Sunday, August 9, 2015

Room to Breathe

There is an quietness in the August air as summer winds down. The flower garden feels quiet, too, as my favorites fade away. Some plants never rebounded from the mid-July hail. Along with the heat and the hail damage, the flowers just couldn't rebuild new leaf structure. Still we have accomplished a few projects, or rather the Head Gardener has accomplished a lot. Now it's time to finish up projects and wind down for fall.

August always hosts the Ault Fall Festival, a celebration of harvest in our small community that kicks off with a beer garden in the park Friday night and fireworks. We don't drink beer, so we stay home and watch the fireworks that light up the sky right over our front yard. This year Jen surprised the girls with an over night at grandma's to watch fireworks. They had never seen big ones up close. They loved the show.


Saturday morning begins with a parade with the VWF members leading the way down Main Street as the crowd salutes the flag and honors the veterans past, present, and future. Local celebrities also march in the parade. This year Smokey Bear gave hugs to the kids as he led the Forest Service entourage.

 
And no parade will be complete without pretty ladies  riding beautiful horses.

Each year the crowd grows as more people move into our small town, and we find ourselves wondering who they are and where all of the old-timers are then we realize that we are the old-timers.

We wonder through the crowd, glad when we meet a familiar face that we haven't seen for a long time. We admire the antique cars, the quilts and other home arts, the flowers and the vegetables, wondering how that head of cabbage grew so huge.

The little girls shop at a jewelry boot: "First piece free then 2 two for a dollar." The necklaces fall apart before the girls get home.

Pond Repair


 The water feature in the front courtyard has always leaked, so all summer all long we have wanted to fix the leak. It turned out to be not so much of a project, after all.


The HG began by removing some of the rock that were holding the line in place and hiding it. If you look to the left where the liner folds, you will see exactly where the leak was, a simple wrinkle in the liner allowed the water to  escape. 

He built up the side bank to reinforce the foundation where the water had soaked away some of the soil.



The rest of the bed was solid. Instead of replacing the old piece of liner, the HG cut a new piece a bit wider, making sure that it was flat and straight when he laid it back in.


We like the way the rocks were restacked and the way that the water tumbled over them, which is really the whole idea behind a babbling waterfall. 


Across the driveway more plant removal to open up the center circle. Today four old rose bushes that the last owner had planted were removed. The garden is so over run with bind weed that removing the thorny old bushes will make it much easier to control the weeds in addition to opening up the space.


We removed old iris that had over grown their place, give more desirable plants breathing room. 


Also gone is the huge clump of pink yarrow. It had taken over this corner of the garden, strangling out other plants, hogging water. I will probably finish out the summer fighting weeds until we have a clean and smooth surface that we will cover with bark mulch for a clean, groomed look. (Long, deep sigh): So much work. Renovation of the center circle will continue.


When the neighbors did away with their water feature, they gave us their water lily, a pink one. I had the pots that I cleaned up, added coffee filters over the drains holes, put in a layer of gravel, added regular garden soil, not commercial potting soil, placed the tuber on top of the soil, placed more soil over the tuber, then added a layer of pea gravel to hold it all in place.



Now the water lilies are in the pond where they will grow and bloom next summer.




In the garden, I have answered the question: Do blackberries fruit on new canes or last year's? Answer: New. I cute the blackberry nearly to the ground this spring with aspirations of digging it out because it sprawls all over, taking up a lot of real estate. Instead, we left it and the new canes are bearing the fruit. Stray sunflowers are always welcome here at the Garden Spot, and soon we will have tomatoes--I hope. 

Oh and the water garden in the front? Still leaks.

Hope you all have a good week. Be sure visit Monday Mosaics at Lavender Cottage.  And thanks so much for dropping by. 

18 comments:

  1. So great to catch up with you, Ann. You captured the essence of August perfectly. Some gardeners lose their enthusiasm by now and I admit I have those moments. Then I grab a low humid, somewhat cool day to tidy up and plan for bulbs to plant come fall. I'm revived!

    I really love festivals---the small town varieties. The ones in Chicago are fun but very crowded and the parking gets one frustrated before you arrive.

    We have mulberries...I don't pay much attention, I don't know if they are truly edible and the same for the walnuts from the many trees we have. Your pond is sensational!! How can you beat something that appeals to all of your senses?!! :)

    Jane x

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  2. Hello Ann, lovely to see all your activities. It does look hot and dry over at your place. We were lucky for that, being just right in the middle between cold and wet and too hot and drought. How funny that you grow the same weeds than we do ;-). We had also water features with a leakage, so know well what you are about. Yesterday, as always when the phone or camera is in the house, we watched the kingfisher fishing from the pond. One day I might be lucky. Have a great week!

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  3. It's a strange feeling to think that Autumn is just round the corner and we have hardly had Summer here. Typical British weather I suppose. Digging out and tidying up, cutting back and finding hidden weeds...we are doing much the same things!

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  4. Looks like a fun festival. You've been busy in your garden. I love ponds and waterfalls ... the sound of water -- so soothing. Happy Monday!

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  5. Just another thing to love about small towns and their little events. Love going out and seeing people. Love your water, my neighbor has one but never hooked it up to electric this year, so no hearing the water. Heck we never even sat on the porch and enjoyed our own fountain very much this year...sigh, where does the time go anymore...

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  6. Hello, the festival with the parade and fireworks is a fun family event! Your waterfall looks wonderful, I like to hear the water sounds. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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  7. So many enjoyable things going on. Enjoy Mosaic Monday.

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  8. The festival looks like a lovely event Ann. Glad you managed to fix the pond.

    Have a great week!

    Madelief x

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  9. Well that is good to know that I can cut my black berries down as they are out of control.

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  10. It looks like you've been quite busy with garden jobs, and the Ault Fall Festival looks interesting. Summer is flying by it seems.

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  11. Never ending with the garden work isn't it? We have to be passionate to do it every year but I sometimes wonder when I think I'll have had enough? You ever feel this way Ann?
    I had to laugh at your comment of considering yourself part of the 'old-timer' group now. My father always addressed older men with this term and I hoped it was a form of respect.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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  12. Ann, garden work just goes on at times. There will be room for new things. A parade is always fun. Nice waterfall. Thanks for sharing. Sylvia D.

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  13. Well phooey, I thought you had that leak fixed! Those blackberries look yummy!

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  14. Good to know about the blackberries...our neighbor always complained that his don't bear fruit...I will let him know.

    Our big fair is on at the end of the month..kind of loving the parade, but not the overwhelming traffic jams from too many people in too little space.

    Jen

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  15. Good to know about the blackberries...our neighbor always complained that his don't bear fruit...I will let him know.

    Our big fair is on at the end of the month..kind of loving the parade, but not the overwhelming traffic jams from too many people in too little space.

    Jen

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  16. Looks like a lot of hard work but I'm glad it wasn't as hard as you thought. Good to see the parade :)

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  17. What a beautiful and interesting post, Ann! August is a special month and you have described it so well. Great photos and a wonderful mosaic!
    Have a lovely weekend!

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  18. Gardens leave little time for just sitting around. I've not begun the late summer clean out yet, but I'm eyeing some plants and thinking they need to go. This morning I cut some roses for the house - they smell wonderful.
    Glad you got to enjoy the parade and fireworks with your family. Small towns are great for community events.

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