A Garden Respite On The Solstice


“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.”  ~Maya Angelou




Recently I discovered I was tired….tired of blogging, tired of writing, tired of gardening.  And at the same time I realized I wasn’t taking time for me…a respite.  Even when I worked in an office, I made sure I rested.  But now with no 9-5 job, I can find myself working 7 days a week….not taking enough time for rest.

So I am back to taking one day a week to rest and do nothing….nothing but what I want that gives me peaceDSCN4526 and solace.  Maybe it is just wandering and watching nature and the garden.  Maybe it is reading or watching a favorite old movie.  Nothing big, but time to relax and just be.  I have found taking one regular day a week is so important (you can read my poem to Rest here).

I am already so behind, with reading blogs, I may never catch up….but know I will be visiting when I can.  I decided I needed to look back at all the chores I was thinking of doing for summer and fall.  List them again, and then see what is reasonable in between WEEDING!!  The pictures here are of many of the irises that grew in my garden mid to late spring.  I don’t know their names now except the top picture.  That is Bearded Iris ‘Batik’…one of my favorites!




water iris

All the chores we had on our To Do List for spring did not happen, but most did.  We fixed the pond, and 2 veg beds.  We added the new 3-tiered fruit bed, and got the seedlings planted that I started from seed.  But we did not get to the patches of ornamental grass in the lawn, and we didn’t dig out the last ornamental grass in the front garden.  We will save some of this for Fall.





With the Summer Solstice today, ushering in Summer, what better time to look ahead in the garden!  Most of what we didn’t get to, will be our target for Summer.  With Summer heat and humidity, we will have to go slow.  Early morning gardens chores before the full brunt of summer’s heat wilts us.  Here are some of the targeted garden chores for Summer that I think are very doable:

  • Extend the side gardens back out as the lawn has grown back into them
  • Dividing and planting some irises that are huge or not blooming….late summer after it begins to cool.
  • Clear plants for bog garden area where we will be creating a gully next year.
  • Still loads of weeding and edging must be done especially in the front and side gardens, and targeted areas in the back gardens as I don’t think we will get to it all.  Some of the weeding may have to wait until Fall.
  • I am ADDING to the list-pulling out some Obedient plant in areas to control it.
  • And continuing to weed, harvest and care for the veg beds is a given!




yellow iris

Fall is another story.  I think we will start these chores in September giving us 2-3 months of work in cooler weather.

  • Clearing some of the plant debris, weeding more beds.
  • Clear veg beds and putting a layer of compost and leaf mulch on all.
  • Planting garlic, and maybe planting some of the plants I have been holding in pots.
  • Of course we still need to add landscape fabric and screening to the last 2 veg beds.  Hoping we can do both.
  • Front gardens need plants moved and divided.
  • If I have time I may do some more moving of plants in the Side Garden.





There are still a few big jobs that will have to wait until next Spring and Fall.  But I love having organized plans for the garden.  I find we get more done….here are a few for next year already.

  • The bog garden needs to be fixed, and the new rain garden dug there and lined with stone.
  • The rain garden near the gazebo needs to be dug out a bit and lined with stones and the area near the fence cleared of Obedient plant that is taking over….or maybe we will just move some plants out of their way.
  • I decided to wait to see how daffs bloom next year before I divide any.
  • I am holding on the new cutting bed…instead I may use the portable bed for flowers next year.
  • And the White Garden needs to be top dressed with compost, and redesigned.





So maybe not a very exciting post, but it will keep me focused.  Of course it is just an outline.  I will prioritize these garden chores, and what we get done, we get done.  After all, it is summer and what better time to make sure we get some wonderful rest and play time outside.





And with gardeners, any time outside in the garden is play!  The Iris pictured in this post stand for:  Your Friendship Means So Much to Me; Faith; Hope; Wisdom and My Compliments.  What an all around fabulous plant, don’t you think?




siberian iris



So what garden chores are you focusing on this summer?  Or are you focusing on some garden respite instead?  Maybe a bit of both!





In A Vase On Monday 



Even as Summer begins, there were a few irises still blooming.  One that is pink….I love pink irises.  So I had to put it in a vase, and make it the star.




iris baptisia vase

I added to it a few Iris sibirica ‘Butter and Sugar’ and some yellow Baptisia that seeded itself from my bi-colored Baptisia, Baptisia x variicolor ‘Twilite’ Prairieblues.  Lots of grass has grown in the beds, getting tall and going to seed, so I added some of the seed heads as well.  I also wanted to add a pink dianthus as well as foliage from a native clematis not yet in bloom, Clematis virginiana.  




ca poppy (1)

I found these California poppies blooming in my cutting garden.  I cut a bit of thyme for a recipe, and as it was flowering, I thought it would look great in a vase too.  And a couple sprigs of lavender that were a casualty from my weeding, and voilà, a wonderful summery vase!  So a bit of the end of spring blooms with some beginning summer plants for a couple of Solstice vases.


I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, and Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles 2016.



Next up on the blog:  

Monday, I will be posting about another wonderful native plant in my garden.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her blog, Rambling Woods.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday. 

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