Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Bit Random

I suspect I have become tedious lately--life has been dominated by the garden and its proliferation of green beans, corn and tomatoes.
The drought of July has been broken, and now we deal with frequent bursts of heavy rain.
We went early to the other place this morning, Jim hoping to run the tiller through burgeoning weeds and then mow the grass before the predicted rain reached us.
As has been usual lately, the rain came on before we had finished our work.
Jim dug the first of the sweet potatoes and cut an over-whelming quantity of okra which has suddenly shifted into high production.I set myself to picking green beans [sigh] and peppers, then wallowed in to pull the weeds which have taken over in my cosmos and sunflowers.
[I hate to admit that Jim warned me I wouldn't be able to manage that long strip of flowers!]

 Thursday was one of the nicest days weather-wise that anyone could imagine.
I sat on the porch for a few minutes after J. left for work--enjoying the freshness of the morning, the busy swoops and darts of the hummingbirds, the wisps of fog over the creek burning away as the 
sun climbed higher.
The loud voice of a bird in the maple tree to the right of the porch summoned Willis who immediately took up a vigil, staring up into the branches.

It was an odd sound, a bit like the call of a mourning dove, but louder, more strident.
I fetched my camera, peered intently into the leafy canopy, but could detect no movement. 
Whatever bird landed there apparently didn't choose to linger and come under the scrutiny of Willis.

Since I had the camera in hand I walked around the yard looking for a pleasant scene.
The old barns are just shabby enough to be picturesque.

The ghost of the moon still hung in the blue sky.

I decided to tackle the much neglected perennial strip nearest the drive.
The phlox and coneflowers faded early with the drought. I cut everything back about 10 days ago and with the rain there is now the promise of some September bloom.
In the lower left of the photo you can see the Michaelmas daisies [aka New England asters] ready to put on a show. 
There are some shabby spots in the strip--in part because I have divided plants; my heavy pruning has resulted in a very diminished look also.
The earth was moist enough that the weeds came up with relative ease.
Still, I worked there through most of the day.
This kind of intensive gardening labor is not kind to an aging body!
The lower strip needs to be cleared as well; it has always been a rougher area.
Both strips need a new application of mulch. 

The nandina recovered valiantly from the January freeze; the decorative berries are just starting to show a red tint.

Since Eggnog's passing Edward has been practicing at being a lap cat.
He is so large that he doesn't fit well in my lap and aggravates this by a great deal of turning and shuffling, so that I have to support him to prevent his slithering to the floor in a heap.
When I am at my desk he often installs himself in the bathroom sink, the half-bath being just off this 
small room.
Better there than landing on my desk or overflowing from my lap onto the keyboard.

Nellie has a very mellow personality.
He can sleep for hours on the bed or sofa in positions of utter relaxation.

On the way outside with veg parings after lunch I noticed that 'Wise Portia' had a half-opened bloom held up to the onslaughts of the rain.
The rose hadn't been savaged by Japanese beetles, so I snipped it and brought it inside to enjoy its 
color and perfume.
The ground will be too wet to garden tomorrow.
There are today's garden gleanings to be dealt with.
How contrary of me to be anxious each spring to plant a garden, only to grumble in late summer that I am over-whelmed by its success!


  1. I especially like the picture of the old barn and the one with the moon.

    1. Lillian; The editor of the local paper once told me that area barns are picturesque right up to the moment they fall down! I agree.

  2. I totally sympathise, Sharon, I'm feeling a bit jaded with gardening too and like you, I'm a victim of my own success! SO much to do!! I think maybe it's because we are suffering from a bout of very autumnal/wintry weather - I've just been caught in a hail storm while picking the green beans for supper. Not what you want in August. Your rose is gorgeous, and your cats beautiful. Are all of these your current family? I'm sorry you have lost Eggnog.

    1. Lorely; We've had dramatic shifts of weather lately, making it a bit difficult to manage the outside work on two properties.
      The cats are the current 'family;' [sigh] homeless waifs seem to find us. The tortie sisters are barn cats, Willis, Willow and the three brothers have indoor/outdoor privileges, as does Charlie.

    2. Well they are all beautiful, and your barn is beautiful too, so I'm sure the tortie sisters love living in the barn. We always end up with the homeless waifs too. I think there must be an invisible sign on our gate... I think my husband would love to do a painting of your barn, he loves buildings like that!

  3. Lorely; Our barn isn't as old as it perhaps appears. The late owner of the property told us the barns were built in the mid 1930's. The arched roof on the 'horse barn' is interesting from the inside--looking up at the beams and timbers, and the whole has aged to a wonderful silvery hue.
    Re the influx of cats: I'm sure there is some sort of a signal that we unwittingly display that brings the homeless to our door!

  4. Whatever it is Sharon, we have that very same signal here!! Like you I am struggling with the garden - can't tend it when it DOES get hot in the summer and now I am juggling, as you are. You have my sympathies. Lovely photos and I loved the comment about the barn : )

  5. O to be as relaxed as Nellie. Rowan is out relaxed cat and even snores. lol

  6. Our lovely Maine Coone, Honey, used to curl up in the bathroom sink : )

  7. So lovely to share your busy day - such pretty surroundings and sweet companions! I share your angst at the gardens this time of year. Mine are being overtaken by wild morning glory (bindweed) and I really need to get out there and do some damage control, but it is raining today and I am exhausted. We do what we can, right? I just love your sunflower border, weeds and all. There is something so happy about sunflowers. xo Karen

  8. Catching up with all your blogs. Gosh you work very hard, and have all that garden bounty to contend with, which is a blessing, maybe in disguise of course. Love to hear about all your cats, can just imagine them padding around the house.

  9. Oh, your posts are never tedious, - lovely to hear about your days, busy as they are. They bring back nice memories...