It isn't truly the last day of summer, of course, but it might as well be. Today is the last day of sun before we sink into a rainy stretch of cool, fall-like weather. It is also the last day of the last full week of summer vacation. I am not distressed by the latter fact. It has been a long, draining summer; the fun needle is sunk deep into the exhausted corner of the gauge. Yay, school!
One of the plants whose flowers mark late summer is this Ligularia. Even upon first emergence the flowers seem dishevelled and tired, which I think captures the general mood of things. It's a tough, long-lasting plant, usually carrying flowers into October.
You may have noticed in the first image my concrete frog birdbath in the background. This is the birdbath whose crumbling condition I lamented earlier in the year. It was also the structure transformed into a cake stand during last winter's record snowfall. As you see, it has been reborn as a Sempervivum garden. So far, the plants seem happy there. The birds are not impressed.