Can you believe it is August already? Where has this year gone? Seems like just yesterday was early April and I was out trying to save everything from the freeze we had. Still mourning the loss of my Japanese maple, the dappled willow that has replaced it is doing grand though! Before we know it fall will be here, can you believe it? Kinda of looking forward to the change in seasons again. Seems like we went from freeze to 90+ degrees over night.
The folks are coming home for September; they have been vagabonding in their RV since February. Don’t think they will hang out long though; they have plans to be in Arizona in October. They are having a blast and enjoying the road while they still can.
Daughter number 2 is coming out from So Cal for Labor Day weekend. This will be her second trip out. Last time she came for Christmas and really didn’t like the cold. Looking forward to her visit and being able to show her around.
I order some more daylilies (stops to slap mouse hand to keep from ordering more on line). Also put in an order for some bulbs to put in this fall.
We went by the nursery last night to see if they had their fall veggie starts. They said they should be in next week. Wow, I hope that will give them enough time. The fall raised veggie patch is ready and waiting for the starts to put in.
I am eating cucumbers for breakfast lunch and dinner. Even got the boy to try them and he liked them. What a surprise that was. Ryan is autistic and getting him to try new things is really hard sometimes. I have to catch him in the right mood. Haven’t had any ripe tomatoes the last few days. But there are lots of large greenies. My plants are loaded and leaning.
Just been watering constantly with our 90+ degree heat (gosh, I am going to hate to see our water bill) and even with twice a day water my containers are beginning to look sad. I moved everything into the shade on the porch last night maybe that will help.
Mom and the baby coonies are coming every night. I have started feeding them cheap dry cat food. My animal cracker & peanut expense account was dwindling. They seem to like the cat food and so far have been no trouble. They have their snack and move on. The squirrel trough now doubles at night as a raccoon trough. Sunflower seeds during the day and cat food at night. Cheri’s menagerie is growing…
I could not bring myself to do anything inside this weekend, so the dust bunnies are still hopping around my house this morning. Oh, well. I spent both days out in the flower beds and veggie patch. Watered early Saturday and got the holes dug for the butterfly bush and hardy hibiscus that I got. As I was weeding and deadheading, there were a lot of thin spots in the mulch. I went down and got about 10 bags and brought that home to spread around. I love new mulch. Covered all the beds and had enough to put back behind the pond.
Some of the other daylilies have put up scapes and have buds. Can’t wait to see them. The gereberas have finally decided to bloom again and for some reason the wave petunias have also gotten a second wind from the something and are flowing all down the side of the old stump, thick with purple flowers.
Hubby helped me finish the three sided slat fence to put around my compost pile. My pile isn’t very big yet but I am working on it. Chopped up the kitchen scrapes in the food processor and put them out there too. Bill got me a pitch fork this weekend. I was trying to turn the pile with a shovel. Wow what a difference that made. (Duh!)
Cleaned and weeded in the veggie patch and tied up some more tomato limbs to the trellis. I have two zucchini left that haven’t been hit by the vine borers YET. My cukes have climbed nicely all over the fence and there are dozens of fruit hanging down. They are so good and crisp.
We did not get the new raised bed up. Hubby brought home work for a project that he was under a crunch on, so it will have to be next weekend. Will go by the dump and pick up some compost (have to make do until my own is ready) and some topsoil down at the landscape yard.
Had enough tomatoes to make another batch of sketty sauce. Added a few of the yellow tomatoes to it. They did lighten the color of the sauce but it still tasted great. Used loads of fresh basil from the herb pots of the deck. Made some Penne, a tomato, cuke and pepper salad and had a yummy dinner. Only things not from the garden were the pasta and the bread. You just can’t beat that!
Still dry but we are supposed to get some rain this afternoon. I should have watered last night but was just too tired. Been fighting a summer cold and trying to convenience myself I am not going to catch it. I am sure it will sneak up and bite me sooner or later. I don’t have time to be sick!
Gave some more pond plants away. I potted up some off shoots of the lotus and four leaf clover, added some hyacinths, water lettuce and gave them to a co worker who just put in a pond. My pond is still full!! Loads of lilies still blooming, but nothing from the lotus yet.
We will get the new raised bed up this weekend and do the soil prep, to have it ready for a fall veggie planting. Want to do some peas and beans and more greens. My yellow tomatoes have been the best producers so far. They sure are yummy. The red varieties are producing, just not as big or as many. I think the vine borers have finally discovered my zukes, I have two plants withering that I will pull out tonight. L Cukes are still doing great and I have one with dinner every night. I think the heat is starting to get to the peppers. The banana peppers are curling. I have been checking to be sure that they have adequate even water. Any suggestions?
More of the new daylilies are getting ready to bloom. These should be the Crimson Shadows. I have to late season ones that I hope will bloom also. One is called Late Embers and the other Fall Pink Melon. The two blooming now are called Go Figure.
Have the inevitable weed pulling and deadheading to do as well. Been lazy about the weeds in the flowerbeds with heat we have been having. The black and white brigade has been promised a trip down to the lake in the morning, so we will be up before the heat and I will have no excuses after that. The boys will be good and tired after a swim and Briar will have a good long ball session. They deserve it after being put aside a bit while company’s been here.
Rob now has the timing of the raccoon family’s visits down. They show up on the deck at about 5am every morning now and he knows it. No barking this morning, he just sat at the sliding glass door to watch them eat their breakfast. The babies are growing fast. Got a couple of dark pix of them this morning and will try to get them posted tonight.
The bird feeders have been really busy in the evenings. I am seeing a lot more indigo buntings this year. Not sure if there are more than normal or I am just providing a better seed selection. Must make some more of Gene’s suet for the pileated woodies. They are now daily visitors too.
Two of the three elephant ears I planted are up and growing like crazy. My white clematis has two buds on it and the red one has finally decided to grow. The annual bed with the sun flowers, petunias and zinnias is filling in more everyday. If I could just keep the neighbor’s sheltie from doing his business there I think it would do better.
The hostas in the shade bed are all putting up buds and will flower soon. The coleus are huge and have filled in wonderfully. All the impatience are thick with flowers and the calla lily now has five blooms on it.
My dinner plate dahlias all have buds now and I can’t wait to see them bloom!! Lion Bane, Larkspur, Sweet William, Columbines, Coral Bells are all going great in my woodland bed.
The veggie patch is my favorite place. Checked last night and my squash all have blooms or buds and the cukes are not far behind. I pick four beans and ate them right there last night, oh so sweet. My two later tomatoes are now blooming and will add to the high count of maters very soon. Think my lettuce and spinach are just about done and I have some more bean starts that I am going to put in their place. So I will pull out the last of those greens this weekend and get that area ready for the beans. Need to start looking for some canning or pickling recipes for banana peppers, I am going to have a ton of those. I love pickled peppers.
Hubbers cut the lawns last night and watered a few of my pots that were looking sad after the first sunny day we’ve had in a while. The new willow likes its new digs at the back of the pond. I sent photos to our vagabonding parents and they loved all the work we have done so far. I will try to get on later tonight and post some update photos.
Started my compost heap but with all the rain we have had this week it still isn’t getting warm. What have I done wrong? I layered browns and greens just like the book says, should I give it a stir already? I shredded leafs that I used really well and added a layer of sticks at the bottom for air. Then in went a layer of grass clippings and deadheaded flowers, a layer of dried leafs, then more of the same and so on, with a squirt of water. But then it has rained all week also, is that the problem?
I I had a wonderful weekend and a wonderful mother’s day, because I got to play to my yard the whole time and hang out with the boy!!
I picked a whole colander full of lettuce and spinach from the garden Saturday and we had a big salad with our dinner. Used some of the fresh herbs on the deck to make a dressing. Yummy! My tomatoes are going gangbusters and everything else is coming along. It was really warm this weekend with record highs. But we have a cool down this week so that will be nice.
Ryan and I went to the pond store and got some water lettuce and hyacinths for the pond. We spent most of Sunday morning just running errands, going to the produce stand and having lunch. A good mom and son day. When they turn 20, their idea of a good time isn’t really hanging out with mom. But I think if you asked him he probably wouldn’t deny he had fun!! We also got some more 25 cent gold fish and added them to the pond. The originals are now about 6 inches long and did great over the winter so we got them some friends. My lotus now has six leafs and all the lilies have buds. Looking forward to the lettuce and hyacinths multiplying and helping to shade the water.
The daylily farm called to confirm that my order was dug and packaged and will be sent out today. Of course now I can’t find my receipt and don’t remember what I ordered! Oh well, I like surprises. I have been saving room in one bed for them and listening to hubby grumble about the bare spots. I keep telling him they are coming. Whew! Now they finally are.
The yard got its second haircut this weekend. I am so glad we did the front as well as the dog yard. It looks great and feels wonderful on the bare toes!! Zoysia was the way to go. Even with the trees it is doing great.
We got the back of the house power washed. The next project is to clean and re-stain all the decks. Once that is done I am hoping we can sit and enjoy the fruits of our labor for a few weekends without working. I did take some time to sit on the deck and watch the birds yesterday. Had all the regular visitors and a rose breasted grosbeak passing through stopped for a bite and a drink on his way north. His mate looks like a sparrow on steroids. She ate her fill and eyed me from the tree a few times. Got some good photos of her, but he was hiding in the cedar by the time I got back with the camera.
Lots of good steady on and off rain for the last couple of days. The veggies and flowers are loving it. By Saturday, we are supposed to be in the mid 80’s and tons of sun. We have quite a few small tomatoes and tons of blooms. My spinach and lettuce is growing like crazy and I put in another row of lettuce seed. The radishes and carrots are up and going to town too. The peppers have a lot of new foliage and are showing signs of blooming soon. Onions are plumping and the cukes are happy in there new bed.
All the daylilies, dahlias and lilies I planted are all up and doing well. Columbines are still blooming like mad. My new shade bed looks so nice, it really added to the front of the house. The pond side of the front was so busy and this side was a brick wall with a couple of windows. I just need to find something to put in there for winter interest. Is there a holly that does well in part sun? Pictures of all will be posted as soon as the rain let’s up enough to get some good photos.
The sod is well established now and looking wonderful. It will get its first haircut this weekend. Still need to finish the edging around the grass and ring the last of the trees with stone.
Went out front and sat in the rocker to watch the hummer wars last night. We have three feeders in the front and one little guy that takes up a position in the tree where he can guard all of them. I watched as he sat scanning the area, his little head swing back and forth, determined to catch any others trying to steal from his treasure. As the interlopers flew in, he was quick to strike, diving from his perch onto his unsuspecting victims. He successfully knocked one opponent to the ground. After each attack, he then proceeds to test a sip from each of the three feeders to be sure that all is well. I think I will get some S hooks to hang a couple of the feeders from the trees further apart in the yard, so that others have a better chance at a drink.
Anyone need a few squirrels? GRRRRR!!! Went out to the deck to check on my herbs and other pots and the buggers had dug in every single pot on the deck. Oh! And they somehow managed to get to my hanging basket of strawberries and ate every one of those too!! Told DH I needed a gun. He looked at me and said, “What did you do with my wife?” Teehee!
This morning I loaded the deck railing with peanuts and bird seed and hope that will keep them busy enough today and keep them out of my flower pots. I just bought a new finch feeder because they ate the plastic one. I think I have peeved them off, because this one is metal and they can’t get to the seed and they’ve taken revenge on me. I need a dog door to put in the sliding glass door to the deck and post Rob there during the day; he’d take care of them for me. You know that’s not a half bad idea really!