It has been a sad and difficult week for me, and I was becoming quite depressed. But after complaining for so long about the nasty weather, I was determined not to waste a beautiful, sunny Saturday feeling down, so I set off for my favorite nursery to buy and photograph some flowers.
Coming upon an unexpected road closure and getting lost on the way there was just the way my week had been going, but I resisted the urge to simply give up and go home, and eventually found my way there by an alternate route.
The nursery was crazy busy as it always is the Saturday before Mother’s Day, but the colors and scents did help to lift my mood.
We are not usually safe from frost here until the end of May, but since all my plants will be in containers, I can plant some early, and bring them in for a night if need be.
When I started to fill my outside planters this Spring, I was undecided what to put in the whiskey barrel which stands next to the deck. I wanted something colorful, that would cascade over the sides, so I settled on a variety of Petunias, and they did extremely well. They soon filled the space with color, and required very little care over the Summer (my kind of plant) 🙂
As the summer winds down, there is still a nice variety of wildflowers in bloom. We have a bumper crop of Goldenrod, perhaps because of all the extra rain, and I found some Asters growing on our ‘back forty’.
Cooler weather has chased away the Deerflies and Mosquitoes, so we have been able to take some of our walks at the Nature Conservancy. I came across some Jack-in-the-pulpit berries there a couple of weeks ago.
Temperatures have been dropping into the forties overnight, and might be in the thirties tonight. The calendar tells us, it is still Summer, but it is definitely beginning to feel like Fall.
Went out to check on my flowers the other day and found a caterpillar munching away. Decided to take some photos before removing him, and soon found he was not alone. The whole container was infested with about half a dozen caterpillars. I carefully removed them and their eggs, and think I caught them before they could do too much damage.
One thing I dislike about gardening, is there always seems to be something trying to destroy what I grow. I do not envy farmers, whose very livelihood is at the mercy of climate, disease and pests.I came across some Bindweed growing among the nettles and grass beside our road the other day. I have never come across pink ones before. The nettles made getting close enough for photos a bit of a challenge, but one has to sacrifice for one’s art! 🙂
Turtles of all shapes and sizes are on the move. I saw a large snapper crossing my lawn the other day, but it was pouring rain, so could not get a picture. I had better luck with a Blanding’s Turtle which had decided to lay her eggs right next to the driveway. I am afraid she was not successful. My husband spotted broken egg shells in the area the very next day. 😦
Summer arrived officially last weekend, and today it definitely feels like it. The temperature is inching toward 90 and I am about to break down and turn on the AC.
We have had so much rain, it has been hard to keep up with the mowing, but I took advantage of a few dry days to catch up. Just as well, as rain is in the forecast for at least the next couple of days.The extra moisture has been good for our pastures, and the horses are making the most of the lush new growth.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a purple Iris growing next to the back lawn. I have no idea how it came to be there – I certainly didn’t plant it. It is a very hardy plant and requires little to no care, which makes it perfect for me, since I did not inherit my Mother’s ‘green thumb’.
I love the way the air smells at this time of year. Lilacs, Russian Olives, and Black Locust Trees are in bloom and they fill the air with sweetness. (Probably not good for my allergies, but I still enjoy it.)The sounds from the swamp have changed from the high-pitched song of the ‘peepers’ to the softer, banjo-like sound of the Green Frogs. Our resident Barn Swallows are here, and we are hoping they have babies in the nest by now. With luck, they will raise two hatches of four babies before they leave us in September.
I replanted the flowers the Possum dug up the other night, and they seem to have survived. We have not heard or seen the Orioles lately, so I think they have moved on. I have decided not to put any more grape jelly out for them anyway, so as not to invite another visit from the Possum. I do try to live in peace with the local wildlife, but they have to meet me halfway, by keeping a respectful distance from the house and barn!
My flowers are recovering surprisingly well after the beating they took from last week’s storms.
On Friday, our good friends helped us move the downed trees off our pasture fence and haul them out to the ‘back forty’. It took some skill and know-how to remove them without doing further damage to the fence, so we were grateful for the help. We still have some branches to pick up and haul away, and some fence posts to replace, but have decided to wait for some cooler weather before attempting that.
Friday was the first day of Summer and it certainly felt like it. It has turned hot and humid and we have had to run the air conditioner for the first time this season. Looks like being this way for most of this week, so we will be keeping a low profile for a while.
It was a beautiful day yesterday. The sky was perfectly clear and I shrugged off the forecast of possible storms headed our way. When I checked the radar map on the computer, I saw nothing to be concerned about.
But later in the day, when the sky to the north began to look threatening, I went back to the computer and was startled to see a Severe Storm Warning informing us that damaging winds and hail would be upon us in ten minutes. We barely had time to bring the horses in before the storm hit.
We were hit by not one, but two storms and when it was over we had two trees down on our pasture fence, and several trees down or damaged along our road. My poor flowers took quite a beating from the hail, and I am not sure all of them will recover. I had taken some photos of them earlier in the day, which is a good thing, as they may not look this good for a while!
Our fickle weather has turned on us again and I needed hat, scarf and gloves for our walk this morning. In spite of this, the air is sweet with the scent of blossoms. The lilacs, which are still in full bloom, have now been joined by the Wild Cherry trees and the Russian Olives, and next to my trail, Lily of the Valley are adding their sweet scent to the air. (Probably not good for my allergies, but I enjoy them nonetheless.)
We found this Bumblebee resting by our back door on Tuesday, so I had to snap a few photos.
Last week, we visited our local nursery and bought a few annuals. Glad I resisted the temptation to plant them early, since it has turned so cold, but hope to get them in this weekend. Since our soil is so poor, I am confined to container gardening, so at least I have the option of moving things inside if the nights get too cold.
The trees around the lake in the Park are arrayed in many shades of green, as each tree leafs out on it’s own schedule.
Just as we thought it was safe to put away the ‘Winter Woollies’, cold temperatures returned and our morning walks became more of a chore than a pleasure. Now we are back to above normal temperatures, and I even had to break out some shorts and a tank top to work outside yesterday! It is tempting to start planting flowers, but I will restrain myself and wait until after Memorial Day. Right now I have my hands full just keeping up with the mowing.
Many years ago, I tried without success to grow Tulips. Burrowing critters ate the bulbs before they could ever take root, but one determined flower survived, (although it is far from the spot where I originally planted it,) and has been bravely blooming almost every year. I just had to photograph this brave, determined fellow!
I spotted this canoeist on the lake a couple of weeks ago, enjoying the peace and quiet of the early morning. In spite of the changeable weather, the campgrounds are beginning to fill, especially on weekends, and soon there will be more boaters out on the lake, either fishing, or simply enjoying the scenery.
Have been faithfully lugging my camera along on our morning walks, but I am just tired of Winter right now, and have not found the frozen landscape inspiring.
In an attempt to cheer myself, and perhaps my readers, I dug back through my Hard Drive to find something colorful to include in today’s blog.
Most of my flowers did not fare too well during last Summer’s hot, dry weather, but my Geraniums soldiered bravely on well into October. Sadly, I did not inherit my Mother’s ‘green thumb’, so anything I grow needs to be quite hardy!
The freeze thaw conditions we have been experiencing have created lots of ice underfoot, and Brian and I had to pick our way carefully on our walk this morning. The sun did shine for a while, but was soon gone and the wind has a real bite to it. Still, February is slowly slipping away and we should be seeing signs of Spring before long.