Thurs. Aug. 27, 2020: Visit From a Hummingbird

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image courtesy of fprose via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 27, 2020
2nd Quarter Waxing Moon in Sagittarius
Celtic Tree Month of Hazel
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cooler

Red sky this morning. Wonder if we’ll have storms coming through?

Not much to say on the garden front. The Roses of Sharon are blooming, and the bees are very happy. We’re getting more cucumbers. We have tomatoes, but they’re not getting ripe; they’re staying green. The grass hasn’t grown much, but it’s looking a bit better. Hopefully, the lawn food arrives soon and I can feed it for the autumn.

It’s a little cooler now, and you can smell the earth early in the morning and in the evening. It’s not quite the scent of autumn yet, but also not summer.

I’m pulling out the lily stalks as they finish browning, and the chlorophyll sinks back into the bulb. When the stalks are done, they pull right out. I’ll have to cut back the hosta blooms that have faded.

The hydrangeas were lovely this year, but they’re starting to fade, too.

I can’t believe some of our pansies are still blooming!

In a couple of weeks, I’ll get a few pots of chrysanthemums, especially for the front.

I’ve been looking at garden design/planning software as a tool to draw maps for the books that have gardens in them. I didn’t realize there was so much out there!

I started with Plan-A-Garden, from Better Homes and Gardens, and even that is overwhelming. It will be useful when I get in close and detail specific plants, but it doesn’t have me do the aerial view of the design of the entire property, which is where I need to start. I’m stuck on my current book until I can map that out. The magazine does that often, so I know the software exists, I just don’t know what it is. So I guess I’ll start, once again, with pencil and paper, and go from there. Otherwise, it becomes an excuse not to write.

I’m going to look at some of the other software options, too, but many of them are too complicated. I can’t take three weeks to teach myself something and then find out it doesn’t do what I need it to do.

I’m looking forward to the cooler weather. Not looking forward to raking leaves, especially since all my neighbors do is amp up their leaf blower use (from daily in the summer to twice or three times daily in autumn). They make big piles of leaves on their property that are then carried by the wind to my property, and I’m the one who rakes them and bags them and takes them to the dump. I’m getting tired of it, after ten years.

Willa and Charlotte love being out on the deck in the playpens. Tessa would rather be free to roam, but it’s too dangerous at this point.

The other day, as I sat outside reading, a hummingbird visited to drink from the flowers. First hummingbird I’ve seen this season (we usually have quite a few). It was a delight to watch.

Next week, the summer decorations start transforming into autumn – the over-sized hummingbird comes down, the basket of fall foliage goes up on the front door. We start switching out the summer fabrics to autumn-themed ones. The big changeover comes October 1, when the white lace curtains come down and the black spiderweb curtains go up, and everything goes to Samhain décor.

Meanwhile, we keep on keeping on.

I have to figure out when to harvest the basil this year. There’s a lot of it, which means plenty of basil pesto to get us through the winter. It’s so much more delicious than anything from the store.

In the next few weeks, I’ll have to see about getting in another load of firewood for the winter, too.

But I intend to enjoy my time in the yard and on the deck as much as possible!

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Cleaning Up After The Storms

March 29, 2018
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny/cloudy and mild

It was actually dry enough, the past few days, to start cleaning up after the series of nor’easters that battered us in March. Most of the snow is gone, especially in my yard. There are some piles in corners along the street, but my yard is okay.

I started in the front. I’m in the process of clearing away all the branches and tree limbs that came down over the month. Not easy work, especially when it came to the large tree limb that broke off the dogwood. I hope I can work all through the weekend and make some serious progress. I should be able to finish the front yard today.

I’ll have to rake it then, still leaves around. I have to rake out the beds in the front. I used leaves to mulch in the winter, but there’s new growth, and I need to scrape away the old leaves and let it breathe.

I started cutting back the dead growth in the terraced bed in the back. I’d wanted to wait until it all passed and re-seeded itself naturally, but then the weather turned, and I couldn’t finish. Again, I used leaves to mulch. The new growth is coming up, so I have to rake it out. I cut back a good bit of it yesterday.

I also got out the handsaw and took out some invasive autumn olive and several oak saplings that are acting like invasives, especially within the rose bushes on the side of the house. When I’m sure it will stay mild in a week or two, I’ll give the roses a hard prune back — they’ve made that side of the house nearly impassable.

I still have a lot of that weird cedar-like invasive to dig out. I have to make sure I get the roots, or it just springs up somewhere else.

The crocuses are blooming, which is great. The daffodils and hyacinths are growing, but it’s been too cold for them to actually do much.

Yes, there’s a lot of work to do. If we have a string of days where the weather holds, it’ll be great. So often, the days I have time to work in the yard are the days where the weather is off.

But I’m looking forward to how beautiful it will be, once it’s cleaned up and ready for growing season!