As the heat builds, the cicadas’ electric drills fall silent one by one. Coneflowers wilt until they look like yellow jellyfish.

A shimmer in the air thickens into drizzle, dripping from bedraggled rudbeckia petals, limp tubes of bergamot and the crisp, white soapwort.

Goldfinch in the garden: a coneflower stem breaks under his weight and he moves to another, probing the dark centers for a hint of seed.

Soapwort, self-heal, mullein, Rudbeckia, butterfly weed: my garden exemplifies the messiness of any organization dominated by volunteers.