UPDATE from last week:
I haven't had time for much beyond the basics in the garden this week. Busy. Busy. Busy. Among other thing, I'm looking for a new job.
I actually find myself dreading the thought of being successful in my job hunt, but working part time for half the year is just not supporting all our vices. We're particularly concerned about our addictions to eating regularly and living indoors. Indulgent, I know, but what can I say?
How will I possibly survive without my mornings in the garden? It's just too painful to contemplate. Don't mind me; I'll be fine. I think I'll sit in my garden rocker now and have a cup of tea. . . .
Look! This is our younger daughter, Petunia, looking pensive. (She's adopted, but looks remarkably like my husband.) Isn't she just the most precious little angel?
We find her much more appreciative and loving than her older siblings, and are amending our wills accordingly.
Petunia is a full blooded Boxer and came to us by way of a rescue shelter. Besides the general shelters, there is a rescue for just about any breed you can think of. With so many little sweethearts in need of loving homes, there is just no reason to patronize breeders and the like. We also have an Australian Shepherd who was a rescue dog, and they have both been wonderful additions to our family.
If you're looking for someone to love you unconditionally,
(Sorry for the commercial, but I do feel strongly about this.)
You know what else I've learned? Boxers never grow up! Imagine a 70 pound puppy - forever. She's my baby and likes to sleep in my lap while I read or watch TV. With my legs outstretched on a stool, she fills my entire lap - to my toes. In the winter she's kind of like a full body heating pad. She's been with us for a year and a half now, and It's hard to remember life before her. (And no, that's not senility talking!)
Oh! Oh! Oh! We've started seeing Monarch butterflies in the garden. It has been such a long time. My commitment to not using poison is paying off beautifully. Yes, I have had to learn to put up with pests, and find imaginative ways of dealing with them instead of eradicating them. But the variety of amazing living things enjoying and nurturing my garden with me has exploded, too. We're like a little co-op. A strange little co-op. We all do our part, and we all reap rewards.
- Edgar Lee Masters
I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners,
Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
And then I found Davis.
We were married and lived together for seventy years,
Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
Eight of whom we lost
Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
I made the garden, and for holiday
Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
And many a flower and medicinal weed--
Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you--
It takes life to love Life.
I wish I had a better quality camera. Or maybe It's just me. If you were to ask the camera, I'm sure that would be its story.
This is the bed between the house and the drive way. I expanded it from the small area where an old climbing rose bush grew next to the house. The heat this year has taken quite a toll on the bush; it's usually big enough to fill in the background of this picture. This year, not so much.
Last fall my husband found a small Japanese Maple on clearance. It had been trimmed to look like a lollipop, but it was still fairly healthy so he brought it home. Through the fall and winter it's leaves were a beautiful crimson color. The canopy has filled out nicely and it looks quite happy.
This little lump is a red azalea. It dropped it's flowers during the heat wave, but still has some new growth. I have it at the back of this bed as it will eventually end up being much more than a lump.
It's hard to tell from the photo, but this is a Pieris Japonica, sometimes called a Lilly of the Valley bush. In full bloom it is a mass of little white flowers. When I planted it this spring its flowers were starting to fade, but it put on lots of bright, new growth. And now it is covered with brand new bracts for a beautifully full rebloom. (If the heat doesn't have other ideas.)
A big half barrel in the center of the bed holds golden colored mums and, in the spring, huge yellow daffodils. I didn't get a picture of its first bloom, when it was a beautiful golden mass. I'm hoping to get something tall to put in the center, but I just can't decide what to put there. It needs to be something eye catching, but can't grow too big or too fast.
The purple flowers around the base of all these plants are verbena, and they're filling up the empty space nicely.
This bed also contains my 'nursery.' Here's where I keep my pots and the plants that are having difficulty.
In this picture are two lemon grass plants, a tiny bay laurel, a scotch broom, and a holly.
Here you can see all the new growth on my poor jade plant. This winter was hard on it, but it's coming back well.
And . . . a couple of my garden tenants, both hiding (or trying to) in the Japanese Maple.
It looks like a grasshopper, but I'm not sure. This is the first one I've seen in the garden.
And if you look real close, you can see a praying mantis.
As always, you can click on any of the pictures to embiggen them.