By Veronique Hval, Belle Residence.
A deliciously sweet fragrance is floating in the air as the month of August unfolds around our little corner of Puget Sound. The garden is now in full exuberance with its massive explosion of colors & textures. One of my favorite borders is along the front of the house with its colossal hydrangeas, where whites & creams mix with deep shades of blues and purples. Each Fall, I trim them way down, and each year, they reach new heights climbing over the giant bay window and blocking the front door. Have they forgotten that they are not supposed to be trees? I am too much of a softie when it comes to my “hortensias.” When I tell you that guests are asked to go around the house and use the kitchen door to come in, you will know just how much!
White is a dominant shade in the garden. I love its quiet beauty and definite sophistication, perfectly blending with my home’s exterior color. My planters, which have been gorging on water and nutrients for over two months, are now trailing in generous cascades of ivy & zonal white geranium intertwining with lime-green coleus. Amidst giant salvia, patches of daisies & old roses in their second bloom, hummingbirds and bees are buzzing around the grounds, while squirrels, blue jays, and crows are washing & drinking from the plentiful bird baths.
The last two years of dormant civilization were put to good use in the garden. As our local gym was closed, my husband and I decided to reconquer the slope, which was an unruly tangle of blackberries and ivy. A couple of years later, this new playground is finally starting to reward us with all kinds of treasures. Walking down the path to the mini-orchard, one can get whiffs of figs bursting with sunshine and apples ripening to a generous size. Earlier this season, raspberries and currants were put to use in pies and Greek yogurt. Nasturtiums display their bright orange blossoms, while dahlias and sunflowers remind us of the upcoming change of light and season.
September is not far behind, and soon, asters and crocuses will take over the flower beds. But for now, let us sit in a favorite spot in the garden, close our eyes, and thank nature for a glorious summer in our Gem of the Sound.