A good deal of my time recently has been spent in the garden--or, recovering from being in the garden.
I continue to grub away at the weeds in the flower strips--in addition to the usual stuff there is something very tenacious and invasive--I have no identification for it, but the root system is tough, sending out runners in every direction.
The second round of bloom on the roses began just as the Japanese beetles moved in. I've been snipping the roses as soon as the buds show color--at present I have four small vases lined up on the kitchen windowsill--the only way to enjoy the blossoms. At that, the beetles spoil some of the roses before I can salvage them.
These lilies will be opening before the week is out.
Cleome. I learned that the local name for this plant is 'grandpa's whiskers.'
Many seedlings appeared in the corner of the garden--I uprooted all but three or four, having learned that as summer advances these plants can sprawl over everything in sight, dropping seeds enough for a plantation of cleome.
Clary sage also sheds its seeds generously. The coarse leaves have a sharp citrus scent when brushed, the lavender and white blooms are exotically sweet.
The butterfly bush put out leaves very early and then was nipped by frost requiring pruning to tidy it up. The sweet-scented blossoms have been encouraged by a spell of hot weather.
The balloon flowers [platycodon] are past their prime, having been pummeled by rain over the weekend.
Hibiscus, locally called Rose of Sharon, is in bloom.
This double sport of the common orange 'ditch lily' was noticed by Gina and Matt when they were walking along the Old Gradyville RD near our first Kentucky home. These were dug up from the roadside, moved to our property in Cane Valley and finally here. This spring I divided them and replanted in the small garden of native wildlings I am working to establish on the slope below the side porch steps.
Cucumbers have gone into high gear. The earliest ones I planted were slow to emerge, so Jim replanted, then bought a four-pak of starts to supplement the ones I had started from seed. In the end it appears we over-did the cucumber venture. We have been giving them away, eating as many as possible. If we are utterly swamped with them I will resort to feeding them to the goats!
The local blueberry farm has a good crop this year. We are on our second tray of fresh ones and have stocked the freezer with berries picked and quickly frozen right at the berry farm.
The days move along in a predictable way--the tasks that must be done in the way of housekeeping, gardening, errands--some projects started but not yet finished--those niggle at me, needing a mere few hours of focused time to be done.
Thoughts and words tumble through my mind, begging to be formed into coherent prose of sorts.
Instead of writing I am inclined to fall into a rocking chair and nod over a book!
Summer is here--and with it comes the need to mindfully pace ourselves to deal with days memorable for heat and humidity.