Thursday, August 27, 2020

Misc ~

Following the advise of members in my gardening group, I cut back my Clematis in late spring after their first bloom. I could see the vines were growing again but was pleasantly surprised yesterday morning to see new flowers. With such hot weather I don't expect to see a lavish display but I am really enjoying those I have been blessed with. 

On the other hand, I have a very generous crop of pumpkins. I planted the seeds in the far back area of the garden, near the compost pile, they spread out in all directions and have really taken over. I planted two kinds of seeds, Cinderella pumpkins and the giant variety and have lots of both to share come later in autumn.

A friend who is a most gifted writer recently came up with the phrase, "Sloth Dressing" to describe what many people, limited to social interaction, stuck at home, all combined with the summer heat, are wearing right now. I thought it was a perfect description of my current at home apparel which is limited to comfort and ease - to me that is a dress, something I can wear both in the house and outside to water and maybe pull a few weeds in passing. The dress below is my answer, I have made this dress many, many times over the years and it fits my needs perfectly, it is not fashionable, elegant, or  flattering, but I really don't care on days I am at home alone with no one to see but Miss Twiggley and functionibility and freshness takes precedence. I like it so much that yesterday I went through my fabric stash and cut out another one to make.

Pampas grass can be a real garden thug, luckily I picked the perfect place to plant this one. It is a dwarf which makes it more manageable and because it is planted in a good spot hasn't given me anything but pleasure, especially this time of year when it blooms. I cut it back every year and the results have certainly been worth that bit of effort. If I can ever find another one I know exactly where I would put it...I might try making a division of this one and see what happens.

Below is the bouquet I made to share with my class on our Zoom meeting. The earlier lavish abundance of flowers in my garden has peaked but I was able to come up with some Dahlias, Roses, Lantana, Ruillia, and Salvia. I look forward to the cooler weather of fall when I will have more to choose from.

Sometimes I think it is rather silly of me to be posting about gardens, dresses, and bouquets when so much is happening around us right now, but we all need some diversion just because it is all so over whelming. I long for the days when this will be past us.

Thank you for visiting

Take care, stay well, and VOTE


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Garden stalwarts ~

It is hot!


We have been experiencing some very hot weather, 100+ degrees everyday for the past week. Just keeping the garden watered and trying to protect heat sensitive plants is taking most of my gardening time. This is complicated because with our continuing drought conditions water is precious and must be used judiciously. 

So, it is at this time that I really appreciate one of the garden stalwarts: Lantana.

Heat  just doesn't seem to phase Lantana. It is common and used  everywhere here, along freeways in street medians,  in commercial plantings, and of course home gardens, in many ways it is so ubiquitous that it can be overlooked for it's beauty. It is a  drought tolerant, tough, tough, plant, I cut all of mine back almost to the ground every year and they return bigger and better than before, just in time to provide some color in high summer when it is needed most.

In my garden I have both trailing and bush Lantana,
  trailing yellow borders a portion of my driveway and softens the gravel garden. I have  used white trailing Lantana in the new area in the back under trees, it does't grow as densely which allows inter-planting without taking over.

Lantana color choices used to be limited, now we have more to select from and blended colors - pink and yellow, shown in the picture above (my favorite) and yellow combined with orange which clamors over one over my driveway pillars in the street garden. There is also one with variegated leaves.

This is one of my favorite pictures, I love the contrast between one of  the stone pillars, original to the house, and the orange/yellow Lantana flowers. A very rabid grower now reaching over 6 feet, last winter I cut it to the ground - hardy indeed!

And now my Op-Ed moment....

Between the hot weather and all of the other problems our country is dealing with it is nice to have something to depend on, even if it is common and ordinary. I will take calm, dependability, and ordinary, over what is happening now, any day. I am so looking forward to Fall when the heat is over, the virus manageable, and (hopefully) a new leadership and direction for our country that combines the best of the old with innovations and ideas for the future.

 Democracy is a very fragile thing, once lost almost impossible to regain.

Thank you for visiting


~ Don't forget to vote and if possible do it early.~ 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Hope ~

I got up early this morning to work in the garden before the heat set in. The sun was just coming up and it seemed like a perfect time to take some pictures, so instead of getting out my gardening tools I went back into the house and got my camera.

These petunias planted around the base of the fountain in the front have been very successful, I hadn't planted petunias for a while but I will definitively plant them again. They have been blooming for several months now with their happy pink faces.

A jumble of some of my favorite flowers in a front border...verbena, roses, and Queen Anne's Lace.

One perfect dahlia below the back deck, being watched over by a little friend. I love dahlias, in my garden they are just now coming into full bloom.

Glorious pink zinnias, from seed I sowed a few months ago. Some of them are from seed I harvested last year and some are from newly purchased seed. I will be collecting the seeds from these to plant for next summer's garden.

After taking these pictures and a few more I still had time to get some gardening chores done. Actually it was a rather nice day today temperature wise and although it is really too late in the season to plant I couldn't resist picking up a few pony packs from Armstrong's yesterday. Along with spreading several wheelbarrows of mulch, I got them all planted with fingers crossed that they will do well.

"Hope for the future is the heart of all gardening."

Thank you for visiting.

Stay well and stay healthy.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Catching up with summer ~

It would appear that as far as blogging, July completely skipped by me this year and now suddenly it is August. Living in such a confusing time, without classes, the gym, social outings and all of the other things we used to enjoy without worry, it has become hard to even know what day it is. 

But some things are a constant, my library still allows us to check out books with drive-by pickup. The local Armstrong's nursery is open and I have been enjoying the convenience of Grubhub on days I think I deserve a special treat and am tried of my own cooking. And of course there is still the garden as needy as an infant, especially this time of year with so much watering.

The beautiful and extravagant floral displays of spring are long past and the intense summer heat limits what is blooming, I do have some flowers, mostly the old summer standbys, but as the summer continues I will be relying more on foliage to provide color in the garden.

A few weeks ago on my way to mail some letters I passed by a building site that had been razed and noticed a pile of river rocks piled up to be hauled away. Just what I needed for edging to keep the gravel in place in the new sitting area. I immediately stopped and put as many of them in the car that I could handle. I ended up with quite a load and a sore back the next day, but it was worth it.

 I shared the beginnings of this project with you a while back when I put in the red posts. Building a gate, which was the whole reason for the posts, took much longer than I thought. 

Eventually, like many things I attempt, it got done. I was going to use ready made pickets from Home Depot but they were too big and clumsy looking for my little gate, so I ended up buying the wood and cutting them myself, not that hard - the difficult part was cutting and attaching them to the form  the arch.

the whole space looks more cohesive now and I love the pop of the red gate.

I will end this post with a bouquet I made for my gardening group's last Zoom meeting highlighting some of the flowers currently blooming in the garden: dahlias, crocosmia, nicotiana, guillaria, rubeckias, coneflowers, penstemon, and roses.

I hope you are you are keeping safe, well, and healthy.

Thank you for visiting.