Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Big Rock Garden is.... Done!

Russian Sage: Plant it where folks bump into it so they can enjoy the delightful fragrance.
 My August garden is ~ not yet ~ looking as tired as I feel. But, I can see exhaustion setting in as I wander about the flower patches, putting off the hard work for as long as I can.

John Cabot Roses never disappoint. Blooming from June - September.
Each morning, I find myself crossing fingers and toes, in high hopes of a cool breeze that will not come.

Under-achieving Coneflower
It's not as hot here as in other places but heat is relative and I'm a weenie.

I truly, madly, deeply hate working out in the hot, hot sun but calendars don't lie. Summer is nearly over. And, this is the last push to the 'finish line.'

Do you make a to-do list? I'm a list maniac. I've got life lists and landscaping lists. Hell, I even jot down a hate list when I'm in a particularly foul mood. (I tear that one up as quickly as I write it down, so don't even bother snooping around my home office..)

If you were to use the blog as an indicator, it may appear I've done very little gardening this season. Certainly haven't made the effort to talk about it...

Coming Attractions: Pear and Gorgonzola Salad. (Yum!)
In truth, this has been one of the busiest gardening seasons on record. After a long cool spring, and injuries that waited until July to heal... I found myself behind the 8-ball on every outdoor project.

In the beginning, it looked like this. A rock the size of a Jeep Wrangler.
Something had to give. So, I decided to focus on what matters most. I abandoned the computer, in favor of the shovel, and proceeded to go a little hog wild. The most tiresome task was wrestling the last of the Big Rock Garden into submission.

I double dog dare you to find that ugly rock.
I guess I didn't blog about it because I've been droning on about this garden project for. ever.

But, it's done, now. If a garden is ever done.

Let's just say it's as done as it will ever get.

In addition to this, I managed to scratch every single thing off the to-do list ~ with the exception of item #1.

That infernal water feature. Which has sat at the top of my list, inspiring annual guilt trips, since 2007.

Ah, well, there's always next year...

Stay cool, dear Garden Bloggers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays: Today in the Garden....

Perennial Snapdragons
'Wild' as in not hybridized Prairie Coneflowers
Ummmm.... can't remember.
Mallow, miniature Hollyhocks
My private spot.
Petie Pie keeps an eye on me while I'm weeding.
For more Wordless Wednesday participants click here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ~ August, 2011

 Say it isn't so! 8/15 already?? I'm worn out with the heat but not weary with this season.

I wish summer could last forever. I wish these flowers could, too.

A cavalcade of color fills the big rock garden ~ moppy head Bee Balm and Helianthus...

Hollyhocks and Purple Rain...

Phlox, phlox and more phlox. Can't resist. Must add a new one every year.

Wild 4 o'clocks and Strawflowers adorn a particularly awful section of the street garden. Both seem to enjoy massive amounts of neglect.

Clematis climbing vines add bright color to this ratty porch. (Don't get any big ideas about relaxing in that chair. Hummingbirds will surely dive-bomb you.)
I get so many compliments on this flowering tree... 

Though, I'll bet you garden gurus can tell it's not a flowering tree at all.

Clematis Jackmanii flowering vines do a fine job of fooling people, climbing 20 feet into the branches of this young crabapple.
Pay a visit to Carol of May Dreams Gardens ~ creator of this monthly bloom day meme.

From her website, you can connect with all kinds of flower lovin' friends...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Delightful Dahlias

'Excentric' Dahlia
A hot wind blows across the north 40. (Which, in reality, is the east one half. But, north 40 sounds way cooler, don't you think?)

I flip on a sprinkler, for the 3rd day in a row, all the while admitting it's a day late, buck short. There's no hope for the pasture grass, have not irrigated all summer long.

'Betty Ann' Dahlia (Heirloom: 1928)
But, it keeps my weather-weary horses occupied. Like 1,500 pound kids, they love running through that sprinkler. Cooling down their big bodies, keeping those pesky flies at bay.

Made a half-hearted effort to pull some weeds, trim one tree, then abandoned my chores for the comfort of an air-conditioned house.

'Junkyard Dog' Dahlia (isn't that a terrible name for such a pretty flower??)
I am eternally grateful that I have AC ~ I think it's one of the premiere achievements of modern man. Partly because I'm a Minnesotan and never learned how to cope with hot weather.

And, also because I grew up in what I call a hot family. (Which had nothin' to do with being good-lookin.) My Mom and Brother never saw a need for air conditioning, sitting comfortably in an 85 degree house with nary a complaint. While I was melting like that proverbial wicked witch.

'Bahama Mama' Dahlia
That's probably why I ended up living so high in the mountains ~ where I devote an entire post to bitching about the heat ~ when it's only 80 degrees out there.    [B.A.B.Y.]

August (as you have probably guessed) is my least favorite month of the year. When I've run out of energy to do most anything. Other than to dream of a seaside vacation...

Which is not gonna happen this year, but it did last year. The delightful Dahlia pictures in this post are from the Swan Island Dahlia Festival I attended in Canby, Oregon last August.

'Emory Paul' Dahlia
I probably should have mentioned that at the top of the post but I wanted you to be all impressed, thinking these beauties are growing in my garden. :)))

'Double Trouble' Dahlia
* PS: Email theft and craziness. Apparently, while I was on vacation someone got ahold of my email address and sent some of you odd comments. My apologies, 'twas not me.

** If you scroll down to the next post, you'll see the one lonely Dahlia that is truly growing in my garden. I'm plotting to plant a lot more of them next summer.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Monday, August 08, 2011

Riding the Spotties

Fall 7 times.
Stand up 8.
 ~ Japanese Proverb

Have been sleeping like a dead person since returning from my Oh So Fun Bucket List Cowgirl Vacation.

The horses had as much fun as the humans.
Borrowed a beautiful black and white spotted Appaloosa to ride through Idaho and Montana, along the historic Nez Perce trail.

It may appear we're on our lonesome, here, but there were 190 riders on this adventure.

Trotted into West Yellowstone 100 miles later. Exhausted. Sore. Bumped and bruised. Feeling old as those proverbial hills yet 20 years younger than I felt just 5 days before.

Happy as all get out.

Closest thing we got to a 'shower.'
Because I did it! I survived!

Kurt, the farrier. (Horse shoe dude.)
Having been bucked off a horse earlier this summer, and fracturing ribs in the process, I was shaking like a leaf as I saddled up.

Cotton - you don't find Texas gentlemen like this very often.
I was so fearful of another accident. Crossing fingers and toes that nothing would go wrong.

So, of course, everything did. It rained buckets. Then it hailed. Thunder. Lightening. Freezing nights.

Indian Paintbrush on a foggy morning.
 My little horse was a trooper and so was I. Overcoming my fear. Realizing that marching bravely out of my comfort zone was precisely what this cowgirl needed.

This is Doc, our trail physician. We should all aspire to be this fit when we're 85.

Age, I am learning... it's a box people put you in.

When you're looking down the barrel of the big 5-0, growing old is all friends can talk about.

But, when I'm on these rides, I never hear such nonsense. Out there, age is irrelevant. Probably because we've stumbled upon the fountain of youth.

I loved these people. They were warm and wonderful, traveling from as far away as Norway and England to ride the spotted horses along this magnificent trail.

And, now that I've overcome my latest bout of cowardice, I'm signing up for another ride. Just as soon as the budget allows....