It's been a hot time in the old town (tonight). (That's a take-off on an old song my mother used to sing to my sister and I as she bathed us when we were little ones. Imagine two little babes singing in the bathtub as you hear Bessie Smith sing her rendition of it:
But really, it's been SO hot. 90F in the shade doesn't work for me.
After a rain ( one of several through last week) on Sunday morning, I finally ventured out to roam the garden.
Here the Hollyhocks seem to be photo-bombing my picture of the garden.
so I gave them the attention they deserved
one of their exotic blooms unfurling
Next to them, on the Composter Trellis, the purple Clematis are a happy profusion
"reach for the sky!"
on the other side, the Echinacea is doing is Fibonacci Spiral
These seed centres are amazingly hard. The Spiral mesmerizes me
An Echinacea Bud unfurling
You'd think the Hydrangea were done for
They don't handle that heavy rain well, but amazingly they're back up today!
The vegetable garden in a nutshell
Dissecting it, we find the Scallion in bloom to the left
Next to it, the Garlic Scape's graceful swirl
(perfectly delicious, the scape is the flower bulb of a garlic plant
that must be cut in order to create a larger garlic bulb below the ground.)
Dance of the Seven Garlic Scapes
Actually I think I can see eleven in this shot.
The poppy seed heads are kind of creepy to me,
but we leave them in hopes of more seeding themselves; we had 5 new flowers this year.
Next to the poppy grows a huge Oregano bush.
Fresh oregano is so much more aromatic than dried, with a hint of cloves to it.
Just wonderful in almost any dish.
The Kale grows just beyond the oregano with the Swiss Chard in the foreground.
The Chard is so happy. You may see the carrot leaves peeking through.
The Beets, with a very similar leaf to the Chard, grow beside them.
See how the leaf is less lumpy looking? The leaves are every bit as delicious as Chard.
An Arugula flower. I can't seem to stay ahead of the Arugula bolting
( bolting means it's gone to "seed" and the leaves are small and bitter.) Lettuces like cooler weather.
The line-up next to the Beets and Chard, houses the tomatoes
with Beans and Peas, each with their own trellis.
a lovely tomato flower, so small, will grow into a huge tomato
The Purple Pole Beans flowers will make purple beans that will turn green when cooked
Such exquisite blooms, rather like miniature orchids
The tendrils of the Snap Peas seem to be reaching everywhere but their trellis
They have a gorgeous little bloom
too small for a bouquet, and too precious not to eat
(why do I always feel so ferociously carnivorous around these darling babies???)
So much intense beauty in the world!
There are a few more surprises in the garden, believe it or not. For such a little garden, Wally has found room for Zucchini, Cucumber and Eggplant, but they went in late, so we'll see how they develop. In the meantime, there is dill and cilantro growing in odd places which are wonderful in so many dishes.
On the far side of the yard, Peppermint is growing along the fenceline.
I use it instead of mint in our quinoa tabbouli, a summer staple.
The little Peach tree has held onto all its fruit so far with nary a deer in sight.
Tart Red Currants
and black ones too
next door neighbours to our Raspberries
Raspberries ripening quickly
The neighbour's Cherry tree hangs into our yard where I share its fruit with the starlings.
The Harelson Apple tree is heavy with fruit this year
Our best crop in its 3 years
As I stand on the hill overlooking the garden, I can see the misty vista beyond the hayfield
I walk back to the side of the garage. In the middle ground you can see where Wally staked our messy Gogi Berry bush. It was sprawling in an ungainly 5 foot circumference and wanting to grow bigger. Wally will move it in the fall. The old tree stump in the foreground may very well have been another Ash tree planted over 80 years ago and slow to break down.
The Hostas will have to be transplanted as well as they are crowding each other.
Did you know that Hosta is a lily? It's flower bud about to unfurl.
In the Hosta bed there is this unusual flowering plant...
Darned if I remember its name
Then there is this monster with the prehistoric flowers that will open next month.
I found this startlingly beautiful visitor on one of its leaves. I did find its convoluted name:
Condylostylus, caudatus group
Wanting to title these photos, I finally learned that this ubiquitous weed
with the pretty purple flowers is called Selfheal
Buttercups are weeds too I guess, but they never fail to delight
I look across the driveway at the magnificent Ash growing out of our Maple hedge
the bark swirls like a river around its branch
Just to the left, the teeny wild white Roses have died off
and left their little seed pods- rose hips- behind
In the corner, a gift of Day Lilies among the ground cover
Now I turn toward the house where we seem to have but one Asian Lily left
Note the seeded berries at the base of the leaves.
Instead, wild pink mallow have taken over the lily garden
That was Sunday.
Since then we have had a full moon.
I will often stand on the deck in the peace of night and take in the fresh cool country air and the quiet.
This morning, I mistakenly still had the flash on from the full moon night and Muji took the hit.
It didn't faze him though
This boy will do anything for a cuddle
The Muji paw flex, mostly held up for a "high five"
but there are those times when I'm working at the kitchen counter,
that he gets on a chair behind me and gives me a pat, startling the hell out of me.
60 pictures later- I think that's a record- I leave you with a morning shot of the black Hollyhocks
and wish you the gift of nature (when she's kind)
Because, after all,
it's Kindness that matters most,
to each other
and to ourselves.