Dreary Sunday

Another cold, wet Sunday with an inch of rain over the last 24 hours, and up to five inches expected through Wednesday. The flowers are loving it, but the warm-weather veggies–not so much.

I gifted tomato plants this spring, and one recipient complained that hers weren’t growing. They will, I told her, when it warms up. But so far, warming up hasn’t happened.

My tomatoes planted in raised beds look water-logged and scraggly. I have a micro-climate near the house where I planted tomatoes in pots. They’re doing well–less water, more heat.

Even so, summer is on its way and soon I’ll have more tomatoes than I can possibly use. It’ll be time to pull out the canning supplies.

Mother’s Day Sunday

We had a terrific Mother’s Day, starting with a 5k run/walk during which it did not rain. Followed by a family lunch. My daughter-in-law took this photo of my son, Gordon and me.

Looking at it, I’m amazed at how much I resemble my father’s mother–Grandma Ida. I tried to scan a photo of her at about the same age I am now, but that was back in the 19-hmm’s, and frankly, I wasn’t happy with the scan results. Just imagine a shorter woman with more gray hair and not as well dressed.

The beauties in my family were all from my mother’s side. But thinking today of Grandma Ida, I’m astounded anew by her determination and courage. She had the equivalent of a high school education back when women weren’t educated. She came to America as an immigrant, met and married my grandfather, and ran his milliner shop–allowing him to create fabulous hats while she took care of business.

Ida had a series of miscarriages and stillbirths, culminating in a child born by Caesarian section back when C-sections were dangerous. Tragically, that child was killed at age three or four when he fell out of a third-story window. Grandma used to say her hair turned white the day after Willie died.

Undeterred by the fact that no one ever–ever–survived a second C-section, she was determined to give birth to another child. And the family story is that she’s the first woman in America to survive two C-sections.

Courage and determination, two great characteristics. I’m lucky to take after her.

Sunny Sunday

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First Sunday of fall. The sun is shining and the weather is cool. A perfect late September day.

Time to put the ‘working tools’ garden to bed for winter. Daylilies divided. Hose and gutter drains in place, mulch down.

This is part of the frog garden, thus the dancing frogs.

The hack?  A thick–more than four inches–layer of mulch under the hose cart to prevent weeds.

 

 

Fall Clean-up

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It’s time.  We have seven flower and nine veggie raised beds that need clean-up for winter. Starting in the bed closest to the road, we weeded, pruned, divided, and mulched.

Anchored by two giant pin oaks, this bed has changed from mostly sun to mostly shade. That’s how much the oaks have grown in the past ten years. I’ve been moving the hostas from the north side–where I’ll plant more ferns this coming spring–to circle the trees.

But the sedum autumn joy and pink chrysanthemum don’t seem to mind the diminished sunshine. Next spring, before the oaks leaf out, the bed will be a riot of daffodils and tulips.

Meanwhile, the mulch is spread and, while we’ll have to keep an eagle eye out for newly emerging weeds, this bed is ready for what will hopefully be a snowy winter. One down. Six to go.