Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Refused to Garden Today!

Weather in Kentucky has been a case of extremes this spring/summer.
An early spell of warm jump-started gardens, then May regressed into a sulk of chilly rain.
Early June brought temps in the 90's [F] humidity and a scarcity of moisture.
Flowers in the borders grew tall and lank--grass and weeds came up around them and I could only watch--first as the ground was too soggy to work, then became too dry. During such windows of opportunity as occurred, I put the needs of the vegetable garden first.
It rained for perhaps an hour on Sunday morning; enough rain to create mud in the edges of garden rows.
Yesterday [Monday] was a perfect day to weed. Grass and such pulled easily from moist ground and an overcast sky meant that I could work outside for hours without danger of keeling over from heat and sun.
I picked two collanders of green beans and weeded the bean rows as I picked.
I then turned my attentions to the strawberry patch. Runners set new plants very heavily early in the spring making the foliage very dense in some places.  I was able to clean out an area where the new runners are smaller, did some hand grubbing in the heavier planting.  I need to get back in there with my 3-pronged tool to pull out a sort of creeping clover that has invaded.

Siberian catmint has grown to towering heights--this clump was sheared last week.

I came inside long enough to cook some of the green beans to serve with left-over potato salad, sliced cucumbers in vinegar and sliced tomatoes.

I spent the next 3 or 4 hours in the two perennial strips, working until nearly full dark.
Weeding is easier this year.  Last season we contended with newly turned ground and decaying sod.
There are still clumps of an invasive heavily rooted grass finding their way in.  Most of the grass underneath the roses and larger perennials is a soft, shallow rooted stuff.
As you see above, the lovely poppies are about past their short blooming season.  The lower leaves have turned crisp and brown.  I'm so hoping that the seeds mature and dry in the pods without a wet spell to cause mildew. I have two plants of lupine rooted in--spoils from Gina's splurge at the Amish auction.
I planted lupines--from seed and from well-rooted plants--in my Vermont garden--it never flourished.

I scattered zinnia seed saved from last years garden in several bare spots. I think it will make a fine showing within a few weeks, filling in gaps.

Today's pink peony poppy.

There will be a day or two more to enjoy the shaggy dark red poppies.
Note how the stems have twisted as they endured wind and rain.

A bumble bee enjoys the monarda lambada--this was started from seed last year.
There are two colors. mauve and a pink.
It likes to invade.

A small single petaled poppy.
The rugosa rose behind the poppy is Blanc Double de Coubert--one of my favorites.  I'm concerned by the yellowed leaves on this and on another rugosa.  I'm hoping that with the space around them opened up they will become greener.  I think some TLC is in order.

Willis the helpful cat sniffs at a leaning poppy stalk.

The look of innocence.
Willis is the stringiest, shabbiest looking cat imaginable.
He is de-wormed regularly.
He is served good quality food.
He is just scruffy!

When my day of weeding ended in last night's twilight I was incredibly grubby: I wore my favorite gardening jeans--a pair with blown-out ragged knees.  Thus my knees were muddy.
I had worn sandals and my feet were a disgrace. My hands are stiff today and I've been trying to restore my nails to some kind of decency.
My aging bones ache!
I announced to J. that I wasn't gardening; I declared that I didn't intend to clean house---or do laundry---or bake.  He had recruited Devin to help with a project and suggested I go to town and do the banking.
I collected Gina and we had a lovely girl's day out.
We hit Goodwill--where G. found several sets of lace curtains which will be fine in her house, until I am sufficiently energized to deal with curtain making.
She found picture frames [which she will spray paint for a cottage-y look] for some of her presently unframed bits of artwork.
I found a pair of denim knee-length pants and another pair in brown linen, as well as a denim jacket.
[I love these finds--high-end brand names, $3.00 the pair and if I get paint or mud on them no big deal!]
We drove to the town square to do the banking--and feeling wildly adventurous, I led G. into a shop crammed with an assortment of vintage wares, primitive reproductions, textiles, china, etc.
I began to think that I would have to drag her ou!
Hunger prevailed: "Aren't we near the cafe that makes those wonderful sandwiches?"
"Right next door," I replied, "And I'm headed there!"
We had a fine lunch [G. treated], picked up a few neccesities at Wal Mart [Dreadful Place!] then stopped at our friend Marla's Casey House Antiques on our way home.
The above photo is of just one display there.
Marla's collectibles deserve a whole post of their own.
So---home, to find that J. had managed to make himself a sandwich, to find that the kitchen was untidy and needed attention. 
I dealt with that, then out to wander around the flower garden assessing the results of yesterday's labors--seeing work work still to be done--but not today!
[I did buy a treasure at the shop in town--but I'm not ready to show it off yet!]


  1. What a lovely day out with your daughter. I look forward to the time when Tam and Jonty are nearer again. You have some lovely plants in your garden and it is obviously rewarding you for all last year's hard work. We too are having strange weather - one moment it's cool with April showers, and now we're having a mini heatwave!

    I think Willis is adorable and he obviously likes to have a paw in everything you're doing.

  2. Lovely to see Willis back in a post- and he's not scruffy- he is gorgeous!! :-)

    you wander round town sounds good, it does us good sometimes to have a day off doesnt it? It must be lovely for you to have your daughter close again so you can enjoy these little trips out together!

    looking forward to finding out what you bought today!

    Leanne x

  3. A day out occasionally is good for the soul:) I had a similar sort of day yesterday but with a very old friend rather than my daughter. I keep looking at my garden and thinking I should do something out there but so far thinking is as far as it's got!