Friday, July 9, 2021

the swing of summer

Hello, friends! This is the longest I've gone without blogging. Two months. It's been a busy summer and I've chosen to take a step back and just live in the moments. The past couple of weeks I've felt a post calling me again, but it was hard to know where to start.

Of course, all my gardens and pots of flowers are now in full swing. One of my simple pleasures is to walk around the yard most every day, checking on all the plants and flowers, seeing if anything new has bloomed, perhaps taking a few cuttings to bring in the house.

Last year, I had a pot of black and blue salvia on my front porch, which was not only striking in its color, but attracted hummingbirds. I couldn't find any of that salvia this year, but found this red variety. I've only seen one hummingbird, so far.

Another garden center had this unusual variety of salvia. Can't remember the name of it, but the plant stalk is sturdy and thick and the plant grows several feet tall. You can see it's just now blooming, so time will tell if this salvia will attract the hummingbirds.

Cosmos are one of my favorite flowers. Not only are they beautiful and daisy-like; they're so easy to take care of because they basically survive on neglect. Sow the seeds or plant the established annuals in full sun. They only need watering during drought conditions. They make for beautiful cut flowers in arrangements, too.

They're even beautiful on their own in a little bottle.

Any of you long-time readers of my blog will know about our ongoing annual saga of our neighbor's overhanging mulberry tree. This year was no different. We knew this was the year we'd have to hire tree trimmers again because the mulberry tree was not only dropping berries and destroying our patio and surrounding plants, but it was hanging over the roof, dropping berries there and into the gutter.

We were also dealing with the neighbor's invasive buckthorn overhanging our property and patio. It provided needed shade, but it was out of control and ugly.

Here's some mulberry photos for you, so you can see how bad it got!

We obviously had to move all our patio furniture into the backyard so it wouldn't get ruined.

I'd sweep up these dang mulberries every day (they fermented, stunk, and attracted flies!) into a dust pan and then dump the berries over the fence into the neighbor's yard. They're hers - she can have them back! 

You can see how the berries stained our patio.

After we had the trees trimmed. Much better!

Brian got to work power-washing the patio. You can see the clean difference around the perimeter of the patio. He also had to get up on a ladder and clean all the mulberries out of the gutter. 

Our patio furniture is now back in place where it belongs! I love being able to sit out here again. We now have no shade in this area, so we're looking for one of those free-standing umbrellas with the heavy base. 

Other than the home and garden update, my days and evenings have been filled with vet appointments (Clementine is still doing well with her kidney disease and subcutaneous fluid treatment), PT appointments for myself (my back again), and summer fun: get-togethers with friends and family, BBQs, day trips, an outdoor vintage pop-up sale, walks to the lake, and attending my friend's son's baseball games. 

Hope you're having an enjoyable, fun, and safe summer!