August 30, 2001, Monday – Watch the Painted Parade!

It rained last night, and although the sun has begun to peek from behind the clouds now, there is still a heavy wetness about my entire garden today.

Several of my Arctic Fox Foxgloves have toppled over from that heaviness, and yet, one of my foxes has remained sturdy, standing tall, with clusters of delicate, pink bells nodding in the breeze. I can almost hear an autumn song.

The zinnias are making their last stands, too. Many of them are laden with dried and withered flowers that I should have begun pruning weeks ago, but something has stayed my pruning efforts during much of the latter days of summer. Somehow, I know that the blooms will not last much longer anyway, and I don’t want to waste another splash of color. Besides that, I have developed a taste for withering, drying blossoms this year. They seem to be speaking to me personally.

Reminiscent of dried floral bouquets, with just a blush of color remaining, I think that I see my aging self within the withering blooms that are still holding on to a need to continue to flower a while longer.

Several cannas still stand at attention at the back of my garden–4 yellow plants, 3 red plants, and 2 coral.

I love cannas for several reasons. I like the way that they stand in the rear of the garden and frame everything that grows in front of them.

I love the way that other plants shine, because of their presences.

And above all else, I love cannas for their strikingly colorful selves. But my, how my cannas and I have battled the Japanese Beetles that have gnawed them bare more than once during the summer of 2021. Several times, I have whacked those glorious flowers almost down to the ground and yet, today, all have them have returned to salute the summer sky once more. The words: “Custer’s Last Stand” come to my mind. Most of the canna blossoms have faded, but some of the plants have dared to usher forth festoons of new growth.

Like peacock feathers on a fancy lady’s hat, the cannas’ new plumage is a precious adornment in my late summer garden. Today, I’m watching the cannas dance. I’m watching their painted parade!

Watch the Painted Parade

By Jacki Kellum

Watch the painted parade,
Marching through my garden,
Tossing colored kisses, wild and free,

Where everyday’s a new day,
A chase away the blues day,
A fun and festive firework jamboree.

Watch the Painted Parade! – August 30, 2001 – Jacki Kellum Garden Journal

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