|Early morning haze over the cornfield and vegetable garden.|
I'm glad to see the corn seems to be thriving in the lower field. This is not the case on other farms nearby due to the long, wet spring followed by almost-drought conditions. The local newspaper warns of rising meat prices as farmers will not be harvesting the normal amount of feed corn for their animals. Hopefully, the farmer who leases our fields will have better luck.
|Beebalm and feed corn|
|Clockwise: pepper, zucchini, cucumbers, nasturtiums and pumpkin.|
I inspect each plant's leaves as I work, looking for potential problems. This morning I picked squash-beetle eggs off the zucchini plants.
|The beets are looking healthy.|
When I have finished working in the vegetable garden, it is time to water my potted plants. I have a lot of them and should write a separate posting about them soon.
|White caladium and impatiens in the stone garden.|
|White Caladium Caladium x hortulanum|
|A planter with canna lily (Canna 'tropical salmon') fills a gap in the perennial border.|
I don't water the perennials by hand. Each flowerbed has a soaker-hose buried under mulch ready to deliver water to the roots of the flowers when needed. I only connect the soaker hose to the water supply when I can see the perennials obviously wilting.
|Turk's Cap Lily Lilium Superbum|
... and the dead flower-heads of the daylilies.
|My favorite daylily Hemerocallis 'Chicago Apache'|
There are many perennials that I don't ever deadhead. For example, the purple cone flower provides seeds for the birds. Goldfinches especially love them.
Another early morning job is to take photographs. I was fortunate this morning to capture a picture of the biggest frog that inhabits the pond. The waterlily unfurled its petals -- I was told the waterlily opens at 9:00 am and closes at 3:00 pm every day and the Egyptians told the time by them, but I have been unable to verify this interesting story.
As the sun gets higher, and the day warms up, the dragonflies appear and flit back-and-forth across the pond. This one settled on the Russian sage long enough for me to snap a picture.
I am so glad to see the summer butterflies returning to my garden. My three butterfly bushes are living up to their name and attracting them.
|Butterfly bush Buddleia 'Royal Red'|
|Milkweed Asclepias incarnata 'Rose'|
As the morning becomes hotter and more humid, I like to take a walk in the woodland garden, where it is several degrees cooler under the trees. On my way there, I see the red honeysuckle is blooming again. I recently wrote an article about it for eHow.com. Click here if you would like to read it.
|Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervivens|
In the shade garden my favorite hosta is blooming. I did not plant hostas in the woodland garden because the deer are prevalent there. When I planted hellebores, ferns and mountain laurel, all were decimated by the deer.
The top left-hand picture in the collage below is one of my andromedas, a shrub the deer don't even nibble.
|Each path through the woodland garden is named for a grandchild and marked with a knight in armor.|
I hear something rustling. A deer (one of the aforementioned culprits) watches me through the trees ...
... as he leaves, I see he is a young buck with eight points.
I leave the woodland garden and go to the barn to feed Dude and Billy. They always wait patiently until after I have finished my garden tasks. Of course, I give them a treat when I first go outside each morning and this tides them over.
On the pasture fence a very young barn swallow tries to pluck up courage to fly.
Inside the barn, two of his siblings are sitting on the stall divider. I couldn't capture accurate colors in the dark barn, but if you look closely at the cutie on the left, you will see he still has baby fluff around his head.
My tasks completed, I head indoors. I am sweating already and it is only 9:15 am. Today is Sunday and I need to get ready for church. I have much to give thanks for.
I take a final look around my garden on this last morning of July ...
... maybe the weather in August wont be so bad!
How do you beat the heat?
Your friend in gardening,
Your friend in gardening,
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