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!


  1. Hello - So glad you are having a good summer. Looks like you are doing some fun and interesting things. That's what summer is for. :-) I love the pictures of your flowers and yard. Looks so much better with the mulberry trimmed back. Glad to hear that Clementine is doing well. I hope the PT helps your back. Continue have a nice summer. Hope to see you again soon. I always love to see the interesting things you are doing. I also enjoy seeing what you are reading. :-)

  2. Hi Melanie - I enjoy your posts and am glad to hear you are having a good summer. Your plants look lovely. It might give me some ideas for next summer. I'm a cat lover too and have enjoyed the pictures of your kitties!

  3. Glad life is good Melanie - you are certainly staying busy and the garden looks great. The neighbor's tree is really not nice and causes you a lot of grief - and work - shame it can't be cut down!
    Life is gradually getting a little better in regard to social togetherness, and hopefully travel will start to become a bit easier soon. Meanwhile enjoy being at home - it really is the best place.
    Hugs - have a good weekend.

  4. It's been over a month and a half since my last post so I know where you are coming from, but unfortunately, no summer fun around here. Super hot so can't be outdoors too long. And cases of covid are going up again so they are considering a possible curfew or lockdown again. Some people have been stuck out of the country since the beginning of the year and though they would be able to come back next month but seems that's not going to h happen after all. All the uncertainty is really irritating but not much one can do about it. Enjoy your yard and garden. Kisses for the kitties.

  5. Glad to see your post pop up! Your garden looks like it is doing wonderful. What a pain to have to pay to have your neighbors tree trimmed. Glad to hear Clementine is doing well.

  6. Happy to see a post from you! We haven't had a single hummingbird in our yard this year. Last year we had many at our feeder. I understand it was attributed to the cold snap last Spring, and also the numerous forest fires last year affected the overall numbers of birds this year. Your gardens look beautiful. Glad to hear everything is going well with Clementine:)

  7. Now it is letting me comment so maybe it was on my end. I was having a very slow internet day so maybe I needed to give it more time to finish loading. Sorry you had to bother with Linda on my mistake. Glad to see it is working. Glad Clementine is doing great too. Have a good week. xoxo Kris

  8. What a mess with those mulberries! But you know I sure loved seeing your flowers. And I do love your yellow front door!

  9. I can definitely relate to not posting as often on your blog. I can't seem to work up the enthusiasm for mine very often, but don't want to let it go completely.
    Your garden is looking very pretty. Shame about that darn mulberry tree. Glad to hear that Clementine is doing good.

  10. We all have so many jobs to do in the summer, but when those jobs are caused by other people's mess, it can be a real challenge. I've got a couple of those things, too. Even so, there is so much beauty in your yard, your flowers are so pretty and I agree with the blogger's comment before mine. . . your front door is adorable, so very welcoming and cheery.

  11. Hi Melanie, obviously I've been much worse about blogging than you as I'm just now visiting here when you're probably ready to post again. I've come to realize that it will happen when it will happen and that's okay. But when I saw your beautiful garden pics on Instagram I wondered when the annual invasion of the mulberries would happen. I've been re-watching the old British television series Rosemary & Thyme on Prime and when I saw an episode about someone poisoning the trees of an estate I thought of you! And wondered if you'd ever been tempted. I would have been! I know you're glad to once more be dining on your pretty patio and enjoying your beautiful plants. Best to you!

  12. I always enjoy walking through your garden with you, although that mulberry tree is a whole other story! I’ve taken to blogging at the end of each month, mostly as a garden journal. You’re right, blogging is fading, while other media gains in popularity. I still like to keep mine for my own use.


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