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Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer and Sunflowers



What's not to like



They go together.





You may recall that when thinning sunflowers have a look at the stems.  The green stem on the left will produce light colors and the darker stem on the right will produce the vivid reds and rust colors.  





A few Foxglove for contrast makes for a festive show. 





New fingerling potatoes look at home with apples and pears.  







These tuberous begonias have been in the same pots for years.  They go into the greenhouse before the frost where they are forgotten until they show new growth in the Spring. 





I didn't think that I would like these pale peach colored Foxglove...they have become one of my favorites. 





A few volunteer sunflowers show up in the potato and squash patch.  The planted seeds (on the left and growing in a row) always bloom a few weeks later. 





 This is the time of year we like to be outside, working in the garden and relaxing in the shade when the sun is high.  





Just gathered for a bouquet.






Don't forget to cut a few flowers to enjoy inside.






Sweet Peas always make me happy.  The odoratus type or old varieties still have that heavenly perfume.  



I'm getting ready to welcome visitors today and tomorrow.  
Our town is celebrating with a Blue Grass Festival and 
Gallery Stroll. 

A horse drawn wagon will bring visitors to my studio.


Have a wonderful week dear friends.  

Gina 





Saturday, July 25, 2015

Off he goes




My Gentleman Farmer

To the Mormon Pioneer Parade.





Pioneer Day commemorates the first day Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847





Every Parade has to have a high school band.






and beautiful horses. 






And for the first time ever,
our Gentlemen Farmers showing off their vintage Tractors.  

The entry won First Place.  

Congratulations Fellars!

Gina


Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer,please slow down



Time is flying by...way too fast



The first Ronde de Nice of the year.





 Perfect when golf ball size. 
Even perfect when much larger.





This year's Rolly Polly Zucchini are direct descendants from my 2011 crop.  







Unlike other Zucchini, this variety grows in a tidy bush.
The blossoms are large, perfect for stuffing and deep frying.  

If you let one of the Zucchinis get large 
(like the yellow one in the back),
it will produce many seeds for next year.  






It truly is the perfect vegetable.  You cook the entire vegetable.  It has only a few seeds and the skin is delicate when young. 


Have a great week dear friends. 

Gina 





Friday, July 17, 2015

Mon Bouquet du jour




Hollyhocks make every flower bouquet special.



Have you cut hollyhocks only to watch them wilt in a few minutes.  




Hollyhocks will last for days in water if you know this little trick.  Singe the ends over a flame for 20 to 30 seconds.





This only works with 
SIDE STEMS (pictured on the right).  
The hollyhock main stems (pictured to the left) will not work.






And while you have so many beautiful hollyhocks in your garden.
why not dry a few.  Their colors will last for several years.






Wait until the dew is gone from the flower and immediately place in very dry sand.  Cover completely with sand and place in dry spot for 5 to 7 days.  
Pour sand off slowly.  

(Use Builders Sand from the Home Improvement store, it is inexpensive and does a better job than expensive silica sand).  






Hollyhocks, Roses, Clematis, Anemones, Ladies Mantle and Cosmos all live happily in one container. 






Happy gathering, 

Gina 


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Volunteers



Volunteers



The dictionary defines a volunteer plant as a plant that 
springs up spontaneously.









Volunteer Sunflowers are one of the best gifts from my garden.  They bloom early and those sunflowers which I planted at the normal time will not bloom for another 3 weeks. 








We had a fantastic electrical storm 2 days ago. 
I turned off the computer and every other electrical gadget.
And then I heard a very loud bang.  
It was close by. 







I went outside to check on things.  
The top of the main house looked all right.  The chimney pots were not smoldering. 







The pineapple architectural pieces on top of the Guest house were still in place. 
They hadn't toppled off the roof. 






The stork towers were still solidly attached to the barn roof.







The metal balconies had not been hit.








Chimneys had not come down from the highest spot of all the buildings. 
All appeared to be A OK. 

We didn't have to call the Volunteer Fire Department.  








The hail didn't do too much damage and the rain that came pouring down was a welcome change.







 When it was all over the telephone didn't  work, nor did the television. 

And when it was time to close the gate for the night it wouldn't open or close.









Our gate is about 800 feet up the lane. 
It is operated by remote control from our kitchen, or barn or car. 

The lightning hit the circuit board in the barn and 
fried it (not my words but the electricians).

I'm surprised that our chickens survived because their coop is right next to the box which was hit.

However, they only laid two eggs the next day.  

The entire mechanism has to be replaced.  It is already on its way.  







Why did the lowest building of all of our buildings get hit.  And what about those tall trees? 

Take care dear friends and get to a safe spot when you see a storm brewing. 

Gina 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's hard to know what to do first.




Should I


let the cherries ripen a little longer or 
should I pick them before the birds beat me to them.  





Should I pick just a few pea pods while standing in the garden or should we have a pea shelling contest right away (the one I always win).





Should I cut the mint from around the pond





and hang it in my kitchen to dry.





It makes my favorite tea. 






So delicious Summer or Winter. 







I'm in love with my newly planted berry, the Tayberry, a new variety from the Tay River Valley, Scotland.





It is a vigorous grower and produces large and aromatic berries the very first year.  





Not many roses survive our very cold winters.  There is a spot by a wall and facing east where my old roses will grow.  





This time of year I can bring a few into the house.





The kitchen garden has a lot of growing to do. 
Early arugula and many varieties of lettuces have been filling our salad bowls and tall greens have been devoured by the chickens. 





 Our chickens thank us by leaving many eggs in their nests every day.  


Have a wonderful remainder of the week my dear Friends. 

Thank you so much for your visits.   

Gina