Walking, Not Smiling

Yesterday, spouse and I went to Kezar Lake in Sutton NH, as we often do, but instead of us both walking around it, this time he brought his canoe. He took off from the inlet, after checking in with the Lake Host on the other side of the lake (the Lake Host is there to check for invasive species that could be tagging along on watercraft), and paddled an almost-straight trajectory through the marshy area — and over two small beaver dams, where he had a surprise encounter with a large snapping turtle — across the lake to the beach side, while I meanwhile walked the 3-mile road around the lake.

TomcanoeinletKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017TomcanoeKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017

During the entire hour my walk took (his paddle was considerably shorter), the sound of a speeding motor boat with water-skier was grating on my eardrums like fingernails on a chalkboard. Among perhaps 10 canoists, kayakers, people fishing in bass boats, and folks in slow moving pontoon boats was this one power boat, zipping and circling around the lake, apparently heedless of the two adult loons and one chick in the water.

motorboattoonearloonKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017motorboattoonearloonbKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017

motorboattoonearloonTahoeKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017

I watched the boat almost drive right over on adult loon. I couldn’t get the bow number on the boat, unfortunately, because while power boats are allowed on the small lake, harassing loons by being too close to them is illegal.

So dismay, anger, fear for the loons, frustration were coursing through my veins, and the noise of the clamorous power boat ringing in my ears. (I realise it doesn’t bother lots of people, but it bothers me. Sort of like the effect of Mary Hart’s voice on Kramer, in Seinfeld)

Then I watched a young (10-ish) boy in the water with a large (beautiful) doberman dog, pretending to shoot it repeatedly with a stick close to the dog’s face, then splashing water on the dog’s face. The dog seemed unsure what to do, moving away from the boy but not entirely out of the water, barking once or twice, not seeming to know how to respond. If there were parents nearby, they did nothing to stop what seemed to me like taunting behaviour. The dog seemed confused, the boy persisted, and I felt sad watching this interaction.

Then I rounded the corner,  where a slightly older man, walking the opposite direction, jokingly (I guess?) said, “You’re only halfway done!” My response and the set of my mouth was apparently not what he felt they should be, because he followed up with “Smile, young lady!”

If you know me, you know I don’t swear aloud much, but with the motor boat sound, the recklessness of the boat and the danger to the loons, the way I interpreted the dog interaction, I was this close to telling him to STFU. Instead, because I know that reaction would be unkind, rude, and not compassionate, on the one hand, and I also know it would be escalatory and potentially dangerous on the other hand, I kept walking, serious face and all, angry, downhearted, and disquieted. Definitely not smiling.

When I had earlier met this man on the other side of the lake, with no other people around, and he had boomed out “Hello there!” in a sort of odd way (I felt), I’d had a slight frisson of discomfort, and now I was very thankful I was near the beach, among a small crowd people, even the taunting boy and his lax parents, because I know that what can follow non-compliance to the command “Smile, young lady!” is verbal abuse, attempts at intimidation, or worse.

I left that encounter walking fast (-er than usual) and furious, eventually breathing normally again, eventually letting my senses take over, smelling the air, observing what was around me, feeling the road and my ligaments and muscles as I moved, listening for the bird calls through the sound of the power boat.

A half-mile later or so, I encountered this lovely Yellow Wooly Bear (Spilosoma virginica), who obligingly curled itself around my offered clover stem so I could move it off the road.

caterpillarImovedoffroadKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017

Then later a white admiral butterfly (Limenitis arthemis … there is also a red-spotted purple form of the same species) —

whiteadmiralbutterflyroadKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017

And this interesting fungus formation —

darkfungusyellowrimKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017

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I realise that some folks (even some women) don’t understand why many women react so strongly to being told to “smile.” They don’t understand how it’s patronising and demeaning, this auditing and evaluating (by complete strangers!) of another person’s emotions, this assertion of a right to control someone else’s emotions or the way those emotions show up on their face.  Here’s some help for those folks:

The Sexism of Telling Women To Smile, in Atlantic: “I couldn’t imagine that my facial expression should affect strangers in any way. I couldn’t understand how I was supposed to just go about life smiling at nothing all the time. It’s pretty nonsensical. Why would I smile for the duration of a 30-minute walk?  I felt it was very much about them, not me — as if my facial expression was a reflection of them, I wasn’t a whole person with thoughts and feelings of my own, and I was put on this earth to reassure men they were adequate on a daily basis. And I was viscerally aware that this rule only applied to me because I was female.”

Men, we need to stop telling women to ‘Smile!’ by Matthew Hansen in the Dallas News : “”You really should smile,” a man will say. Or: “Why you so mad? Smile!” Or: “You’re pretty. You would be prettier if you smiled.” In this moment, Rosie Meegan is faced with a choice that nearly all women recognize, and a choice of which most men are blissfully unaware. She can smile, even though a male stranger telling her to smile makes her feel the exact opposite of smiley. Or she can say no and potentially face his wrath. … ‘It assumes that I’m a decoration in your life, an ornament, here to give you pleasure.’ … By my count, I have talked to 19 women about ‘Smile!’ All 19 said it has happened to them. Most said it happens regularly. All 19 said they don’t like it. In some cases it’s simply grating. In other cases, it carries a vaguely menacing undertone — fear is a main reason women do force a smile, women told me. Most depressingly, all 19 women I spoke to considered it a fact of life, part of the tax that women must pay. And here I am, drifting through days during which no one ever requests that I change facial expression.”

Nope, from Shakesville: “Telling people to ‘smile’ and/or ‘laugh’ is not, in fact, nice. Telling people how to behave is an assertion of ownership; it is disdainful of individual agency, a failure to acknowledge boundaries and autonomy. That auditing other people’s emotions could be considered ‘nice’ is absurd.” (She’s responding to a “Do Something Nice” campaign in Vancouver, which is why she keeps using the word ‘nice.'”)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s “Stop Telling Women to Smile” street art project: “I am not here for you.”

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I have male friends (and a few older female friends) who sometimes make it known that they like it (me?) more when I smile (e.g., if I post a non-smiling photo on Facebook, I usually get at least one “Where’s that pretty smile?” or “I’d rather see you smiling” comment). I’m ambivalent about that — when it’s actual people who know me and really might have my best interest at heart, who really might feel sad because I look sad — but my response is totally unambivalent when a stranger on the street instructs me to look or feel the way he wants me to: I’m not here for you.

Yes, being told to smile — generally by men who are only acting on what they’ve learned and internalised, who aren’t intending harm — is a minor thing compared with the kinds of oppression, suppression, violence, and the threat of violence that many people face daily. Everything is relative. But it is a regular reminder for many women that being pretty, seeming attainable and non-threatening, looking agreeable and cheerful no matter what we feel, are what’s expected of us as full-fledged autonomous human beings in this culture, and that when those cultural expectations aren’t met — when we don’t smile on command or if we respond with something benign like “No thanks, I don’t feel like it” — men may retaliate with slurs, intimidation, threats, verbal abuse, and rarely (I hope), physical abuse. As one of the women in the Atlantic article says, just being told to smile makes us feel watched and vulnerable. Being called “bitch!” when we don’t smile makes us feel worse.

A woman quoted in the Dallas News article says that though she used to force a smile in response, and apologize, and feel bad about herself without understanding why, now she “she doesn’t smile on command, even though she’s risking the possibility that the benevolent sexism will turn into something worse — the hostility often reserved for women who refuse to accept gender norms.”

I guess that’s where I am, unwilling to smile on command; it’s certainly where I was yesterday, when I was feeling dismayed by humans and our wanton aggression and destructiveness. And I don’t want to add to the culture’s already high level of resentment, aggression, and anger by rudely rebuffing a probably well-meant (or at least unthinking) attempt at encouragement; but on the other hand, I think I have a right to look and feel the way I do, without being told to change because a stranger is uncomfortable with it.

Being told to smile leaves me with no good option here — either I ignore it, probably appearing rude and dismissive; or I react angrily, which will almost surely evoke resentment and retaliation (toward me or a convenient scapegoat); or I smile or make a joke — one woman says “I’m trying to cut down” when men tell her to smile — but that seems to me a capitulation equal to smiling on command, seeking to help him feel comfortable about her demeanor — and in fact her being.

So men (and a few women), please, please stop telling strangers, and even acquaintances and coworkers, to smile. If we’re looking serious, sad, angry, upset, dismayed, or anxious, we probably are, and you’re not going to turn that frown upside down by force or by even by suggestion. If you want us to really smile, give us a reason to do it: do something kind, say something genuinely funny, or just smile at us without expecting repayment in kind.  Thanks.

blackeyedSusansalongroadKezarLakeSuttonNH19Aug2017
Black-eyed Susans along road

 

 

I’ll Settle for the Rain

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” — Sylvia Plath, journal entry dated 8 August 1952

It’s 61F and pouring outside now at 5 p.m. It’s been raining like this all day and hasn’t been much warmer. I’ve been wearing long pants and purple fleece, drinking cup after cup of jasmine tea, and, yes, there’s a woodstove fire.

woodstovefire18Aug2017

And yes, we had s’mores, with dark chocolate and vegetarian (vegan, actually) marshmallows.

smorewoodstovecorrellplate18Aug2017.JPG

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We’ve had a visiting neighbour cat with us since 8 a.m., meowing under our windows shortly after the rain began. She’s been sleeping 90% of the time, first in the bed with me for an hour, then on the love seat in the sitting room (surrounded by windows), then on a guest bed in spouse’s office, on a chair below the fly-tying desk in his office, under a bed in the guest room, and now on the sofa near us and the fire.

Peachescatsleepingloveseatsittingroom18Aug2017
sleeping on the sitting room love seat
PeachescatchairTomsoffice18Aug2017
sleeping on chair under desk – cozy!
Peachescatwatchingmesunroomdoor18Aug2017
watching me outside while she stays warm and dry inside the sunroom

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She apparently minds the rain. But I don’t. I walked around without a coat or hood for a little while late this afternoon, collecting images of the rain and mist, the ponding and puddling, the way the limbs are heavy, the vibrancy of the colours.

slugwetgrass18Aug2017
slug!
rainwaterpoolingpatio18Aug2017
rain water pooling on patio
goldenrodshadowsrainwaterwheelbarrow18Aug2017
goldenrod nodding into rain-filled wheelbarrow
rainwatergushinggutterrainbarrel18Aug2017
rainwater gushing over rain barrel
mistrainslope18Aug2017
mist and rain on the slope (raspberry bushes)
frontgardenrainmist18Aug2017
part of front garden in rain and mist
rainwetblackeyedSusans18Aug2017
waterlogged black-eyed Susans
redpeaches18Aug2017
very red peaches
dogwoodredleaves18Aug2017
dogwood leaves
browningdockleafrainwater18Aug2017
burdock leaf browning and soggy

This odd, uneven time.

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“Well, I’d like to have the ocean / But I’d settle for the rain” — Rosanne Cash, from “World of Strange Design”

Lettuce Harvest, Sort Of

A couple of weeks ago, I reaped a giant harvest of lettuce — wild lettuce, that is, probably Lactuca biennis, or tall blue lettuce, as it was tall and had blue flower buds before being pulled brutally from the ground. (Unfortunately, I just read that it has a stout taproot, which I did not extract.) Some individuals were 8 or 9 feet tall, a bit shorter than their maximum extension of 12 feet or so.

TallBlueLettuceLactucaBiennislettuceweed10Aug2017
harvest (weed-pulling) of six or seven of them
TallBlueLettuceLactucaBiennislettuceweedleaves10Aug2017
leaf shape
TallBlueLettuceLactucaBiennislettuceweedpurpleflowerbuds10Aug2017
the flower buds against my shoe … you can see they are bluish or purple

I left a couple smaller ones in the ground in various spots around the yard because I want to see the bloom, though of course that’s a decision fraught with consequences.

wildlettucelactucabiennisstandingfrontyard16Aug2017flowerheadwildlettucelactucabiennisstandingfrontyard16Aug2017blueflowerwildlettucelactucabiennisstandingfrontyard16Aug2017

Go Botany mentions that “Native Americans used a decoction of the roots of tall blue lettuce to treat pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart trouble.” I did not make any decoction, but as I didn’t actually pull up roots, I guess I still could.

There’s also Lactuca canadensis, also native and tall, but that species has yellow flowers. I see it in the woods, I think, but it’s not in the yard, yet.

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“Mystics are experts in laziness. They rely on it,
because they continuously see God working all around them.
The harvest keeps coming in, yet they
never even did the plowing!” — Rumi

August Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

It’s mid-August and it feels like summer is about over. I’m not sure why, but the summer felt less summery than normal, not as warm. For the second half of July and the first half of August, 18 of 30 days actually posted above normal high temperatures, averaging about 3 degrees warmer than usual among those days; but the other 12 days, which were below normal for high temps, were almost 9 degrees cooler than usual. Maybe that’s why it’s felt less summery lately. Low temps recently have been in the high 40s to mid 50s, so we’ve even closed windows a few nights because we didn’t want the heat (set at 60) to kick on.

I haven’t kept close track of the rain but that’s because there’s been enough rain this summer that I have rarely had to water, especially in the last month. For which I’m grateful.

Let’s look at some plants!

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Veggies and Peaches

riotcolourcrocosmiacosmosechinaceasideyard7Aug2017
veggie garden a bit overgrown with flowers
basilpepperstomatoescloseveggarden15Aug2017
basil, peppers, tomatoes

If some critter had not gotten into the veggie garden while I was away for two weeks in late July, I imagine there’d be a great bounty of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, Swiss chard, arugula, beans, and peppers.

As it turned out, thanks to a groundhog or some other varmint that didn’t breach the fishing wire fence (so not a deer), there’s been no squash, almost no tomatoes, lettuce, chard, or green beans, a few peppers, and less arugula and fewer cucumbers than there should be.

squashplantnotyieldingsquashveggarden15Aug2017
unyielding squash plant
Peachescatheaddestroyedlettuce15Aug2017
visiting cat Peaches’ head, with red romaine that is trying to grow again

The only plants to escape the wrath of the chewing critter were basil and garlic, so I’ve made a lot of pesto.

secondharvestgarlic4Aug2017
second garlic harvest
basilplantedingarlicbedveggarden7Aug2017
10 basil plants instilled into one of the garlic beds (7 Aug)

Tomatoes are trying to make a comeback now, as is chard, arugula, and the cucumbers.

cucumberbasiltomatoesveggarden15Aug2017
cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, sad little romaine
cucumbersharvest15Aug2017
cucumber harvest today
arugula15Aug2017
arugula regrowing

The peaches are coming along, although friends in neighbouring towns have already harvested and frozen theirs. Some of ours are getting a blush and growing a bit bigger. Next year I will be even more brutal in early culling, if we’re lucky enough to have flowers and fruits again. One large branch was still so heavy that it split from the tree. We lost a hundred peaches or so, and the tree is further damaged (the trunk was bored into a few years ago).

brokenpeachtreelimbclose6Aug2017
peach tree damage
fruitguildfencedarksky15Aug2017
fruit guild with two peach trees
peaches15Aug2017
peaches

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Perennials (mostly)

Small colonies of Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) grow in two spots, next to the veggie garden, and on the other side of the house in the fruit guild. Usually there are lots of Sphex pensylvanicus (great black digger wasps) on it, but not this year, just a couple of golden great digger wasps so far.

SphexIchneumoneusGreatGoldenDiggerWaspasclepiasb11Aug2017
Sphex Ichneumoneus (great golden digger wasp) on asclepias

Other pollinators like it, too:

bumblebeepinkasclepiassideyard4Aug2017
bumblebee on asclepias
monarchbutterflywingswideopenpinkasclepiasb8Aug2017
monarch butterfly on asclepias
honeybeemotionasclepias10Aug2017
honeybee on asclepias

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Echinacea

Another favourite of pollinators is echinacea (coneflower), though certain varieties — in my garden, it’s a magenta watercoloury echinacea called ‘Pow Wow Wild Berry’ and a white one called ‘Primadonna White’ — don’t attract any. On the other hand, ‘Bravado,’ ‘Magnus Pink,’ ‘Purple Emperor,’ and the common unvarietied Echinacea purpurea all seem to attract a multitude of bees, butterflies, and hoverflies. I’ve got echinacea all over the yard: near the vegetable garden, in the fruit guild, in the back border (three or four varieties among seven or eight clumps), and in the front yard as well.

paintedladybutterflyechinaceacenterheadsideyard2Aug2017
painted lady butterfly on echinacea
yellowswallowtailbutterflypaintedladyechinaceab2Aug2017
yellow swallowtail and painted lady butterflies on echinaceas
largeswallowtailbutterflyechinaceab7Aug2017
large yellow swallowtail butterfly on echinacea
monarchbutterflyechinaceac9Aug2017
monarch butterfly on echinacea
ToxomerusMarginatusSphoverflyechinacea8Aug2017
Toxomerus marginatus hoverfly on echinacea
bumblebeepollenechinaceaclose7Aug2017
bumblebee carrying pollen on echinacea
fritillarybutterflyechinaceaveronicastrumfence4Aug2017
fritillary butterfly on echinacea
echinacdathreepaintedladybutterfliesoneswallowtailsideyard2Aug2017
echinacea with two painted lady butterflies and one yellow swallowtail butterfly
purpleechinaceafrontgarden4Aug2017
‘Purple Emperor’ echinacea (front yard)
PowWowechinaceabackborder11Aug2017
‘Pow Wow Wild Berry’ echinacea (back border)
whiteechinaceabackborder7Aug2017
‘Primadonna White’ echinacea (back border)

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Hydrangea

I’m not a huge fan of hydrangea but I inherited two types (one white shrubby type in the rock wall, one traditional blue type — which looks healthy but hasn’t bloomed this year) and actually bought a few others, including a PG hydrangea tree form for $15 at a sale and some (usually) non-flowering ‘Bail Day’ hydrangeas with variegated leaves.

magentaphloxhydrangeaveronicastrumbackborder15Aug2017
back border with phlox, veronicastrum, and PG hydrangea
whitehydrangeabloomingrockwall11Aug2017
shrubby hydrangea in rock wall; we had to cut out a lot of dead branches from it in the spring but it seems OK now
whitehydrangeaflowers11Aug2017
white hydrangea flower – shrub version in rock wall
variegatedBailDayhydrangeabackborder8Aug2017
‘Bail Day’ hydrangea (blooms after very mild winters — not this past one)
BailDayhydrangealeafvariegatedclose30May2017
leaf detail from ‘Bail Day’ hydrangea (30 May)

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Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’ is one of my favourite tall flowering perennials, perfect for the back of borders. It likes to faint and flail all over the place, taking the bumblebees and honeybees with it.

veronicastrumgrassesbackborder2Aug2017
veronicastrum, grasses, and echinacea in back border
largebumblebeeveronicastrum4Aug2017
bumblebee on veronicastrum
flyorangebumblebeeveronicastrum7Aug2017
orange-belted bumblebee and another pollinator on veronicastrum
twobumblebeesantveronicastrum15Aug2017
two bumblebees and ant on veronicastrum
paintedladybutterflyveronicastrum10Aug2017
painted lady butterfly on veronicastrum
silverspottedskipperEpargyreusClarusbutterflyveronicastrum10Aug2017
silver spotted skipper butterfly on veronicastrum
smallbluebutterflyveronicastrum13Aug2017
maybe a summer azure (Celastrina neglecta) butterfly on veronicastrum
purplesbackborder8Aug2017
back border with veronicastrum and phlox

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Phlox

I’ve got bunches of tall phlox around the yard, most of it shared by friends, so species/varieties aren’t known. I do know a few names, varieties I bought from nurseries, including Phlox paniculata ‘Wendy House’ (magenta), Phlox paniculata ‘Jade’ (white), Phlox glaberrima ‘Anita Kistler’ (which bloomed in July), and a Phlox hybrid called “Intensia Neon Pink,’ which was eaten the first year I planted it but has become a great bloomer in the four years since.

whitephloxbackyard4Aug2017
Phlox paniculata ‘Jade’
whitephloxbackborder8Aug2017
white phlox in back border from a friend
pinkphloxveronicastrumhydrangeabackborder4Aug2017
‘Wendy House” magenta phlox with hydrangea
pinkphloxbackborder2Aug2017
‘Wendy House” magenta phlox in the back border
maryannesphloxpinkwhitebackborder16Aug2017
pink and white phlox from a friend, in the back border
neonpinkphloxsideyard11Aug2017
Phlox ‘Intensia Neon Pink’

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Some more purple, blue, and pink things (and a tiny bit of red):

thymeflowersbumblebeefrontgarden11Aug2017
thyme flowering with bumblebee (and bits of red crocosmia dropped onto it from above)
juniperheatherbloomingdrawfalbertaspruceevergreensbackyard11Aug2017
juniper, heather, and dwarf Alberta spruce
pinkVeronicaRedFox11Aug2017
‘Red Fox’ veronica
commonburdockbackdoor11Aug2017
common burdock by back door
bumblebeepollenArctiumMinuscommonburdock7Aug2017
burdock flowers with bumblebee
purplespikyArctiumMinuscommonburdockbloom7Aug2017
burdock flower
bumblebeespinkzinnias8Aug2017
pink zinnia with bumblebees
TurkishDelightsedumflowers15Aug2017
‘Turkish Delight’ sedum buds
bumblebeehealalllawn7Aug2017
Prunella vulgaris (heal all) in lawn, with bumblebee
perovskiaRussiansage15Aug2017
perovskia (Russian sage)
buddleiaswisschardveggarden15Aug2017
buddleia (butterfly bush) and Swiss chard
largemilkweedbugOncopeltusFasciatusbuddleia11Aug2017
buddleia (butterfly bush) with large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
purplevervainbloomsb2Aug2017
vervain
elderflowerberries15Aug2017
elderflower berries
echinopsglobethistlesunroomborder4Aug2017
Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’ (globe thistle)
hoverflypurpleechinopssunroomborder11Aug2017
Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’ (globe thistle) with hoverfly, I think
burgundyorangedaylilyrockwall2Aug2017
burgundy-orange daylily in the rock wall
crocosmiacornergarden9Aug2017
small patch of crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ at corner of house

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And some yellow things; I don’t plant many yellow things, so these are mostly self-seeders and flowers from seed mixes:

paintedladybutterflyvanillamarigolds11Aug2017
painted lady butterfly on vanilla marigolds (I planted them)
waspgoldenrodfrontyard15Aug2017
wasp on goldenrod
femaleMelissodesLongHornedBeeandnativeMegachileLeafcutterBeepollinatorsbgoldenrod7Aug2017
Melissodes sp. (long-horned bee) and native Megachile sp. (leaf-cutter bee) — both pollinators — on goldenrod
commonthreadwaistedwaspgoldenrodb7Aug2017
common thread-waisted wasp on goldenrod
goldenrodbackcorner7Aug2017
lots of self-seeding goldenrod
QueenAnnesLacefennelyarrowfruitguild7Aug2017
Queen Anne’s Lace, fennel and dill flowers in fruit guild
riotflowersfruitguildasclepiasblackeyedsusanechinaceaQueenAnnesLace7Aug2017
riot of flowers, including asclepias, black-eyed Susan, echinacea, and Queen Anne’s Lace, in fruit guild
blackeyedsusansfruitguild2Aug2017
black-eyed Susans (from seed mix) in fruit guild
blackeyedsusanpollinatorfruitguild2Aug2017
closer look at black-eyed Susans, with little pollinator
yellowdaylilynomothrockwall2Aug2017
yellow daylily in rock wall
yellowflowerAngelinasedumbackborder7Aug2017
‘Angelina’ sedum flower in back border (I planted this)
tallinulaplantblooming7Aug2017
one of three Inula heleniums (aka elecampane or horse-heal) in the yard, this is the tallest at 7 or 8 feet … I planted this and am so happy to see it blooming after 3 years
yellowinulabloomsclose8Aug2017
Inula helenium (elecampane) blooms
brightyellowinulabloom7Aug2017
Inula helenium (elecampane) bloom

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Finally, a few odds and ends. There are always odds and ends, aren’t there?

SoSweethostaflowers15Aug2017
‘So Sweet’ hosta flowers
Loyalisthostaleavesflowers7Aug2017
‘Loyalist’ hosta flowers
commonthreadwaistedwaspwhitealliumbloomc7Aug2017
common thread-waisted wasp on an allium bloom (last year’s leek, I believe, forgotten in the ground)
AndrenaspMiningBeeQueenAnnesLace7Aug2017
Andrena sp. (mining bee) on Queen Anne’s lace
gartersnakegrasssideyardb2Aug2017
surprise garter snake in the lawn near the veg garden
geraniumHabGreysedumfrontborder15Aug2017
purple geranium (maybe Johnson’s blue) and ‘Hab Grey’ sedum
dragonfly15Aug2017
twelve-spotted skimmer dragonfly
cilantroflowersspruceechinacea15Aug2017
surprise cilantro flowers in front garden with echinacea and weeping white spruce … I didn’t plant cilantro this year and have never planted it in the front yard.
hummingbirdbacksidefacecrocosmia8Aug2017
ruby-throated hummingbird on crocosmia stem (taken from inside the house)
hummingbirdperchedcrocosmiaflowersstems20July2017
ruby-throated hummingbird (juvenile or female) on crocosmia

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“I feel like a time traveler:
June, July, August.
Summer dissolves in my mouth
and I can’t remember what it tasted like.”
— Zoë Lianne, “Erasure”

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Thanks for stopping by! Come back in September, when the willow gentian, caryopteris ‘Longwood Blue,’ Joe Pye weed, clethra (summersweet), and asters, among other plants, will be popping pink, purple, and blues around the yard.

____________________________________________

More GBBD, hosted at May Dreams Gardens:

… danger garden – Crocosmia!

… Late to the Garden Party  (south coastal California) – that Callistemon ‘Cane’s Hybrid’ and the view beyond it are luscious!

Lead Up the Garden Path (Devon, UK) – I’ve never seen a peacock butterfly before

… Commonweeder (western Mass.) – similar plants to some in my garden, but the clethra and asters are blooming ahead of mine

… Dirt Therapy (Vancouver, WA) – some gorgeous photos

Inhabiting the Whole Garden

Yesterday I was part of an ad hoc group of 10 or so mostly permaculture gardeners who visited Distant Hill Gardens, set on 58 acres straddling the small towns of Alstead and Walpole, NH. (Map.) The co-owner, Michael Nerrie, led an almost-three-hour tour of the many gardens that make up Distant Hill: a pollinators/monarch butterfly meadow, a flower cutting garden, a stone circle, a shrubbery, a large pond and a small pond, a bog/marsh with a boardwalk through it, a woods trail, ornamental gardens, fruit shrubs and trees for humans (blueberry patches, American cranberry, seckel pears) and animals (blueberries, giant pagoda dogwoods, ash trees, etc). There are more gardens we didn’t see, like vernal pools and forest seeps, which aren’t in season. There’s also a stand of maples for sugaring and a small Christmas tree farm area.

At the start of the tour, Michael expressed his feeling that all the places at Distant Hill are gardens, whether formally gardens or not (more on this here), and I couldn’t agree more. (Hence my “Earth Gardens” postings over the years here, the first of which was Penny Lake Preserve in Boothbay, ME.) A bog is a garden, a meadow is a garden … in fact, in my opinion a marsh, a beach, a cemetery, a hell strip in the city, and the tundra are also gardens, all with their unique soils, plants, algae, lichen, fungi and mycelium, insects, birds, invertebrates and vertebrate dwellers and visitors.

If you look at the Distant Hill website, you’ll see many plant lists, including one of native plants, and several of cultivated plants (e.g., cultivated shrubs; cultivated perennials), as well as photos and names of some animals who appreciate the habitat. You’ll also notice that he and his wife Kathy view ornamental gardening as an artistic endeavor (like Bedrock Gardens in Lee; link to my latest post on Bedrock Gardens), and to continue the thought in the above paragraph, while they are not usually collaborations of humans and nature, I nevertheless see marshes, beaches, bogs and fens, woodlands and meadows (as well as more cultivated natural spots) as art. The textures, patterns, nuances of colour, variety of media and materials, movement and sound in wind and rain, appearance in light and shade, and the juxtapositions of plants with each other and with birds, insects, and other animals all create ever-changing, ephemeral works of art: painting, mosaic, kinetic sculpture, mixed media works, poetry, dance, song.

Wind moving through grass so that the grass quivers. This moves me with an emotion I don’t even understand” — Katherine Mansfield

And in this garden, as in Bedrock Gardens, there is also a lot of positioned, not-so-ephemeral art, sculpture that’s often whimsical and right at home in the place it’s landed.

I can’t give you the benefit of Michael’s passion for his place, and his deep experiential knowledge of it, but I hope you enjoy touring the gardens virtually almost as much as our group did in real life.

(We also much enjoyed brunch at Burdick’s French bistro in town afterward — highly recommended. I bought some amazing basil at the Walpole gourmet grocery next to Burdicks and immediately on returning home made pesto with it; at the moment, I’ve gone through all my basil but today I planted 10 more mature plants in hopes of a late season harvest.)

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Our guided tour started with the monarch garden — Michael and Kathy grow milkweed, red clover, and other plants for monarchs, and they participate in a tagging project to learn more about monarchs’ migration patterns — and then into the flower cutting garden. Note the solar panels. And the whimsical tennis player sculpture. Also note the lovely dog, Ruby, a rescue from Puerto Rico. She was a joy to have along the entire tour.

MichaelMarshaCampanelloechinaceaDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
echinacea in the entry garden
echinaceapaintedladybutterflybumblebeeDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
painted lady butterfly and bumblebee on echinacea
swallowtailbutterflyechinaceaDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
swallowtail butterfly on echinacea
JapaneseknotweedtubesfornativebeesDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
native bee house made of dried, totally dead (cut in winter) Japanese knotweed stalks
MichaelmonarchpollinatorsignmeadowDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Michael telling us about the monarch meadow and project
orangeasclepiasbeeDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed) in entry garden, with bumblebee
milkweednearbogDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
This particular common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) plant was actually situated beyond the bog, near the end of our tour, but there was a lot of it growing in the monarch meadow
tennissculptureflowercuttinggardenDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
tennis player sculpture (with basket of balls) and part of the annual cutting garden; blueberries in background
flowercuttinggardensolararraybarnDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Solar panels on garage/barn; there is also solar on the house. Plus flower cutting garden.
RubydogcuttinggardenlawnstonesDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Cutting garden, stone garden, lawn, and Ruby the dog.

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Next was the stone garden (and fire pit), with a siting ring to celebrate the beginning of longer days in the northern hemisphere, which starts after the winter solstice. If you look through the ring, lined up with two stones, you can see where the sun sets that day, the shortest day of the year.

stonecirclesightingringalignedwintersolsticesunDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017

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On to the shrubbery and ornamental gardens, much of which is not just ornamental but also edible for humans, birds, insects, and others.

hugepagodadogwoodashtreesDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
giant pagoda dogwood, which birds — such as cedar waxwings — love (and ash tree behind)
MichaelwhitesnakerootcimicifugaDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Michael and Actaea (formerly Cimicifuga) racemosa, known variously as snakeroot, black cohosh, and bugbane.
cranberriesviburnumDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
The tip top of an American cranberry shrub, i.e., Viburnum opulus var. americanum, syn. Viburnum trilobum (although there is also a European cranberry in the gardens, and I’m not 100% sure which this is)
shrubsDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
shrubbery
crutchholdinguptreelimbsDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
homemade crutch holding up a tree limb
sunlightThimbleberryRubusParvifloruspinkflowerDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
sunlight in a thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) – edible! Like a raspberry.
MichaelblueberryshrubscagedDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
blueberries encaged
blueberriessecklepearsDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
blueberries and seckel pears
redsecklepearsDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
red seckel (dessert) pears … the tree was loaded!
masonbeehotelsculptureDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
bee hotel for solitary native bees (like mason bees)
signnativebeehotelsculptureDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
sign for the bee hotel
BergeniaElephantEarssculptureDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Bergenia ‘Elephant Ears’ and an elephant sculpture
matinginsectslacecaphydrangeaDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
mating flower longhorn insects (probably Typocerus deceptus) on a Hydrangea arborescens (American hydrangea – native)
chipmunkDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
chipmunk (a tad far away from the camera)
redbeebalmmonardaDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
red bee balm (monarda) in the sunlight
purplehostabuddleiaflowersDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
purple hosta and buddleia flowers
tallredpersicariaDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
tall red Persicaria amplexicaulis “Firetail”
sumacreddayliliesbirdsculptureDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
daylilies, small sumac (left), bird sculpture
veinedpurpleyellowdaylilyDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
daylily
redyellowdayliliesDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
another daylily

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Most adorable Ruby interlude. She’s like a red furry corgi.

RubydoggrasstailwaggingDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017

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Now, the large pond, next to the sugar house and below the ferns:

pondDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
part of large pond
pondshrubsDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
another part of the large pond
sculptureheronfishDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
heron with fish sculpture at large pond
bassfishshadowpondDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
bass (and shadow) in large pond
sugarshackmadefrompineclearedforpondDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
sugar house (for making maple syrup); the wood is pine cut to make the pond and milled on the property
alertRubydogducksculptureDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Ruby is alert at the large pond (plus duck sculpture)
fromponduphilltofernsgroupDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
some of the group on path above ferns (above pond)

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Next, the house and front yard:

housefrontyardDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
front yard
smallpondDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
little pond in front yard
dragonflypredationsmallpondbDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
dragonfly emerging from nymph stage in little pond

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Trail walking. There’s a 3/4-mile accessible trail on the property, with lots of native woodland plants, plus a bog that morphs into a marsh on a side (boardwalk) trail.

woodstrailDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
woodland trail
MichaeltalkingourgrouphazyDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Michael talking with some of our hazy group
ourgroupbogboardwalkDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
our group on the bog boardwalk
pitcherplantsDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
two pitcher plants in the bog
RubydogboardwalkbogDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Ruby on the boardwalk
greenfrogmarshDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
green frog in marsh
vervainDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
vervain alongside marsh/trail
PersicariaMaculosaLadysThumbSmartweedleavesDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Persicaria maculosa (lady’s thumb smartweed) in newly cleared area alongside marsh
wintergreenIndiancucumberrootDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
wintergreen (left) and (edible) Indian cucumber root (Medeola virginiana) near marsh
wintergreenleavesberryDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) leaves and berry alongside marsh
MichaelgrouptalkingchagaDistantHillsGardensWalpoleNH6Aug2017
Michael talking with some of us about chaga, in this instance growing on a yellow birch tree

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If you’re anywhere near Walpole or Alstead NH, Bellows Falls VT (15 mins away), or Putney VT or Keene NH (each 25 mins. away), drop by. You can always walk the trail/bog (daily from dawn to dusk), and check out the schedule of events for garden events and open hours (open the first Sat. and Sun. of the month from May to October in 2017).

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“To​ ​know​ ​what​ ​you​ ​prefer​ ​instead​ ​of​ ​humbly​ ​saying​ ​Amen​ ​to​ ​what​ ​the​ ​world​ ​tells​ ​you​ ​you​ ​ought to​ ​prefer,​ ​is​ ​to​ ​have​ ​kept​ ​your​ ​soul​ ​alive.”​ ​-​- ​Brenda​ ​Ueland

July Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

What with hosting a Spanish wine tasting party Sunday night, complete with tapas for each of the four wines, and two days of prep on Friday and Saturday, I didn’t quite make July Bloomday on Saturday. But today is the day to  remedy that.

Temps were quite normal during the first two July weeks, with highs around 80 and lows in the 50s. This past Thursday and Friday were aberrations, with highs of 72 and 65 degrees F respectively, and Sunday was the hottest day so far this month, 86F. We had some rain on six days (or nights) of the last 15 or so, including heavy rain twice. I haven’t had to water much, except for the new trees, some new annuals, and the veggie garden.

Weather details over, now on to the plants!

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Annuals: I resist buying them, because they mean money and work every year, but come party time, I felt the need for a few gazanias, alyssums, and some feathery annual grasses to spruce up the joint (i.e., the front entrance).

entrancegardenfront18July2017

burntorangeGazaniaflower17July2017threepurplegazaniasunlight5July2017yellowbrowngazania8July2017

purplealyssumfrontyard17July2017
purple alyssums
annualgrassfrontyard17July2017
feathery annual grass

And I do love zinnia, in particular,

redzinnia13July2017limegreenzinniaflower7July2017

palegreenyellowzinniasideyard18July2017pinkzinniaamsoniablooms5July2017pinkyellowzinniaflowerblueamsoniafrontborder1July2017

and the cosmos that come back year after year.

firstcosmospurpleveggarden11July2017

I bought six mixed annual bachelor buttons and one is white!

whiteannualbachelorbuttonflower10July2017

One of the vanilla marigolds is blooming.

vanillamarigoldflowerplusbudveggarden18July2017

Nasturtiums, too.

wetredorangenasturtiums13July2017.JPG

Soon, there will be yellow and orange calendula flowers.

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Perennials: Where to begin?

Well, it’s not technically a perennial, more of a bulb situation, but ‘Lucifer’ crocosmia is the best bang for the garden buck I know. The plants are tropical looking, which is exciting when you live above 43N degrees latitude, and the leaves, buds, flowers, and dried seedheads are all attractive. I must have 60 or 80 plants now — and the first ones began blooming today! Last evening, sure enough, there were two hummingbirds (both female, I think) tearing up the place to get near the red flowers. And more of them today.

firstcrocosmiabloomsredwaterdrops17July2017
first blooms!
actionshothummingbirdcrocosmia18July2017
action shot!
veggiegardencrocosmia17July2017
crocosmia adding colour to the veggie garden
crocosmiabudscloseredorangeyellow17July2017
foreground buds

crocosmiamasswindow18July2017

orangecrocosmiaseedheadsabstract8Sept2016
seedheads in Sept. 2016

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Also blooming for the first time this weekend is the Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination,’ sometimes called Culver’s root. It will put on quite a show in a few weeks, dragging the stems to the lawn in a debauchery of purple and bees, but for now, it’s a modest, elegant display.

purpleveronicastrumbloomingbackborder17July2017beepurpleveronicastrumbloom17July2017

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I guess daylilies (hemerocallis sp.) aren’t strictly perennials, either, growing from rhizomes, but they’re certainly reliable. Before we lived here, someone planted a row of them along the driveway, lined up like unaccountably cheerful prisoners awaiting their cigarettes before being shot at dawn. That’s actually an almost-apt image, as each daylily flower lives for one day, but instead of being shot at dawn, they’re extinguished at dark.

The first one bloomed on 5 July, just one. The next day, three flowers. The next day, eleven. And then they got going, with — from 8 July until yesterday, 16 July — 28, 37, 55, 51, 50, 46, 79, 63, and 65 flowers per day. Yesterday, there were only 17, today 20, but I cut some of the stems on Sunday for the party, diminishing their ranks.

55orangedaylilies10July2017
55 lilies on 10 July
fiftydaylilies12July2017
50 lilies on 12 July

aerialviewsixorangedayliliesdriveway11July2017blackyellowstamenspollenorangedaylily12July2017

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One perennial I thought I would like a lot more than I do is Silene (syn. Lychnis) x haageana ‘Lumina,’ a dark red catchfly flower. Maybe I have it in the wrong place, where it seems too insignificant. I do like the flower, and bud, but I barely notice the three plants in the front border, and it’s crispy and unattractive when it goes by, which is rather quickly. But for a week or two, it’s interesting to see.

redlychnisLuminacatchflyflower5July2017redlychnisLuminacatchflybudleavessexual8July2017redlychnisLuminacatchflyflowerpurplegeraniumflower11July2017

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Speaking of red blooms, the standard red monarda (bee balm) started to flower last week. I think I bought them all — at least 4 masses of them in the front yard and the side yard — at plant sales, but I assume they are Monarda didyma.

redbeebalmmonardasideyard13July2017

redbeebalmmonardasideyard18July2017firstredbeebalmmonardaflower10July2017

I like combining them with the orange daylilies, crocosmia, and purple echinacea for a startlingly colourful bouquet.

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Or, if I had more of them, with the ‘Petite Delight’ bee balm, also blooming now (though starting to go by). shown here with ‘Gold Standard’ hosta.

petitedelightmonardapurplebeebalmbloomGoldStandardhostatinybee18July2017

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Another perennial starting to bloom profusely is filipendula. I love their height (some of them), their fluffy flowers (most of them), their variegated leaves ( a few of them), their colours from white to pink to purple, and their attraction for interesting pollinators, from syrphid flies to little wasps to honeybees and bumblebees, and even for beetles. I bought many at plant sales, without tags as to species, but some I know I have are Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea,’ F. rubra ‘Martha Washington’s Plume,’ F. purpurea ‘Nephele,’ and a variegated filipendula.

whitefilipendulabloomingbackborderb12July2017

hoveringbumblebeewhitefilipendulabloom12July2017
bumblebee hovering

frothyfilipendulabloomwhite15July2017

pinkfilipendulabudsshadegarden17July2017
pink filipendula in bud, 17 July
pinkfilipendulabloomsbudsshadegarden18July2017
pink filipendula in bloom and bud, 18 July

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Astilbe has a somewhat similar flower, though most are not as lush in my view as the filipendula. Again, I have several plants bought with no tags at plant sales (they’re pink! and white!), and a few whose names I know, like Astilbe japonica ‘Peach Blossom’ and A. ‘Bridal Veil.’ They are just getting going now, with more to come the next two weeks; usually they’re all finished by the end of July. These four photos were all taken on 7 July.

palepinkastilbeflower7July2017

brownblackbeetleastilbeflower7July2017
flower longhorn beetle (Strangalepta sp.) on astilbe bloom

whitepinkastilbeflowersshadegarden7July2017

whiteastilbebudswalkway7July2017
astilbe buds

And this one taken today, of the same flower stem as in the last photo:

whiteastilbebloomwalkway18July2017

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While we’re in the shade garden, here are a few others things happening there:

shadegarden17July2017
one view of the shade garden
bluetradescantiaflowers7July2017
‘Sweet Kate’ Tradescantia x andersoniana (golden spiderwort)

bluetradescantiaflowers15July2017

whitehostabloomshadegarden7July2017
‘Frances Williams’ hosta (I think) flower
bluecadethostabloomingshadegarden18July2017
‘Blue Cadet’ hosta blooming
lamiumdeadnettlearchangelshadegarden8July2017
Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver” (dead nettle)
Japanesepaintedfernfrond12July2017
Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese painted fern) frond
newtricyrtisspottedbloomhadegarden18July2017
spotted bloom on the new tricyrtis (toadlily) from June plant sale
inulabud13July2017
Inula helenium (Elecampane, sometimes called horseheal) in bud for the first time since I got it from a friend three years ago.
whiteadmiralbutterflyhighappletree7July2017
white admiral butterfly way up in the apple tree

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Here are a few more shots from the front yard.

firstHalcyonhostaflowers15July2017
first ‘Halcyon’ hosta flowers
smallpurplegeraniumflowerfrontyard12July2017
small purple geranium flower
blackwhitestripedmushroomsfrontyard12July2017
black and white striped mushroom
Nancyspinkcampanulabellshapedflowers12July2017
pink campanula (gift from friend Nancy)
insideNancyspinkcampanulabellshapedflowers12July2017
closer view of pink campanula
purpleveinedpinkstamengeraniumfrontyard8July2017
veined purple-blue geranium flower
whitechartreuseiris8July2017
white and chartreuse iris
unkgeraniumfrontyard5July2017
yet another unknown purple geranium
tulippoplarbloomb3July2017
tulip poplar in bloom (early July)

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The side yard is where much of the action is this time of year, with blueberries, the vegetable garden, bee balm, crocosmia, elderberry, and lots more.

redbeebalmmonardasideyard18July2017
another shot of the bee balm in the side yard
elderberryplants8July2017
elderberry shrubs in flower
boragearugulaflowersveggarden9July2017
borage and arugula flowers
pinkblueborageflowers9July2017
blue and pink borage flowers
pinkborageflowersky9July2017
pink borage, blue sky
purslanencolonyveggarden9July2017
purslane thriving in the vegetable garden
SunriseSerenadeIpomoeaPurpureaMorningglorybudswirlveggarden11July2017
‘Sunrise Serenade’ (IpomoeaPurpurea) morning glory in glorious bud
SunsetSerenadeMorningGloryflowerveggarden12July2017
‘Sunrise Serenade’ (IpomoeaPurpurea) morning glory in glorious bloom
pinkAnitaKistlerphloxflowers2July2017
‘Anita Kistler’ phlox
AnitaKistlerphloxsideyard3July2017
The ‘Anita Kistler’ phlox put on a great show in the side yard this year — probably because I didn’t accidentally pull up most of the plants in May and June thinking they were weeds as I often do
AnitaKistlerphloxpurpleflowers12July2017
‘Anita Kistler’ phlox
IceBalletasclepiaswhitebudsflowers12July2017
‘Ice Ballet’ ascelepias starting to flower
firstmilkweedflowersideyard7July2017
the first milkweed bloom, 7 July
milkweedyellowflowerssideyard12July2017
milkweed with yellow and pink flowers
RaspberryPyraustaSignatalismothmilkweedcloser9July2017
Raspberry moth (Pyrausta signatalis) on milkweed buds
fritillarybutterflyechinaceasideyard18July2017
fritillary butterfly on echinacea

Food Crops: So much to show!

veggardenhouse8July2017

In the veggie garden, the peas are finishing up, after seven harvests, the last several of 40 or more pods each.

Aren’t peas amazing, the way they grow these tendrils and wrap around each other and the stakes for support?

peavinecoiledcomplex9July2017peavinecoiled9July2017peasusingtrellis9July2017

The ‘Sun Gold’ tomatoes are starting to yellow up.

sungoldtomatoesripening17July2017

I can’t count the arugula and lettuce harvests so far.

arugulaharvest11July2017romainelettuceharvest11July2017

The peppers are coming along nicely.

greenpepperveggarden11July2017

And the cucurbits (squash and cukes) are flowering and growing their vines.

largeyellowsquashflowerveggarden11July2017yellowcucumberflowerveggarden11July2017

I harvested the first four garlic yesterday; two were a good size, two were smallish, and none had separate cloves, so I’m going to wait a bit to harvest more.

firstfourgarlicbulbsharvestedveggarden17July2017

Outside the veggie garden, there are still lots of strawberries

strawberryfruitguild13July2017

And now a bumper crop of raspberries, despite the grape and Virginia creeper vines intertwined with them.

raspberryshrubsshed18July2017threeredraspberries18July2017

And despite Japanese beetles mating on their leaves; I think this beetle with the dots on it may be doomed, parasitised by something else.

Japanesebeetlesmatingpredatedmayberaspberryleaves18July2017

The peaches are growing, and some are blushing.

manypeachesfruitguild11July2017

peach8July2017

I’m using parsley, thyme, oregano, mint, rosemary, and dill from the garden. The fennel (planted in years past) is especially lovely right now.

yellowdillflowers7July2017
dill flowers
fennelfrompreviousyears8July2017
fennel in fruit guild

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The yarrow, especially the rugged ‘Summer Pastel’ variety, is all abloom now.

SummerPastelsyarrowflowerclosefruitguild11July2017
‘Summer Pastels’ yarrow
yellowmoonshineyarrowfruitguild18July2017
‘Moonshine’ yarrow

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The back border, bolstered by the veronicastrum and the miscanthus and panicum grasses, has a summery look to it, I think.

backbordershedveronicastrum18July2017

I planted a masterwort there last June and am really enjoying the almost glittery, shimmery flowers. And just today, I found another masterwort plant in the front yard, under the crabapple!

masterwortpinkflower9July2017

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We had an early evening visitor to the rock wall recently.

deernibblingrockwall13July2017

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And a teensy tiny little lace bug (Tingidae sp.) shown here on the patio table edge after being unceremoniously flicked off my elbow; I thought it was a scab.

tinyquarterinchLaceBugTingidaeinsecttable12July2017

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Aren’t lavender quintessentially summer?

lavenderpatio17July2017

 

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Thanks for stopping by! Come back in August, when Joe Pye weed, more asclepias, summersweet, vervain, echinops, more echinacea, buddleia, cucumbers, squash, and others will be on the bloomday menu.

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More GBBD, hosted at May Dreams Gardens:

… danger garden – always fun for me to see interesting spikey things that don’t grow here, and other plants I know only as houseplants

… Late to the Garden Party  (south coastal California)

Lead Up the Garden Path (Devon, UK)

… Commonweeder (western Mass.)

… Dirt Therapy (Vancouver, WA)

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