Storey staffers and friends share August garden scenes.

A few weeks ago, I was beginning to think there were two mainstays of summer I might not see again this year: rain and bumblebees. Serious summer drought conditions in Massachusetts have left crispy gardens and dusty earth everywhere, and floral food for bees has seemed to bloom and die off faster than usual (not so in Norway, as you’ll see below). But lately, summer storms have brought mildest relief and, as pollinator favorites like sunflowers and Joe-Pye weed have begun to blossom, the bumblebees are again turning up in droning droves. Every night after sundown, I turn on my porch light to see each sunflower head in our front yard occupied by no fewer than three slumbering bumbles. What a revelation, to discover that they bed down in their dinner plates! Enjoy these glimpses of Storey gardens filled with vibrant yellows, oranges, reds, and hot pinks — the color equivalents of the sultry dog days of summer. What’s blooming where you are? — Emily Spiegelman, Digital Features Editor

MaryAnn Nøbben, Norway

I love this color combination: Jacob’s Ladder, lilies, and delphinium.

A beautiful alstroemeria my sister got for me on her visit here this summer.

Poppies and lavender, another favorite color combination.

Anthemis tinctoria, nabbed from the roadside and doing beautifully. I’m going to try its color-dying properties with a friend who’s visiting from California.

Monarda didyma always reminds me of some fun Dr. Seuss character.

The bees enjoying the delphinium.

My new porch garden with herbs to spice up my salads, etc. It’s a design I had copied from a planter in Sweden.

Emily Spiegelman, Wendell, Massachusetts

We planted several varieties of sunflower this year, and I’m in love with their different centers. If I stare too long at this one, it makes my head spin.

This bumblebee appears to have a badly damaged or deformed left wing. Whatever the cause of it, the bee somehow managed to get itself to one of our sunflowers, which seems like a good place for any bee to be.

I was lazy, lazy, lazy with overwintering my dahlias and as a result, though most of them survived, they’ve been very slow to bloom. There are lots of buds, but one of the first was this ball variety: Cornel.

We added some cactus zinnia to our garden this year. I’m especially enjoying this apricot.

Michal Lumsden, Plainfield, Massachusetts

Butterflies on butterfly weed

Bee balm (Mondarda didyma)

Deb Burns, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Native Joe-Pye weed, a pollinator favorite

Fragrant, hardy rugosa rose

Black-eyed Susans and sage

A rowdy collection of perennials underneath my crabapple tree

Thyme blooming among my stone steps

Heather Tietgens, Stamford, Vermont


Black-eyed Susans

A variety of annuals in a wine barrel planter

Hanging basket

Storey Digital Editors

We are the staff at Storey Publishing — the crafters, cooks, brewers, builders, homesteaders, gardeners, and all-around DIY-ers who make Storey books.

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