Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Fleurs~~September

I have to say,  September has been a pretty great month in the garden.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Vacationers

When New Yorkers Franny and Jim Post take their family to the island of Mallorca for a two week vacation to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, it sounds ideal.  Joining them are their teenage daughter Sylvia and adult son Bobby, and Franny's best friend Charles and his husband, Lawrence, who are waiting to hear if they've been picked to adopt a baby boy. Bobby brings along his 40-year old girlfriend Carmen, who nobody likes, and Sylvia is happy to escape New York  because she has just been humiliated by an embarrassing Facebook post.  But wait there's more, we find out Jim has recently been fired from his Manhattan magazine job for having an "inappropriate" relationship with a 20-year old intern, so there's that.  Oh, and Bobby's real estate career isn't going so well and he's in major debt due to a bad investment. A sexy Spanish tutor and a tennis superstar add to the mix and make for an interesting vacation.

The Vacationers is an easy read, good vacation reading.  I expected a little more from this book after all the great reviews. There's really not much of a plot, and the relationship issues are lightly handled, which isn't all bad.  But it's a fun read, and I enjoyed reading about their sunny days in Mallorca and the elaborate meals and picnics that Franny prepares for her family, while trying to decide the future of her marriage.

Monday, September 15, 2014

(Image via Pinterest, quote from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hoeing the Garden

These cooler September days are the best.  This week has been mostly cloudy days, cooler temps,  threatening rain (but no rain).  The a/c is off and the windows are open.  I've been trying to get outside in the garden for an hour or two every day tidying up,  pulling weeds, deadheading,  and cutting back all things overgrown.

If I had to pick my favorite thing to do in the garden, it would have to be hoeing. I love to hoe. I most often use a scuffle hoe, which seems to work well for me.  Love to rough up the surface of the soil, getting in between plants, scraping off weeds and getting some air around the plants. In my mind, the plants love it. I don't mulch in my flower gardens, so I hoe.  Between pretty tight planting and regular hoeing, I don't have a big problem with weeds.

Scuffle hoe

Walt did some edging of the garden the other day and I'm always amazed what a difference that makes in how the garden looks. I'm also doing a lot of walking around, assessing what needs to be moved, what needs something new, where I can fit in some bulbs... My big plan for the fall is to plant some bulbs amidst the anemones this fall. The daffodils would come up before the anemones and then their foliage would hide the daffy foliage. The challenge will be to buy the bulbs early this fall and actually plant them. I have thrown away way too many dried up bulbs in March.

A lot of my hostas have browned and crispy leaves, so I have been gradually cutting those off and they look much better. Same with the hellebores.  A lot of my hostas and hellebores used to be under a big goldenrain tree, but since cutting it down a few years ago, the hostas and hellebores have not been their happiest.  I'm trying to be patient waiting for a redbud seedling to mature in that area. It's now about 8 feet tall and it just needs to spread its branches a few more feet to shade the hostas.

Asters and anemones

I love how the garden seems to relax in the fall. Plants are lush and full. Colors are softer.  Asters and anemones are the main bloomers right now, with zinnias still putting on a show and waiting to be picked. I did plant a few too many yellow zinnias for my taste this year, though.

Hellebores and anemones
Autumn clematis

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September Morning

“The little things? The little moments? They aren't little.”~Jon Kabat-Zinn

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Books On My Nightstand

So many good books to read in September!  Here is what is on my nightstand right now.

  • The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. Have heard good reports about her latest book. 
  • Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good, by Jan Karon. Father Tim is back!  The latest Mitford book from Jan Karon. 
  • 10% Happier, by Dan Harris.  I'm interested in how the author (an ABC news anchor) used meditation and mindfulness to help his anxiety and increase his happiness. 
  • The Ice Princess, by Camilla Lackberg. Another book recommended by the mystery book club at my library. Several people came out of the meeting and told me I should read it. Well, okay!
  • The Vacationers, by Emma Straub. Good critical reviews, but mixed friends reviews.
  • The Family Man, by Elinor Lipman. I love Elinor Lipman and couldn't resist picking this one up the other day. If you haven't read her, you should.
  • Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening, by Carol Wall. I have had this book on hold for ages at the library and it finally came in. A memoir about a women's friendship with her gardener.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Garden

Well here we are on September 2, the end of summer, beginning of fall, first day of school. Unfortunately, it feels more like July today than it did in July. The temperature is going into the 90s and it is very hot and humid,  uncomfortable for the students going back to school.  Walking around my garden this morning it still looks pretty good, better than most end of summers. Our cooler temps this summer have been good for my fleurs. There is  still a lot of color~~blooming right now are anemones, zinnias, black-eyed susans, phlox, and limelight hydrangeas.  And my pots are overflowing...the Persian shield that languished in the summer has come on strong and looks like it should~~huge and showy. The phlox that is usually done and gone by now is still blooming, I have never had phlox bloom as well as they have this summer. We had a few good rainstorms this weekend, so the garden is looking particularly lush for September. Not too much dead and brown. The dahlias I planted in the spring have disappointed. Two of three tubers I planted never came up and the third came up happy and healthy, but has never bloomed. Not enough sun, perhaps?

The sedums are just beginning to show some color, slowly turning from pale green to pale pink. The  asters are just starting to show scarlet, and the autumn clematis is taking over and should be a snowy mass in a week or so.  Now if only the weather would cool down, it would be just about perfect in my garden.