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Summertime at its best

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Today’s entertainment during the hike around part of Arlington centers on flowers. Interesting is how the same gardens can transform with the season. In some instances, master gardeners planned the transformation. In others, its just backyard gardeners doing their thing. (Well, maybe nature does its thing.)

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Let’s take a hike. (See the slideshow)

In the beginning, there is a clump of wild daisies growing in the turf. I recognize those daisies as they once appeared on my balcony last year. So, they seeded down and there they are.

Look at the base of the tree. Blending right in is a young catbird sunning itself. It’s that time of day when birds shake off the night cool air.

There’s a cardinal on a branch with its feathers ruffled, also soaking the sun.

Now, we are at the entrance to the Bon Air Park Herb Garden. Master gardeners plant and care for this all year long. See the black eyed Susans?

Shasta daisies are terrific. They are hardy, seed down, and come back every year.

Hibiscus are gorgeous now. In the swamp, they are swamp mallows.

Hunger pangs are are coming as the hike is about half way through 3.5 miles. Planning ahead, there is a new Protein Bar at the top of the hill in Ballston where we haven’t stopped. I heard that they have Southwest Salad there that should be a healthy conclusion to this splendid sunny day.

Now, it’s time to plan some more hikes. Checking the web for “Hiking near Arlington Virginia” and there is this great link: http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-arlington-virginia.

So far, Arlington Outdoors has been down the C&O Canal Towpath Section #1. It looks like the next big hike should be to Great Falls as we haven’t been there since springtime.

Here is a link to This Old House that talks about flower gardens so that you can plan for next year.

“Blooms You Can Bet On

No doubt you've heard that a well-designed garden should include plants prized for their striking foliage, as well as some that produce fall color or berries, and others that provide good structure in winter. But lets face it: most of us want flowers. Lots of them. All the time. That's where the plants listed below come in. They'll churn out blooms for weeks on end this summer. In most cases, you can harvest armloads to fill vases or give away, and still have plenty left to enjoy in your garden beds long past Labor Day.”

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20386096,00.html

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