Sunday, July 24, 2016

inside the garden fence

The garden is growing at a steady pace.  Though it has been a dry summer the constant watering (ackkk the watering) and the humidity have created some sizable plants.  We are about to bust open with tomatoes as the plants are heavy with fruit but are taking painstaking time to turn red. It's a slow crawl to harvest then boom it happens and then summer quickly winds down.  I'm trying to be careful what I wish for as I am enjoying these summer days and am in no hurry for a change.

This year we tried potato boxes, as the plants grow in height, wood and soil are added.  Little did I know the plants would grow so fast, I am behind the adding wood and soil part.  After 50-60 days of growth the bottom boards are removed and potatoes are dug out.  As time passes more boards are removed and more potatoes dug out. I'm still not sure about this system but if it is successful I'll probably talk about it again in the future.  We have a short growing season this far north, I imagine this system would be great a couple zones to the south.

The zucchini and summer squash are making up for last year when I got two measly zucchinis.  We eat a lot of these and it was painful last year to have to buy them after I had hauled a zillion gallons of water.  Sweet victory this year in the form of zucchini breads and cakes :)

 Sweet corn is hard to grow here, but oh the rewards of a fresh piece of corn!  Though it is definitely easier to get some from the farm stand there are few more satisfying garden fares than picking your own corn and steaming it for dinner.

To save space  we are using a couple large triangular frames.  The lower one for cucumbers to grow atop while beets and radishes grow beneath.  The taller one is for green beans to climb while kale, spinach and swiss chard grow underneath.

Clover and Mabel grew so fast out of their brooder.  I am hoping they think I am their mother,  they are still so fun to hold and cuddle.  Their quacks are still babyish soft squeaks.  Unlike the loud QUACKS their parents do.  Their dad Frank below is so loud and always following me to see what I am doing then has to announce it to the whole neighborhood.  

Outside the garden fence we are having a banner year for wild raspberries.  Every chore outside calls for a break along the property edges eating berries.  

The youngest is officially too big for me to ride my bike with.  I imagine the trips my husband takes with him are numbered as well.  It is so hard to see your baby grow up!

The flower beds are hanging in there.  The japanese beetles have liked my zinnias this year,  and the delphiniums were short lived.  I am hoping for a speedy recovery as I can't imagine August without cutting zinnias for the house.  Fingers crossed...
Thanks for visiting my garden!

Friday, July 15, 2016


Occasionally I stumble upon a vignette and my mind takes a photograph.  I want those photos to stay in my heart forever (and a day).  I love it when my kids are being kids, when nature abounds in all its glory, or even when I see the chippy picket fence down the street.  Usually my camera isn't in hand or I hesitate too long to run and grab it, but as hard as it feels sometimes, I am learning to appreciate the moment.  We snap so many photos within our lives, no more precious film to waste to help us determine if the picture is actually worth it.  Everything is a picture now!  When I upload pictures it is hard to even delete the outtakes, sometimes even years later they are greatly appreciated.

I remember seeing this picture and thinking "Oh Henry..."  (That really is a worn out phrase around here.)  I didn't even doubt  that one is one for the cutting room floor.  Luckily I kept it and can hopefully save it for his wedding :)

I print some pictures, but gone are the days when I carefully wrote the location and date on each one and put it in an album.  Now here I am in 2016 with an occasional printed picture and thousands sitting in hard drives, memory cards, back up websites.  But my favorite will always be the pictures in my heart. Hope you are making summer memories today.

Friday, July 1, 2016

In June

In June we finished school with a cheer and a smile.  We clipped as many peonies as we could and brought them in the house.  Some of us ran races and played in baseball games, and some of us watched.  We all planted things and pulled weeds and hauled watering cans.  We went to book sales and book stores and the library.  We read quietly and we read out loud.  We stacked books on our nightstands, we read at breakfast and sometimes we even offered to share the hammock to read outside.  This is when I realize the stress of the school year has worn off and my kids become carefree friends again.  One of our older hens once again graciously sat on someone else eggs for 28 days, only this time they were from a duck...she doesn't realize they aren't chicks and the ducklings don't realize she isn't a duck.  Four of us went to swim lessons every morning.  Every. Morning.   We went to see big brother working at the golf course and rode golf carts for a couple hours taking in all the views of the mountain.  We went to Vermont to see the biggest sister's house.  This is where the youngest child asked me who is the mother of the oldest child.  I am you silly goose!  We were entertained by the best magic show yet.  We went to parties and ate yummy foods.  We stayed up late to see the full moon and catch fireflies in our pjs.  We had ice cream two days in a row. We woke early and swam in the sea, sigh.  Each day of June we filled with prayers of hope and gratitude.  We  watched the days unfold and then we watched them fade away into the dark of night.