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Posts Tagged ‘honey bees’

It’s another colder-than-normal summer here. Woke up this morning to rain on the tree peonies. I’m pretty much done with rain but I guess the skies aren’t, so rain it is.

The rain knocked my oregano around some. I grow the oregano more for the honey bees than I do for use as an herb. No honey bees out in the rain, though. They’re fair-weather insects.

Somehow, taking those two photos this morning evolved into a photo essay about the shape of my garden as of the middle of July, 2011. My hollyhock hasn’t bloomed yet but it does have buds. It’s a deep purple hollyhock (“black”). When I was a little girl, I learned that my dad hated hollyhocks. I love them. What he made us pull out of the yard, I purchase seeds for and plant in my yard.

See that funky metal stuff in the background to the hollyhock? You’re looking at my future pond. More on that in a future post.

One upside to the cooler temperatures and the never-ending rain is that my evening primroses open up in the day time and I actually get to enjoy them before dusk. Gotta look on the bright side, right?

I think this is the best my prayer garden has ever looked. I’m discovering that a benefit to opening it up to allow the dogs access is this: they have beaten a pathway through it. I used to have to figure out a path between the plants. Of course, the down-side is that the dogs have beaten a pathway through it.

My future pond will be right where those yellow sedums are right now. I’ll have mosquito fish in the pond & hopefully we’ll attract some Pacific tree frogs into the neighborhood. I want a water feature with the water spilling over that big rock that is balanced above the sedums. Dreaming now…

Eventually the rest of my little picket fences will go around my Shasta daisies. I can see the flower bed needs weeding again. Never-ending job. The cool weather and rain is only encouraging the weeds to grow.

I fell in love with Shasta daisies when I was in high school. The elderly woman who lived across the street (her name was Hazel and we corresponded for years after I moved out on my own) gave me a gift of a clump of Shasta daisies one year. They were my first attempt at outdoor gardening. I was fourteen. They brightened my life when they actually thrived and bloomed. I didn’t know then that you have to try real hard to kill daisies. They’re a little too easy to grow.

I lost one lavender plant last winter but the one in my north border is thriving. And I am thrilled to see my gladiolas have returned despite the fact I did not dig them out last fall. I guess you’re supposed to dig them up every autumn. Mine will just have to hope we don’t have a deep freeze.

I almost pulled this out back in early June. I was certain I’d lost my grape vine. I’m so glad I didn’t act rashly because my grape is doing just fine. I probably won’t have grapes for years, but I have a grape vine starting!

This is Harvey’s hobby now that he is allowed the freedom to wander around the yard without being tied up: looking through the fence and dreaming of escaping. I’ll never be able to fully trust him alone in the yard because he has a bad case of wanderlust, but it is nice to know that he isn’t really trying to get out. He’s just day-dreaming about it.

I would never leave Harvey out unsupervised any more than I would allow toddlers and little children to roam my back yard unsupervised. Some things require constant vigilance.

People are always stopping and asking me what breed of dog Harvey is. He’s an English Setter. I always thought English Setters were pretty cool dogs. I think God looked down and smiled on me when I met Harvey at the dog pound. Or maybe He looked down and smiled on Harvey because he was on Death Row. Harvey has turned into an awesome companion and friend. I am so happy he came into my life.

He looks happy, too. 🙂

The little triangle garden by the garage is doing pretty well this year. The tree peony and the other peonies are fading as is the voodoo lily, but the asters are up-and-coming. I moved the hummingbird feeders in hopes of attracting more hummers.

They prefer the feeder by the back door.

There’s a random sunflower growing in the hanging planter by the back door.

I planted the sunflowers out front. Usually I have giant sunflowers planted out there but this year I just didn’t get any seed into the ground in time. But the little sunflowers work well with the garden art so I can’t complain. At least not too much.

 

Another bright spot in the cooler temperatures is that my violas in the little pots are still blooming. It’s probably a miracle that they are still alive, but it really hasn’t been hot enough or dry enough and I haven’t forgotten to water them. Yet.

Those are Don’s bonsai trees. He has an entire forest of bonsai. Really. Some day I should do a blog post about each one of his trees. Some day.

Speaking of a forest in the back yard, how many people have a log in their back yard? Just a log. It’s about five feet long. Don practices crosscut sawing on it. Mostly, however, it is just a log. In my back yard.

Also speaking of forests, there’s this in my yard. It’s a forest of it’s own: a mess of a male variegated holly tree that someone topped years ago. Grown up under and through the holly’s canopy are a couple wild hazelnuts, a tangle of Himalayan blackberries and an infusion of nightshade on the vine. It’s an eyesore.

It is also the site of our future two-dog chain link dog run. The dogs will have their dog houses set inside the shelter of the shed and a play yard of 8×12′. It will have a cover and a concrete floor.

I regret to say I should be cutting on that holly tree this weekend. it just looks so intimidating. Daunting.

It looks like work.

Tomorrow I’ll tour my front yard. It looks like work, too. I’d rather take photos and bore you with my plans than actually work on them.

Thanks for letting me procrastinate and for allowing me to bore you with my greenery.

ttfn –

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