Hope Grows in August

 

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. 
Albert Einstein 

Since joining Hanni and her Hope Grows Day meme at Sweet Bean Gardening in March, I have been keeping track of my garden hopes for this gardening season in 2011 on the 5th of every month.  I started by wanting to see my wonderful pond full of frogs and the water lilies blooming.  Then my hope turned to having a good harvest, lovely flowers and lots of baby birds born in the yard.  I ended July with hopes for lots of tomatoes.

And although this has not been a usual growing season, it has been filled with blooms, babies and harvest.

I love to grow gladiolas like the one pictured above.  My mom grew them, and they remind me of her garden.  One other big plus is the hummers just love them too.  This year they have bloomed, but not lingered long.  We had such a hot, humid, dry July it was hard to get anything to bloom for a long period of time.  But they keep popping up.  Even some I know I did not plant this year, but were planted last year.  Now these are not perennials in my zone 5 garden, but I love these garden mysteries.

Within the last 2 weeks we have received 3  inches of rain.  The garden is alive again.

 The summer lettuce is going strong (bottom right), but the beans have been sparse still.  I hope to harvest the beets, scallions and carrots soon and plant my fall veggies:  radishes, more lettuces, spinach, arugula to name a few.  You can see on the right side of the picture the few tomatoes that are growing.  I savor every one.  Top left is a male pumpkin flower.  I am hopeful that I get some fruitful pollination with all the male and female flowers the vines are producing.  Following down the left side next are some blueberries.  Now I love blueberries, and I can say I was finally hoping for some blueberries this year.  Here they are and are they sweet.  I have 4 more bushes to plant once I weed and amend the area.  I am hopeful for an even bigger harvest next year.  Maybe a whole quart.

Next are the peppers.  I am crazy for green chiles, and my Hatch peppers were just about dead in July.  They have sprung back to life after an application of manure tea (thanks Annie Haven for your wonderful Manure Tea) and are flowering.  I do hope to get some green chiles to roast.  The red pepper is a cayenne.  The one plant that has taken off that I grew from seed has about 20 peppers ripening.  I can feel the heat in my mouth already, and hope to make some homemade salsa.  Better get some cilantro started soon.  I can see why people grow plants from seed.  There is something so magical to bring a seed to fruit and harvest.  I plan to start as many of my own from seeds in my basement next spring.  But that is a project for the fall so more on that later.

 

In the garden, I planted morning glories, vining nasturtiums, sunflowers and cosmos to name a few annuals, but the cold weather so late in May prevented me from getting them in the ground sooner and the dry late spring/early summer has yielded little.  A couple of sunflowers are about 3 feet tall, and this morning glory plant is blooming.  It is in a container with the cayenne pepper.  It is an unusual morning glory from Renee’s Garden called, Morning Glory, “Blue Ensign”.  It is a mounding morning glory with top-setting flowers.  I love the bright blue flowers.

 

 This adult robin was enjoying the ripe blue berries on my Viburnum dentatum, Blue Muffin.  You can see one lone berry above his head.  I rarely see these berries last.  The birds go crazy and eat the bush clean.  I should grow more of these wonderful natives.  Something to consider next year.

The robin was still on the nest, and we were still hopeful for little ones peeping soon…and the beginning of August has brought a miracle.  On their third try the robin parents have a small brood of young ones born with a tuft of fine feathers on their heads and bare to the skin like a plucked chicken.  I have been watching the parents taking turns bringing food.  I can just stand on my tippy toes to see the orange beaks popping up from the nest.  To say this hope has brought us great joy is an understatement.

 

 

Other bird births in the yard were wonderful, but barely visible in the bird houses with sparrows and swallows this spring.  Then there was this male Chipping sparrow who spent a month on top of this bluebird house in June/July.  He never wavered in his duty as a father in the hot, dry weather.  He stayed on the house morning, noon and night and brought food to momma and babies.  He brought me such hope for new birth in our garden.  We spied the little ones briefly before they took flight.

 

 

Let me introduce you to the newest member of our garden family.  This is Georgie.  We spotted him a few days ago running around the yard and eating the clover.  I actually had walked the whole yard and then spotted him  just around the corner from where I was.  He seems not too bothered by us, and stays out of our way.  He is usually in the yard in the morning.  I netted my veg garden because of cuties like Georgie.  I cannot keep them out of the yard, but I can deter them.  Of course we are only guessing this a Georgie and not a Georgette.

 

One of my favorite flowers is Lobelia.  I have red, purple, blue and this lovely pink variety, ‘Monet Moment’.  Hummingbirds love them and they are a welcome sight in my late summer garden.  Of course, it is not late summer so I was surprised to see them.  With the long dry spell we had followed by a cooling into the 80s with rain, I think the garden is thinking it is late summer.  I hope to see more flowers pop out now that we had some rain.  First I need to deadhead a bit and a then a new flush of flowers will start in many spots.

Speaking of hummingbirds, we have been watching a pair flit around the garden.  They are a marvelous sight as they hover in mid-air.  Monarchs have also been abundant in the garden.  Many times I have spied a pair also flitting around the garden together.

 

My latest acquisition is my newest hope.  This bat house is situated about 17 feet off the ground in a white ash tree just bordering the meadow at the back of the white garden.  We are hopeful that a few bats will be drawn to the yard to live and partake of the wonderful mosquitos we are known for.  They can each eat thousands of mosquitos a night.  I’ll take it.  And I would love to see more mammals in the yard.  Interesting to learn about them and watch them from a far.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Bats are symbols for rebirth in many native cultures.  How appropriate for my garden and my life as I work toward changing old habits and trying to live more authentically; and as my life unfolds I am learning more about myself each day.

I have such hopes for my garden and know that if things don’t turn out I can change conditions and plants to be successful the next time.  And after all that is what it is all about.  The challenge, the successes and learning from the failures both in the garden and in life.  For me it has always been easier in the garden.  In life I am a bit of a perfectionist, but aren’t we all hardest on ourselves.

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
Maya Angelou

 

Book Update:

For those that have asked, my 2 poems are being published in the book, The Moment I Knew, August 26th.  You can see the announcement in my last blog post.  Information about sale of the book is:

  1. The book will be for sale at www.SugatiPublications.com as well as other online and independent booksellers (e.g. Amazon, Barnes and Noble).
  2. There will also be a link for book sales on the Reflections from Women website, blog, FB and Twitter pages on or about August 15th.  You can access the links for the blog, FB and Twitter from the website.
  3. We prefer for folks to buy directly from Sugati Publications because the charities selected, who will profit from the sale of the book, will get a greater amount of the profits.  If folks buy from other booksellers (e.g., Amazon) then the book seller gets about 40% which significantly cuts into the charities profits as well.  However, Sugati does want to support independent book sellers and will be sending marketing info to many of them in the US.

Special Note: This Saturday, August 6th, I will be guest blogging at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.  The topic is Rain Gardens.  It is a pleasure to be asked, and an honor to have my post published on this incredible blog.  I hope you will join me Saturday.  Of course I will have a new post coming in a day or so at Walkabout Chronicles as well.

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24 comments

  1. Donna says:

    It has been a most unusual season, but plants are blooming like crazy lately in my 6b garden. Doing some redesign too and moving them in this heat. So far so good. My peppers languished but now are producing too. Georgie is cute and the bunny visiting my asters, I can only hope to be a Georgie.

    • Donna says:

      Glad to hear things have gotten better in the garden Donna. I think we are going to have a bloom and bounty all at once. I have my running shoes on so I can go into high gear for garden maintenance.

  2. One says:

    A month filled with Birth, Babies, Beautiful Blooms and Bountiful harvest. Wouldn’t the Bats share the harvest too?

    • Donna says:

      The bats might share in some harvest, but I think they prefer the insects. I net the veg gardens to keep critters at bay. Their guano is also beneficial so I can’t wait to see what benefits they bring. Of course we have a bumper crop of mosquitoes so that could be the bats’ harvest 🙂

  3. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    Despite this crazy weather your garden is full of hope & joy! Your morning glory is a stunner! I am looking forward to reading about your experience with the bat house. I have often considered putting one up but haven’t because I am afraid it will meet the same fate as my bird houses that become occupied by everything other than birds…wasps, bees, flying squirrels, etc. I guess I need to have a little more HOPE!

    • Donna says:

      Thx Karin…glad you enjoyed the garden. I will keep you posted about the bat house. They say if you can attach it to your house or on a pole they may come to it more easily. You do have to keep it cleaned out because of insects, but other birds and mammals I don’t think can fit in the slats.

    • Donna says:

      I hope to study a bit more about the local bat species…they say you just have to have patience with a bat house…oh boy ..well I love the way the house looks so even if they never come the house looks great in the tree…I have a feeling with all the mosquitoes and the wild area behind us that they will eventually come!! I’ll keep you posted Diana with how it goes…

  4. Holley says:

    The picture of your morning glory is fabulous! Love your Georgie! And I must, must must get a blueberry bush! So glad to hear of your rain. Guess I’m just glad it’s raining somewhere! lol

    • Donna says:

      Holley you are too funny…yes get a few blueberries so they will fruit..they say to get a couple of different varieties and that has helped…Georgie isn’t bothered by us and I am glad of that too!

  5. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    I agree Donna, there is something magical about growing things from seed that you go on to eat. Your toms and peppers etc look wonderful. We are starting to harvest bigger and bigger handfuls of cherry toms each day, but the larger toms are still green. I lack the knack of growing peppers, but some of my chilli plants have fruit. So maybe I too will be able to make some home grown salsa. Lovely lobelia.

    • Donna says:

      Janet, Glad you enjoyed the post and lobelia…I have yet to master the peppers but I am determined to get one hatch and I hope a pumpkin although I may have to hand pollinate them…hoe you get some salsa too!

  6. Alison says:

    Cardinal flower is one of my favorites, love that pink one! Mine haven’t started flowering yet, but I have hummingbirds everywhere in my garden, because I have lots of other plants that they love. No babies of any kind though. I have a couple of birdhouses, but no one has taken me up on the offer to live “cheeply.”

    • Donna says:

      Oh I love that…we have had an abundance of babies in and near the garden this year…lots of visits by hummers too…I love to plant flowers they adore just to watch them…glad you enjoyed the post…

  7. Stacy says:

    Three cheers for your rain–that’s wonderful! Glad things are springing back to life for you. Green chile roasting season is just beginning here–I saw (and smelled!) a stand set up at a corner market the other day–so maybe yours will ripen soon!

    • Donna says:

      Well I hope my chiles grow and ripen soon too, but at least I was able to grow plants…if the chiles don’t grow as I had hoped there is always next year…….love the smell of the stands I remember from my visits….

  8. Christine @ The Gardening Blog says:

    I love your morning glory and the Lobelia is gorgeous. Isn’t it so true – we are hardest on ourselves – I know you are too hard on yourself a lot of the time! The perfectionist in you comes out so loud and clear every time I read a new post – always so beautifully written, well illustrated and so much depth and thought goes into everything you do.

    • Donna says:

      Oh Christine you are too much…wow …how nice you think of my posts like that…I am a perfectionist although right now in my garden you wouldn’t know it…I have learned to live with the weeds and whatever else Mother Nature dishes out…a good lesson!!

  9. Mindy says:

    What beautiful pictures. The blooms are beautiful. Love the bird and bunny pics! We have some bats that fly above our house in the evenings and early mornings! Hope your house works well, it is very neat! Thanks for the ideas for my frugal shade garden area. I have written them down and will definitely take them into consideration. Thanks for sharing the great photos! Happy Gardening! Mindy

    • Donna says:

      Mindy so glad you could visit the garden…I hope the bats find the house…we sometimes see them about but we shall see if they like the house…I find just about anything I can drill a hole for drainage is fair game to plant in…I am also hoping to drill out a stump enough to make it into a planter…the possibilities are endless…can’t wait to see your new garden!!

      • Mindy says:

        I am really enjoying looking around on your blog! I have been looking for a stump to hallow out. We live near the Ohio River and we go down to the river a lot and look for drift wood! It is a very fun thing to do. I have been looking for a stump, but the ones that I have found have been too big to get back home! Thank you very much for the ideas and sharing your gardening information! Look forward to following in the future! Happy Gardening! Mindy

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