Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ramblings. .

Howdy, howdy!!
School is in full force here. .
And so is summer, it seems!!
We have had more days near or over 100 this week then we have all summer!
The garden. .
And the gardener. .
don't like it!!
Thought I would take you on a little garden tour. .
These pictures were taken yesterday morning. .
In the still of the day. .
I probably didn't mention that the wind has been really bad again every day!
Grandpa Otts morning glory is one of my favorite plants!! The first year I grew it at our first little home. .
we had a REALLY late frost. .
and the blooms were beautiful until November!!
I was hooked!
Unfortunately. .
they have SO overtaken their space. .
That I will likely spend next summer pulling most of the seedlings!
They do a nice job of keeping out the weeds. .
But I keep pulling them off the plants that I DO want to see. .
for fear that they will suffocate them!
One really good thing about all the blooms though. .
is that I have seen LOTS of the big yellow and black bees working in the patch!
They are a lot easier to get along with than the hordes of stinging wasps that have accumulated too!
The pink flower in the center is a love lies bleeding that self seeded. .
The plants that came up are a little sturdier than the ones I started in my greenhouse last year to set out. In a couple of the holes, I started a few okra plants late in the season. .
I think we will get a few fruits off the plants before frost!
Here's a little different view of the love lies bleeding with the double echinacea plants in the background. .
That has been a blooming trooper this summer. .
I deadheaded last night and there was one that had already made seed. .
which I scattered around this plant, hoping it would get some new plants started.
My self watering planters didn't do my veggies any justice last summer. .
But they have worked phenomenally for flowers!!
I've NEVER been able to get a geranium to bloom the whole summer. .
I love the red, purple and white combo.
I don't remember what the purple flowers are. .
But I like 'em!
The grasshoppers. .
which we are inundated with. .
Even eat the cattails!!
What a peaceful view!!
The fish are doing well. .
And we even have a frog population.
Devin and Cami went frog hunting last fall and brought back some really big ones. .
And some tiny ones.
Most often we can hear them as they jump into the pond.
BUT. .
yesterday I just had to laugh as I saw out of the corner of my eye. .
A big ole frog launch himself over the head of the chicken to get to a safer location!
The veggies have had a GREAT year to perform. .
But I thought that Grant summed it up pretty well in his 4-H horticulture story. .
"Next year, if we want veggies. .
We will have to put up a fence. .
or kill the chickens!"
(I always imagine that whoever judges his book. .
Always gets a smile at his candid writing nature!)
Those chickens have been a NUICANCE!
They ate every spaghetti squash and watermelon on the vines. .
They devoured cucumbers and the tomatoes they could reach. .
They killed the tiny raspberry bush and have even eaten some of the jalepenos!
They LOVE hostas. .
and perpetually stir up the mulch and kick it up over the new astibe and bleeding heart plants.
The rhubarb that I transplanted from the old veggie garden has finally surpassed the chickens. .
And I don't think they care for it much. .
Next year should be a great time for harvesting it!
We have picked a few tomatoes. .
But the chickens peck on the lower ones. .
and then the wasp crew takes over from there.
I did mention the wind?? Enough to blow over some of my cages. There is a cucumber vine between the two cages that fell over. .
Hopefully those little birds won't see it!
We've tried hiding them under weeds. .but they always seem to find them. .
So far, no one has messed with this one yet. .
There is probably some magical size they are waiting for ;-)
Here is something they haven't bothered yet. .
I've never grown them before. .there are several small ones started.
The grasshoppers completely desimated the foliage in July, but it made an astounding comeback!!
This is another great accomplishment. .
These have been alive since I planted them in the self watering containers in June. .
SCORE! I have the perfect place in my new sunroom addition to overwinter them!!
Did you notice our new babies??
We have had a population overload. .
Which is ok. .because generally. .
Nature triumphs around our little country home. .
And we never seem to have them around for all that long.
There are 5 babies that are colored like these two. .
And 3 black babies that are still well hidden. .
We saw them when they were tiny, but mama has moved them since then.
The kids have been working on their 4-H record books. .
I am recovering from a really wretched cold. .
Jeremy is beggin for the boys to go to the lake at 7:00 every morning before school since it is always way too windy in the afternoon. .
No biters on that one. .
And the younger two are dreading the pool closure on Monday!
It's so hard to believe that fall is just around the corner again!
Where DOES the time go!!
Enjoy your LAST week of August friends!


  1. Ah, sweet Melanie--I'm sorry you are having such wind. But---you have FROGS--something we have not seen all summer this year because of the cold temps we've had. I miss them so. I would always see them hopping home at sunrise from a night of prowling bugs in the gardens. I guess on a good note, we haven't seen any snakes this summer either-so life is good!
    Chickens are a riot to watch, but if you garden---a big no-no. I used to pitch a fit watching them kick all my mulch out of the borders. Loved the fresh eggs, but loved the stewed chicken even more!

  2. You are really battling chickens and grasshoppers. I see fence planning this winter. Your garden is growing well. You're just not getting the harvest. The kittens are adorable!!!! Hope you're getting some rain this week. It is literally parting and going around us. So far this week about .10" Maybe.

  3. Could your purple flowers in the container be Ruellia? That's what they look like to me.

    If you've got stinging wasps around your morning glories, I'll bet you've got a paper wasp nest in there somewhere. Wasps rarely sting unless they are defending their nest.

    I sure empathize with the grasshoppers. We lost the tail end of ALL our spring vegetables to them and we haven't dared to plant a fall garden, because we know it'll just be grasshopper food. I do find, however, that they seem to really like some things (like lettuce and spinach) but they leave a lot of other things (like aster and Echinacea) totally alone. I'm just hoping that our weather breaks up the grasshopper reproductive cycle a bit, sooner rather than later!

    Enjoy the fall! Cynthia