dry garden

It’s pretty sad out there lately. It is supposed to rain in the next few days and I really hope it does. My phlox are all droopy and even the weeds look parched. I’ve been noticing what is drought tolerant. The native turtlehead and false dragonshead are looking glossy and fresh, of course the sword-like iris leaves look fine, and the peony bushes are glossy, dark green and chipper.

turtlehead chelone

Heliotrope, yarrow, delphinium, catmint, lavender and other herbs, and zinnias look great.  The sunflowers seem OK, and hosta are hanging in there, but most other plants in the garden are just awful looking. We are watering the newly planted bushes and the hydrangea heavily. Everyone else is on their own. Oh, and David is watering the vegetable garden, too. Don’t look, Rachel, here is the beautiful garden spider in the meditation garden:

We hung the new chimes in the entry of the meditation garden, but it was too loud at night, so we’ve moved it to a less breezy, more remote spot. Here it is before we moved it:We’re both quite conservative about garden art and garden furniture. It’s partly that frugal is David’s middle name, and it’s partly that we are fussy about what we want in the garden. But years ago I commissioned a local artist Max Coots to create several pieces of garden art. One is what we call the froad, because it looks like a cross between a toad and a frog. Max made it with a golden ball under one foot and a crown on its head. Here it is peeking out from the catmint, under the hydrangea. The other piece that Max made, a dragon playing the upright string bass, turned out to be too exquisite to be put outside–it lives on top of the piano for all to admire. At Christmas the dragon sports a tinsel scarf.

Well, I’d better stop here and get to work! Classes start in a few days, and as usual I’m writing syllabi at the last minute!

Some kind of tall coneflower or sunflower I got from a friend. It’s about seven feet tall and is spreading like mad.


Hopefully we have found a home for the many-toed grey kitten, and this possible taker says she might also take the black and white pinto kitten. Here are some photos.

This is grey kitty looking disgusted and leaving the area, while “Charlie” (David nixed the “Lucky” name) is oblivious. And here is Tater’s reaction. He has also retreated and is glaring at them malevolently. They got the hint and they are keeping a distance. Until they forget to, and go up to play with him again. Poor Tater! But mostly they play with each other. Here is the grey kitten trying to eat Charlie’s ear. Here is Charlie pouncing on the grey kitten. You see why I can’t get my work done? They’re adorable!

Best news of all is that I was wrong about there being nowhere to turn. It turns out that the St Lawrence County SPCA near Ogdensburg will take them if we can’t find them homes. At least the pressure is off, and we are hoping they will soon move to a new loving home. (The other cats hope so, too.)

Quick “I’m back” post

I have good pictures from our garden-hopping trip out to the west coast, but between getting ready for the new semester, preparing for a concert (with the Northern Lights Orchestra) tomorrow and riding at the barn (Honeydew Acres farm–and here is my blog about my horse Tundra) , I have not spent much time to work with the photos or write blog posts or get out to my garden for some much-needed weed-wrestling.

On our way back from Schenectady we stopped at Kulak’s Nursery and purchased a few things for the garden–I finally bought some Roxanne geranium, and we bought a wind chime for the meditation garden. And we bought a Ninebark bush, large and coppery-colored. We just planted it this morning, with lots of help (?) from two kittens that were dropped off on the road next to our driveway a few days ago. I was irritated at the laziness of the droppers–why don’t they just take them to the SPCA? But when I tried to take them there, I found out why people drop off kittens: the SPCA can’t take kittens, unless you live in the few towns that have this service. After spending quite a lot of time on the phone to various SPCA offices, I realized that we are on our own with these kittens. We already have four cats, which is more than we want (we love cats but David is allergic). So I’ve been working on finding homes for them. Meanwhile, we are “fostering” them because we don’t have much choice. They thought the whole process of digging a big hole, filling it with water, putting in composted horse manure, and after planting covering the area with some hay mulch was great fun. I’ve already named one of them (I know, a bad sign) “Lucky”. Lucky is black and white. There’s also a grey one with seven toes on each paw who is just adorable, and we may have a taker for him. Lucky is adventurous, bold, and friendly. The grey one is timid, cautious and shy.

Quick mention: a beautiful big black-and-yellow garden spider has built a web in the meditation garden–hurray! Photos coming soon!