We did get a little rain today, thank goodness, but the garden is pretty dry this summer. In spite of that the lilies and phlox and daylilies are showing their colors. The back yard especially is almost dizzying. When phlox bloom they create an amazing cloud of color. I love how there are so many different shades of pink, red and lavender.The oriental lilies are blooming. I’ve had to stake them, partly because I planted these in a spot with insufficient sunshine, and they all leaned over to try to find the sun. I’ll move them next year.I am slowly and carefully returning lilies to the garden after the disaster with red lily bugs of five years ago. Then I had 500 or 600 lilies all over the garden, and couldn’t keep the bugs off. Now I have three spots where small numbers of oriental lilies are, and I think I’ll stick with that idea. The other star of the garden now is daylilies, which are peaking this week. This one is a Klehm lily, called “country fair winds”. Every morning I walk around the garden with a bucket to snap off the faded daylily blossoms. It might seem like a bother but it’s a wonderful way to start the day, and it lets me really look at each plant and enjoy the colors. The lily below is a double, and very fragrant.We are also harvesting a lot from the vegetable garden and our currant bushes. The black currants did great this year. Here I am picking currants yesterday. And this morning we picked 12 quarts of blueberries at our neighbor’s U-pick farm. We’re going to make blueberry jam!
We freeze them and will hopefully make something interesting out of them. We especially have a lot of black currants. Maybe we can make currant cordial or jelly.Our elderberries are blooming, and here is our young fruit orchard:We have a variety of trees and shrubs: currants, elderberries, apricot, pear, and others. The green peppers have started producing. Those get chopped small, frozen on baking trays, then put into freezer bags for use in chili. We will soon be making pesto with our basil, parsley and garlic. And we’re looking forward to trying my sister’s tomato sauce recipe when our tomatoes ripen. They are growing like mad. This picture is of me between walls of climbing beans and tomato in the garden this morning.In the flower garden, there are too many things to list that are blooming. I’ll put here some landscape views of the various beds:
The colors never seem to clash, no matter how they get combined:
I found a new source of wood chips, after being informed that the pile I was using in Potsdam was supposed to be for the dog park–oops! I have to go a little further but now I’m legal. Paths look nice with wood chips on them:I have been patrolling the garden in the cool mornings for Japanese beetles and red lily bugs. The Japanese beetles really love hollyhock–warning: this next photo is rather X-rated!The daylilies are starting up in earnest now. I walk around each morning with a bucket to deadhead. Here are just a few:I bought four six-packs of cleome, and they have really prospered in the hot dry weather. And here are a few other bright spots in the garden:
Open letter to the skunk:
Thank you for visiting our garden last night again! I am happy to be sharing space with many creatures and you are welcome here. I smelled your lingering perfume on the cool air this morning, and saw that you’ve been busy as usual digging for worms and grubs. I don’t mind re-arranging the soil and smoothing over the little holes you make. But, I wonder, could you stop digging up the marigolds and petunias? They’re getting a little ragged from getting dug up every night and re-planted every morning. Have a nice day, and thanks again for visiting!
high summer is here!
Along the roadsides, a garden of blue chickory, daisies, black-eyed Susan, clover and Queen Anne’s Lace is always for me the signal that high summer has arrived. We’ve had glorious days of hot sun and blue skies. In my own garden, an increasing flow of produce from the vegetable garden, and the close of the peony season signal high summer. Here is the last bouquet of peonies, from a late-blooming bush of fresh-looking snow-white “Elsa Sass”.
My dictionary says a scavenger “salvages discarded items”. For me garden scavenging is all about adding amendments to the soil to keep it healthy. Recently I have been dragging half-rotted logs and branches from the woods to place in the garden to to line paths, or to make garden art. And all summer long I keep big tubs, buckets and a pitchfork in my all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza hatchback to bring home various organic materials. One favorite spot is the dumping ground for used stall shavings from a large horse barn. A few weeks ago another gardener tipped me to a source of free wood chips which I was delighted to make use of. I am putting these chips on some of my paths. They break down very slowly, are good for moisture retention, blocking weeds, and of course do eventually become soil.
A new backyard path!
Going into the back yard from the meditation garden I had earlier created a wide path:
But most of the back yard was a trackless mass of plants and I had to thread my way through whenever I wanted to get into it to weed or whatever. So I put some thought into where to put a path that would disturb the least number of plants, and this is the result: Nice and wide, mulched with wood shavings, and with the plants politely standing aside.