The bright greens and purples of our lush front garden in springtime has faded to the yellow and tans of late summer. This past winter I dug up and divided several perennials from the front garden, arranging and replanting them to fill in empty spaces. After a few years of this routine, the entrance to our homestead is getting more and more welcoming.

Front yard in August 2013

Front yard in August 2013

Euphorbia produces these fabulous chartreuse spikes in spring, which have now faded to tan. This plant is somewhat opportunistic. It reseeds freely, so many new plants are taking root here and there. In the Pacific Northwest, Euphorbia is a semi-evergreen that should hold on through our mild winters.

Euphorbia is late summer with dried flower stalks

Euphorbia is late summer with dried flower stalks

Lamb’s ear is a tough perennial that is evergreen in our mild climate as well. I love the grey-green, velvet-like texture of the leaves. The flower spikes that bloom pink in early summer have dried out completely. The bees that flock to them have moved on to other nectar plants.

Lamb's ear in summer with dried flower stalks

Lamb’s ear in summer with dried flower stalks

A few blooms pop up here and there, like this drought-tolerant Rudbeckia. I’m looking forward to planting several more next season. The sage in the background thrives in our hot, west-facing garden providing a lushness during an otherwise parched time of year.

Flowering Rudbeckia and lush sage in late summer

Flowering Rudbeckia and lush sage in late summer

Come late fall, I will go through the front yard to cut off the brown flower pods from the Euphorbia and Lamb’s Ear. I will likely cut and divide more perennials to keep stuffing the garden with drought-tolerant, low maintenance plants. For the time being though, the front garden is a reflection of the season – dry, hazy and just hanging on through these last long days of summer.

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