Friday, August 2, 2013

Images From The "Dog Days of Summer".

A riot of Echinacea live for the "Dog Days"  ©2013 BDG
Having survived the brutal July heatwave, we are now experiencing some atypically mild temperatures for the "Dog Days of Summer".  With the memory of the heat lingering, I can still see a client's newly installed plants wilting under the oppressive heat and lack of rain. But we have been given a reprieve and the "Dog Days" are, for the moment, not bearing their teeth.

Where did the phrase "Dog Days of Summer" originate?  I ask this question as it has been driven into my mind by a mad spin instructor who likes to play a song by Florence and the Machine, "Dog Days are Over".  Who knows what the song means, but it seems as though life is heading downhill in the song.  Me, I can't wait for them to be over as I love the weather in September, but I am enjoying these few nice 80-85 degree days.

Verbena never wilts under the heat  ©2013 BDG
Loosely translated, the "Dog Days" are from mid-July to mid-August and, for most of us in New England, these are the hottest and most stifling days of the summer -- days best spent on the beaches of the Cape and Islands or on a lake up north.  The phrase comes from many ancient cultures (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and others) who noted the time of year when one of the brightest stars in the sky, Sirius, rose with the sun in the morning.  Romans believed that this bright star combined its heat with the sun and made these days unbearably hot.  Sirius for thousands of years has been known as the Dog Star as it is the leading star in the constellation of Canis major, which is one of Orion's hunting dogs.  So during the year when Sirius rises in the morning, it is considered to be the "Dog Days of Summer."  In the interest of disclosure, I gathered this information from a few astronomy sites and the previous link.

With that, following are some images from my garden during these "Dog Days".

Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco) standing tall  ©2013 BDG
Zinnia that is still mad that I missed watering a few days
during the heat ©2013 BDG
Classic Verberna bonariensis just
starting to flower ©2013 BDG
Clethra alternifolia's fragrance in the
late summer evenings ©2013 BDG

Clethra barbinervis flowering in the dappled sun ©2013 BDG
Geranium 'Rozanne' will flower til frost ©2013 BDG
Love this neon red/orange Geranium against the
 chartreuse foliage ©2013 BDG
More Echinacea thriving in the heat ©2013 BDG
Not a flower, but bright colors for the
shady entrance ©2013 BDG
"Sun Power" Hosta adds great contrast color
in a sunny spot ©2013 BDG
Angelonia always reliable in the sun ©2013 BDG
"Bright Eyes" Phlox ©2013 BDG
Bee Balm (Monarda) finishing in front of the Echinacea ©2013 BDG


  1. Here due to early heat in July and lots of rain the garden has sped up and is now a couple weeks ahead where blooms are fading that shouldn't....looking lush in your garden.

  2. your garden is beautiful and the pictures too. makes me want to go plant some more flowers!

  3. It doesn't feel like VA has had much of a heat wave at all this summer. We did have a few really hot days but that feels normal to me. Overall, this summer has been unusually mild and I'm loving every minute of it. Gorgeous photos. :o)

  4. Your garden looks beautifully flowery Reed! I've often wondered what a 'dog day of summer' could mean.