The Winding Down of Summer




We have traveled a whole bunch this summer so we have not been able to enjoy our backyard as much as we usually do.   To make up for it, we are pretty much living out there now.  I even worked from there the whole day earlier this week.

Even though the hydrangea bushes are showing the pinkish/greenish blooms that mean fall is coming, there are still some bright blue blooms on the bush.

We are approaching things like the bright blue ones.

We are not done with summer just yet.




All summer, this bush is just green leaves.  No blooms.  I don’t worry about too much, because I know it is coming.  As the end of summer comes near, these beautiful blooms show up.  Some of them are this beautiful hue of purplish blue and some are pink.  It is my favorite.  Next to it, is another bush that still hasn’t bloomed.  In the next few weeks, it will have fluffy happy daisy like blooms.

The truth is I really don’t know the name of either of these plants.  I just know that they just make me happy.  I love that they wait for this precious end of the summer time with cooler nights to come out.

As I took these pictures today, I had to avoid a water balloon fight and splashes from the pool.  My younger daughter has a friend over and they are enjoying every last minute of summer.   We have had friends over several times since we have been back and my older daughter has a large group of friends coming by this weekend.

Things are a little neglected from us being away.  Light bulbs are burned out, one of my container gardens didn’t survive the summer heat and the pathway needs sweeping.  We spent some time today getting things fixed up so we would be able to easily welcome more friends.




Since I knew night swimming would be a big part of this weekend, I had to replace one of the bulbs on the spotlight out by the pool.  It is the only light in that area and lights up the whole pool space.  This time, I am trying out of the Cree flood lights (available at The Home Depot).  I only needed to change one bulb (the right one), so I left the old one to compare the difference in light.




Even in the daylight, you can see a much better light from the right Cree bulb.  The reason is it has a full 47 degrees of light, but uses 82% less energy than traditional bulbs.  It is equivalent to 90 watt bulb while only using 18 watts of energy.  I know for us, this is huge.  We keep considering moving to solar energy, but in the meantime, we are so happy to be saving energy with better bulbs from Cree.  The initial cost of the bulb is higher, but in the long run it save money on energy.  It is rated for wet areas and is dimmable!  Seriously, I know I talk about these bulbs a lot, but it really is because I completely love them!




So, if you will excuse me, I have some ladies who would like to head back to the pool and a dog who wants to be with them.  We will be spending every moment we can out here this weekend, even if the weather is starting to cool.




After the sun sets, I will add a picture of the bulbs at night so you can really get a sense of the difference.  I know, you can’t wait!



Disclosure: This post is written as part of my partnership with Cree, however all opinions and love all things Cree are all my own!

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4 thoughts on “The Winding Down of Summer”


  1. I am anxious to see the difference. We have all of these spotlights in the kitchen — old lightbulbs. I’ve been wanting to update to the natural light. I figured I might be able to get some half way decent photo shots with just a daylight bulb. We have florescent, incandescent, and some others. You can imagine what the lighting looks like :-(. Welcome back — I am pea green that you were in Italy!! I can’t wait to go back!! Buona giornata — a dopo.

  2. Laura,
    I am wondering if you prune back your hydrangea in the fall? I noticed how well shaped they are and the fact that the large one in the last picture only has blooms on the bottom. I know how ugly those sticks are when fall is over, but hydrangea blooms on old wood, basically those sticks are next year’s flowers so you don’t cut them off. You will see the sticks leaf out bottom to top by the end of June. I live on the east coast and think you do as well. My hydrangeas bloom in early July and last all summer, like the plant in your first pic.
    If I am telling you something you already know, I apologize. I love hydrangeas and if you can increase the bounty of their flowers, all the better. I enjoy your blog tremendously.
    Cheers! Alice

  3. You have Hydrangeas blooming! I’m envious–here in the South, they’re a flagship of the beginning of summer. They’re bloomed, done and gone in June! Coloration-blue, pink, lavender-is dependent on the acidity of soil. Think of this shrub as a living litmus test. Much more fun than HS chem lab.

  4. I had to evict a roommate this summer, so instead of getting another roommate I decided to convert her room into a crafting/beading room. We repainted the room a very bright white and I got 4 “Bright white” Cree bulbs for the ceiling fan. I had also gotten a “soft white” one to replace over the stove because we use that as a sort of “night light” in the kitchen and pretty much leave it on from the time we get up until we go to bed.

    I’m still putting the room together, but so far those new lights make it like the sun is blazing in there, and for a faction of the cost! I’m looking forward to actually getting the room together and doing some work in there.