Inspiration: The Late Summer Garden

It’s dry, hot and still in the ’80s in Alabama. But the mornings are cool and despite the drought, there are lots of pretties in my garden to draw my interest while I sit on the porch and knit.

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Fortunately, my 21 color slouch hat is a project that requires little attention, so I’ve been checking out what’s still blooming and getting some colors in mind for dyeing.

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I love my Echinacea. It’s so pretty. This is the last of it and I’m especially intrigued by the yellow over brown over green in the cones. That blue-pink is a knockout too!

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Tomatoes. They are little gems! Ina Garten’s new book, Cooking For Jeffrey, has a great recipe for roasting them while still on the vine.

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I adore my Pineapple Sage. It smells great and makes a lovely tea. Although most of my garden is based on drought-resistant plants, this sage requires some water while it’s getting established, but my big established stand of this herb is almost 5 feet tall and coming through the drought in great shape.

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I grow Mexican Bush Sage (Tagetes) because Tarragon doesn’t grow well in hot, humid southern summers, but this herb offers the same licorice flavor for chicken salad and soups. And it has the added plus of its flowers.

This explosion of color make me want to hit the dye pots this weekend to come up with yarn for my own version of the 21 color slouch hat, in hues from my garden.

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