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Showing posts from June, 2010

If Only Scarlett Had Planted Squash Instead of Radishes...

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...I'm pretty certain she would never have been hungry in the first place.  No, nor any of her folk.  As God is my witness.

As you can see from the picture (left) of my gathering basket, this morning's haul from the garden was pretty healthy.  Squash...both yellow crookneck and straightneck and zucchini...outnumber the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers...for the moment.  The hot, dry days we have been experiencing have put a halt to most "production"...or at least slowed it.  But, rain and lower temps are predicted for tomorrow, so look out!  The basket may soon be full.

I've been working on the Rondel (the elliptical planting area we've designed for the center...more or less...of the Way Back, based on inspiration from P. Allen Smith's Garden Home) today.  We had the front portion done; that's where Hyacynth sits in her Grape chair, watching over the zinnias and marigolds.  But, we had stopped there when we ran out of mulch.  Mr. T scraped the weeds a…

2 Showers in 5 Hours

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I'm not sure who is using more water these days:  me or the garden. 

Yesterday, I got up and showered, then headed out to the garden to do the Coffee Walk.  You know...see what's growing with my mug o' Joe in hand.  It was predicted to be the hottest day so far this year for us, and I had no intention of working outside in the heat and humidity.  Well, I should have known better.  Those weeds needed hoeing; the melons needed watering; the squash needed picking; the peppers needed staking, and on and on and on.  Next thing I knew, it was after noon...and I was back in the shower, trying to get clean again.

I don't even want to see our water bill this month.  Sigh.

Still, I'm having a ball with the garden, in case it isn't quite evident from all of my posts.  Lots of work, no doubt.  But also lots of great exercise...lots of opportunities for creative expression...and lots of chances to work through stress.  And there will be a big reward in the end!  Yummy, hom…

Some Gave All

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Today's post will be a somber one since we've had some sad news.  We learned that Mr. T's next-oldest brother, Walter, died early last week.  The coroner will probably put heart attack on the death certificate, but in a way, that isn't the real culprit. Walter died because of the damage sustained during his service in Viet Nam.

No, he wasn't wounded.  Not in the sense that a bullet rips through skin and muscle and bone.  For that type of physical injury, doctors can repair the damage so the healing can begin.  And, the healing can lead to a productive (if changed) life.

No, he was one of the unfortunate ones to have served in the area contaminated by the now-infamous herbicide known as Agent Orange.  His exposure changed him in ways that are hard to explain, but his symptoms and health issues became a permanent part of who he was to the world after he returned from the War...er, Conflict.

No, I never knew the Walter that Mr. T remembered:  a happy person, a real gu…

The Garden Grows in Size...and Begins to Give

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We found them!  We've been back in NC for a year now, and we've located some daylily farms.  These are only open during The Season (typically between June and July), unlike our favorite daylily farm in MO which was open all year 'round...and even had a lovely cafe and wine-tasting room to enjoy their fabulous view.  Still, you can't have everything, can you?  We're just happy that we can get our daylily collection growing with new varieties.

Road trip!

Last Saturday morning we packed a cooler and headed out on one of the hottest days so far this year to visit Holly Hill Daylily Farm in Moncure, NC, and Lakeview Daylily Farm in Garner, NC (photo to left).  Quite an outting.  We came home with a car-full of new plants, including the following varieties:
Chicago Firecracker, Enon, Purple Pinwheel, and Buttered Popcorn (from Holly Hill, pictured in the row, right); and,Alabama Jubilee, Crown Royale, Edith Ann, Eenie Weenie, Elvis' Cape, Love Those Eyes, Persian Peach,…

Contemplating the Veggies

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I found this quote today, while trolling the Guilford County Extension Service's website.  Thought it was appropriate, since I'd just returned from my morning Coffee Walk (which becomes my Wine Walk...or Sam Adams Walk...in the evening...:).
"I used to visit and revisit (my garden) a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation.  It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."  -- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old ManseBeans are up and growing in my garden, even beginning to twine around the Tepee Trellis (although they've been severely sheared-back by the bunnies); peas (at least the purple hull pink-eyes...forget about the English variety for this year) are doing well, despit…

Report Card

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As I look out my window in my new office (formerly known as just the Dining Room), I see all the neighborhood children enjoying their release from school for Summer Vacation.  Hope they all had great report cards!  Makes me think about how things are going here.

First things first...the Drool Gang Report:  an Elmo update!  Well, as you can see from that photo (left), he's feeling great stress these days...NOT!  Stinker-puppy that he is, he's sleeping on my pillow...and doesn't even look a bit bothered by the fact that I will have to change the pillow case and quite possibly the zippered liner...eewww, dog drool

Seriously, he's adjusted to his blindness better than we ever imagined.  Nothing seems to hinder him...with the exception of my moving the furniture around, slowing him down a tad.  He knows where his food bowl is...hasn't missed a meal.  He heads out the Doggie Door on his own, or rings the bell on the other back door for Service when it suits him. He'…

More Items Checked Off the To Do List

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Wow!  What a productive weekend we had!  Since the weather cooperated (read that:  it didn't rain all the time), we were able to get a lot of our outdoor "to do's" done.  Despite sweltering temps in the 90's...with corresponding humidity levels...we: weeded the veggie garden (really needed it after all the rains) and replanted a couple patches of lettuce;did some more work on the garden path, adding some recycled stepping stones and spreading gravel between the gate and the mulched area;assembled our new NC Pot Person, hereafter to be known as Hyacynth (photo to right); andcompleted the Garden Gate Pergola (finally masking the two mismatched monolith gate posts -- see more info below), along with planting a Carolina Jessamine (Jasmine) beside the gate/to be trained to grow over the pergola.Whew!
And it feels so good to be able to take a breather and enjoy our work.  Today was just lovely, with temps in the low 80's, humidity below 50% for a change, so we could …

Has It Really Been A Whole Year? How About 34??

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Yes, the Merry Month of May was a time of celebrations.  Just this past week, we marked a whole year back in North Carolina...with smiles on our faces, for sure.  Hard to believe, but we closed on this house on May 27th last year and moved in when the Stella d'Oro daylilies begin their show.  If you'll recall, some of the first plants we added were Shasta Daisies (the frilly kind that look almost like mums), and we are now getting to see them bloom together (photo, right).  Feels like home!

It seems a distant memory, but last Winter and Spring were quite dry...so all the plants had been deprived of enough moisture for several months before we moved in...not to mention a dose of fertilizer now and again.  The house was vacant, and the sprinkler system had been turned off when the previous owners moved out.  Sad.  The result:  a poor display of blooms and color. 

Not so this year!  We've done our part...and Mother Nature is over-doing her part with the rain...and, now, all …