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..!

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2014 in the Sonnystone Gardens

Just a picture post…  I thought that would be easier, but I find I’m unable to edit what pictures I add to such a large gallery…  I’ve tried 3 times to no avail.  So there’s another lesson:  sometimes you don’t get a do-over.

But sometimes, you do…  I’ve got plans for 2015…

Movin’ right along

Good morning!

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During these yowly-cat, dog days of summer, I’ve sweated off a few lbs. moving around my herbs.  I decided to go ahead and bring them to the front porch, mostly so I could enjoy the fragrance and admire their flowers.  As an added boost, the light out there is wonderful for pictures, especially in the evenings.  I was most anxious to get the pineapple sage moved, as it had grown much larger than expected and was bullying my blueberry bush; I figured it was only good sense to also pot up the common sage, as well.  Here’s a before-and-after, sort of.

I love pineapple sage, but it doesn’t keep its fruity flavor/aroma after it’s dried.  My plan is to use it fresh for now and later for potpourri, though it’s going to be tough finding the necessary fixatives without hobby lobby…thank-you, Lord, for the internets.  And doesn’t it look great out on the front porch?

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My tomatoes have nearly All given in to the fusilarium now, so they’ll probably be pulled up Labor Day, which makes me feel a little defeated.  But hey, let’s dwell on the positive, right?

And don’t forget the flowers..they’re always a comfort…

Have a great day, dear friends!

 

The growing…

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Well, that seems like the fastest season ever—my grandkids came and went like a storm…a good one that drops rain just where it’s needed and leaves a rainbow on its way out…  The first evening they were here, back on July 8, I helped them plant a couple rows of zinnias.  We pretty much dropped the whole package in a little trench and the seedlings were up within a week.  They seem to be on hold now, and I’ll thin them out soon, but I have the faith to see them as blooming reminders of our creative powers, at any age.

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Out on the newly-screened front porch, we had a clear view of the bees and birds as they perched on the coneflower and daisies.  It was a good time to learn how important those players are in the botany of desire—and the essential lesson that bees are not aggressive, stinging, bad guys, but rather just the opposite.

I’m headed back to school next week—Next Week!!   There are a few holes in the garden that I’ll fill in with beans, peas, and spinach, but most of the work now is being done in the kitchen…tomato salads, pesto, and grilled peppers and squash…

The tomatoes are prolific right now, so I’m currently dedicated to eating them, but slicing and/or eating them like apples isn’t quite enough to keep up with the abundance.

Here’s a recipe I fixed yesterday, gone today…  It’s from an old article from 8/4/00 titled, “Too Many Tomatoes?  Make Salsa!”

The Mediterranean:  Chopped tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and Capers, with red wine vinaigrette.

I will be making this little gem today:

Greek Salsa:  Chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, black olives, feta cheese, with red wine vinaigrette.

The red wine vinaigrette is simply half red wine vinegar, half canola oil (or olive if you like), garlic, oregano, basil, or other fresh-snipped herbs, pepper and mix.

Try this one, too:

Corny Bean Salsa:  chopped tomatoes, corn kernels, black beans, minced Jalapeno peppers with cilantro-lime dressing.

The delicious dressing is made by mixing up a half-cup lime juice, half-cup canola oil, and mixing in granulated sugar, garlic, and chopped cilantro to taste…

Mmm….

 

Photos, mostly…

That storm last Friday…whew!   I was sitting here in the Captain’s Chair, looking out the windows when the wind kicked in.  Looking to the east, it was dry as the wind pushed the rain straight forward;  to the south, my shrubs and trees were very nearly horizontal.  Then came buckets of rain…  Everything on the front porch was picked up and blown;  the plant debris was tattooed onto the siding.  If we’d had any tall trees in front, they’d have fallen…but that’s already been done, as you know.  Michael and his family were without power for 3 days, but we just picked up and cleaned up—well we’re still cleaning up limbs and such.  Since then, we’ve gotten yet another 1.25″ of rain and the temps have dropped.  Geez…

Still, I managed to get out and take some pictures on Tuesday before the rains hit…  Everything will have grown another foot by the time all this clears out…

 

Thanks to my lessons over a Blogging 101, I’m going to add some very juicy content to this blog.    Start-up is targeted for after Memorial Day, so check back…or follow me so you’ll receive notice when I post.

Till then…this is a picture of the side yard.  On the right is a  rhododendron that we took out of Michael’s front yard looking half-dead…it’s revived nicely…there’s a lesson there…

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Summer Solstice v. Midsummer

There’s a lot of happenings in the sky this week…

Summer officially kicks off in the Northern Hemisphere, tomorrow at 12:04am here at Sonnystone, with (ta-da) the Summer Solstice, an instant in time when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator. We think of it as the “longest day of the year” (though I had a few at the end of school that I think were longer) and it is Supposed to ideally have the most hours of sunlight (if clouds don’t get in the way).

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Though Midsummer occurs near the Solstice, it is more of a Farmer Holiday, reckoned to be the mid-point of the growing season, June 24. It’s the feast day of John the Baptizer, but it’s been celebrated by Ancient Earth Religions as a time when ghosts and faeries can become visible; the festivities start the evening before and the party can be pretty wild…just ask Shakespeare (or Puck). It is believed that the dew on Midsummer Day will make young girls beautiful and old women look young…That’s a myth I’ll try (not) to bust…

Decorating for this year’s Midsummer Eve was done by God Himself, supplying us with a SuperMoon. The Full Strawberry Moon will arrive at 6:23am on June 23, the largest and closest moon of 2013. Put it all together, it sounds powerful…

However you celebrate, Let the sun in! Get outside!! Watch out for trickster faeries and goblins!!! As Puck said, “Lord, what fools these mortals be”. Don’t disappoint…

More sun=good for the garden…I’ve got a ton of dead-heading to do and I’ve bought some plants that need rescued…

New Blooms…………