Six on Saturday – Hello Summer – June 22, 2019

We’ve been having intermitent rains so the lawn and gardens are lush. The weekend is predicted to be dry so we may get the grass mowed. Here are my six on the second day of summer.

  1. The monarda is in bloom. This one was called Raspberry Wine. It is prone to mildew but I love the color of the blooms.

2.  I experimented with agapantha last winter. Some were in the ground and some were in a pot outside. The potted plant froze to mush and went into the compost. The plants in the ground froze to the ground but came back and I have three stalks getting ready to bloom.

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3. My self-seeding cleomes are beginning to bloom in a garden in front of the house. Some are still growing in the gravel drive next to this bed and may get transplanted if I find the time. The volunteers required thinning and moving some to bare areas. I love that these come back every year.

4.  Some vegetables in large pots are thriving. Several baby zuchinnis are visible as are Tiren paste tomatoes — a new variety I raised from seed. I have one whole bed at the local community garden devoted to tomatoes. Last year’s crop was a bust so I am hoping for a better yield this year. I always lose my zuchinni’s to borers so maybe the plant in a pot will fare better.

5. I have seven pots of red twig dogwoods growing roots for fall planting in my “wet” garden. They had been rooting in water since I cut the dogwoods back in March.

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6. A flowering stalk on a Bottlebrush Buckeye. This one is going to be planted in my friend and writing partner’s garden. It will colonize and I have no room for it.

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That’s my six on this first Saturday of the summer. #lovemygarden. The SoS meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.  I learn something every week from the gardeners who participate.

Six on Saturday – Quick Pics – June 15, 2019

I’m in a hurry this morning, so here are six quick pictures from the garden. It’s been cooler than normal for June and no rain for the last few days so great to be out in the garden. But first a trip to the hardware store for more bags of potting soil. The redtwig dogwoods I’ve had rooting in a bucket for months are ready to be potted.

  1. Several of my daylilies are beginning to bloom.

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2. The hostas are sending up blooming stalks. This is from some variety with huge leaves, but I have no idea what its name is. I had to stoop to get the bloom which was under a leaf.

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3. A clump of butterfly weed. Lots of baby seedlings coming up around it. This photo was from yesterday afternoon and the sun was on the blooms which is why some of them look yellow.

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4. Bell flowers come back every year. This campanula was given to me by a friend and I don’t know the cultivar.

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5. Staking this sweet hollyhock is on the list of gardening chores for today. It was all in bud last week.

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6. The day lilies I call ditch lilies are blooming. A favorite of mine, they often grow in the ditches on the sides of roads. Others call them tiger lilies.

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That’s my quick pics for today. #lovemygarden. The SoS meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

Six on Saturday – The Promise of Buds – June 8, 2019

The first flush of spring blooms are waning, but when I walked through the garden early this morning I noticed many perennials covered with buds. Another week or two and the early summer blooms will be at their peak.

  1. A (soon to be) red zinna. They make great cut flowers.

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2.  This monarda has raspberry colored flowers. It will be in bloom soon.

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3.  This is a yellow day lily. My Stella d’oro are already flowering as well as a burgundy red day lily, but the yellow one is a little later.

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4.   This coneflower is tucked in among some other plants that now get more sun because I removed a river birch. This one seems happy. I’ll see if it likes more sun.

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5.  Someone gave me this lily but I don’t know what kind it is. It has large yellow orange flowers.

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6. I have no success with hollyhocks. They never flower before I lose them to rust. This one volunteered in one of my raised beds last year.  I almost pulled it out last fall but am glad I didn’t. The pink flowers are a surprise and no hint of rust as yet.

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That’s my Six on Saturday, photos this week of buds in my garden. The SoS meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – Pot Pourri – May 18, 2019

This week’s SoS pot pourri are not all from my garden.

Last weekend the husband and I were in Spokane, Washington for the graduation of our granddaughter from Gonzaga University.  We were so proud as Ellen graduated Magna cum laude. All of our four children were there to celebrate. They live in different parts of the states so it’s unusual to get them all in the same place at once. It made the weekend even more special.

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2.  It’s strawberry time in Maryland. But it’s been so wet I wondered if I would be able to get berries to make jam. I snagged a flat of these beauties on Thursday. Some have already been made into jam and some will top shortcake. Any leftovers (doubtful) will go in the freezer. Local strawberries are such a treat we eat them at least twice a day for the time they are available.

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3. My tomato bed at the community garden was planted two weeks ago. These are Amish Paste and Tiren (a new to me Italian plum tomato). I put down a paper that is supposed to degrade by the end of the growing season. This is the first time I have used this product and will be interested to see how it does. Anything to keep the weeds at bay.

This morning I planted a slicing cucumber at the front of the bed. The photo was taken before I did that.

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4. The rose on the new trellis by the shed is very happy. This is the third year for this rose which was a bare root planting.

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5. Yellow false indigo does well in a sunny spot in the garden.

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6. The Knock Out roses along the driveway are in bloom. They have become a favorite as they bloom until we have a hard frost and require very little care. I cut them back in March and then again mid-summer to keep them from getting too tall.

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That’s my Six on Saturday for this week. This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

 

 

 

 

Write on Wednesday – Why Watching Nova Makes Me Feel Like a Cockroach – February 20, 2019

Nova programs evoke strong responses in me. This week the husband and I have been watching a program about rockets.  I’d probably rather watch a cooking show, but when it comes to rockets the power of the human brain is awe inspiring. I can comprehend how someone, at some point in history, invented the wheel. But the engineering and sheer hubris in inventing something that goes into space is mind boggling. And I love seeing women in those rooms of engineering geeks.

A year ago I posted after watching a Nova episode titled Black Hole Apocalypse.

Here’s the log line from the PBS website: “Black holes are the most enigmatic and exotic objects in the universe. They’re also the most powerful, with gravity so strong it can trap light. And they’re destructive, swallowing entire planets, even giant stars. Anything that falls into them vanishes…gone forever.”

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I love Nova programs, but sometimes I feel like a dog listening to a human. Blah, blah, blah, Ginger. Blah, Fetch, blah. Especially the programs that are based on higher math. Math was never my strong suit. At Goucher College I was allowed to take an astronomy class instead of college algebra to fulfill the math requirement. Enough said! Note: I’ve never quite forgiven Goucher for taking away 27 semester hours of art credits when I transferred there from University of Maryland.

But this Nova program really made me aware of how many galaxies and stars and planets there are in the universe. Billions, trillions, way too many to count if we could see far enough. Our planet is an insignificant speck of dust among millions/billions of others. And it occurred to me that we are pretty much the cockroaches of the universe.  Somewhere out there another Mala Burt is writing the same book I’m working on. We think we’re special, but almost certainly are not. Note that I have enough ego to hold out some hope.

Alexander Pope said it best in his poem An Essay on Man.

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blessed: The soul, uneasy and confined from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”

Pope probably wouldn’t have written that poem if he’d been able to watch Black Hole Apocalypse. Despite Nova, I have enough hope to be thinking about  starting seeds for my always optimistic and hopeful garden. But that’s another post.

Six on Saturday – Should We Buy a Boat? – December 29, 2018

Yesterday it rained all day. It was so dark and gloomy, I had to push myself to get anything on my list accomplished (see #4). I reminded myself to be grateful that the inches of rain were not 30″ of snow.  Temperatures were in the fifties, so no chance of that, but the back of our property continues to be underwater. Getting to the shed requires tall waterproof boots.

  1. The garden is so wet and bedraggled that I wondered if there would be anything to photograph. When I stepped onto the deck and looked up at the lace of the leafless trees early this morning the moon was still visible, so that’s #1.

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2. The lake behind the house continues to grow. I have no idea what supports the shed next to this wet area. When the ground dries out I need to get down on my belly and take a look. It’s not in the water, but whatever it’s resting on has been wet for months. My gardeners’ heart hopes that any bunny litters under the shed do not survive.

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3. A tree limb, covered with lichens, came down in the storm. They are always so beautiful after a rain.

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4. I managed to accomplish one thing on my “to do” list. I planted the coleus that had rooted in a clear vase on my kitchen counter.

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5. I promised a photo of the dwarf Alberta spruce with the Christmas lights. The lights will stay on until April. Not from laziness, but because they give me pleasure in the evening.

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6. Despite the wet and dark days the wildlife in the garden is active. Out my office window this morning I saw a Northern flicker, a bluejay, a nuthatch, sparrows and two squirrels playing tag in the silver maples.  They know spring is coming as does the sedum Autumn Joy. No lenten roses blooming yet, but I’ll keep checking.

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The days are getting longer, bit by bit, and the garden (and this gardener) is resting. Just for a little while, however, as the garden catalogues are arriving.

May 2019 bring you sunshine, rain and fertile soil…all in just the right amounts.

That’s my Six on Saturday, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. There’s always something interesting in the garden if you just stop to look. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

Write on Wednesday – Maine Welcomes The Santa Diaries – December 18, 2018

Maine wasn’t as cold as we expected, but it does get dark early. It was a short flight from Baltimore and by the time Laura Ambler and I landed at the Portland airport and were in the rental car (complete with ice scraper) it was getting dark. It was an hour drive to Bath. We checked into our hotel, found a place to eat dinner and walked to the theater to see the opening night show at the Chocolate Church Center for the Arts.

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Thom Watson, the producter, told us before the show that the light board had gone out that afternoon and they were using dimmers and spots. The show must go on and it did to a full house. We were entranced.

Chocolate Church Center for the Arts is a wonderful theater space. The bones of the original church are still there, and it has great acoustics. We were told that on Friday afternoon two hundred school children kids had attended a performance of The Santa Diaries, many of them seeing their first live stage performance. The photo below was taken before Saturday’s matinee. The light board was back up.

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The director of the show was Dennis St. Pierre, an Actors Equity  and Screen Actors Guild member with 20 years of professional work in the theater, tv and music industry as an actor, singer, director and producer.  He is currently the interim Executive Director for the Chocolate Church Performing Arts Center and recently created an Arts Education program that allows for collaboration with local school programs. It was that program that brought all those school kids to see The Santa Diaries. What a wonderful gift to the students.

In the opening scene of the show, cute elves deliver packages to Sandy Hawes who believes he has a calling… to be Santa.

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The large cast exemplifies a line in the play…”It’s community theater. Anyone who wants a part, gets a part.” The photo below doesn’t show all the adorable elves who occasionally escaped their wranglers backstage and made an early entrance!

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Chocolate Church did something clever to facilitate scene changes. They created three wheeled set pieces: a left and right window and a center piece that was the fireplace in Sandy’s living room (not seen in photo above). Each of these set pieces could be turned around to show something different on the other side. And for the finale (the community theater renovated after a fire) Christmas lights were turned on to show decorations in the actual theater. The audience went, “Awwww.” It was beautiful.

Before the show on Friday night we walked around the quaint main street of Bath. There was  a snowman with a fire in his belly and kids were roasting marshmallows. With lots of adult supervision, of course. The only thing missing was lightly falling snow.

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If we had stayed longer we would have attended the free community carol sing at Chocolate Church, a tradition on the last Monday evening before Christmas. And we would have spent more time at the Maritime Museum where the Christmas tree was made out of lobster pots.

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At home, on the Chesapeake Bay, we have crab pot Christmas trees .

After three traveling weekends it was lovely to be home and put away my suitcase. Requests for perusal scripts have been coming in from theaters around the country, so it will be interesting to see where The Santa Diaries finds community theater homes in 2019. We already know one production will be in Tennessee.