Monday, September 3, 2012

It just dawned me as I was uploading photos for this post, that I have had an anniversary. I launched my blog August 19, 2010. It was a pretty brief introduction with one comment. My first visitor was Carolyn at  This Grandmother's Garden. One post from this beautiful grandmother and a look at her lovely blog and I was hooked. I have made some wonderful friends along the way. I faithfully read my blogs every day, though I don't always comment, like here in the last week. So thank you my dear friends for sharing your thoughts along with me. I'd love to take a tour of the world and visit each and everyone of you, for I think that we would get along quite nicely.

Spring came in in a blaze of glory as the crab apple
trees put on a show
Classes at the university started last Monday and already we are having our first semester holiday, Labor Day, a day to honor the nation's workers--You and Me and everyone. I told my students that it is a long haul until Thanksgiving, so they'd better rest up and get ready to tackle the next 14 weeks. I do wonder about myself, however. I have a long walk between buildings that when the weather is mild, I see it as just a little more exercise and opportunity to enjoy the fresh air. We have a lovely campus with beautiful green lawns and wonderful big trees, but as bloody hot as the last few days (rather all summer) have been, the walk wears me down. By the end of day my feet hurt, my shoulder aches, me elbow throbs, my eyes get blurry. But I carry on with a smile, for my mission is an important one. Dead tired at the end of the day, I find my chair and promptly fall asleep, waking to go search for food with the hubby. And then it is the next morning it all begins again.

So tell me how did your summer go? Here in the states we had record heat with most of the country in a drought, while our British friends suffered unusual amounts of rain. How does Mom Nature decide who will get what? Can't she be a bit more fair in her distribution of the natural elements? Thus with the  heat, gardening just wasn't much fun as it should have been. I tried to get out early in the morning and late in the evening. At least here one advantage to the heat was the lack of mosquitoes.

Good things did happen.

 The court yard went from bare and blah to finally getting the little water garden going.

It went from blah to POW--with a leak that I have yet to find

In addition to the heat and because of the lack of rain, much of our summer was spent under a shroud for smoke and fire and worry about our friends' and their homes. For our friends the outcome was good since their homes were spared, but for so many others their lives will never the same as they begin the years long battles with insurance companies that continue to impede their efforts to rebuild and get their lives back to normal.

Fire in the mountains. Fire in the garden as the Red Hot Pokers put on a flaming hot show of their own.

I love the knohpia, delicate and rich in color, but they don't last long.

The iris were glorious, but I dug them up, divided them, and moved them out by the hen house to give the ladies some color in their little world

Butterflies were scarce in the Garden Spot this summer too. Early in the summer the Western Tiger Swallow Tails flitted through yard on some impending mission, stopping to nourish themselves.

The echinacea  were so gorgeous--the ones that received enough water, that is.

And let's not forget the newest little bud in this grandmother's garden, Lily Ann

There were the 4th of July fire works, some looking a bit like flowers themselves.

 The day lilies loved the heat, but craved moisture too.

Who doesn't love the purity of a white daisy with a bit of rain--fake rain from the sprinkler.

We partied a bit, too.

And I got really brave and bought not one, but two hydrangeas at Lowes on sale. I let them sit in the kitchen a bit too long so they sorta died back. I pruned them and planted them according the Heather's instructions: dig a big whole and back fill with lots of compost and top soil. So unlike the hydrangea that I planted last summer that was in a constant state of wilt and begging for water, these two and a 3rd that hubby brought home as a surprise appear to be settling in nicely with new leafy growth. We will just have to make sure to mulch them good this fall and water during the winter if we don't get much snow.

The cabbage are all harvested. Now we wait for the red cabbages. The egg plants are all going to collegues at school, the tomatoes  are abundant, the garden flourishes.

The apple tree got an early frost, so there are few very wormy apples this year. The tree is by the corral fence and Sundance begs for apples.

Over the winter, I ran out of good garden stuff to write about, so I profiled the family pets. I didn't get around to Max. Sweet, Sweet Max. A German Short Hair retriever. He is a dog pound pup, a rescue who if not adopted would have been destroyed. What a waste. As it turns out, he is registered with championship field trial lineage. But to us he is our companion. Thirteen years ago hubby brought home this hyper 11 month old pup, green snot coming out his nose with a bad case of kennel cough, and no manners at all. The dog from hell. At 14 now, he stumbles and falls, wobbles and snores. The rabbits in the yard no longer fear him because he has quit chasing them. He sleeps a lot, but he is always in the garden with us. Our constant companion.

This little bud just keeps blossoming. Her older sister who calls herself Mother Nature is off to kindergarten tomorrow. Her other sister turned 4. Her cousin Jacob, my garden helper, is in 4th grade, and his little brother Nathan  age 3 claims the hens as his own. These are grandma's special little buds in her garden.

A garden first: Lime green zinnias. Love 'em.

There is some green here.

Hail Damage. Can't have summer without at least one hail storm The garden recovered nicely. That was the last rain we had.

As summer winds down, the sunflowers are flourishing but fading, foreshadowing the dullness of winter. A new routine is coming to the Garden Spot: Work, grade papers, work, grade papers. The weather is lady is predicting a cool down. Hope she knows what she is talking about. Soon we will begin to wish for an early spring pouring over the seed catalogues. Funny how that works. Summers are too hot so we hope for winter. Winter wears us out so we hope an early spring.

I will try to keep with my blogging with regulariety. My posts hopefully will pop up each week and I hope to be able to make comments that make sense. Thanks your visits and thanks for your own grand and glorious blogs that keep me entertained and enlightened.


  1. Happy Blogaversary! Enjoyed the overview of your summer. It was a hard one to go through this year where you were. I hope you easily settle into your new routine.

  2. Happy Bloggiversary to you, anything over a few months is a accomplishment.

    I loved this post, it was both optimistic and energetic...yes your walk is a long one, and you are tired, but you are getting some exercise and that will make it easier later on.

    I also loved the part about the long summer, and a wish for early spring, it's exactly what we as gardeners do.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  3. Happy blogiversry Mom. Congratulations. I love reading your blog and seeing the photos. It gives me such peace of home. Last time I was home was so special. Driving along the old country road and smelling the fields full of produce. It was fabulous. It was a very special weekend. I am glad the hydrangeas are doing well. We have got to find the leak or the splashing causing the pond to go low. Drives me bonkers!! What a summer. Busy as ever and over just as soon. Lovely blog mom.

  4. Hi Ann, love your recap and have enjoyed your blogs very much! All your photos were lovely and your grandchildren so sweet.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog, too. I am getting over jet lag from the trip to N. Ireland and the Cotswolds. More about that to come. Thanks for looking at my blog so faithfully. Egretta

  5. Happy blogaversary! LOL Enjoyed all the pix on this post. Thank you for wishing my knee to heal, but it has not. Even though it was only an arthroscopic surgery, it has refuses to completely heal, and I'm getting very frustrated! It really limited my gardening this year. Next will be better, I can just feel it!

  6. Happy Blogaversary Ann! I always love your photos and what's going on in your life.

  7. I sure admire how you keep the students fed and watered and blooming just like your garden spot. Cabbage, apples, and a beautiful Lily.

  8. Some beautiful photos. Seems you've had quite a busy summer. Happy blog anniversary as well! I always enjoy visiting your blog. Keep up the great work.

  9. I love reading your blog and this time again a great post of your summer in Colorado. It's a pity after all that work of your daughter and you that your "water garden" is leaking, but I'm sure you will find out. Beautiful pictures of your gardenflowers with highlights of your grandchildren and the butterfly Western Tiger Swallow tails. And than Max...., the first time I read about your constant companion. I'm fond of dogs, my dog is 10 yrs old and I think I could not miss such a hairy companion.