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Summer’s last notes

A chill has come on early. Our Septembers are usually hot. Not now. I wanna share a few last summer things before nobody cares anymore, me included.๐Ÿ˜Š

If you read this blog awhile, you’ll know I’m a frequent salvager of roadside finds. Things seemed scarcer this year but I snagged a few items. Last month I came upon a big pile of stuff. I only picked around the edges but there I found a crazy lamp. I had no need for a turquoise Chinese Dragon lamp but I could imagine the ceramic statue as a free-standing decoration. I took it home, dismantled the lamp portion and made a spot for my find outside. About 15″ high, he certainly has a presence!

Originally, the metal lamp post went up behind his back and the shade was over his head. Um, no.

i don’t understand videos of dozens of happy hummingbirds cheerfully sharing a single feeder because all my hummingbirds – 2 or 3 max – do every year is fight over the feeder. Nonethless, I replaced the hummingbird feeder with a fresh one not long ago. The plastic on the old one got cruddy fast so I was cleaning it & making fresh sugar water frequently. Too frequently. After I put out the new one, I could see it looked clean and still had plenty of sweetened water in it, so I let it be. After a number of days I noticed that when a hummingbird would come along, it wouldn’t stay. I thought maybe they just didn’t like the new feeder.

When I brought the feeder in & dumped the old sugar water I about gagged. Although it and the feeder looked clean, the water REEKED, like when you’ve left flowers in a vase too long.๐Ÿ˜ฆ Now I knew what those hummingbirds had been thinking when they popped by and hastily left. Imagine the following in a high, squeaky, indignant voice:

This slop is disgusting! What, are you trying to KILL us?! I wouldn’t feed this swill to my worst enemy! Who was just here by the way! PETA is going to hear about this!

Hummingbird assessing fresh sugar water in new feeder

I grew a “Spanish flag” vine in a big pot from seed. I think flowering vines are great, especially when they grow fast, so fast you see daily changes. I thought it’d be a nice diversion this summer.

Just starting to grow Jul 12

It’s supposed to get great blooms in “late summer, early fall.” So far I’ve succeeded in growing a green vine on a 10′ bamboo stick, not a flower to be had.๐Ÿ˜ I’ve faithfully kept it watered and everything.

Aug 20

Aug 29

Sep 14

Ah well. I can’t imagine my silly vine-on-a-stick will get any flowers at this point – the leaves are turning fall colors – but if it does, I’ll snap a picture. This vine is sort of like this summer, it went along but didn’t really get anywhere when all was done.

Growin’ okra

I’m growing okra of all things. I don’t really get enough sun for vegetable growing. Even if things start out ok, they don’t typically prosper. It had never occurred to me to try growing a modestly obscure vegetable like okra, but someone was giving away seeds and since I do loveย okra, it wasn’t all that strange an idea. Why not? Why not try to grow okra in the strange, tumultuous year that is 2020? I had low expectations but nothing to lose.

I found a few different spots in the busy yard to tuck in seeds. I removed two bricks from the patio, added dirt, and planted seeds. I put some in pots & some in an unused bed. Well damned if they didn’t grow! And what a pretty plant. I had no idea what they’d look like. Here’s the two plants in the patio in August in front of the permanent black-eyed susans bed.

Then they got beautiful flowers, that each lasted only one day. The flowers alone were worth it. Here’s one from the ground plant & one from a pot.

From the blooms grow the okra pod, one to a bloom. And they grow fast. I harvested 2 and oh yes, I cooked (diced & oven roasted with a little olive oil) and ate my okra, scanty though they were.๐Ÿ˜€

You have to see how the okra pods grows. Isn’t it wild? Upside down!

The plants are growing tall & a little gawky but when they don’t have enough sun that’s typical. Here’s the patio ones today. I cut down the susans the other day; I don’t like messy, spent flowers.

Yesterday I doubled my “harvest” and picked four okra. My oh my, we feast now.๐Ÿ˜€ I joke, but I really do think they’re beautiful. And I absolutely want to plant okra seeds next year, if only for the plant itself. You just never know what direction good things might be coming from. Simple, good, happy things like a lovely plant that pleased me daily this summer.

Summer signs




Today in the garden

It’s hard to fully tell you the pleasure the garden gives me. It is a living picture, a piece of art to gaze upon. Seriously! That’s how it feels. The years I’ve put into it pay dividends. Small but not miniscule, it draws me like any space indoors: What can I do here? How can I make it better? Would that look better moved over there? I rearrange just like inside, always tweaking details. It makes me happy. I spent nothing this year on plants or extras, things being what they are. I figured I’d work with what I have and then was fortunate that people gave me living things: tomato seedlings, seeds (basil, bean, okra), and just this week a hanging petunia with the palest shade of creamy yellow flowers. I gave away things too – about a dozen large hostas. I broke out my lovely chimes and my Dollar Tree decor ๐Ÿ˜ (I thought to attach/tape my little spinners to a shepherd’s hook and bamboo stick so that they sit up off the ground and catch more wind – for such simple items they sure don’t lose my interest!).


The garden in the early morning through the window


The garden in the late afternoon through the window

Summer & white lights: perfect together

I love white lights. I love color ones too but white lights go with everything. I’ve been using white icicle string lights indoors for several years. The strand I was usingย ย in the living room area went defunct awhile ago. I just found a long, 150 light strand for under $6 on Amazon ( I can spot a bargain at 50 paces!). It was too long for the spot I’d been using so I strung it across the room – and then some – instead.ย  They hang down but still clear heads. ๐Ÿ˜Š The photo quality isn’t great but you can see the general idea. They’re on a timer for the evening hours & are super lovely. When they come on it’s always a happy surprise.