In Support of Useful Plants and Things Handmade...

Garden Tasks & What is Happening

  • YIKES!!!! July 8, 2020: A swarm of honey bees moved into a Warre hive I had sitting on the concrete in kind of a utility area behind the barn! I was getting ready to clean out this empty hive but hadn’t gotten around to it. My grandson and I happened to notice a lot of activity at the entrance. The girls were acting very excited – we could actually feel it – and I thought, hmmm, there weren’t any bees here earlier this morning, I wonder when they moved in? The next thing we knew, the air was full of thousands and thousands of bees … and within a few minutes, they were covering the hive and moving in! By late afternoon, the wind was picking up, the temperature dropping, and all of them were safe inside.  I guess we are back into providing housing for honey bees! Perhaps not where I would have chosen to keep them, but they did the choosing!  (August 8 update: they are settled in and seem to be doing fine. I think they have found the right place for them – out of the wind, good southern exposure, and a place without a lot of vegetation that tends to keep things damp.)
  • Everything else around here seems boring in comparison.
  • But hey – there is COLOR EVERYWHERE! Oh my goodness! Suddenly there is so much in bloom! And the birds! So much activity! Little fledglings are learning how to fly.
  • Nuts & Bolts: Still working on optimizing the drip water system.
  • Quick Greenhouse Report: Moved a whole lot of starts out and am still trying to get them all in the ground or in larger pots. Good news: Harvesting lots of tomatoes! Passionflowers are up and climbing and blooming (!), along with the Chinese yams. Turmeric is up! Lots of basil. Bad news: bugs ate my okra. Have never grown it before and was really hoping to try it. Oh, and the whiteflies… I need to spray them with some soap and water. They are bad right now.
  • We weren’t going to plant a lot of annual veggies this year – they take so much work! But under the circumstances, we have decided if ever there was a good time to plant a veggie garden, this is it! We harvested a lot of peas and greens – squashes are coming on strong. Morning glory is a real problem, though.
  • How quickly July has become August! We’ve actually had some RAIN! in AUGUST!!!
  • Cleaning out the bindweed and the cleavers …. it is a never-ending task….
  • Lots of shrubs bloomed in May; July was all about blooming herbs: calendula, catmint, clary, elecampane, fireweed, motherwort, mullein, sage, rosemary, St. John’s wort, and so many more. Moving into August, we start harvesting seeds and also many fruits.
  • Summer apples are ready for picking! So are the sea berries (sea buckthorn). The birds ate most of the goumi berries, but we did get a few. We have been eating LOTS of raspberries! I recently bottled up several jars of hawthorn-blackberry syrup and liqueur. It is a nice combination and good for the heart.
  • The morning glory is at its peak. I cannot keep on top of it. It will never go away. I am doomed. Aghhhh….
  • On a high note: the geese are gathering! We hear small groups of them from afar as they approach and then are thunderous as they fly overhead. Soon there will be hundreds. Their arrival always signals a turning point for me.
  • A very busy time of year. Counting our blessings, most definitely.

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