Monday, July 8, 2019

On a Clear Day

Where did June go? Were I still teaching--as teachers measure time, especially summer break--I would begin to feel the pressure to start planning for fall classes after the 4th, but now retired five years the days, weeks, even months blend together almost seamlessly. Still it seems downhill until the school bells begin to toll.

Has your summer been odd this year? Certainly here in the western states the season has been off with unseasonably cold temperatures and more moisture, making everything from gardens to corn fields behind by about three weeks. Generally farmers want to see their corn knee high by July 4th, but this year it is half that height.

There are benefits to cooler, wetter temperatures. Flowers enjoy the gentler environment, seeming to flourish and grow a bit stronger.

New faces bloom in July garden scape:

I think the bell shaped clematis is Duchess of Albany. If you find this one at your garden center, buy it for I've not see one since I bought this one. She is prolific. I cut her back nearly the ground this spring and she is taking over her corner of the front court yard. 

I've long forgotten this gorgeous rose. I just love the delicate peach color.

In the back garden, now fully a shade garden, the daisies are blooming. Dotted with an early morning irrigation, new blooms are nearly perfect before the bugs begin nibble.

Out front the hostess are so beautiful and big this year and perfect without any hail. I need to do some clean-up. At the alliums done blooming are now going to seed, and I am wondering if I should leave the seed heads or clean them up? They are unusual, so they have also taken over the garden. The aspen send up runners and it is a constant battle to keep them down and the the birds drop other tree seeds that pop up all over. 

Out back the vegetable garden flourishes, too, with a very healthy crop of weeds. My goodness they do well. Some would consider this sunflower a weed, but here they are cherished, especially this year as we prepare for the weeding. These sunflowers this year are weeding flowers. I'm doing the flowers for the wedding, so keep good thoughts about no wind or those nasty frozen ice balls that fall from the sky. More on the wedding flowers after the wedding. I will say that the bride and groom have a very small budget and the bird wants very simple flowers, even if she has to pick them the from the road side--but we will do better for her.

The asparagus has gone to seed. I wasted a lot of asparagus this year.

I am hoping that this lovely sunflower doesn't bloom out before the wedding because hopefully it will produce some large blooms, but we never know until she smiles.

Cabbages look awesome, tomatoes, too.

 Bricks and cans remain in the garden as covers should hail be in the forecast. Fortunately we have been very lucky.
The garden now has fence around to keep Brody out of the garden. 

Tomatoes look healthy and happy. Can't wait for the fresh ones.

As back up, my neighbor who works in our favorite garden center in the green house offered to grow sunflowers for the weeding. We dropped by last week to see how they were doing and decided to bring half of them home. They are sitting on the patio hardening off and hopefully we can get them planted in the garden this afternoon. They are starting blooms, but who knows if they will actually be ready for the wedding.

We have a backup plan.

 Saturday was the last horse show before fair so I spent the day cheering the girls on. At the end of the judged events the girls participated in the gymkhana events. Here Lucy does the flag race, a timed event when the rider gallops to the first flag, grabs it on the run, gallops to the next bucket and plants the flag in it and heads to the finish line.

Mariah, though is very curious about what is in the bucket. Would you believe oats hold the flag in place?
As you can see, they were galloping.

Ellie has the right idea.

Pole bending takes a lot of coordination for both the rider and the horse as they are required to wear in and out of six poles--at a full gallop--or a slow trot. It's all for fun.

And a new twit on the egg race. Remember you school game day at the end of the year running the race with an egg in a spoon?

Another fun game: riding bareback with a dollar bill underneath the rider's thigh. Ellie didn't participate, but Lucy was all in.

 Finally I have to share my new pancake mix; it's gluten free. Now, I am not going gluten free totally, but I am trying to change some foods because certain foods are causing awful acid reflux. I don't want to write about my health problems, but I do want to share this pancake mix made from brown and white rice flower. It almost looks like buckwheat mix, but not as dark. The pancakes are moist and sweet. I found it at Spouts, a local organic store. I've decided that this my pancake of choice. 

Later in the morning we took short drive north to pick up a door for the wedding from my housekeeper. I had to take a quick photo out the truck window of the long horns grazing under blue skies with the Rocky Mountains on the far horizon. 

Songs come to mind:

O give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

And we remember Barbara Streisand singing:

And on that clear day on that clear clear day
You can see forever and ever and ever and evermore

Wishing you a week full of clear days. Thanks for visiting the Garden Spot.

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