Monday, June 27, 2016

Adios June

Hello Friends. After my brief absence from the blogosphere, I was heartened that my dear friends are still with me. Your friendship is as dear to me as those friends whom I see daily; both need to be nurtured and loved and cared for, so thank you for staying near and dear.

Can you believe that June is nearly spent? Where did the month go? For us here at the Garden Spot we have spent a lot of time just finishing up projects that have been on the TO DO LIST for a very long time.  We are finally catching up some, enough that I told the Head Gardener today that we need to get a way for a few days. I had London, Yorkshire, Edinbrough, or Dublin, or all of the above in mind, but he suggested taking the camp trailer some place. On such short notice, that is do-able.

Everyday I wander around the yard looking for anything new, interesting, wilting, dying, dead. And everyday I discover a bit of each. This morning, for example, as I walked through the center circle looking for things that might interest you, a tiger swallowtail butterfly lit on a milkweed just beginning to open up. The butterfly wasn't very cooperative and the iPhone camera isn't as flexible as the camera, but here is a pretty butterfly for you, anyway. Upon closer inspection, you will notice that it is faded and a bit beat up, just from life, I suppose.

Look at this second tiger swallowtail, paying particular attention to the dark color. John, the little neighbor boy brought it over to show me. He wanted me to see his new pet, but what struck me was the darkness of it, looking a bit like a cross with a monarch butterfly. He found the poor thing in their wading pool and said it couldn't fly because it had lost all of its fuzz. So he was keeping in it a bug cage and coming over to my house to pick flowers for it to eat.  

Do you sing the little song "Lady Bug, Lady Bug, Fly away home, Your house is fire and your children are all alone" when you see a lady bug. I do. I have been singing more this summer than ever before. We have a lot lady bugs. Good thing they are. They eat aphids, my grandson used to tell me. When he was 3, I showed him aphids on the sunflower leaves and told him that lady bugs ate the aphids. Now 13 he still remembers the answer to my question: What do Lady Bugs eat? 

Here is an interesting sight. While it was raining and cold this spring, the HG built this owl nesting box hoping to attract either barn owls or the great horned owl, which we have see here. He placed under the eves on the barn just above Pop's stall door. It is protected there and we are hoping the the owls will see it. We don't think that we have ever seen barn owls, but they are here, supposedly. I'll let you know. Research shows that one will eat up to 300 small mammals a day. I wonder, do we really have that many mice? 

In case we don't, the HG will buy dead mice that snake owners feed to attract them to the box. Sounds pretty gross to me.

On a much more appealing topic, we drained the pond down Sunday, added fresh water from the irrigation wells instead of the city water. We also added a a microbe that should eat the algae bloom and bought some water hyacinths to get more surface cover. A healthy water feature needs about 85% coverage. The photo also shows the HG planting my cotoneaster bush along with a clematis and grasses to finish the little garden spot. He even planted a pole for either a birdhouse or bird feeder. Right now I have a little gazebo bird feeder that proportionally doesn't look big enough. Check off another project completed from the TO DO LIST. The water garden in the courtyard is fully functional, too. Another item checked off.

The North Star Cherry tree now wears her wedding vail to protect the cherries from the robins. If I don't cover the tree, they will strip it bare. 

Look how clean the garden looks! Wow. Thanks to the HG, while not weed free, the vegetable garden looks so good this year. 

I have already picked onions and this one garlic that Boone had dug up. Talk about spicy hot. I have picked the first peas and shelled them. This only yielded enough for one meal. I won't cook them; rather, I will add them to green salad. I prefer these new peas raw because they are so sweet and natural.

This is the 3rd year for the hostas and they look so strong and healthy--until it hails, which could be this afternoon by the way the clouds look. The hollyhocks are beginning to bloom. This clump is by the barn door.

A new week begins. Friends will be staying a few days while the wife (Sherry) has tests to see if her shoulder replacement needs to be redone. We are always glad to have them come visit, but this won't be a cheerful visit as you she is facing another shoulder replacement. I'll keep up to date. They are on their way, so I need to wrap this up and get ready from dinner.

So Adios, June. Bienvenida, July.

Have great week and thanks so much for stopping by.

Linking with Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday. Join us for it is the last one hosted by Judith. As I told her, I have really enjoyed the meme because I made so many new friends and enjoyed so many wonderful blogs. Thank you, Judith. 


  1. I will be interested in hearing more about the owl nesting box and hope you get an interested pair. The dead mice aspect is gross to me too.
    The pond is looking good and that is the tidiest and most spacious looking veggie garden ever - do pass on compliments to the HG. Hmm, at our place I'm the HG - must be doing something wrong. lol
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday while I've been host Ann, it was a great experience meeting new bloggers.

  2. Two beautiful butterflies. Yes, we all get beaten about by life sometimes. Your cherry tree looks ghostly with its bird prevention wrap.

  3. Hello Ann, I cannot believe how different your climate is to ours but how similar our two Gardeners are, working so efficiently! We don't have any butterflies this year, they must have been too cold and too wet. Neither swallows, they arrived relatively early but only so few, it is very sad. Since April, we have had 5 days of good weather in a row, otherwise we have had rain every single day. And floods. And more thunderstorms. Therefore it is so good to see your blue sky and dry soil and good harvest. Our cherries have been eliminated by hale stones. The hostas look like Swiss cheese, holes everywhere if not by hale stones then by slugs. The peas are ready to eat but much less. However, June is nearly gone and July can only let us hope for better conditions. If you had traveled to the UK now, it would be much cheaper for you. But in the camper van is certainly a great idea for spontaneous journeys. Enjoy and tell where you go. I will be interested to read if an owl is attracted or not.

  4. We used to see Swallowtails in France, but rarely here in UK. Poor cherries!

  5. Imagine holding such a beautiful butterfly in your hand like that, he must be a very gentle little boy and so caring to look for plants to feed it with.
    All your projects look well in hand well done for ticking some of the list.
    Here in Normandy we're still waiting for summer to begin, we've had way to much rain and I'm bored with it now.
    So au revoir to June, who knows what July has in store, hope your friend receives a good outcome from her visit to the Dr.

  6. It is so wonderful holding such a beautiful butterfly! The veggie garden looks very good, and way more organized than ours, lol :)

  7. What a beautiful post, Ann! June does look lovely there.
    I found especially intriguing the story of the beautiful butterfly. First I tried to understand what "losing fuzz" means... :) Do you think (s)he can survive? Let's hope so!
    Your vegetable garden looks great and everything looks ready for July. Näkemiin, kesäkuu. Tervetuloa, heinäkuu. :D

  8. It's such a busy time of year and it's nice to see pics of what you are busy with. The garden looks wonderful and I know you are enjoying your fresh veggies. Enjoy the week sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

  9. Hello, June did fly by. Your place is looking great, I hope an Owl discovers your owl box. That would be awesome. The pond is beautiful, love the waterlilies. The swallowtail color is dark, that is odd. Pretty shots of the butterflies. I hope you have a great trip wherever you go. Happy Summer! Enjoy your day and have a happy week ahead!

  10. Your garden looks so good. We need to do that with our cherry trees, we have a lot of cherries this year and I hate to lose them all.


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