Summer Blooms and Invasive Species

I just potted my geraniums and put some new herbs in (more rosemary, lavender, and sweet basil), so summer is here. The pansies are leggy and fading, while my hydrangeas are just opening.Gardening definitely teaches the virtue of patience. Five years after I put them in, my peonies were finally magnificent this year and will only get better. One of my favorite spring traditions is when my wonderful neighbor, who has scores of peonies which are over 25 years old, brings me a huge handful of pink and white double blooms. Their gently sweet scent fills my house for the week.I've also been very involved with neighborhood invasive species removal.  The stream behind my house is slated for restoration -- the erosion is something fierce, as are the invasives that have taken over -- so we're trying to get native species established. One Sunday afternoon in May, about twenty-five neighbors from ages four to seventy-five worked for a few hours to remove the ivy and multiflora rose that had taken over the yard of an elderly neighbor. Then the following week, people kept dropping off wonderful plants -- ferns, blue-eyed grass, cardinal flower -- in my back yard, so I could replant the cleared space. I feel like I pulled an all-nighter to get all those planted, but it looks great and will only get better. Sharing is another one of the joys of gardening.I've also been revising away. Who was it that said, "There's no such thing as good writing, only good revision?" That's definitely true for me. I feel like I finally got all the layers and icing and decorations right on String Theories, so fingers crossed I can share good news soon.Also, check out my appearances page for some fun new updates. I'm very excited to be back at the U.S. Botanic Garden this fall for a language of flowers workshop! I've also had a great time visiting garden clubs and book groups all over the DC area. If you're local, invite me to come!!