Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dog Days

Are you keeping cool?  It's tempting to just stay indoors in the AC but Cassie and I still venture down to the garden a couple of times a day to pull a few weeds, enjoy the view, and contemplate the miracle of a flower.  It's nice and shady down there early and late, although since we took down that huge oak in the spring, there's been several hours of direct sunlight in the afternoon, allowing for the waterlily and trumpet vine to finally produce some flowers.  Hooray!  All that hard work and expense paid off in blossoms.

Cassie likes to gaze into the pond for another reason too:  the frogs.  This week, there are two rather small ones, but they're fast.  She likes to watch them float up to the surface, then she puts her nose almost on top of them, and they zoom away.  Then the process starts all over again.  Can you see the little guy's head sticking up out of the water?

And aren't those waterlilies breathtaking?  I just love the layers of arrow-shaped petals tinged with pink and the bright yellow center - just gorgeous!

     You're probably wondering what else I've been doing for the past two months, besides admiring the flowers.  I have to admit, I have been doing a lot of gardening and other yard work, especially when the weather is not too hot.  Our yard has several huge challenges: the slope of the land, very poor clayey soil, and deep shade behind the house.  In the last few years, my DH has been driving his little ATV up and down the hill (it was a  huge help when we were putting in the garden three years ago) and that has eroded the soil on the sloping path from front to back.  Last summer he spent a lot of time and effort trying to dig "French" drains, but I'm not sure they're working as well as we hoped.  I'm furiously planting english ivy and spreading pachysandra in an effort to slow things down in the planted spaces, but the path has been quite an ongoing challenge.

Our front yard also has some challenges.  We had a trampoline here for a year or two (because it's almost the only somewhat flat spot) and that caused part of the grass to die off.  Rather than replace it, we decided to expand the front foundation garden, which was overcrowded anyway.  So late this spring, we defined the area with edging, and moved some of the smaller bushes out. I scattered some seeds that my daughter picked up and I put in some marigolds and salvia to help get us through the rest of the summer.  We'd eventually like to put in a small flagstone patio area, just enough for a small table and two chairs, so we can sit out here on in the sun on warmer afternoons in the spring and fall. And then I'd love to fill it with perennials, like an old fashioned country garden.  The front gets a good deal of sun so we can actually plant dahlias, hollyhocks, sunflowers, and all kinds of colorful, tall bloomers!  Next year...

And of course, the summer is also the busiest time of year for the Youth Services dept. of the library.  I worked four days a week for the last 6 weeks and when I got home, I often just wanted to sit and chill out with a cold drink and a good book.  And of course, my DH has been traveling again, which leaves me in charge of our 3 lovelies.  They're pretty self-sufficient at this point, but still need a parent around.  I've been doing quite a bit of reading as well, now that I'm leading one of the adult book discussion groups.  Among my favorites this summer were Clara and Mr.Tiffany by Susan Vreeland, The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (which will be released in the movies in October).  Looking forward to that!

And yes, I have been puttering around my art table now and then, but not as much as I'd like.  Norma guessed correctly when she said my plan is to make a library.  All summer, I've been collecting discarded books and their jackets and cutting them up for collage.  I'm making progress, but it's slow, and I think I'll still need more.  Luckily, titles cannot be copyrighted, and I'm using mostly the book spines and trying to choose texts that are old enough to be in the public domain.  I'm considering adding some color with paint and stitch, after everything is glued down.  It's very slow going.  Our deadline is Sept. 8th, so I still have a few weeks.  Now that work isn't as hectic, I hope I'll have more energy to continue working in the evenings.

1 comment:

Norma Schlager said...

So good to see you posting again. Your gardens are lovely and I am envious of those water lilies. There has to be a quilt in there someplace.
I also like the way your library piece is coming. Using titles as your building blocks is brilliant. Can't wait to see it finished.