Things are changing in the garden

the Charentais blue sky

Yesterday was a  hot summer day with a cloudless blue sky.

The scorched back garden

The “grass” is yellow and the trees are suffering.

Today the change is evident.  The morning is misty with the humidity approaching a fine rain.

Cosmos sulphureus going to seed

In the garden it is the same.  The season is changing.

Plum tree dusted with yellow leaves

Yesterday I noticed the plum tree had a dusting of golden leaves on its crown that were floating to the ground when a breeze moved the branches.  At lunch time under the tree some leaves fell onto the food and decorated the table.

Yet other parts of the garden seem to be still in summer mode.

There have been large numbers of peacocks this year
Red bottomed bumble bee
Helophilus trivittatus enjoying the nectar

The bumble bee tree (Heptacodium jasminoides) is still alive with visitors.

Echinacea seed heads

The Echinacea is drying but has its own beauty and is pointing to the end of summer.

The cosmos is not only one of my favourites but also popular with the bees

The Cosmos sulphurous still provides bright orange and yellow flowers and there are plenty of seeds to collect for next year.  The cosmos is popular with the bees but I have been tricked here by this dronefly, so called because some people (who me ?) think it looks like a drone honey bee whereas it is an Eristalis sp.  Many thanks to Susan at

The dahlias provide end of season brightness

The dahlias too are passing but there are still lots of flowers to attract the bees and give the borders colour.

Asters are just starting to flower

The asters or ” Reine Margeurite” are as popular here for a country garden flower.  The seeds are easy to collect each year for sowing in the spring.

Queen of Spain fritillary, Issoria lathonia

Even the nepeta is still providing colour and nurture.

Never the less, I find the imminent passing of the summer sad.

14 thoughts on “Things are changing in the garden

  1. That grass really is scorched! Love the bee & butterfly photos. I’m always sad when summer passes because it is time to put the bees away, for about six months each year we can only peek at them through the entrance.


  2. Hi there from the Touraine. I’ve just been reading a few of your posts and am impressed by the range of insects you notice and are interested in. I can identify quite a few of them. I hope you won’t be too put out if I correct some IDs 🙂

    The ‘bee’ on the yellow cosmos is a Dronefly Eristalis sp (a type of Hoverfly), btw.


  3. Superb photos, I’m collecting our Cosmos sulphureas seeds to sow on the bank of soil from our fosse beds… along with wild chicory and I am also digging up the ones of those I’ve been mowing round and transfering them there… once this weather breaks that is! At the moment the plants would just wither and die… if I could dig them up anyway.
    Oh… that looks very much like one of the Vollucella sp. on that cosmos… send it our way please… I’m having to hand-pollenate the cucumbers and courgettes at the moment… it is so dry that the insects just aren’t around… even the bee-eaters seem to have just passed on through the valley this year. Last two years they’ve been here about three to four weeks… just a glimpse of half a dozen of them early last week near their usual roost… now… nuthin’!!
    Glow-worm post progressing.


  4. Our summer is finally here, rather late but very welcome. One upside of it being so late is we still have green lawns. Well, sort of. I grow cosmos but not the yellow one. Must add that to the garden next year. I especially like the look of that seed head!


    1. It’s called Cosmos sulphureus, it has different leaves from the the multicoloured cosmos and is shorter. I have mainly the orange but also some yellow and I keep the seeds separate as the orange seems to be the dominant variety. It is very easy to grow and supports some degree of dry soil.


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