Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday, July 16th - a crazy week

This week was different, not only from the perspective of the wonderful tomatoes we had just about every night for dinner, but because of the rain. It seems, after so many year we are finally having a genuine monsoon.

While MLW was still languishing in Texas, I had a couple of nights and about 1.2" of rain to deal with. Nothing terrible, just an increase in flies and mosquitoes and some minor mud. This week though we had one grand storm that began with enough wind and thunder to provoke us to go out and bring in the little horses. It ended with 15 straight minutes of pea to dime sized hail and .7" of hard rain afterwards. We got trapped in the barn and so had a front row seat, spending our time trying to convince our boy Neo that the noise on the steel roof was preferable to standing outside and getting beaten up by it. He finally figured it out although he spent his time cowering in the doorway trying to decide if we were right. Miraculously the garden was not pummeled and aside from some shredded leaves on the big sunflowers, there was no damage at all. Just more mud and flies and mosquitoes.And puddles.

One thing that the rain did do was rejuvenate our Morning Glory garden. We've had them growing up wire attached to the porch along the driveway for years. This year though, with the late start we decided to skip a year so I rototilled the dirt, pulled up the edging and took down the wire panels. Less work is better, right? Well, a few days of run-off from the porch roof and now we have a beautifully planted Morning Glory garden, free of charge and free of thought. The amazing thing is that the distribution of the seeds - 100% at-will - is absolutely perfect. I could not have planted a more uniform garden on a bet. Of course it means more to water and a day spent replacing the wire (done) when we could have just let them die. But sometimes nature gives gifts and it's best to accept them with grace.

Besides, even if they only make it a few feet off the ground, it means we'll have a beautiful display of our favorite flowers in only a few month's time.

The sunflowers are coming into their own this week, with our largest surpassing 113" in height. Many though are blooming while still very short which leads me to believe that they bloom when they want and their height has to do with the quality of the planting and when they go in. This year's are a good foot shorter than last year's and so I guess it's to be expected. Some of the at-will plants are spectacular though, with bright orange blossoms, as many as 10 to a plant simultaneously. The best news on them perhaps is that they are covered with honeybees, our little friends who have been sadly absent up until now. It was very nice to see them working in the big flower centers, their pantaloons of fresh pollen brimming and bright yellow. Their plight nationally is heart-wrenching and so their appearance was doubly appreciated.

We spent a full day working on our potted plants replacing the soil, cutting out invasive tree roots and creating a sort of Zen Garden along the back of the house. Traditionally we have those pots filled with Gerberas and other kinds of annual Daisies but this year we thought we'd do something different and perhaps more permanent, choosing a three different kinds of native wild-grass valued for their ornamental appeal. It looks nice and we'll see how it shapes up as the summer wears on.

The hummingbirds continue to grow in numbers with the first Rufous making an appearance on July-11, joined by a second on the 13th. I had to go to a bigger feeder out back to break the habit of filling one every single day and that has worked out perfectly. The front porch feeder that had been getting a lot of traffic is suddenly abandoned, either because they're going somewhere else or because it's been claimed by some aggressive male. It seems early for this kind of numbers.

Lastly, the week-to-week photo show more growth and one tall sunflower 
that has finally grown out of the picture.

July 9
July 16

And a view along the pipe fence

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