Saturday, June 24, 2006

Time to Reflect and Enjoy Summer

You know, of course, that when it is post-GC [The Episcopal Church's General Convention] one absolutely must take a time out, whether you were a participant, an observer or, if you kept abreast of things via the Internet or ENS [Episcopal News Service]. We all need a reprieve in my ever so humble opinion. A time to be quiet, reflect on events, whether personally effected by the outcomes or not. That said...

My dahlias are finally blooming. I thought they were going to be pink but they are yellow with pink tinges on the tips of each petal...lovely. The roses, however, are not fairing so well. That is how it is with never know from one season to the next how they will bloom or fair, regardless of all of Martha Stewart's advice [which I tried to follow to the letter according to MS] or some swanky expert on the HGTV, like Paul James. So I have a few tiny blooms on the David Austin deep red rose and on the Double Delight. Oh well.

The honeysuckle is running amuck over the back door so I must hack at it as if I were in some heavy-scented, intoxicating jungle. Once through this I look at the 40 plus year old red rhody and think it needs pruning back. The Eastern Redbud is doing much better this year with its deep burgundy glossy heart-shaped leaves. The lace-leaf ivy however is threatening everything so I must decide on what's to be done with that. The pokers are bloomed out, the irises are done, and the passion vine has a definite mind of its own.

As for the apple tree, it has apples on it and seems healthy. The fig trees have outdone themselves by setting fruit early in the spring and keeping them through all the iffy weather.

The raised bed veggie garden is literally zooming along with tomato vines bushy and green, laden with yellow blooms. I planted an heirloom Brandywine and your Joe-average Roma this year, one of each since it is just me nowadays. I also have zucchini blooming like crazy and it has already set its fruit and it is growing daily. I will harvest these and slice them in to thin slices and then plug in the dehydrator and have fresh, yummy zucchini to cook with this fall and winter.

I have planted parsley for myself and the rabbits. I'd much rather dry my own parsley and then hand crumble it for garnish and cooking than purchase what is in the stores. And the parsley is a wonderful addition to the rabbits' diet. I did plant some asparagus corms but I don't see any signs of life as yet and may not until next year. That's ok. I am patient. I also transplanted the chives from a too small container into new digs by the asparagus corms.

In among the vegetables I planted a few perennials like sea thrift, candytuft and a rudibeckia to attract bees for pollination. I may have to move them because the tomatoes are getting quite large and are tending to overshadow them all. We'll see.

Our forecast weatherwise is for low triple digits. Today it is 93 degrees so far at 2:30 pm PDT. The Rogue Valley is at 1384 feet nestled between two mountain ranges. Where I attend church is in a higher elevation so they are a little cooler there when it is high heat down here. It is a dry heat, and I guess we should be thankful we are not in a perpetual state of damp as they are in other parts of the country.

I watered everything this morning to prepare for the heat coming today and through the weekend, especially the container plants and trees. The new redone flower bed around the Leyland cypress out front is looking very good. The things I transplanted like the two varieties of oxalis are growing and the one variety is blooming. The wine-red leafed oxalis is a bit more sensitive so I may not be favored with blooms this year. Since the back of the bed is in shade most of the day, I have planted three varieties of fern. There is the Japanese silver leaf fern, a maiden hair fern and another green leafed one that I can't recall its name. In between these are some lithadora 'Grace Ward', and white and green coleus.

Toward the front of the bed which receives both shade and sun during different parts of the day alternately, are the oxalia, coral bells 'Strawberry'", red begonias and vertical phlox. I have a clump of transplanted blue fescue grass which looks very good against the trunk of the tree. I have planted Shasta daisies starts in front of the tree next to the fescue as they will get about 3 feet tall eventually. The bed itself is raised and built of three tiers of cottage stone which gives it an aged look, especially when the moss sets in.

All in all, my gardens have provided a much needed diversion from the last nine days' events, full of drama as they were in some instances. I think the drama in my gardens will be more than sufficient from here on out until fall. As my garden grows, I will share my little summer adventures as they occur. I pray every one a safe and joyful time of sun and fun.


Mary Beth said...

This is amazing! I would love to wander in your gardens. My all time favorite smell - tomato plant leaves. :)

Psalmist said...

Catherine, I forgot to mention that Oregon is home for me, though it's been years since I lived there. (I consider Texas a purgatory of sorts by comparison, except for right now...I hear you poor folks are having Texas-style record heat!)

Your yard and garden sound absolutely wonderful! Bless you for sharing the pictures. (I'm starved for green right now...what a sight! Mmmmm!)