The dahlias are in full swing and I have my first blooms of China asters and Rudbeckia "Sahara," two of my absolute favorite mid-summer flowers. The variation in shades of soft orange, apricot and yellow of the Sahara are phenomenal.
I took a risk this first winter that I had eucalyptus, which I started from seed last year, and kept this outdoors in the landscape cloth, fingers crossed that it would make it through the winter. I ended up putting frost cloth on during the coldest days and am fortunate that thirty of thirty-eight plants made it through the winter and are now thriving. My hope is that with increased root mass they should get through this next winter no problem. It's always a learning process, coming to understand plants that I'm not familiar with and that knowing that, ultimately, Mother Nature has the final say.