Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Friday, July 31, 2009

What's Happening in the Garden on July 31st

Take a walk with me around the yard. Just outside the front door the black-eyed susans are in their full glory. The three butterfly bushes are starting to attract the insects but it always surprises me how few butterflies there are at first.


The hydrangea keeps opening new blooms in this front bed.





The sunflower is hanging its blossom head with the weight of the seeds. I frightened off some goldfinches when I opened the door. You can see where they are already feasting on the seeds.


Russian sage with trimmed lavender to the left.

Newly weeded swale to the pond.
Joe Pye weed.
Perennial beds

A lovely begonia in the hanging basket.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Decision About the Sunflower

I would have let the sunflower stay right where it volunteered to grow. The deer had other ideas. One of them came by and ate the top off! I think the deer cast the deciding vote.

Tomorrow I will get out the liquid fence to spray the plants I don't want them eating.

Monday, July 20, 2009

To Pull or Not To Pull?

That is the question facing me. Dear reader, let me know what you think.


I have wonderful sunflower volunteers in one part of the front bed. They're perfect where the squirrel/bird planted them. Now I discovered another sunflower growing out of a lavender plant. Can you see it in the view above? Here's a better picture of it (below).


What would you do?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Faces


The lilies didn't quite make it for Bloom Day but here they are. These were housewarming gifts from Dan's sister back in April 2006. I didn't realize until this year that one was pure white. I guess it didn't bloom last year. Every year they get more gorgeous. Thank you, Valerie.

Mischief Makers Part II

I was sweeping the deck this morning and realized that the wren house I had had to move because the raccoons had gotten into the suet feeder was not where I left it on the deck with the hook. I went looking for it. Sure enough, there it was below the bird bath on the edge of the glen.

How did the raccoon carry it there? And what did they think they would find in it? Maybe it isn't a raccoon? But what else could it be?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mischief Makers

The first thing I noticed was the ceramic dish I have placed over the electric cord connection above the pond. It was turned over and I knew the raccoons had been through overnight. They turn the dish over to see if there are any edibles underneath for them. Bugs, I suppose they look for.

I went out to water plants and saw the suet cage at the edge of the glen. It had hung from a tulip popular on a long skinny hook. It's been like that for 9 months and never disturbed. The hook was off the branch and lying in the grass. I was thankful the suet cage had not been taken out of sight, which is what the mischief makers used to do with my birdfeeder until I got wiser. They ate most of the two suet blocks and most of the corn. I imagine they put their paws through the cage because the lid was still secured.

I know the mischief maker is the raccoon and not a squirrel because the squirrel was content to hang off the suet feeder eating the corn cob I put in there.

The raccoon's final stop was the grill. They had taken out the foil drip pan and shredded it. I don't know how they can reach it for it through the space that is there, but they did. Again I was thankful they didn't steal the knobs off the grill, which they did last summer.

The suet feeder is now on the solitary hook that has a baffle. No trees are near by to jump from and there is no way they can get up the pole, I think.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July Bloom Day

Here's some of what's blooming on this July Bloom Day. There are more blooms in this garden then last year because the garden is just in it's childhood. This is it's 4th summer.

In the front yard, the butterfly bushes are in full glory. The hydrangeas survived the deer with no attacks this year and are in bloom. The lavender and Russian sage are a lovely shade of purple. In yellow I have a volunteer sunflower and black-eyed susans and stella d'oro day lilies (not shown).



Among the herbs and vegetables, the oregano, dill, onion, purple basil and zucchini are in bloom.




In the perennial beds in the backyard:

Bee balm and yarrow


Two varieties of day lilies.

Shasta daisies and clemetis


Knockout rose and hostas

A wort next to the pond and a fuschia in a hanging basket.

A promise of bloom to come, hopefully before the sun sets on Bloom Day.
Stargazer lily.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First Tomato

Here is my first tomato of the season. It's a Fourth of July variety that's 10 days late. I don't know when the next one will ripen. All the others are still green.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lavender Bottles

Do you have a lot of lavender? I sure do and I'm grateful to my friend Karen (aka Keggy on ABY) for sending me directions on how to use it to make lavender bottles.
Cut long lengths of lavender. Select 13-14 stems and gather them with a ribbon tying the ribbon directly below the blooms.


Wrap the two ends of the ribbon around the blooms and tie off at the top.

Bring the stems up over the blooms one at a time.Tie the stems together at the top and trim the stems to the same length. Hang in a closet or place in a drawer for that wonderful lavender scent.
I have to give credit for the lavender bottle directions to this lavender craft website.
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