It’s hot and muggy. I was out by 6 a.m. using muriatic acid to clean up the motar repair job I did on the front brick walk. It looks pretty good, if I do say so. Another job off the “to do” list for this summer. I was in the house by 8 after patrolling flower beds for baby maple trees and picking up sticks that those glorious old maples throw down every time the wind blows.
Here are my quick six this morning.
Diminutive hostas around a seating area are in bloom. They proliferate like crazy and need to be thinned. My dad made these Adirondack chairs for my first house in 1965. They have been mended with screws and Bondo and the original cedar painted, but they still offer a quiet place to watch the garden.
2. I found this box turtle in the drive and put him in a flower bed where I hope he/she will snack on slugs. When I showed the picture to my husband he asked, “What are the letters painted on the shell?” They are just normal box turtle markings but I did think the same thing when I picked it up.
3. The zuchinni plant in a big pot succumbed to borers. It went in the trash this morning. I thought I could outwit the borers by using a pot. Every year I say I’m giving up on squash and every year I try again. An example of “hope over experience” but I’m pretty sure there is some stupidity involved.
4. The packet of striped zinnias seeds that I planted has now put out a pink and white bloom. Another seed saver flower.
5. A yoga pal brought bags of elephant ear tubers to class one morning. I threw some in a big landscape pot and they are thriving in the shade of a big maple.
6. A view along the side of the garage. The hosta in the foreground needs to be divided as do many in the garden. A chore for fall when the humidity is lower. The monarda are still giving a pop of color although the leaves are getting mildewed.
Summer temperatures are finally here. In the mid-nineties most days. No rain for a week but I’m not complaining…yet. I’ve been pressure washing the house a side a day with the loan of equipment from my neighbor. I’m wet by the time I finish, but with the heat I don’t mind. There’s lots of color in the garden this time of year and I enjoy my early morning walk to check on everything. Saw the first Japanese beetle last week so will start carrying a container of soapy water on my walks around the garden to drown them in. Easier than squishing the beetles.
This clematis just keeps blooming when the others have stopped. I lost the tag for this one when the lattice was replace but I thought it was Arabella. When I googled clematis Arabella it said it was non-vining. This doesn’t get very tall but I have tucked it into the lattice and it seems happy. I’m sticking with Arabella.
2. The Vitex tree (aka Chaste tree) at the end of the driveway is now in full bloom. I didn’t get around to cutting it back this spring so it is now taller than I want it to be. It blooms on new wood so will need to be trimmed aggressively next spring.
3. I planted a packet of zinnia seeds that I found in my seed box. This first bloom has wonky petals but I love the color. Some other zinnias I planted from seed are too tall and get floppy. Next year I’ll pay more attention to plant height but I will certainly save seed from this beauty.
4. Getting more sun with last year’s removal of a river birch has benefited this clump of purple coneflower.
5. I have shasta daisies several places in the garden. They are descendents of a clump at the house when we moved here 13 years ago. There wasn’t much here. The daisies were planted in a small circle in the middle of the backyard ringed with a variety of odd stones the family must have brought home from trips.
6. Coreopsis Moonbeam spreads and I now have it multiple places in the garden and in some pots. If sheared back by a third, it will bloom again late summer and fall. Wikipedia tells me: “Coreopsis verticillata is a North American species of tickseed in the sunflower family.” I am a sucker for anything with yellow flowers. I love the pop in shaded parts of my garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.