If you’re getting dirty then you’re really probably having a pretty good summer. Getting dirty and ruining your favorite shirt with popsicle stains are hallmarks of a good summer. (I think we are out of popsicles. OH NO.)
We’ve reached the point in August when I look at the calendar and realize how time has flown, and how few, few precious days of summer we have left to fit in all the fun things we wanted to do before school started. And also, we have to start cramming in doctor appointments and organize school clothes and… well. We are soaking up every delicious, sun drenched, dirty minute of it.
Good news: The butterflies are finally here! We just had an outing to a local garden park and they said the same. They’re late, but finally arriving. We’ve seen a few that didn’t allow a close inspection, but may have been swallowtails. My milkweed plants are growing strong and leafy, but haven’t bloomed yet. (They are definitely behind schedule, and were looking a little feeble for a while, but I’ve been fertilizing them more aggressively and they’re bouncing back. Just a quick word from experience: if you’re seeing discolored leaves or leaves falling off, try fertilizer.)
The zinnias are still going like gangbusters. We’ve got some seedlings (that the boys have proudly claimed as “theirs”) coming up to make sure we have some color going all the way through until the first frost. The birds have been feasting on them, although I rarely catch them at it. I just find the evidence after they have been pulling the seeds off, one by one! Our yard is a popular place to be for our feathered friends this year.
We’ve got blooms on the watermelon and tomato plants, but so far something has eaten all the fruit off my tomato plants. So I have no harvest to show you… yet. We’ll see. I’d like to plant blueberries for the boys in future years, but I’m pretty sure that would actually be “plant blueberries for the deer.” So we’ll think about it. (Or, “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, MOMMY!” if it’s a bad idea.)
We’ve got a very nice, untidy, in-between garden going on out there, with a good bit of the mulch pile still to shift, and plenty of places to try growing new things next year. I’ve got a passel of black eyed susans to move and I’ve successfully re-planted my iris patch after I split the bulbs. I’ve got more irises to find a corner for, somewhere else, and basically, to go back to my metaphor, gardening is still like parenting. There are a lot of balls in the air, and while one little corner may be looking lovely and finished and well tended, there are several others that are untidy and chaotic where the real action is happening. False starts turn into successes and lessons learned lead to new adventures.
Our garden visit has also added a new “want” to my garden wish list. A kid size (in more ways than one) potting bench.