Monday, May 30, 2016

Summer Kicks In

Chatter of young house finches that have found their voices fills the early morning air at the Garden Spot. The sun shines brightly, sparkling on the heavy dew that clings to lawn. The ires are opening up one by one, revealing their brilliant color. Miss Kim, the Korean lilac in the front courtyard blooms after the tradition lilacs have faded, extending the lilac season just a little longer.

Chanticleer crows, calling for the Head Gardener to feed him and his gaggle of hens.

So, life at the Garden Spot begins another day.

Today's collage for Mosaic Monday sums up the week:

  • Hanging out on the patio watching the little gold finches come feed on the thistle feeders
  • Great blue herons on a country pond
  • Young Holstein steers feeding in the rich grass
  • Newly planted pots that haven't died yet after their first week.

With the help of the Head Gardener, we worked on the flower bed south of the water garden. I am gathering plant material to landscape the barren area. Yesterday we sprayed the bindweed that stubbornly continues to heckle us. The plan for this spot also includes a pole with a bird house atop and a pink clemanits to climb it. Perhaps the pole and vine will go in today. 

The pond has an awful algae bloom. We have been treating it, but I fear that we must drain it and start all over with fresh water. I have thrown fish food out for the two koi, but they are either not hungry or or are slow to find the flakes. The gold fish have disappeared. I know that the little green heron got a few; I just don't know how many. I am imagining that the fish are so traumatized that they are hiding in the murky depths of the water in the protection of the water lilies.

The iris are just beginning to open. We took a drive the other night out east to see if our favorite (only) iris farm is still in business. It is. I plan to make a trip out there this week to see what's new and  what I can add to my collection. She also grows peonies, which are really hard to resist, too.

Still shaded in the early morning sun, the lawn looks so rich and green from all the rain that we have had. We mused as we rode the EzGo around last night at how beautiful the lawn looks, knowing full well that as the heat of the summer bears down on us, the green will turn brown. The lushness just won't last once the spring rains stop. So I am enjoying all I can now. 

The peonies are taking their time.

I haven't potted plants for a couple of years because it is so hard to keep them watered, but this year I have filled the patio with potted plants, here's one--two. I used mostly pansies and petunias, hardy favorites.

Miss Kim, the Korean lilac blooms after the traditional lilacs have ended, extending the lilac season. She is doing so well in this garden, better than I expected. She gets cool morning shade and hot afternoon sun, but doesn't seem to mind the two extremes. This is the fullest that she has boomed in her 4 years here.

I have wanted to photograph the great blue heron for a long time. They are easily located on many  bodies of water locally, so when we travel to the Big City I like to take the country route that takes us around a huge lake full of water fowl and this small pond across the road. Unfortunately the road is curvy, narrow, and heavily traveled, so photographing the giant birds is challenging. 

Nor do they like having their photo taken. When we stopped two were right by the road side, but not for long.

There were 3 cranes the pond, not wanting to be disturbed.

The last photo in the mosaic shows the cattle grazing. The steers are always in this pasture next to the shallow pond. I am sure they are being fattened for market, but don't they make a pretty picture?

While one daughter and family travels home from a holiday weekend trip the Santa Fe and the other family takes the boat to the lake to fish, we will be here planting today. We have the seed vegetables to get in, my zinnias and sunflowers, and dahlia tubers. We will work until noon then I want to tour the garden centers looking for a few more perennials to fill in some bare spots in the center circle. 

What will be you be doing today? States' side, we are celebrating Memorial Day, a day when we take time to recognize, remember, and honor not just our fallen soldiers, but those who serve us every day. We thank them for their sacrifice and their service and we owe our gratitude to their families who preserver while their loved ones protect freedom. God bless them, all.

Thanks so much for visiting. I'd like to invite you to drop by the dollhouse blog. I am on the downhill to finishing this project. This week I'll be helping the granddaughters build their dollhouse. Now won't that be an adventure? They have also recruited me to teach them grammar. What? Grammar? I purchased two workbooks for them, one for grammar and one to teach them how to write narratives. Now won't that be fun? Thankfully I did not get a request to tutor math. 

So it looks like summer activities are in full swing now that school is out. Next week we will have the grandsons. There will be lots to write about. 

Thanks so much for visiting. Linking up with Judith at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday. Join us.


  1. Beautiful garden views especially the iris....and oh the ponds! Lovely as summer kicks off!

    and LivingFromHappiness

  2. Ann, What a lovely visit with you this morning. The iris are really gorgeous. The pond and grass photos feature some great green. Sylvia D.

  3. Hello Ann, your place is just lovely. The pond, irises and Miss Kim are some of my favorites. I am sure the Green Heron enjoyed your pond fish. Nice shots and sighting of the Herons. Sounds like you will be having fun with the grandkids this summer. I hope you are having a great Memorial Day. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  4. I admired your irises Ann, especially the bi-coloured purple one. (of course:-) Looking at your pond I see what you meant about the algae bloom, how disappointing. We found that once the water lilies covered 3/4 of the surface the water stays crystal clear. I'll bet there are goldfish hiding too, all it takes is one predator to scare them. We never found the leak in our pond and hubby says he'll be draining it down and taking the waterfall apart. Think I'll go on a trip if he does that. :-(

  5. Your weather sounds just like ours. We usually have a nice rainy spring, and the lawn looks wonderfully green. But right about this time of year, someone flips a switch, and the rain stops for the summer. By the end of summer, that lush green lawn will be dry and brown.

  6. So much sprouting and how beautiful your iris are! I've never grown them, I need a sunny spot and I've used all of them. I think your petunias will do well, it looks like you have mulch down. We have 'watering hours' here in the city---7 to 11 in the a.m. and 6 to 9 in the evening. I do mine in the evening as it doesn't evaporate in the sun and heat as fast. Mulch is very important, but I'm sure you know that.

    I love the blue herons. They are in abundance on our lake and particularlty like to nest in the weeds and reeds in our little bay! They are as amazing walking around with their long legs as they are taking flight!!!

    I hope you had a great holiday weekend. We relaxed and it went way too fast!

    Have a great week, Ann.


  7. Hello Ann, you are so right, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with the blogs. I loved all your bird photos and posts about them, you have such a big variety of birds which are totally unknown to me. You seem now to kick into summer, as we do but there are a lot of rainy and dull days nevertheless. However, we are impatient to meet with our wee granddaughter who should make her appearance over the next days. But ladies have obviously no problem to make others wait ;-). You must absolutely plan your trip to Europe, time runs so quickly, look we are already June, almost. Get cracking!

  8. The cranes are very elegant! Your goldfinches are chubbier than ours. Maybe ours aren't goldfinches. What else has that coloring?

  9. I love your mosaic, flowers, cows and birds, beautiful. You have some great Irises and I like the view over your pond. It all looks so sunny and peaceful, time for sitting outside to enjoy...

  10. Your picture of the little goldfinch is charming, Ann! They are such colorful birds, aren't they? We have them here by the score; we're glad for the color since the bluebirds are no longer visiting. We had to put away the bark butter because the greedy starlings kept eating it all.

    Those ruffled irises are just gorgeous!! I may have told you they're one of my very favorite flowers because their many-hued colors remind me of a Monet watercolor. Also, your Korean lilac bush is so pretty. Yes, you must enjoy the green and lushness while you have it. We've already got brown patches in our grass because it's been so hot here.

    Have fun at the garden center and have a great week!

    Hugs to you,