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..!

Excerpts from the Garden Journal

I keep–or try to keep–a written journal of each gardening year, especially for marking my planting and harvest times.  I also try to keep track of what worked, what didn’t, and just how much work it took to get it to work!!!   I usually start out strong, chronicling my seed-starting and planting precisely, then trail off once I’ve gotten to the just maintenance part.  Last night I caught up with my journal after a 2-week hiatus.

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6/15/16—

I did it again—neglected my garden journal.

Everything has grown like crazy–temps summer-like and humid.

Front porch:  wicker planter and houseplants out 6/13.  Fountain is cool.

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Hydrangeas —  cut back to clear window 6/12  and now rain has front blooms on the ground.  Need to cut them all back.  Blooms cut from back are drying on front porch.  Laid soaker hose.

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North Garden —  added daisies, pruned and trimmed, put riprap around edge, added soaker hose.

Butterfly/Bird garden (east) —  Lovely!  Added a flat dish hummingbird feeder and hung all 3 from trellis.  Read an article that said this may discourage bully-hummers, but..?  Planted honeysuckle at N end of trellis—hoping to train it to cover top.  Added soaker hose.

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Daylilies —  Huge (will need to be divided this year).  Not sure I appreciate them enough for the work of constant deadheading the slimy blooms.

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Pineapple Sage –okay.  Holly — good.  Soaker hose to all .

West (front) garden.  Saw a mom goldfinch land on a coneflower, shadowed by her young’un.  She tried another and decided finally on a large, more open bloom down the way.  Baby followed and she showed him how to munch the seeds from the flower, then flew up to a branch to watch proudly as he/she fed like a pro.    Black-eyed Susan vine growing like a weed and the Moonflower Vine is Alive!!!

Edibles— I do believe I’ll have ripe tomatoes by the 4th of July!  Almost lost the bush zucchini, but I covered a broken spot with dirt and it looks like it’s surviving.  fingers crossed.  3 of the ca wonder peppers look crappy, others okay.

It has rained the last 2 days and today’s high is predicted to be 97 degrees!!!   Sounds extremely sticky, so I’m glad the pool is up now.   Olivia and I are headed over to Henderson for lunch and to check out the Handy Blues Fest.

Stay cool, wherever you are!

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…

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….

 

blossoms…and porch progress

I managed to get outside Monday and re-pot some struggling plants, and just in the nick of time…a big wind blew in Tuesday and dumped a boatload of rain.  The plants didn’t mind, and the humidity temporarily subsided.  The bugs are really overwhelming this year.  I’m already scratching several chigger bites and the lightning-bugs (do you call them glow-worms?  fireflies?) arrive en masse every evening to brighten up the yard.

In case you don’t follow me over at Sonnystone  (why not?  see link above), I should explain that we are in the process of screening in our front porch.  My husband took off last week to get it started and got a lot done, but it all came to a grinding stop as he returned to work 10-hour days this week.  He does, however, have a 3-day week-end, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be all, mostly, done by Sunday so I can sit outside without being drenched in deet.  Mosquitoes love me and I react with  large, itchy, welps.  Naturally, this task has rather obsessed us—him, as he has designed and constructed it all by himself, and me, as I try to help by staying out of his way…

He’s being very careful with his ladder as he works in the flower garden… the blooms seem to enjoy the company…

I’ve harvested the first crop of green beans;  cooked them up last night and served them with a bowl of cherry tomatoes from our husky reds.  We’ve got several yellow squash growing, our dill is nearly ready, and I’ve got to seriously trim the basil…

I’d better get as much done as I can before the porch is finished…I have a feeling I’m going to be lazy there!

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…………