Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Goodby, July

Parting is such sweet sorrow! The garden is in a bit of a slack time with the colorful flush of late spring and early summer gone by. The rudbeckia, liatris, ligularia, monkshood, Joe Pye weed, et al, are just about to burst forth in late summer glory. In the interim, the daylilies are the stars of the garden.

If this year is anything like past Augusts, the first two weeks will be warm and sunny and then, by the middle of the month, we'll begin to notice the nights becoming cooler and by month's end, there will be days with a definite aroma of autumn. The leaves on the trees will still be green, but the hint of fall will be lurking among the goldenrod.
Apricot Ruffles

Ruby Spider - this blossom is bigger than my hand!

Xia Xhing - has the most delicate shade of pink

Buttercream Ruffles is the only one with a delicate scent

Monday, July 30, 2007

Foxy Fella

Yesterday's walk was once again fun. The day was warm after the fog burned off and the colorful sailboats were out catching the breeze in their sails. The really fun part though, was on our way back home we saw a fox on the side of the road. He must have been as curious about us as we were about him because he stood still, looking at us long enough for me to get out the camera, roll down the car window and get a really good photo of him. After his glamour shot, he trotted back into the woods.

As we were pulling into the driveway, I spied a butterfly on one of the Gloriosa Daisies and jumped out of the car to get a quick shot of it. This little guy was intent on his lunch and stayed long enough for me to get several shots so I could pick out a good one to post.

My knitting group is working on a charitable project our instructor was telling us about. Seems there is a group who sends needed items to African children who have been orphaned due to Aids. Instead of packing the boxes with styrofoam peanuts or other material that would have to be disposed of, they use little knitted dolls which are then given to the children to comfort them.

These little knitted, stuffed dolls are very simple to make and take no time at all and, they are a great way to use yarn left over from all the other projects. Here's one of mine -

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More July Flowers

I was out in the garden weeding yesterday and noticed the dahlias had some really beautiful blooms and loads of new buds coming on so I indulged myself by cutting a few for a vase on the
deck. The pink ones are almost as big as my head!

I saved the tubers last year - just dug them up, threw them into some paper bags and stored them in an unheated part of the basement. In March, I potted them up and planted them outside in June. I think they'll bloom profusely til the first frost. Oh no, I just mentioned that "f" word again!

The rest of the flowers on the deck are really blooming their hearts out. I wonder if it has anything to do with my new organic, fertilizer? I gathered a bunch of dried seaweed on the shore last month and put it into a plastic tub, added water to cover and let it steep for a couple of weeks. I have a five gallon bucket in which I put 1 gallon of the "mixture" and fill the rest with water. I water my plants with this diluted mix and they seem to be thriving. A Google search on the internet says seaweed compost tea is high in phosphorus, which is good for lots of blooms. The only drawback is this stuff really stinks, but the odor fades away quickly.

The plants seem to like sitting around the fountain

It's rather difficult to see, but the tall plant in the corner is that little banana my son sent me from Florida two years ago. It's now taller than me. Wouldn't it be great if it actually bloomed and had fruit this year? I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

The cannas are just about to bloom and I'm sure the hummingbirds will love the red flowers.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

July Garden Update

With all the rain and fog we've had recently, the garden is really looking lush these days. That and the weeds are running rampant! The flowers are brilliant this time of year and I so enjoy just sitting in the yard and enjoying them.

I took photos of some of the flowers today, but the bright sunlight just faded them out. Nonetheless, here is a pictorial update of some parts of the garden:

The daisies are in full bloom
and this little fella is enjoying every minute.

The lilies made it through the onslaught of those nasty red beetles. Seems like I was out there every other day spraying them with insecticidal soap. Oh, but they are so worth the effort!

The Annabelle hydrangea is just about to pop. The Purple Palace Heuchera is almost lost
beneath it.


Astilbe and more lilies next to the Annabelle

Delphinium and Goatsbeard

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Beach Glass

Yesterday was spectacular! We enjoyed a kayak paddle on calm seas as smooth as glass, our usual picnic on Hog Island and found several nice pieces of beach glass while beach combing.

Beached Moose

Brown glass is pretty common, as well as the green, but the blue is a rare find. H spotted this little gem!

My other love is driftwood, but unfortunately, most interesting pieces I find are much too large to put in the kayak. I'm still working on an idea to float them home!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Enough With the Fog, Already!

Ok, two days of fog is about all I can stand in one week. Especially when those are days I'm off work and could be spending my precious time in the garden.

However, one cannot change Mother Nature, nor coax her to be kind to restless gardeners and we must think of our gardens, who relish the cool dampness of the fog. I can already see the plants breathing a sigh of relief after several weeks of very little rainfall.

The veggie garden is jumping into high gear to get the tomatoes ripe before the first frost. Yikes! I can't believe I actually uttered the "F" word! Frost is about the furthest thing from my mind at the moment, but up here in Maine, it lurks in the dark reaches of a gardener's mind. With the season so short, we are anxious to spend every waking minute enjoying the summer days.

A good garden gnome is never lazy and on those days that I cannot venture into my green domain, I make good use of the time inside by knitting. My latest projects are felted handbags, and the occasional pot holder.

Knitting on H's sweater has been suspended for the summer as it's just too warm to have all that wool on my lap. I've also begun a pair of socks in a new pattern I've never attempted and using, gasp!, a set of #1 needles! These things are like trying to knit with sewing needles! That and the yarn I'm using is so incredibly thin that I had to upgrade my reading glasses to the next strength just so I could see the darned stitches.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I awoke early this morning (3 a.m. to be exact) and after tossing and turning and trying to get back to sleep, I finally got up and did a few internet chores til the sun came up. And what a pretty morning it was. As I looked out the window into the garden, the sun was just coming up over the trees and illuminating the almost blooming Aruncus, commonly called Goatsbeard. The feathery fronds sparkled in the early morning light. Unfortunately, my camera could not quite capture the beauty of the moment.

As I was walking through the garden, I noticed that the Delphinium had also begun blooming and the burgundy dahlia was just about to pop wide open.

Since we were up so bright and early, we decided to take a walk in Sorrento, one of our favorite places. This time of year, many of the summer people have returned for the season and their gardens are beginning to perk up. Most folks are happy to have you peek into their yards, but this friendly person actually invites you in!

Now, that's my kind of gardener. I hope one day I'll see them in the garden and be able to stop by for a chat.

Farther on down the road brought us to the harbor with all the brightly colored boats. My favorite red and white sailboat was moored in her usual spot with the mountains of Acadia in the background. I couldn't resist taking several pictures.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!

From Giddy's Garden.

After a long couple of weeks of sanding and staining the deck, H and I will join our friends at their summer camp for a Fourth of July celebration. We're bringing salsa, bean dip and chips and everything else will be a surprise when we get there, although, I'm pretty certain there will be grilled Maine Red Snappers!

What's that, you ask? Up here, most places serve red hot dogs in natural casings. It's the casings that give the dog their famous "snap" when you bite in to them. The red comes from food coloring. Back in the old days, they would smoke the dogs and unfortunately, the smoke did not always color the dogs evenly, hence, the food coloring to turn them uniformly red. It's quite a surprise to tourists when they see their first red hot dog!

H, staining the deck

East side of the deck

It's nice to have all the flowers back on the deck!