7/4: the rainy edition

It’s hard to feel festive in this prolonged downpour…  We were going to watch tonight’s fireworks with the Jrs. down at the Museum, but not…

Here’s my garden-version of fireworks…


I love scarlet Bee balm, aka bergamot, monarda, or Oswego tea.  I’ve grown it in various gardens and always ended up ripping it out because of it will take over a space pretty quickly.  It is leggy and always falls during a rain, has a tendency to mold, but the scent is glorious and the leaves make a lovely Earl-Gray-Like tea.  Last year I planted one in a pot and it did all right, so I overwintered it.  This year…well, it has taken over the pot like ivy.  I hate that the bees and hummers can’t get to it, but I really have no place outside for it.  Today, though, I was glad it hadn’t gotten swamped…

I don’t want to talk about it, but I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy on Wednesday, so I can’t eat anything with skin or seeds.   That dietary restriction includes my lovely, First Tomato of the Season.


I had to harvest it before it split from all the rain…  I’m afraid to even slice it up for Casey—I might accidentally have a bite…   Surely it will be even better Wednesday evening.

The garden has no complaints about the rain…


Rainy days are a gift to a reader, so I won’t complain either!   Happy 4th, friends!

Snappy Shots

The West Front Flower Patch…

The Edible Garden…

No rain has helped us to keep the gardens hydrated through these hot, muggy days, so that’s been my major accomplishment for the week.   Our local Shriner Fest started Wednesday and I’ve been distracted by the Air Show and my Favorite–Ultimate Air Dogs.  After I do some lavender-trimming and day lily dead-heading, I’m heading back down to the Riverfront for More!!!

Enjoy your day and drink water, drink water, drink water..!

Mostly deadheading, with a smattering of tomatoes

I say that perennials are no work, but I lie.  There’s always the dividing and deadheading.  Remember when we divided the daisies and coneflowers last fall?  That has resulted in a fabulous show of flowers that lasted right up until last week.  I spent a peaceful time cleaning them up…

As we were planning this year’s garden, we took into account that our grandkids would be staying with us for 5 weeks, and that we’d be out of town for a week at the hottest, usually driest, time of the season.  We prioritized a pool for the visitors and cut back our edible garden space.  I put herbs in pots and they’ve done well, ready with ample basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, mint, and lemon verbena.  I just can’t get thyme to do well, but all the rest are ready to be harvested.  Pesto time, but first I have some plans for basil, mozzarella, tomato sandwiches…


There are Plenty of Tomatoes coming on….good thing I stocked up on bacon..!


thyme, thyme, thyme…

I divided the thyme yesterday;  4.25 clumps were potted up nicely, and a small sprig was put in the Wardian case.  I hope to be able to keep them growing throughout the winter, possibly gifting one;  they dry out easily inside, though, and I don’t want to stress the giftee with guilt if suddenly they turn to dust…  Of course, it’s very tasty dried, so you really can’t lose.


First I gave it a haircut…a nice trim netted plenty of fresh herb for cooking…


I had to pull the entire plant out of the container, throw it on the ground, and jump on top the spade with all my might to break it up into pottable portions…


I like thyme in sauces and soups, seasoning chicken and fish.   Mix it up with oregano, rosemary, or basil for a bouquet garni or use it alone for a flavorful vinegar infusion.   It adds a spicy scent to potpourri.

Thyme is traditionally considered an herb of courage.  In ancient Greece, it was believed to confer strength and bravery to all who who used it, so soldiers would take baths in it, as well as massage their skin with thyme oil.  Historically used as a medicinal herb,  it has been said to cure fevers, dispel melancholy, and prevent nightmares, among another indications.

Here’s what’s for dinner tonight:

Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms


8 ounces/4 cups finely sliced cremini mushrooms

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil1 tablespoon

Maldon/kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt Small clove garlic, minced

1 lemon, zested and juiced

4 sprigs fresh thyme stripped to give 1 teaspoon leaves (I will use more, probably 3 tbs)

1 pound linguine

2 to 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, or to taste (more for me)
Freshly ground black pepper
Slice the mushrooms finely, and put them into a large bowl with the oil, salt, minced garlic, lemon juice and zest, and gorgeously scented thyme leaves.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and drain loosely retaining some water. Quickly put the pasta into the bowl with the mushroom mixture.

Toss everything together well, and then add the parsley, cheese and pepper before tossing again.

Eat with joy in your heart.

What I did this week-end…

Ah, glorious week-end!   I spent it dirty and digging, moving plants around…   Here’s the before and afters:


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I’m still mulling about what to plant on the south side of the house, against the foundation.  I’m thinking shrubbery, possibly holly, but there are so many beautiful plants to choose from, and I’d love to try something new.

The edible garden is waiting for seeding… I’m going to go by one more place on the way home from work today in my search for seeds.  ARen’t there any farmers left in Eville?  If I can’t find them, (the seeds, not the farmers), I’ll have to order some online.    The cool-weather plants at most of the big-box stores look like they have been in the Sahara for a week.



I’m so excited about the changing weather.  The cooler temperatures are absolutely rejuvenating.  But for now, I’m off to work.  Have a great Monday!