Reed PughImages from “Dog Days of Summer”

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.

A riot of Echinacea live for the "Dog Days"  ©2013 BDG

A riot of Echinacea live for the “Dog Days” ©2013 BDG

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

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

Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco) standing tall ©2013 BDG

Zinnia that is still mad that I missed watering a few days during the heat ©2013 BDG

Zinnia that is still mad that I missed watering a few days
during the heat ©2013 BDG

Clethra alternifolia's fragrance in the late summer evenings ©2013 BDG

Clethra alternifolia’s fragrance in the late summer evenings ©2013 BDG

 

 

 

Classic Verberna bonariensis just starting to flower ©2013 BDG

Classic Verberna bonariensis just starting to flower ©2013 BDG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clethra barbinervis flowering in the dappled sun ©2013 BDG

Clethra barbinervis flowering in the dappled sun ©2013 BDG

Geranium 'Rozanne' will flower til frost ©2013 BDG

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ will flower til frost ©2013 BDG

Love this neon red/orange Geranium against the  chartreuse foliage ©2013 BDG

Love this neon red/orange Geranium against the chartreuse foliage ©2013 BDG

More Echinacea thriving in the heat ©2013 BDG

More Echinacea thriving in the heat ©2013 BDG

Not a flower, but bright colors for the shady entrance ©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

“Sun Power” Hosta adds great contrast color in a sunny spot ©2013 BDG

Angelonia always reliable in the sun ©2013 BDG

Angelonia always reliable in the sun ©2013 BDG

"Bright Eyes" Phlox ©2013 BDG

“Bright Eyes” Phlox ©2013 BDG

Bee Balm (Monarda) finishing in front of the Echinacea ©2013 BDG

Bee Balm (Monarda) finishing in front of the Echinacea ©2013 BDG

 

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Reed Pugh

About Reed Pugh

Horticulturist and landscape designer living in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. Reed is passionate about gardens and plants and loves writing about horticulture, plants, garden accoutrements, best garden practices and whatever else comes to his frenetic mind. He tries not to take himself too seriously but has been known to 'geek out' on occasion. Reed, and his company Barking Dog Gardens, can be found at Reeds Garden Ramblings

One thought on “Images from “Dog Days of Summer”

  1. Hi Reed
    I love your saying, I hope I can remember it when summer comes to Australia. I love you explaining what it means and I also love dogs. In Australia were are more blunt, we say it is bl…… or perhaps it is hot as hell, but I like your saying better. I also really love the clarity of your pictures. Enjoy the cooler weather, we are coming into our warmer weather and I can’t wait.

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