Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful;
For Beauty is God’s handwriting–
A Wayside Sacrament.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and I am grateful for the abundant sunshine and cooling breezes, for blooming flowers and fruiting crops; and for You, dear Readers.
On this day of the longest sunshine
I send you love and light and warm wishes.
I had bought some better-boys that looked so much sturdier than the others, but when I got them home, they looked (and grew) nothing like the usual bb’s I’ve planted. They continued to just bush out, sort of like a husky cherry, so I ran out and bought 3 more better boys just before we went to NYC. I just popped the weird ones over to some pots and they’re okay. The new, normal-looking, plants are small, but they’ll catch up by August or so… In the meantime, I evidently mislabeled a roma as a better boy when I was separating starts, so there is no telling what we’ll end up with!
Michael kept the veggies in good shape while we were gone and added the roses to the water-list. Still, the roses want attention: the leaves were pretty well chewed when we returned. We’ve saturated them with insecticide soap and they look some better, but… I thought knockout roses were supposed to be easy-peasy. Is it just me?
As we sneak up on summer, the humidity around here is sticky, and the bugs are god-awful. I have a patch of chiggers living where the sun don’t shine, and the itching is insufferable. We spray our lawn with something that keeps down the insects, but by the time we get it done this year I’m going to be raw… No amount of deet works against chiggers, so I’m just spraying off the upper torso. So far, skeeters are minimal.
It will be worth it when I’m feasting on zucchini and tomatoes and green beans and bell peppers…
3 weeks + 3 days post planting…
My zucchini/squash are fruiting like crazy!
I’m still a little leery about a few of my tomatoes, but this husky cherry and 2 romas are strong!
I already have 3 bell peppers ready to harvest— that’s 2 more than I had all year last year!
I expect we’ll be seeing a lot of green beans soon. I have planted a second crop to keep us supplied…
My Cousin Jimmy gave me these banana trees. I think the grandkids will love them, though I have no idea (yet) where I’m going to plant them..
I finished up this morning, planting some containers, a Black-eyed Susan vine, Lavender, and the green beans. I trimmed the basil and now have a lovely lot of fresh pesto to smear on my toast.
I hate to tell you, but my roses look like crap. I failed to have Michael water them while we were gone and they’ve been suffering ever since. I have fed and watered them, talked sweetly, and I have hope. A gardener has to have a Lot of Hope.
Now it’s time to sit on the porch swing and relax…
It’s all in…mulched and ready to grow…
I’m trying square-foot-type gardening, partly because I don’t have much faith in some of the peppers I started—not much root to them–and went out and bought some bigger ones, meaning I ended up with 12 bell peppers of assorted types, and 4 sweet banana peppers. Same with the tomatoes: I planted 3 better boys before the monsoons hit and they looked pretty bedraggled when it was all over, so I bought 3 bigger ones. There are also 1 sweet cherry 100, 2 romas, and one husky. There’s a lot of basil, some sage, rosemary, parsley, and oregano, as well as the broccoli and onions I planted in March. I put down some carrot and beet seeds around the blueberry bushes…and don’t forget the bush beans and pole beans. If it all grows, I’ll have plenty to eat and give away!
We’ve mulched around the entire house and it looks great…
I planted some wave petunias in an old stump (ala Pinterest), and surrounded geraniums with marigolds in the old wash tubs…
This lovely Sweet William is peeping out from under the daylilies..
When the rain finally returned, we brought out the houseplants and porch furniture…
Now, it’s just maintenance…and a fair bit of luck…
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!
Just a taste of what’s happening in the gardens here at Sonnystone…
sweet cherry 100’s
better boy tomatoes
pink hydrangea, sent to me by my bunco club when Daddy died 19 years ago
yellow squash & pole beans
where the pool will be (putting it up this week-end)
It’s all good…