Thurs. July 30, 2020: Blooming and Fading

flowers-3584099_1920
image courtesy of pasja1000 via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Sagittarius
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Holly
Hot, humid, cloudy

It’s been so hot and the yard so parched that I’ve used the hose to water it. As far as I know, we’re not under drought warning here, so it’s okay. I don’t have an irrigation system set up – I just give the yard a good soak around 5 AM. I do the back both morning and night. It’s making a positive difference, which is nice, because the Earth Science Lawn Repair mixture I bought isn’t doing a damn thing.

The beans are starting to be beans; we have more blossoms on the tomato plants; we have cucumbers. The zinnias are blooming. I’m not sure why the morning glories and moon flowers haven’t bloomed – the vines are everywhere. The basil thrives – I have a feeling I’ll make more pesto this year. Which is fine, because it’s excellent.

The Hosta blooms are starting to fade, although the bees still enjoy them. The Tiger Lilies are already fading, which is early for them, and the leaves are already turning brown.

The Rose of Sharon plants are starting to bloom.

I’m battling the kudzu and the bindweed almost daily. It’s exhausting. And oak saplings everywhere. Around here, oak behaves like an invasive. Over at the Ashumet sanctuary, they have a grove of pitch pine they’re cultivating (the Cape used to have a lot of pitch pine). The oak keeps trying to push out the pitch pine, so they have to keep taking the oak saplings out as though they are weeds.

Che Guevara Chipmunk is back. I saw him drinking out of the water dish I leave out for the wildlife (and change three times a day). I’m glad. I was worried about him. He spends part of his time in our large peace lily plant; when we bring it in for the winter, we will have to make sure he’s not still in it.

The bunnies still munch, morning and night. The crows are hanging out, hoping for more melon. Lots of finches of various types this year. They are funny. Bossy little birds, but they’ve chased off the sparrows and wrens.

Bratty Bird, the nuthatch, hasn’t been around much this summer, and I kind of miss him. But then, Tessa’s not out on the deck, and he loved to bother Tessa.

I hope we get a thunderstorm today; we need a good one.

But at least I can spend some time, every morning and evening, enjoying the yard. It’s been so hot, the neighbors haven’t been out and about making much noise. Except last weekend, when the neighbor across the street used a leaf blower on his gravel delivery.

I spend time every day in gratitude for this lovely place. It makes everything else going on in the world a little more bearable.

Saturday is Lammas, the first harvest, and the agricultural start of autumn. I feel so far behind in so many aspects of my life that I’m panicked, but at the same time, autumn is my favorite season.

Thurs. July 23, 2020: Oppressive Humidity

hosta-837182_1920
image by GLady courtesy of pixabay.com

Thursday, July 23, 2020
First Quarter Moon in Leo
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and oppressively humid

The pollinators and the nasturtiums are finally blooming. So are the beans and the tomatoes – let’s hope the bees drawn by the hosta blooms pop over the railing and pollinate the vegetables!

By this weekend, we’ll be able to eat our first cucumber – let’s hope there are more!

Bunnies are still dining in the yard. There’s enough that they leave the vegetables on the deck alone.

I still haven’t seen Che Guevara Chipmunk for weeks, now. I’m getting very worried about him.

It’s lovely to have my first cup of coffee in the morning on the deck and write. It’s also lovely to go out on the deck in the late afternoon to read and have cocktails. I’m lucky to have this space, especially right now, and I am grateful.

There’s something about writing in longhand on the deck that settles me. It makes me feel both peaceful and more creative. The ideas flow more smoothly and with more strength and dexterity.

The humidity is oppressive today. We’re supposed to have bad storms coming through, and it would be nice if they’d break the oppression. The fans aren’t doing much good (no air conditioning). The air’s just too heavy and not moving.

I love a good thunderstorm, so I’m hoping for one. I hope we have another one at night – it keeps the idiots with their illegal fireworks off the streets. They’ve been out every night that it hasn’t rained since July 1. I am sick of it.

Hope your summer is going well, and that you have a chance to spend some time outside!

Thurs. July 16, 2020: Trying For Tranquility

tiger-lily-flower-2972061_1920
image courtesy of tina0128 via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 16, 2020
Waning Moon Fourth Quarter in Taurus
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Holly
Sunny and cool

I’m enjoying the cool, since it’s supposed to get hot and humid again over the weekend.

Those aren’t my tiger lilies in the photo, but mine are starting to bloom. To me, tiger lilies are a cheerful flower.

We had bees earlier in the season, but then the neighbors went and put pesticides down so their lawns can look like putting greens, and now we have no bees to pollinate. I’m discouraged.

But things are growing. Especially invasives. I spent a couple of hours the other day battling bindweed. I got a lot cut away, but there’s more to do.

IMG_20200715_071536_894

These are my hydrangeas. I cut some to enjoy them indoors.

This week is the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, a mix of virtual and drive by the houses. I think some gardens are open. Usually the tourists just stomp around and leave trash, and they often roam people’s properties even if those properties are not on the tour, because why would they have any consideration for anyone? They don’t even wear masks.

I’m not sure what I’ll do this weekend, garden-wise. I hope to sit on the deck and enjoy things. Hopefully, the guy will come to mow. Most of the yard still looks fine, but No Man’s Land on the side, could use some work.

The white geraniums, daisies, and Queen Anne’s lace practically glow in the dark at dusk and dawn. It’s quite lovely. Because I’m not a big fan of the color white in general, I never wanted a white garden (Vita Sackville-West had one at Sissinghurst. You can see it here). But looking at the plants at these times makes me think maybe, one day, I’ll try for one.

I might do some repotting over the weekend. The Moneymaker Tomato decided to grow quickly. The eggplants and a couple of the cherry seeds have come up, and they need bigger pots.

I haven’t seen Che Guevara Chipmunk lately, and I’m a little worried about him. The bunnies are still around, which is a good thing. They have plenty to eat, and leave our vegetables alone. Because dandelion and purslane taste better!
Peace and good growth to you.

July 9, 2020: Enjoyment

garden-2437534_1920
photo courtesy of MikesPhotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 9, 2020
Waning Moon Third Quarter in Pisces
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy and humid
Celtic Tree Month of Holly

There’s not a whole lot to say this week. The garden in the picture is not mine; I’d love it if it was.

We have a lack of bees around this summer, and it concerns me. We had a good quantity earlier in spring – and then the neighbors used chemicals for their lawn, and here we are. So nothing is getting pollinated, which is not boding well for the blossoms on tomatoes and cucumbers.

The beans are doing well. Che Guevara Chipmunk dug up the sunflower and pea seeds, so nothing there. I’m battling the bindweed invasive.

The bittersweet is blooming and is a pollinator, so I’m not cutting it back yet. The Queen Anne’s Lace is about 4 feet tall and beautiful.

I enjoy some time out on the deck every afternoon, reading and/or writing. I take Willa out in her playpen, and she loves it.

Willa and the bunny love staring at each other.

Che Guevara Chipmunk hasn’t been around much in the last few days. I hope he’s okay. The illegal fireworks (10 hours straight on July 4th; every night since July 1) upset the critters.

Some of the lilac cuttings seem to be rooting; only a couple of the rhodies look good. But a couple is better than none.

We’re just keeping on keeping on. The pansies are still blooming; it hasn’t been too hot, so I haven’t needed to switch them out to petunias yet.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Botanical Interests seeds have been disappointing. Next year, I’ll buy my seeds elsewhere. Usually, when I sow Botanical Interests seeds, I get 60-70% germination rate. This year, it’s about 10%. The percentage/cost of seeds/time spent ratio isn’t working for me this year.

The roses are lovely. They grew back quite well where I’d hacked them back last fall.

The tiger lilies should bloom soon. They are in drifts up on the bay side of the Cape, so they will bloom soon over here. The bay side blooms a little earlier.

That’s pretty much it. I’m getting as much enjoyment as possible out of it all.

Too bad the neighbors can’t. All they do is use noisy machines, put down chemicals, and destroy. They never build anything, or make anything beautiful. They just make noise, pollute, and destroy. It’s disappointing.

Hope your garden is growing well.

 

July 2, 2020: My Garden Definitely Grows!

20200629_054802
The terraced border in the backyard

Thursday, July 2, 2020
Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Sagittarius
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Oak
Hazy and humid

Hello, my friends! It’s been two weeks, because I had surgery last Thursday. I’m on the road to recovery, but it’s taking longer than I would like.

In the meantime, the garden is growing!

The lawn was finally mowed last Friday, and looks much better. I moved the two small, potted evergreens that flanked the front door out of the front beds, and to the side of the house. They’ve grown over the years (I bought them the first Christmas we moved in, in 2010). They don’t look right. They’re too big to be on the small front step; they look wrong tucked in the back of the front bed.

So I moved them to the side of the house (to hide a small dead tree the owner has yet to get rid of). I started cleaning out the front beds and found a wasp nest, attached to the siding, right near the spigot for the hose.

I dashed out to get wasp killer. Note to self: Avoid Hyannis Country Gardens in the future. Only the register staff keeps their masks on, and the customers wear their masks around their necks, not over their faces, and refuse to distance. Not worth putting my life in danger because of selfish Sliding Mask Skanks.

I nearly sprayed them all with wasp killer, but I needed it for the house.

Battled the wasps over the next few days. This weekend, I hope to get the hose attached in the front, and wash the rest of it away.

Because it looked too bare in the front of the house, I brought two of the oversized red geraniums from the back and put them in front. Good Feng Shui, and they look pretty.

One of the baskets of pansies in the front gave up the ghost. I have to put some of the spare pansies in there, and then continue to clean out the front beds.

The border of the terraced section is lively, as you can see from the photo above. The Stella D’oro lilies are doing well. There’s also that slightly darker yellow lily – I’m not sure what it’s called, but I like it. The daisies are in bloom, as are the catmint, the feverfew, and the Queen Anne’s Lace. The Tiger Lilies are getting ready to bloom.

20200629_054815

The Astilbe is pinker than it looks in the photo, and is lovely. The Elephant hosta is now enormous.

I have to tackle bindweed this weekend, because it’s creeping around choking things.

I’m a little concerned that the hostas are already sending up blooms. It should happen in August; the last few years it’s been happening in mid-late July. This year it’s in early July. Also, the critters are already hoarding for winter. That does not bode well.

The rugosa roses are doing well, and the scent is lovely, wafting into my bedroom.

Tomatoes are coming along. Cucumbers keep blooming, but none of the blooms are producing anything. Beans have sprouted. Che Guevara Chipmunk dug up the peas and the sunflowers, so I think those will be a bust this year.

Herbs and lavender are fine. I’d hoped the morning glories would start blooming, but they are very busy growing.

The hydrangeas are blooming. Cape Cod is known for them, and the hydrangea festival is next weekend. I think people are observing from their cars? I hope packs of Maskless Morons don’t think they’re actually going to tromp around people’s properties.

I wouldn’t be out and about on a holiday weekend around here anyway, because of the traffic and the idiot tourists. Add the pandemic this year, and I’m really staying home.

But I have my enchanted garden to enjoy (and work in). I can read and watch the birds – lots of finches this year!

I love to have my first cup of morning coffee out on the deck. I check on the plants. I talk with the birds and the bunnies. The little black cat hasn’t been around lately. I think she was just a visitor. Sometimes I do my first writing session of the day on the deck.

Later in the day, I either read or take more work out on the deck. The skylights and the covering mean I can even work in bad weather (as long as the rain isn’t coming sideways).

Being out there gives me a sense of peace and belonging, that I don’t get anywhere else around here. It also emphasizes how much I want a place of my own, not a rental.

The bunnies continue to eat breakfast and dinner in the patches of dandelions I keep in the yard. Che Guevara Chipmunk is very busy. He likes to get right in Willa’s face, because she’s in the playpen, but she’s learned how to chase him by turning the playpen into a snowball-like roller.

I am so grateful to have this space to enjoy and rest in, this sanctuary away from the horrors of the world.

How’s your garden doing?