It’s been a beautiful, long, cool spring. While so many others have been bored during this stay at home spring due to COVID-19, I found myself busier than ever. It’s been nice being outside tending my garden with temperature mostly in the 50’s and 60’s during the day. I have a lot of photos to share.
So far, social distancing because of the Coronavirus has been good for our garden. Last week we planted lettuce, carrot and spinach seed. Over the weekend, we planted onions and potatoes.
I should note here that our winter felt like a prolonged spring. Very strange. They say blooms are 3 weeks early this year.
Well, it’s been a busy summer with four sets of visitors over a five week period. I have been taking photos so I’ll finally share them here. These first several are from mid July.
We stopped mowing a wet section of the field (on the left) last summer. The section on the right we stopped mowing this summer. It is interesting to see the difference.
By the front porch. The lone daylily looks pretty with the beebalm.
In front of the sun room.
We noticed a volunteer sassafras tree under the mahonia last year. The japanese beetles have been hard on it but it’s hanging in there.
Zinnias from the garden. I love this little vase our daughter made for us last year. I told her I wanted it to mimic tree bark and she delivered.
The orange coneflowers in our native garden started blooming in mid July and the flowers still look beautiful six weeks later. These photos are from July.
Dave bringing in the onion harvest on July 21.
These bitter melon are ridiculous. We could pick this many each week. I still have some in the freezer from last year. I gave some of these away. Dave took another large basket full to a coworker last week. I’ve frozen some and might freeze more. We learned from our daughter that you can take some of the bitter taste out by blanching them in water with a tablespoon of salt and baking soda.
These photos are from July 27.
I went to Polyface Farm on July 28 to purchase some meat and took the above and below photos on my way home. Polyface is in Swoope – just west of us..
Poor Len. He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I hope we are keeping him comfortable with meds.
The only photo we got of our visitors. I’m on the right with my sister Melissa and my niece Mary.
Such a pleasant surprise to find these volunteers on August 11 at the base of the spruce tree between the house and the shed – an impatiens and a coleus.
I harvested these peppers on August 14.
I think it was back in July when I took some bricks and defined the beds around the plants in front of the shed. I think it turned out pretty nice.
Joe Pye Weed in the native garden on the morning of August 15.
Making our yummy tomato sauce on August 19.
I’m so sad that we have to take down this beautiful ash tree (on the right). The emerald ash borer has gotten to it so it can’t be saved.
$3000 poorer and down one beautiful shade tree. I will probably spend most of the day they take it down elsewhere.
Don’t like ending on a sad note, but here we are. I hope I keep up my posts with my photos as we enter the fall. It has been a very wet spring and summer. A little on the cool side, too. I’m hoping the valley will have some spectacular color this fall. Hard to believe it is almost September!
We put up the Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Samantha and Luca were here to help.
The weather was mild which was nice for putting up the outside lights.
Damian helped, too.
Making cookies the Saturday before Christmas.
Erin (aka Soupy) was here for computer help and was happy to roll up her sleeves (and don an apron) to help with the baking.
A special Christmas Eve
Yesterday morning was absolutely gorgeous. We did some much needed harvesting.
We grew purple pole beans thinking the purple beans would be easier to see. Not the case since the vine is also purple. Though aren’t they beautiful!
Our July felt more like August and now August is feeling more like September. The temperature was in the 50’s Saturday night. Lovely sleeping weather but the tomatoes don’t like it. We are seeing a lot of die back in one of our plants so we harvested the tomatoes to send up to my mom. Hopefully, they will finish ripening for her. So she doesn’t have to wait, we also bought some ripe tomatoes from the Farmers Market on Saturday. Dave took up quite the load of tomatoes for her this morning (on his way to work) which might last her the two weeks until next time.
We have a lot of bitter melon on our vines. It too has slowed down in ripening. I was hoping to let these get a little fatter but we are expecting cool weather this week – 70’s mostly – so I just went ahead and picked them.
Frieda came over to investigate
Oregano, thyme and rosemary
I stuffed the bitter melon with ground lamb seasoned with the fresh herbs, sea salt and onion. I then baked it for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. I thought it was very good. Damian thought it was too bitter and Dave wouldn’t try it.
We’ve had so little rain this summer that this was a very welcome sight this morning. We had at least 3 hours of steady rain. Hallelujah!