Sweet Summer Days…

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend reminds us to savor the last few weeks of Summer!

Hi Friends!

It’s so hard to believe that summer is winding down and Labor Day weekend is here!  Our cool, wet Midwest summer days filled our gardens with lush blooms all summer long. Such pleasant weather makes gardeners so happy!

This has been our wettest summer on record, with over 25 inches of rain since the beginning of June… and more rain on the way! Gardenkeeping throughout the summer months took on a different feel, with just a bit of handwatering and continuous weeding. The perennials in our cottage garden are larger than ever, tumbling over one another with colorful blossoms.

It’s been several weeks since we walked through the garden together. Hope you have time! It would be lovely to sit on the porch and enjoy a tall glass of apple mint iced tea, a summertime treat from the herb garden! We can also share our favorite memories of a very special gardener…

Coreopsis, 'Blue Mist' Bluebeard shrub, and Rudbekia fill a sunny garden bed.

Coreopsis, ‘Blue Mist’ Bluebeard shrub, and Rudbeckia fill a sunny garden bed.


'Mercury Rising' Coreopsis and Rudbeckia are both long lasting cut flowers.

‘Mercury Rising’ Coreopsis and Rudbeckia both make long lasting cut flowers.


Daisies, Rudbeckia, and Lacecap Hydrangeas tumble together near the front porch.

Daisies, Rudbeckia, and Lacecap Hydrangeas tumble together near the front porch.


Cosmos and Zinnias dance in the breeze in our Cutting Garden.

Cosmos and Zinnias dance in the breeze in our Cutting Garden.


Hosta 'Royal Standard' shows off its large white blossoms in the Shade Garden.

Hosta ‘Royal Standard’ shows off its large, white blossoms in the Shade Garden.


Delicate spikes of Hosta blossoms contrast with the large, pink Lacecap Hydrangeas.

Delicate spikes of Hosta blossoms contrast with the large, pink Lacecap Hydrangeas.


There are small, barely noticeable hints that summer days are winding down…

The sun’s warmth feels a bit more gentle now.

Gusts of wind scatter a few yellow and brown leaves, twirling down into the grass.

The cicadas are singing so loudly in the late day sun.

Just this week, the Chrysanthemums began to bloom.

That is the biggest hint that Autumn days are just around the corner!

Pale pink Chrysanthemums welcome Autumn days as Obedient Plant celebrates late Summer in the garden.

Pale pink Chrysanthemums welcome Autumn days, while Obedient Plant celebrates late Summer days.


Sunny yellow Chrysanthemum blossoms and showy Rudbeckia share the garden in late August.

Sunny yellow Chrysanthemum blossoms and showy Rudbeckia share the garden in late August.


I’ve been thinking of someone special this week…

and her appreciation of a simple life made by one’s own hands.

It’s the perfect time to remember

Tasha Tudor,

one of America’s best known and beloved illustrators.

August 28th would have been Tasha Tudor's 99th birthday. So, I had to reread my favorite book about her.

August 28th would have been Tasha Tudor’s 99th birthday. So, I’ve been rereading my favorite book about her.


Whenever I think of Tasha Tudor, I think of…

hollyhocks, delphiniums, foxgloves,

peonies, and heirloom roses,

reading on the porch, watercolors,

sharing a children’s story,

handmade goat milk soap,

lighting candles,

 sipping a cup of chamomile tea,

and enjoying a quiet, simple lifestyle.

Tasha Tudor's Garden is a truly beautiful book filled with photographs of Tasha and her garden. It is filled with her gardening secrets, anecdotes, and her enchanting watercolors.

Tasha Tudor’s Garden is a truly beautiful book filled with wonderful photographs of Tasha in her garden. It is filled with her gardening secrets, anecdotes, and her enchanting watercolors.


Most of all, my heart celebrates her love of gardening!

“Paradise on Earth” is how Tasha described her cottage gardens.

I understand how she felt…

Scatter joy!

♡ Dawn

                                P.S.  Do you have any favorite memories of Tasha Tudor to share?

22 thoughts on “Sweet Summer Days…

  1. I love Tasha Tudor and have a few of her books written for children. Her illustrations are lovely. We are in a terrible drought so my garden has struggled a bit this summer. The bugs are more plentiful as well. Still, I have a few roses and several hydrangea that have been happy. I wish I had Rudbekia growing in my garden, I love sunflowers and these beauties look like mini versions of that.

    • Hi Karen B! We think of our California friends so often and hope your terrible drought will end soon. Wish we could send some rain out west! Our patches of Rudbeckia look just like puddles of sunshine! We actually have too much Rudbeckia this year. I always leave the flower heads up all winter for the birds. But this past winter, as the seeds fell, the melting snow (90 inches) and all of the spring and summer rain made every seed grow! So, I’ve been digging up Rudbeckia to share with friends and neighbors. Have a nice Labor Day weekend, Karen! ♡

  2. Good morning Dawn!

    You have described my Minneapolis garden to a “T” and this has been our wettest summer since we’ve been here, now 18 years. I cannot believe the vibrant and HUGE day lilies this summer, the constant thrust of blooms upward to the sun, and the feeling in the air!

    I see that you are a retired educator! We started our first week last week, and I’ve enjoyed welcoming my students back to French class. Every day has been bright and clear and everyone is still HAPPY. May we have a decent winter and not repeat last winter’s relentless rage!

    Have a super Sunday, and your blooms are WONDERFUL! Anita

    • Bonjour Anita! What a lush, colorful summer in the garden! Our cool, comfortable weather made the weeks fly by very quickly. Let’s hope that our Midwest winter will be much kinder than last year! I love snowy winters… but 90 inches of snow was too much for me!! The students in your French classes are blessed to have a caring, creative, energetic teacher like you, Anita! I really miss the excitement of ‘back-to-school’ days!! So, each year, I visit my school to help friends set up their classrooms. Such fun! Wishing you a wonderful school year, filled with promise! Have a great Labor Day weekend! ♡

  3. I still have to do a double take each time I see 25 inches ~~~ think of all the exercise you lost out on from not having to lug heavy watering cans! I wonder if your home is full of small vases of pretty cut flowers? I imagine it is so, with all those blooms just begging to be cut and brought indoors. I remember discovering Tasha Tudor through the original “Victoria” magazine in the early 1990’s {I still have my copies}. It was hard to find in the Navy Exchange in Iceland, but I knew someone who worked there and she always gave me the nod as to the day the limited numbers of copies would be on the shelves. I used to lurk in the next aisle, ready to pounce on the shelf filler, the moment he came around the corner with his laden cart! Poor man is probably scarred for life!
    Oh, the hot days of Summer are fading, and let us rejoice and enjoy the lazy days of Autumn that lie ahead ~~~Waving~~~

    • Hi Deb! It’s true! We have already had an incredible 25 inches of rain since early June… on top of 90 inches of snow last winter. We are definitely well-watered! There are vases of flowers throughout the house, a crock of flowers on the front porch, and a pitcher of flowers on the deck. I love bringing the garden inside all summer long! I can just imagine you plotting and planning to get your very own copy of ‘Victoria’ in Iceland! What great memories, Deb! Wishing you a blissful start to September! Waving back! ♡

  4. Oh Dawn, I just read your reply here! THANK YOU!!!! I believe that the passion we bring to our teaching is remembered more sometimes than the actual lessons….however, those kids do retain bits and pieces to scaffold onto their building blocks of knowledge. But passion? That’s a fire that never dies out if we all protect it and use it. Oh yes, this summer has been the absolute best in temperate temperatures! We had yet again another small storm last night that left our garden sparkling clean and green this morning. Here’s wishing you another blissful day! Thank you for coming by! Anita

    • Anita, you are so right about the passion that we bring to teaching! The children will always remember our joy and excitement about learning and how we made them feel special and self-confident. Just knowing that your teacher believes in you is so empowering! I was wondering if you have ever shared your writing or poetry with your students? They would most certainly feel your passion! Wishing you lovely September days… and a great week in your classroom! ♡

  5. Sweet Dawn…..thank you so much for your lovely comment on my card today. I hate that I have missed several of your posts recently but I did start catching up today and I love your writings on “the beetles”…lol! I think I need that book of yours too! Your garden looks lovely and I so enjoyed the walk……hope you are doing well….:)

    • Hi Katie! You are such an inspiration! Although I don’t use Copics, I have been using watercolor pencils on the wonderful Power Poppy floral images. My PP collection is growing with each new release! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely cards, Katie! So glad you stopped by to visit. Wishing you nice September days! ♡

  6. Good morning, Dawn! Busy weekend so I am getting caught up on things. I love seeing your garden throughout the seasons….beautiful late summer blooms! Our rudbeckia is doing wonderfully this summer, too….as are the coneflowers and daylilies! We have plate-size hibiscus blooming right how but, alas, the battle continues with the Japanese beetles and I feel so sad to see a beautiful HUGE bloom full of bug-eaten holes! UGH! It brings me so much Autumn joy to see the school buses go down our lane! I am loving seeing all my young friends post first-day-of-school pictures of their kids on Facebook. Happy Autumn (almost!) everyone! xoxo….Karen

    • Hi Karen! Your garden sounds just beautiful. It’s such a colorful time of year, with everything in peak bloom! Sorry to hear that the Japanese beetles have been eating your Hibiscus blossoms. The huge flowers must be gorgeous! Isn’t it fun to think of back-to-school days… and new beginnings? Sweet Autumn blessings from our house to yours, Karen! ♡

  7. Hi Dawn! Beautiful photos of your garden! I wish mine still looked so vibrant, but unfortunately most of my herbs and vegetables are dying down. The days are still hot here in New York, so I’m hoping we’re holding on to summer for a little bit longer still. 🙂

    • Thanks, Chris! So glad that you stopped by for a visit. Gardeners really notice the subtle changes of season, don’t we? This is the perfect time to jot down a few notes about new additions to your garden for next Spring. I’m so happy that you did so much cooking with your fresh vegetables and herbs all season long. Summer days should last for a while longer here, too. We’re not ready for cooler days quite yet! ♡

      • Jotting down some notes is a great idea! I already know that I do not need two pineapple sage plants because one was more than enough! Have a great evening 🙂

      • Hi Chris! Your Pineapple Sage plants might overwinter and come back in the Spring. It’s good that you have two… just in case one doesn’t make it! ♡

  8. Wow, you got a lot of rain! It’s interesting how spotty the rain was this year. We had too much rain in June, and then only a fraction of an inch for the entire month of July. August was near perfect. The temperatures have been wonderful since May. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. Your garden looks great! I don’t know much about Tasha Tudor, but I remember hearing about her. I’ll have to do more research about her.

    • Hi Beth! Thanks so much for coming to visit! I love your blog… and learn so much every time I visit! It looks like we will have a perfect weekend for gardening! You would really enjoy reading about Tasha Tudor’s garden. Truly lovely! ♡

  9. Your garden looks lovely and doesn’t seem to have suffered from your rainy summer. We had rain but what distinguished our summer was that is was the coolest in many years.

    • Hi Karen! Wasn’t it refreshing to have a cooler summer this year? We really enjoyed our summer weather. The garden and the gardener were both happy! Thanks for stopping to visit today! Wishing you a nice week! ♡

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.