Sunday Snapshot: Finding the Light

I timed my photo-taking just right this evening, snapping several pictures at dusk. The light is perfect.

Dusk is my favorite time of day during the hot summer months. The brutal sun finally sets but the air is warm. I enjoy the sound of crickets and the familiar scent of garlic in the air from nearby Gilroy.

Fresh strawberries are another summer hallmark. The VegTrug is more densely planted this summer making it harder for critters to spot the red berries. I wouldn’t swear to that but it’s my working theory every time I harvest a delicious berry, unmolested by a rat, snail, or squirrel. These plants are six years old, so it’s the end of their run. Next summer I’ll plant even more.

Mike added acid-rich plant food to the hydrangea last year, hoping to bring back the shades of blue. Interestingly, the above two photos are from the same plant. I’m enjoying the variety.

Equally stunning is this bright red hibiscus. I have a pair growing in one of the lower beds, but they’ll eventually need transplanting. They can grow to eight feet tall! This one is only about 24 inches. I need to do more research to see if I can encourage the plants to stay small. They fit so nicely along the garden path.

The bougainvillea fills out this corner beautifully. It drapes nicely across the VegTrug, and it also looks pretty from our bedroom window. You can see one of the hibiscus flowers just beyond. I love the play of sun on the neighboring pine tree.

As garden chores go, I didn’t have as much to do this week. No rain means no extra weeds, except of course for the oxalis along the front garden path. I dead-headed the miniature roses and some salvia, and clipped away spent seed casings on the cornflowers. They’re looking pretty shabby but the birds love eating the seeds, so they’ll stay in the garden till they are completely spent. I used some rain barrel water to refresh the potted succulents and to rinse part of the deck.I finally found some cushions that I like for our settee and chairs online. They arrived last week. They’re twice as thick as the original cushions, so they’re really comfortable. We enjoyed spending time out there this week. The deck is also a favorite hummingbird spot, so it’s great for bird-watching as well. In addition to the two feeders, the hummers like the nectar of the kangaroo paw and the gladiolas.

I hope you’re finding light in your corner of the world.

28 thoughts on “Sunday Snapshot: Finding the Light

  1. I agree, evening light is definitely the best at this time of year. Or very early in the morning too. It stays light so long here in the evenings but we can’t sit outside for too long because of mosquitoes! I love your cushions… I just bought some online too and they are remarkably similar but with birds and sunflowers. 😃 We are all in a tough situation, but the light is always there, just waiting for us to stop and see it. 🤗


    • We’re so dry hear, so mosquitos cease to be a problem once the spring rains stop. I guess that’s one very small consolidation for our climate. That said, mosquitos love me so I would be running for the hills, too. I would love to see your patio cushions, Cathy. Perhaps they’ll make it into a future post. 🙂 I like your quote about the light: it’s always there, just difficult at times to see it. I hope you have a good week ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All looking lovely Alys. I love hydrangeas for the way they go through a variety of colours.
    The sun is back in force today after a weekend of rain which was needed by the garden although not by my daughter who was reluctantly persuaded to go camping by her boyfriend and spent the weekend in a tent in rain and storm. I shouldn’t laugh but I did as the weather was forecast – he just chose to ignore it.


    • You shouldn’t laugh, but how could you not? I’m laughing, too. Ah, youth. I envy you that rain, Lynn. We remain parched, with wildfires scattered up and down the state. I hope you have a good week ahead.


  3. My hydrangea (a gift from Julia when we moved in 11 years ago) FINALLY bloomed this summer. All but one of the blooms were weak and never got much color. One was huge and a pretty blue color. Yours is beautiful.

    I love the cushions. I’ll look at these beautiful photos and pretend we’re sharing a chat and a glass of wine.

    Enjoy your hard work.


    • Amy it would be lovely to have you sitting out three right now for a good chat.

      As for your hudrangea, have you considered transplanting it to a different spot? Sometimes there is a little something in the soil that’s not quite right. I’m glad you had a bloom this summer. I’m intrigued.


      • Just a quick reply. I have been thinking that the azalea bushes are crowding out the hydrangea so someone needs to be moved. I was thinking it should be the azaleas but the weather got hot and I never got it done. The good thing is azaleas are very hardy and can be transplanted any time of year so when it cools off I am planning to move them, rework the soil around the hydrangea and hope it blooms like crazy next summer. We’ll see. As you know gardening, especially flowers can be a LOT of trial and error,

        I know you have been hot and dry. We are hot but humid. Ick. I am really ready for fall. At the early part of the month I thought summer had just sped by and needed to slow down but now I’m tired. Tired of heat and humidity, tired of COVID, tired, tired.

        Thanks for your advice. I’ll keep you posted on the progress and I’m still planning on that glass of wine. 🙂


        • Yes to that glass of wine, Amy. 🙂 It’s hard gardening in the heat and smoke, the heat and the humidity and the heat and the worry! I’ve decided that I’m a spring and autumn gardener, doing the minimum during summer months to keep things moving along. The summers have really changed. It’s hard not to be fed up with all these COVID cases, when we finally had a vaccine. It’s heartbreaking to see so many losses, and scary to see the breakthrough cases, too.

          I hope your fall weather arrives early so you can cool off and regroup. I’m sorry you’re tired, but I completely relate. I hope your transplanting plans work well. Please keep me posted. xo


  4. I love hydrangeas, but they won’t grow in my shady yard. Your deck looks so inviting. Perhaps I’ll join Amy for that glass of wine and pretend we’re visiting. I bet we’d have a lot to talk about.


  5. Hi honey ! It all looks positively gorgeous! Those hydrangea are a little slice of heaven. As you know, we’ve had some extreme heat too and I’m glad I didn’t plant a whole lot of flowers this year. The dead heading seems endless. The cushions you got are so pretty and cheerful, love them. What a great spot! I spent about 2 hours in the garden on Saturday, just doing the necessities and even with sunscreen, I got pretty red. I’ll have to start gardening in the dark, LOL ! xo 💛💛 K


    • I’m sorry to hear about the sunburn. Those are the worst. I’ve been trying to wear a loose shirt with sleeves when I garden to protect my arms and neck. I’ve had two skin cancers, and would prefer to keep that to the minimum.

      You’re having the strangest summer as you recover from surgery, endure a heat dome and duck the fires. I’m sure the BoomRoom® has never looked so good. You are certainly churning out amazing projects in there. xo


  6. Your deck looks so inviting! For us, in winter, this is the best time of year for sitting outside. Cool enough not to cook, dry enough not to sweat, just enough chill to discourage the bugs. Only downside is, the garden’s a bit dormant. We’re on our way home today, and once I’ve unpacked and cleaned everything, I really MUST do some maintenance out in the front yard, which is looking very jungly and weedy. It all needs a good trim back, and this is the time of year to do it.


  7. i wonder if regular pruning will keep your hibiscus small. Of course you don’t want to prune off the flower buds. Something for you to investigate. I love your delightful looking verandah. And not only do you get to watch the hummingbirds, you can chat to the neighbours as they walk past, maybe admiring your garden and exchanging a book.


    • Anne, you’ve sent me off on a reading frenzy, and I’m happy to report that the hibiscus can be groomed safely at a small size. Thank you!

      We get lots of visitors when we sit outside. When we added the deck and the ramp it felt more like adding an outside room. I keep a container of dog treats in the nearby garage and I can chat up visitors to the Little Free Library. I’m the luckiest woman in the world.


  8. Oh my goodness!! I was going to leave a comment and wandered off like the space cadet that I am these days. Then I looked and read again!!! Of course your garden looks just lovely and I’m amazed you can handle going outside in the evening. It the warmest time of day here. I have to get it all done before the sun rises fully. Yes, that’s around 5:00 a. m. 🙂 I just took a good look at your porch furniture and it’s the same as my front porch furniture!!! I couldn’t find nice cushions for it so I made them. I like yours better. My brain has been on hiatus.


    • Marlene, I do this sort of thing ALL the time. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment. I recovered and re-padded my patio cushions once, but they faded too and the padding didn’t last. Last year there was nothing to be had in town or online. I tried again this year and after a ton of research, I found some I liked at an affordable price AND they’re really thick and comfortable. I really got lucky.

      Liked by 1 person

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