Late summer’s standing ovation

Gold flowers and grassSpring’s got a reputation for being the apex of a garden’s beauty. The idea is that once those darling buds have popped, it’s downhill from then on. I blame it partly on Wordsworth who wrote about stumbling upon ten thousand yellow daffodils thus sealing the fates of a generation who, as schoolchildren, were programmed to think “Where there’s daffodils, we’d better pay attention.”

A long, slow, miserable winter (like the kind the forecasters promise will be coming again this year) can also make even the most jaded among us overreact at the first signs of spring–”Oh, look! Three daffodils finally came up through the dead grey snow. Whoopee.”

But I’m here to make a shout-out to late summer. When the days start getting a little shorter, do the flowers glow in richer colours, the grasses get lusher and the leaves bust out in a full-on sensory symphony of colour, rustle-crunch and wet green smells? Or is it just me?

Here’s to plants that take their time and save their best for the last moments of the season. Click any photo to start the slideshow.

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