Thomas, in mowing the walks, finds that the grass begins to grow weak, & to yield before the scythe. This is an indication of the decline of heat. Yucca filamentosa, silk grass, glows with a fine large white flower. It thrives abroad in a warm aspect. Habitat in Virginia.
My shrub, Rhus cotinus, known to the nursery-men by the title of Cocygria, makes this summer a peculiar shew, being covered all over with it’s “bracteae paniculae filiformes,” which give it a feathery plume-like appearance, very amusing to those that have not seen it before. On the extremities of these panicles appear about midsumer a minute white bloom which with us brings no seeds to perfection. Towards the end of August the panicles turn red & decay.
Straw-berries from the woods are brought; but they are crude, & pale, as might be expected. Cut-off the large leaves of the Colchicum, or meadow-saffron, now decaying: towards the end of August the blossoms, called by some naked boys, will shoot out, & make a pleasing appearance.
The late pliant sort of Honeysuckles, that do not make good standards, begin to show their yellow bloom: the more early are on the decline. Hung the net over the cherry-trees at the end of the house to keep off the magpies, which come to our very windows at three & four in the morning. The daws also from the church have invaded my neighbours cherries. Pies, & daws are very impudent!
No may-chafers this year. The intermediate flowers, which now figure between the spring, & solstitial, are the early orange, & fiery-lily, the columbine, the early honey-suckle, the peony, the garden red valeriam, the double rocket or dames violet, the broad blue flag-iris, the thrift, the double lychnis, spider-wort, monks-hood, &c.
Grass grows very fast. Honey-suckles very fragrant, & most beautiful objects! Columbines make a figure. My white thorn, which hangs over the earth-house, is now one sheet of bloom, & has pendulous boughs down to the ground. One of my low balm of Gilead firs begins to throw out a profusion of cones; a token this that it will be a short-lived, stunted tree. One that I planted in my shrubbery began to decay at 20 years of age. Miller in his gardener’s Dictionary mentions the short continuance of this species of fir, & cautions people against depending on them as a permanent tree for ornamental plantations.