Monday, July 24, 2017

Assistant Gardeners And A Brief Respite

With all of the gardens here on the farm...
it's nice to have help from time to time.
It seems the birds are always happy to help...
especially when it comes to planting sunflowers.

This particular blossom is growing out of a pot of black and salmon petunias
that I planted on my front porch.

Originally there were just these...

and these...

in the pot.  However, a few weeks ago I noticed a volunteer growing up tall
from the blossoms.

I knew it was a sunflower and decided to just let it grow where it was.

It sort of represents my approach to gardening these days.
I no longer strive for order and symmetry...
but instead just enjoy the journey on which Mother Nature leads me.
Things no longer need to be the kind of perfect that I sought in my younger years.
Now, the perfection lies in the essence of the being... be it plant or animal.

You might notice when you look at the front of our house that we once again have 
quite a prolific patch of milkweed growing in the garden.
Technically a weed, yes, but food and shelter for traveling Monarch butterflies.
And so, once again, I don't have the heart to pull it.
It is perfect right where it is and serves an important purpose.
Who am I to pass judgement on that!

Oh how I love summer meals.
After years of working to get gardens and orchards just the way we had dreamed...
we are reaping the rewards of our labor...

with daily harvests just like this.
Delicious, fresh, chemical-free, and economical.
There is nothing better for your body, soul and purse than a home garden!!

We spent 48 hours off of the farm this weekend and relaxed at our friends' house
at the Chesapeake Bay.
(cue the music... Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay)

For two days I slept in ( 7 AM is sleeping in for me!),
ate delicious food, kayaked, boated, and sat by the dock relaxing.

It was wonderful... the perfect weekend retreat.

I made a new friend this weekend...

Although I don't think he liked my singing...
because I no more than got out the words "Sittin' in the morning sun..."
when he took off across the water.

We were sent home with this enormous Italian zucchini...
it's over a yard long.

The seeds of this zucchini lie within the thick part at the bottom...
and I will be harvesting those seeds to plant in next year's garden!
As for the rest of the zucchini... ratatouille, of course!
I can remember the days when zucchini only became zucchini bread...
and then I discovered ratatouille.

We returned home yesterday afternoon to stormy weather...
which prevented me from any lengthy visits with the animals.
While we were gone they were well cared for by our friends.
(Thanks to all who made this fun weekend possible!)


  1. You definitely are reaping the rewards of your hard work with all those lovely things to harvest. It's all such a credit to you and your husband. I to don't worry about so much tidiness in the garden. I like the look of a cottage garden where everything can do its own thing and anything that grows is a bonus. Your weekend away looked so relaxing (beautiful photo's). "Sitting on the dock of the bay" is one of my holiday songs and I am counting the weeks now before I am sat on the dock of the bay (wasting time ... which doesn't often happen in my normal life).

  2. looks like a fun weekend! i love milkweed and think it is perfect below your deck. our humidity is about to break here, finally! a few cooler days will be a very good thing!

  3. What a fantastic getaway! So glad you were able to get some down time.

    Your peaches look wonderful. I can almost feel the juice dripping down my chin.

    Thank you for fostering the monarchs. I will be putting in a lot of butterfly plants here at our new place. I miss seeing my caterpillar friends and watching their amazing transformation. In Florida, I would give cats away on Craig's List and teach folks about the life cycle. It was very rewarding and I hope to repeat that practice here in NC.

    Enjoy the day at home!

  4. I used to think perfection in my huge flower garden was a must but now the back side on the hill is doing its own thing and I love it.
    Happy to hear about your couple days away, sounds very relaxing.

  5. Glad you got a much needed respite. With all the care we give constantly, it's important to get away sometimes. We don't do it often, but when we do, I feel rejuvenated.

  6. Good that you could get away..I can only imagine the Shenanigans ;)

  7. So happy you're committed to milkweed. My childhood was filled with Monarch butterflies. I never see them now. Our farmers in Utah worked diligently to eliminate the "weed". Their effort also eliminated the Monarchs.


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