Monday, June 27, 2016


The first cucumbers are ready, as well as the first picking of green beans. I have cut Swiss chard twice and pulled some baby beets.
Rain accompanied the thunder storm on Thursday evening and by Sunday afternoon the soil was just right for weeding.
At 93 F. it was too hot to be in the garden!

 I spent the afternoon puttering with the plants on the porch. 
I snipped off faded blossoms, trimmed and repotted a lank Swedish ivy, moved the store-bought rosemary from its peat pot into a proper home.

Bobby Mac flopped on the floor after I swept away the mess of soil and plant bits.

The nasturtiums need to be groomed at least twice a week.
I moved them from the cement landing below the side steps as they were getting too much direct sun.
I carefully picked off shriveled blooms and sun-bleached leaves. 
There is a cosmos in the pot--rather incongruous; I mistook it for a tiny signet marigold when I lifted it from the border--by the time I realized my error it was flourishing and I left it in the pot.
Strangely, the signets didn't produce any volunteer plants.

Begonias and  repotted ivy in the shady corner of the south-facing porch.

The tuberous-rooted begonia is on its 3rd or 4th season. 
It spends winters in the small storeroom in the basement, reviving in the spring when moved to daylight and watered.

The spring flush of bloom in the border has 'gone by.'
The self-sown cosmos have taken over.
Jim planted several tomatoes much too close to my flowers, but I let them stay.

As the midday heat drained away I went to work on the grass that has grown alongside the border.
I use my garden fork to loosen an area of soil then down on my creaking knees to pick out the grass and other small weeds.
Last summer I battled the emergence of turnips which had been sown as a cover crop before the former owners had this 'topsoil' drawn in.
I had hoped we could do more to amend the soil before it was time to plant veg.
In reality, I was hoping Jim would find time to construct some raised beds.

I was surprised to find this morning that there had been a shower sometime in the night.
By late morning I judged the soil dry enough to continue weeding.
I worked along both 'legs' of the border, then down a row of green beans, picking beans as I crawled .

  Our neighbor/renter came to borrow Jim's small tiller.
When he returned it later, he ran it along the edges of the remaining veg rows.
I spread the two bags of mulch I had on hand--discovering that one contained the usual brown mulch, while the one more recently purchased was inky black. 
I need several more bags of mulch--will get it all at the same garden shop, all the same color!

I took several short breaks during the day, but was pushing myself to finish what I had started.
I was sweaty, aching, grubby, still more needing done when I quit.

The sun was low in the western sky when, showered, shampooed and wearing fresh clothes I plodded down the lane to the mailbox.
I hadn't visited the goats or the barn cats, so detoured to scoop up a kitten for a moment's cuddle, and then quick pats on the little goatly heads poked through the fence.

I made myself an ambitious mental list of projects to delve into with Jim away for a week.
[One does not have to prepare proper meals when the man of the house is not in residence!]
Thus far the garden chores have had priority.
During the past hour I have felt fatigue settling heavily on my bones.
I am thinking rather longingly of the wide bed with its crisp cotton sheets.
Tomorrow is another day!

Double orange daylily discovered by daughter G. along the old Gradyville RD in 2013.
We decided it was unusual enough to warrant digging up a clump for each of us.

One of three unwelcome garden pests discovered Sunday morning.

The south-facing border before I began weeding.


Sky before the storm Thursday evening.

Eerie half-light during the storm.

As the storm rumbled away a double rainbow appeared, back lit by the setting sun.

Darkness moving in.

Willis by clary sage--photo with flash.

Weeding in progress.


  1. Your gardens look wonderful. I love what looks like an English garden along the fence. Begonias are a favorite of mine as I have lots of shady spots for them. The orange day-lilies are just now showing their faces here. "Hi Bobby & Willis"

    1. Deb; I have to admit that my garden photos showcase the more orderly spots! I over-winter the begonias in the basement and take cuttings from the leggy stems, potting them as soon as its warm enough to put them on the porch.

  2. It's so beautiful, the way everything goes crazy in the summertime!

    1. J.G. There is indeed a crazy beauty in the wild growth of early summer. If only the weeds were not so prolific!

  3. I admire what you get done in this heat, I just can't do it.

    1. Janet; I am definitely needing to employ common sense. I could feel my overworked muscles 'twitching' when I went to bed.

  4. We too are in the middle of "crazy beauty" as the garden puts on a growth spurt in late June.
    Your self-seeded cosmos are lovely.

    1. Ann; July into August is when I hope for annuals to get me through the heat and humidity of summer--we tip into that weather mid to late June.
      I love when flowers self-seed--although usually needing to be thinned out.

  5. Your gardens are looking great in site of the summer heat. I have to get out early and can only work a couple of hours, then I hibernate. :-)

  6. Rainey; I looked at the garden this morning and decided to give myself a break. I might get as far as putting some more mulch down just before dark.

  7. Gardening here consists of racing out between the downpours to try and keep things under some sort of control. Heat is definitely not a problem:)

    1. Rowan; Each season in Kentucky [this is our 7th] has been a bit different weather-wise, but we know that heat and humidity are dependable. Last summer was the one with discouraging constant rains.
      Gardeners are stubborn, eternally hopeful beings. We clamber up from our aching muddy knees and announce, 'Next year I will....'

  8. I love your double orange day lily! I too have some and love them. They were dug up by my mother and planted next to the brick chimney of our summer cottage on a Cape Cod lake. As it was nameless she called it Mystic, after the lake we lived on. When they sold the cottage the lilies moved to their home in Reading , VT. I have a huge clump of Mystic doubles in my back garden. The roadside orange singles are just starting to bloom here and in adjacent Washington County, NY. So lovely that you are enjoying those self seeding cosmos. At our last farm I had loads of them and have been bitterly disappointed to find that they don't like the garden here. Where one door closes another one opens, cleome loves this garden and regularly self seeds!! We are still enjoying early summer and my delphiniums are within days of full bloom. My mouth to God's ear that we don't have a pelting rain or hail storm. Good idea to hold out for some raised beds as they are so much easier to manage than vegetable beds.

    1. Mundi; We lived for many years in the Champlain Valley of VT [where I grew up] but each time I read your comments I can take a mental trip down Rte 7 and head over the mountain to your border town.
      I wonder why cosmos aren't happy in your garden? I've found them to be very forgiving of soil and weather. Cleome: I've planted that in my three Kentucky gardens. Last year I felt rather cross with the cleome which leaned their spiky stems over nearby plants. Most of the seedlings this year fell into an area where I'm encouraging other perennials, so most of them were ruthlessly tweaked out. I think if one was attempting to 'naturalize' a rough area cleome would be a good candidate.
      I loved my delphiniums in Vermont--it seems to be too hot and humid in Kentucky for them to survive--one quick blooming and they keel over and die--even the pricey New Zealand hybrids. In Vermont I could cut them back in early July and have bloom just before frost. [Oh, nostalgia!]
      How wonderful that you've been able to move those cherished Mystic lilies. I still mourn the vintage peonies left under 3 feet of snow in Wyoming!