Hmmmmm. Frozen keyboard. Hmmmmm. After a tantrum, worthy of a healthy, yet tired two-year-old, I left what I was doing and took Bart for his walk. Nothing better than a dog-walk, change of scenery and a good quiet think. What else besides the very dramatic and exciting possibility of Russian Hackers could possibly have caused this problem. Broken computer? Operator incompetence? What else, what else, what else? Yes, as you my clever reader has guessed - Mr. Duracell's batteries last longer, not forever. Two new batteries later, I'm back in action. I apologized to the dog for the delay in the walk, to the cat for my language, and to my husband for removing him from his morning paper so he could watch my apoplexy first hand. What on earth is the point of a meltdown if you don't have an audience. So all is well, and I begin again.
Happy Summer everyone! It has been a gorgeous summer for gardens, but the late and wet-times-ten-to the-power-of-four seems to have me in a state of perpetual scramble. If I had the time to weed, the weather conspired against me. And, with all the water, I had deluded myself into thinking it didn't look too bad: The plants were enormous and my lack of attention to detail wasn't all that evident...after all there was enough diversionary flowering material to delight the eye.
Fortunately I was shaken from my stupor by a visitor who was kind enough to point the extreme weed-volume after I mentioned I was going out later that day to weed. (something like...."Well there sure are a lot of them out there.") The folly of not having gardening gloves in multiple sizes to hand out to helpful folks. More weeding scheduled until the leaves fall I fear.
But, things do look good as I'll show you. Kevin has decided to add more pea gravel to the pathways and reset the large patio stones. A fierce task for someone as tall as he is, but yesterday he managed to somewhat coral the pea gravel from escaping onto our neighbour's mutual drive, lift the large pavers, pull the birdbath apart (poor little creatures looking for water yesterday), re-stack Bart's Jenga pile of fireplace wood (he throws his body and soul into the effort of pulling out pieces of logs in order to secure a chipmunk without having the woodpile come down on him), move all the planters into the planted area of the garden and pull out some offending weeds! He's moving not so quickly today.
So here's what the garden looks like at the moment. I took these snaps in the early evening after dinner:
You can see some of my usual suspects: The Aralia cordata getting bigger on the left, H. "Pineapple Upside-Down Cake" in yellow, my wonderful some-sort-of Hydrangea in a pot (centre)- year 4 - lives in the garage over the winter, and fading blooms of the Aruncus dioicus to the right. I was delighted to find Fuchsia gartenmeister on one of my nursery trolls and bought myself a mini-flat of it. It sits in the pot on the right.
If ever it was a year for hydrangea, it's this year (actually my last declaration of a Hydrangea year was 2008). A pink Easter hydrangea (Note: Hydrangea purchased to celebrate spring and Easter and then cruelly thrown out into the garden to deal with the elements) is poking through on the other side and just to the right corner is the carnival in a plant Hydrangea 'Lemon Wave'.
My pot in honour of Canada's 150 is tucked in at the bottom right. And, look at how good the ferns are this year!
Yes, I did have a glass of wine with dinner. Just tilt head slightly to the left.
I really like the little bits of almost-blue in the campanula and geranium.
Kevin pointed to the offending plant in the centre: "Now that's a weed!" Does he do that just so he's not involved in the weeding process? It's Acanthus sibericus.
Lemon Wave is producing both blue and pink flowers.
Even though our slugs are the size of baseball bats this year, they're not eating the Hosta.
And another Easter Hydrangea - a lovely pink lace cap - perfect in every way. When I tucked it in, I really didn't expect to see anything but sticks.
This is a replanted area where I'm trying to establish those plants I want and discourage those I don't care for. Alas, it will be a long tussle.
Here is Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice' who now dwarfs me. This named variety oak leaf hydrangea has had a checkered past in my garden. After this year where her leaves are the size of my forearm, her height well above my stretched arm and her flowers in abundance, I forgive her for everything.
All you need to do is give a plant what it wants - an easy winter and an abundance of rain. Or in my case, install a couple of new batteries. Isn't life grand?