Monday, July 31, 2017


This prunus mume ' peggy clarke ' , one of two I have in my garden, will always remind me of my gardening buddy who sold it to me.  " What other tree will bring you cheer in the midst of winter, " she asked.   She was the most cheerful, loving and charitable person I know.  One sad  day this month she decided to end it all, leaving behind a multitude of friends and family.  Our grief was overwhelming.
As expected July brought many extremely hot and humid days with no rain in sight.  Temperatures over 100 degrees for a week at a time.

Despite the heat some flowers, such as this 'Little Gem ' magnolia actually bloomed.  The most drought-tolerant flowers in the roadside garden are the goldenrods, asters and ornamental grasses.

Harvested some tasty tomatoes, okra and zuchinni from the veggie garden.  Strawberries are still putting out fruit.  I harvested 20 white peaches from my semi-dwarf tree and they were very sweet.

We added an outdoor enclosure to the chicken pen so the girls could have room to roam .

Today, the oldest girl, Henrietta started clucking like a mad hen and when I went to see what the matter was I found the first egg !  It was small and brown.  This is early as she is only 5 months old.  Then a few hours later I found a second egg.  I had to hurry and assemble her nesting box since there are 3 other girls who might want to peck or even eat the eggs.  The nesting box allows the eggs to roll down to a collection box to avoid this.

Farewell, July.  Looking forward to lower humidity and temperatures and hoping we get them !

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Normal rainfall for June is 3.6 " but actual accumulation this year was 6.36 ".  It rained almost non-stop for days.  Since my property is on a downhill slope I have lots of run-off that I've been dealing with.   I dug a deep trench around the veggie garden and along the fence that runs down the slope and added a corrugated drain pipe with a mesh sock to direct the rainfall to the woodlands in front.  It worked !  No more standing puddles .

 View from the Boulder garden

Peeping through the arbor with the Lady Banks rose on it.   This unique rose is thornless and evergreen.  It has tiny yellow flowers that smothers the vines in early Summer.

We finally finished the chicken coop that is attached to our shed.  It's a good size - 8 x 12 ' and our four chickens are quite happy in their new home.  It's so much easier to clean as I have plenty of headroom.

Took some time off and drove to the Outer Banks to vacation with family.  The sound of the ocean waves are  so tranquil.

                                                            Nags Head, N.C.

Visited the beautiful garden of  Gail Norwood and picked up some of her passalong plant -pestacides, aka, butterbur, a very impressive, large-leaved specimen that loves a moist woodland garden.  It has already adapted to its new enviornment

I am waging a battle with Japanese beetles.  First they appeared on my crape myrtles and now they are on my apple, nectarine and marigolds.  I may have to start a regimen of Milky Spore to get rid of them entirely.

I have been enjoying both red and green tomatoes from the veggie garden, along with strawberries, basil and onions.

With the coming of July summer will be in full force and gardening will have to be limited to the early morning or late afternoon .

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