I awoke early this morning to barking dogs and thunder. They usually start 15 minutes before the actual storm arrives and before we can hear any rumbles in the distance. Kinda tells you a lot about animals doesn't it? The news report last evening said that the police on horse patrol noticed their animals were restless about 15 minutes before the actual tremors of earthquake were felt. Again, are animals smart or what?
I went outside to snap a few pics of the WIP, the air was damp and a bit chilly, overcast skies, that's Ohio.
Despite the gloomy lighting, I did manage to get a few lovely shots from various positions on the porch swing.
And then I turned my attention to my pitiful looking back yard..........neglected this summer despite all the small efforts make or keep it in line and looking good. I wanted the old scrappy rustic look of a yard with some country charm, not perfect mind you, just something quaint and comfy with some sunshine, flowers, birds, bees and calm, with a little rain shower now and then........
My only luxury this summer would be the four flower pots to brighten each corner of the lower deck. What the hot weather didn't destroy, my neglect did. The ruin is pretty much solely my fault. I should have been more attentive.
The deck has seen many bar-b-ques and family get together, but this year the cushions on the chairs only came out once and have remained stored in the garage.
The red bud tree that I planted years ago from a tiny seedling is trying to overtake the steps that are not visible from this angle. One has to push the branches out of ones face to descend the steps.
The cone flowers that come back year after year were beautiful weeks ago and the butterflies danced on and around them.
It is a jungle out there. The steps I mentioned in the above comment. As you can see branches need trimmed back.
Last year Rog made me a trellis for the bittersweet vine I bought. The plant is doing well considering the rabbits chewed threw 2 of the main shoots last winter. This fall I will put a bit of fencing around the bottom. If they chew threw the last stem then the plant will not be around for next year. Last summer I had various colors of impatiens all around that back fence. It is a shady spot and they did really well. This year there was no time for fussing and so it looks like complete neglect. I miss my flowers.
Do you know what this is? I found this tiny plant growing next to the property line years ago and replanted it. It grows huge. In the late fall it will have pods of dark purple berries. We can not eat the berries but the birds can. Does the song "Poke Sally Annie" ring a bell? In the spring when the little tender shoots are popping from the warm earth you can cut those and eat them. It takes a mighty big bunch of poke sally to make a big batch because you wash it, and then par boil it, drain, coat with corn meal and fry up a bit crisp in a skillet with a bit of vegetable or olive oil. This family loves it. Yummy!
And then to my herb garden, so pitiful and neglected as well. This is a sage plant I have had for 4 years. I harvest and dry it then rub it between my hands and it will make a lumpy powdery spice that can be added to corn meal dressing or ground pork. I know it is added to other foods as well, but our two favorite are the dressing and pork. I will have to get out and trim this all back. I have plenty of sage, so I will try and find someone to share with. I spare you the unsightly rest of the herb bed. The chives are unruly, the oregano a sight........the mint has taken over and the rosemary is doing it's thing, what ever that may be.
See that patch of weeds there at the base of the lattice of the deck.....that is my bed of weeds. Now I will say that several weeks ago we did manage to get out and for 4-5 days and trim up all the shrubs and bushes out in the front landscaping, and we did pull all the weeds from two of the empty beds in the back inner yard......well, some good ole rain and humidity was the source of fresh new weeds and they have taken over again. Roger and I did manage on Monday to pick and shuck at least 8 dozen ears of sweet corn from the vegetable garden. We started at 9am and I finished up the last batch of corn at 7pm. It was a good 10 hours of picking, shucking, blanching and packaging corn on the cob. I should have cut some corn from the cob like I usually do, but wanted the fasted way to just be done with it all. I should have taken some pics, but just didn't want to fool with sticky sweet corn hands and a camera. Sometime today I will venture out to the veggie garden and snap a few pics just to show you what work we make ourselves every summer. Just know that despite my grumbling I am thankful for what I have even though my flowers are weeds. It could be worse. I could be living in Texas and standing over dried up flowers and vegetables like my cousin is.........♥