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Friday, August 1, 2014

Highlights of August in the Gardens + A Book Recommendation

I am so thankful that black-eyed susans bloom in August.  Without them the gardens would be rather bland.  Everywhere I look I see that cheery yellow face in my gardens.
See what I mean as I walk you through them on August 1st.

In Mom's Garden the black-eyed susans are just outside the front door.  They are in the perfect spot to spread out.

Hibiscus is still producing it's dinner plate sized blooms.

Hydrangea not as prolific but here's one beautiful bloom.

Butterfly bushes are attracting what butterflies there are.  Populations are down for butterflies around here.

Crepe myrtle is in its glory.  Hard to believe it started as a stick.

At the Pond Garden this miscanthus is immense.  I'm so glad we transplanted the other two which were originally here with this one.

Joe Pye weed is almost ready to open its blossoms.

Just under the Joe Pye is this water lily.  It's honored me with a bloom.

Elusive fish.  I still don't know where they disappear to.

Phlox between pond and porch.

More black-eyed susans at the pond.

The Glen Garden is hurting from deer feeding.  Ferns are not deer food, thankfully.  New fronds for this variety come out in such an interesting contrast color, then turn green.

Japanese fern is so different from all the other varieties.

In the Perennial Garden, more black-eyed susans, contrasting with phlox, purple cone flowers and knock out rose against the wall.

And even more of them.

The last of the star gazer lilies visited by one of the few butterflies.

And here's one of the last daylily blooms.

These hosta outside Dan's study have not been visited by the deer lately.  I won't be surprised if the buds are nipped off by morning.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Here's the book recommendation: Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper.  A wonderful blend of historical fact with the author's imagination of the relationship between William Shakespeare and the wife no one really knows anything about.  It's an engrossing read.  Totally believable.  Made doubly enjoyable for me because having been to England in June I could envision much of the scenery described.  If you enjoy historical fiction you will like this one, too.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Harvest Monday - Late July and An Apology

Wednesday, July 23rd.  Eggplants could have grown larger but I was impatient to make eggplant parmesan.  It was good.

Friday, July 25th.  First large tomato, a Tasti Lee Hybrid from Burpee.  We ate it on BLC's.  C for cucumber, I didn't have lettuce.

Saturday, July 26th.  Harvest after weeding on Saturday morning.  Here are separate shots of what's in the basket.

Two types of peppers.

Found another type of pepper, the Jimmy Nardello in the basket, so took another photo.
I used the peppers for stuffed peppers.  Even stuffed Cubanelle halves.

Cucumber and 2 small zucchinis.  The first harvest of the latter.

A mess of green beans and tomatoes.  Green ones came off branches I had to trim.

Below some of the green ones became fried green tomatoes.  I have discovered how good these are just this year.  Cornmeal, salt, pepper and a dash of sugar when browned in oil.

Monday, July 28th.  More tomatoes.

Here's the apology to the heron who I though had eaten all the goldfish.  The goldfish are still there.  Dan discovered them in the pond two days after my post about them being missing/eaten.  I don't know where they were hiding but they are still there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Now You See Them - Now You Don't

Remember these critters?  The goldfish in my pond?  They were there on Sunday.  I saw them from the deck when we had a campfire and made s'mores.

Here they are earlier this spring on a rainy day.

And here more recently as fuzzy gold shapes in the water.

As of Tuesday, they were gone.

No goldfish to be seen.

I think the heron I saw last week that landed in my backyard momentarily until I startled it, returned and had its fill. 
 I wonder what the absence of the goldfish will do to our lack of mosquitoes?  On the other hand I won't need to run the hose to fill up the pond when we have had no rain for an extended time.  I wonder how long it will be before the heron returns for the frogs?
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