Sunday, July 31, 2016


If I had no family nearby, if Ed were not by my side (or if he were to be always preoccupied from morning til dawn with a project -- like he is now), all Sundays would look like this: I would be up fairly early, I would work outside, snipping, watering, I would clean the house, I would eat a breakfast (a very solitary breakfast) and then I would either work on some writing project, or I would read, or, like today, I would catch up on computer work.

I would post photos only of my garden (not that I do not love my garden). I would give not much thought to dinner (salads were invented for people who want to throw a dinner into one big bowl). I would think about the week ahead and look carefully at my budget to make sure I could afford another toy for my grandchild (that lived far away, because remember -- I'm imagining living alone, far from family...).

My normal Sunday does not look like this, but today was not normal and indeed, the above describes it most perfectly. Ed is intensely preoccupied with bringing his machine to market (though he insisted on vacuuming -- which is his job in farmhouse-clean up and which I graciously left to him, even though I knew that in his state of tiredness and preoccupation, he would gloss over surfaces and I would have to pick up all he left behind). And the young family is coming to dinner tomorrow, not today (for reasons that I will explain tomorrow). And so I was today (nearly) alone with my flowers.

And that's pretty much all you get, so you better like flowers.

(Some colors only work well together in nature...)

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(I do a lot of maintenance work at the roadside bed...)

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(The girls follow, to see where I'm working and what I'm up to. )

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(By the driveway: frilly things, still going strong.)

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(A far corner of the Great Bed...)

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There is a precious and quite wonderful breakfast with Ed on the porch.

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... and that's it! Dinner is -- well, you know: as described above. The salad, a couple of cheeper eggs, left over corn from the corn farmers and oyster mushrooms from the market. And tomatoes from our garden! (Here's Ed, bringing in today's haul.)

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Yes, Ed did join me for dinner. I was grateful that he could stay awake. He is one tired guy.

I'll end with the flowers. Because on the last day of July, it's still all about the flowers around here.

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  1. Beautiful! I think I'm in a different plant zone than you, and unfortunately my daylilies are all almost through. The rebloomers, which often are short with smaller blooms, are putting forth a mild second effort.
    I don't have much left! Rudbeckia, echinacea, nasturtium, lythrum, which my autocorrect has insisted on spelling as lithium.

    Lots of hosts and ferns in the shade. I only have to look at a fern to feel my shoulders go down. Didn't even know they needed to go down.
    Must have been on the phone with my mother again. ;)

    Deadheading the lilies is one thing. Not necessary, but I do it too. It's easy and satisfying. However, all the strappy lower foliage that turns yellow, then brown, ach, I am ready to just leave them be. Is that something you have to clean up as well? Do you feed them (lilies) ? Do you top-dress in spring or fall?
    But YES, the girls are worth it!

    We do have summersweet shrubs coming on, filling the side yard with their spicy fragrance.

    We have been busy in the kitchen this weekend, cooking or dehydrating a great bounty from the garden: roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, pear tomatoes, chard, zucchini, squashes, peppers, herbs, and more. It was so hot outside, we didn't mind working in the kitchen, along with our good playlists and good wine.

    Tomorrow everything needs a drink. The water bill is high. Send some rain our way, would you please?

    1. I try to snag a few more views of a "most perfect garden," but it's getting harder. I have about 10% of day lilies that are july/august bloomers. These are still going strong of course, but the others -- forget it. They're done. The rebloomers have had an especially poor rebloom this year -- exactly as you say: short, stubby, forgettable.

      Deadheading is hard for two reasons: first -- why bother these days, but secondly and more importantly -- the bugs this week are intense! I step into a flower patch and dozens of them swarm up! Yuk. This is the time when it's best to enjoy what's left of the garden from behind a screen.

      I'll send you the rain once we've had our share. This weekend I watered all of the beds. That took forever.

      This year I tried to anticipate the "end of summer garden doldrums" by sowing annual seeds. The cosmos did okay in some places, not so great in others. Nasturtium, -- ditto. The gaura is my go to flower for a consistently long blooming period. The rest -- eh. Out front the strawberries and cream hydrangea is a champ. Some of the coreopsis are still plentiful. As are a few of the late blooming phlox. And the false sunflowers are great now. Too, I should get the asters to pick up the tail end of summer.

      I can't believe it really is, garden-wise, the tail end of summer...

    2. A friend of mine weaves baskets from that brown lower foliage of daylilies... a quick online search turns up lots of info about that. Her baskets are really cool!


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