It’s late summer. The perennial flower bed is faded. The echinacea and Joe Pye weed are a dull dusty rose color. Petals are turning brown and falling to the ground.

The bees are no longer interested in these plants, (they’ve moved on to the goldenrod in the meadow) but the birds are feasting on the seeds.

Despite the natural progression of the season, the herb garden near my back door is bursting with garish color. I’ve planted annuals that defy the season. Zinnias are in bloom.

I just love how the center of each zinnia has what looks like a miniature garden of tiny bright flowers bursting out.

The buds have a charm of their own. You just know there’s a party of color in there about to unfurl.

I’m not the only one to appreciate these outrageous blooms.



  1. Zinneas and Cosmos Bright Lights are my favorite summer flowers. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

  2. Zina’s were my grandmothers favorite and of course by assoc. one of mine.
    My favorite time of the year, Fall. I just love the cool crisp days when you can do just about anything outdoors, open all the windows in the house and get a great breeze going through and last but not least GREAT sleeping weather.

    • For being such bright flowers, they are associated with grandmothers, aren’t they, yet nothing old-fashioned about them.

  3. I just can’t grow Zinnia – they always damp off. I love Benary’s Giant Lime and have tried several times with it to no avail….

    • But soon enough we’ll have a killer frost here (it’s expected to be in the high 40s tonight!) and we’ll have nothing left, while you still have blooms.

  4. I have always adored zinnias. When I was little I would pick a big bunch of the Lilliputian ones and put them in a brown crock with plenty of vinca vine for greenness. I do wish they did better down here.

    • It’s the one annual that I can sow the seed directly into the garden and they come ups sturdy and garishly colorful every time.

  5. Was watching Tina Turner or Siouxsie next to Candy and wondered if hens keep down the flea/tick population?

    • I’ve never had a flea on the dogs or the rabbit, but I don’t think it’s due to the chickens! The ticks here are a real problem, but I don’t have them in the grassy area of the yard. Perhaps the chickens help with that. The really good tick hunters are guinea hens, which I don’t have.

  6. I had a pretty good cosmos garden years ago in SoCal. What really interested me about these flowers is that I would find these little crab spiders on the flowers that matched the color of the cosmos flower. Bright white, bright yellow. Green and powdery blue. At the time I was fascinated with their colors. Now I know they have a painful bite. Lucky me, never bitten.

    In Virginia I find the yellow ones on my light blue car, and brown and black ones amongst the mail in my mailbox. Yuk!

    • When my son was little he was really into spiders. He read the identification guides, etc. When you look for spiders they’re everywhere! I have to say I’m not sorry that he gave up that interest.

      • Actually I am quite arachnophobic. I remember at that moment of discovering the crab spiders, of feeling like I matured, in that I was actually able to even look at those spiders with interest and curiosity. Uh, all that progress is long gone!

        My son for years wanted to be an entomologist. Bugs are fun. Spiders not so much. I’m sure you’ve had little feet running into the kitchen asking for a bug jar!

  7. Although my echinacea are looking tattered and tired, they are covered with the noisiest flock of goldfinch which happily munch away. My kitties sit in the window and equally happily chitter-chatter at them. Both species spend satisfying mornings and afternoons!