard with exception of the White Astilbe (ours never made after the first year?!) and the Monk’s Hood – very intriguing, i have never heard of this one! must research it.

    1. Hi Carol, I’m glad that you enjoyed the tour. I have several different varieties of Astilbe and haven’t had problems with them. I would give it another try. Please do research the Monkshood if you are thinking of planting it. It is one of the most toxic plants in the world.

    1. Hi Raymund, I know you must be looking forward to spring…one of the most anticipated seasons of the year I think. The Asiatic Lily has the most beautiful blossoms in the garden. Thank you for your comment.

  22. Wonderful photos that will keep the memory alive till next year… when the beauty strikes again… equally year after year, it always amazes me that it never gets old.
    Enjoy your last days of summer. We too have rounded up our last bits of summer and now are back in Germany. Hopefully, we will see a little more sun before it’s completely said and done.

    1. Hi Wendy, Thank you for your nice compliment. I know you enjoyed your time at your summer home. I know how you must feel when you close up for the season. I hope the end of summer back home in Germany will be nice. My husband and I will be heading to Germany and Austria in October…usually a nice of the the year on our previous visits.

    1. Hi Barbara, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of my garden. Yes, I do know what you mean about being nostalgic for a life lived in the countryside. It is such a coincidence that you just wrote about this in your latest post. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

    1. Hi John, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of our garden. I have to agree that my husband and I do have a wonderful life…we are very lucky. Thank you for your very nice compliment.

    1. Hi B, I really do enjoying spending time on our back deck enjoying the gardens. These photos do show how much I enjoy color…many of which I used in decorating the inside of our little cottage.

  23. What a lovely garden you have, Karen! I’m always experimenting with color “schemes” but this year went with a mix of bright colors, much as you’ve got growing perennially in your garden. My favorite photo is the one with your adirondack chairs.. quintessential summer! xx

    1. Hi Barbara, Thank you for your nice compliment. I know that white gardens are very popular as are gardens of all one color. I love to mix the bright colors in mine…they are so cheerful. The Adirondack chairs are symbolic of a relaxing summer in my mind and reflect the laid back style of our simple summer cottage.

    1. Hi Kristy, Thank you for your nice comment. I know when you have a young family as you do that you try to pack as much family fun in as possible during the summer. Mr. N will be back in school before you know it. Enjoy the rest of your summer as well.

    1. Hi Chris, It really is pleasant sitting outside and enjoying the day with the view of the gardens and lake. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  24. I remember sitting in the Adirondack chairs on the verandah at the cottage at Ocean Point. I’m built rather close to the sidewalk and the chairs were always too big for me but I sat in them anyway – on cushions so I could see out to the ocean. lol

    I just love your photos.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Maureen. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I love your expression…at just under 5 feet, I’m rather close to the sidewalk as well. LOL.

    1. Hi Claire, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the photos of my garden. It is indeed very colorful towards the end of summer with lots of bright yellows that I love.

  25. For various reasons, my husband and I have been displaced from our beautiful country cottage this summer. While we are experiencing wonderful alternative adventures, your photos make me quite homesick for my herb garden and whiskey barrels, which I’m certain our renters are enjoying! Thanks for this little escape into your garden. I felt like a fairy on a weekend holiday!

    1. Hi Michele, I know you must miss your lovely little country cottage. Thank you for your beautiful comment and visit today. I’m so glad you enjoyed the garden photos.

  26. Hi Karen,

    It’s been lovely following the progress of your garden. Enjoy the rest of the Summer and have wonderful meals with your vegetables-really envious of your tomatoes as mine are so far behind yours-yet to have a ripe one!!

    1. Thank you Dragonette, I’m really happy that you have enjoyed following the progress of our gardens in Maine. When my husband and I bought our cottage, I don’t know what was worse…the building or the yard. There were no gardens, just sand and weeds. My husband and I were just talking about the tomatoes today as I gave a bag to a visitor. We really thought it was going to be a bad year because of the rain and very cool weather at the beginning of summer. Now I have three dozen tomatoes ready to eat and it is just the two of us. Do you see sauce in our future? LOL.

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