Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rainy Sunday Walk-About

Zoom shot of the neighbor's barns, down the valley.
Rain began soon after daylight and has continued in soft bursts into late afternoon.

I was awake and out of bed much earlier than I would have preferred.
It seemed a pleasant cool morning to trim up the plants on the front porch which have looked less than thrifty from the long spell of hot weather.
When I brought out the broom to sweep away leaves and stems, Bobby McGee, one of the drop-off kittens, decided to help.  Willis is monitoring him from behind.

I pruned the roses sharply when the drought broke several weeks ago.
They have rewarded me with new blooms. and the invasion of Japanese Beetles seems to have run its course.  [Shssssh!]
This is Hawkeye Belle.

The magnolia tree is offering more of its waxy fragrant blooms.

In the throes of springtime enthusiasm I ordered two long-coveted yellow peonies, familiarly known as "Mollie-the-Witch" [a simple form of the multi-syllabic Russian name].
I was dismayed on receiving them to find they were mere slips--frail thready roots.  I nurtured them in pots until each plant had formed a tuberous root about 1 1/2 inches long and slightly less thick than a pencil.
I set them into the newly prepared peony bed where, as the drought and heat increased, they languished.
Anxiously I lifted them, returned them to pots and tended them on a corner of the porch.
The leaves went down and I dispaired of my investment.
This morning, shuffling pots about, I noticed  tiny green nodules at the base of each withered stem.
With raindrops trickling down my neck, I tucked them back into the peony bed, with renewed hope.

I've had this 'painted' geranium [pelargonium] for nearly a dozen years.  The stem has gotten gnarly and the whole plant rather shabby. Still, a heavy pruning several weeks ago has encouraged flowers.
Its not ready yet for the compost pile.

Shabby but colorful zinnias. On the right, a row of dwarf sunflowers.  I sowed the seed thickly just before the long drought began.  After the first rains, J. tilled that space and I planted green beans. Inspired by rain the sunflowers flung themselves upward amongst the beans.

Less than half a dozen cosmos germinated from an entire packet of seed.
They stood there drooping dismally in the heat.
Today two brave pink blossoms have spread their petals to the rain.

I stood beneath the maple at the edge of the drive, gazing up into green branches. Raindrops fell on my face, shaken from the leaves by the soft breeze.
The flash activated when I snapped the photo--it was much darker under the tree than the photo suggests.

Even the butterfly bush is inspired by rainy weather.

So lovely, with her head drooped in the rain; rosa, Wise Portia.

A very orange sunflower which sprang up at the edge of the front porch.

Volunteer sunflowers in the rubble behind the garage.
[The area PROMISED as future greenhouse site.]

Charlie, resembling a headless heap of fur, enjoying a snooze on the bedroom windowsill
between showers.

I am proud to have been included in The Illuminating Blogger awards assigned by Christine at
Writing From Scotland.
After great frustration I have managed to add the icon to my sidebar.
[A few awards over the years skittered off into space due to my lack of technical persistance.]
Christine put many hours of research into her book, No Place Of My Own, a transcription of her g-g-grandmother's diaries, with photos and family background.
I was drawn into the life and times of that lively lady. Copies of the book are available at Christine's blogsite. It is an absorbing read for those who enjoy family history and the process of documentation.


  1. Everything looks so beautiful! There's a lesson in those peonies. Lost a lot of plants here because of the drought. Maybe I shouldn't give up on them yet?

  2. I am learning plenty about flowers from your blog today. I love the painted geranium. My grand-mother filled her window boxes with geraniums but never one as beautiful as this. Look at those babies..they are growing fast. How sweet they are and I bet they are having a lot of fun at your home. Little Audrey is most-likely a mix of things and one being oriental. I don't know the dad, only the mom. I fostered her and her three babes from our local shelter and ended up keeping mom and Audrey. She is very lion-like, isn't she?

  3. I'm so glad you have gotten some rain, everything is looking GREAT. Your zinnia patch looks wonderful and happy. Rain is refreshing to plants, humans and critters alike.

    Have a fantastic week.


  4. You and I have a few flowers in common - I have a splashed pink Geranium just like yours (in a planter by the front door), and a butterfly bush just that shade by the front gate (forsaken by the butterflies this year as so many perished in the cold and wet).

    I have to say, with my current health problems, I looked at my garden this week and wish I'd planted shrubs . . . I'm glad your Paeonies have survived and I look forward to seeing them flowering (next year?)

    Bobby McGee reminds me so much of Tippy - very similar face markings.

  5. Love the photo of Charlie. That stray kitty is looking a lot better already.

  6. Your garden looks well and so fresh after the rain. I always have some pots of perlagoniums by the front door in summer and try to keep them going from year to year, but your twelve year old has surpassed any of mine. A pretty painted flower.

  7. So glad to be able to accompany you on your walk. The header flower is just gorgeous.