Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Looks like my hiatus lasted a little longer than I thought it would. I can say with utter conviction that the Circus Maximus and the Borghese Gardens are both fabulous places to take a nap. I can also happily report that Rinne and I managed to traverse Rome, back and forth for 10 days without the use of any sort of motorised transportation. And that gave me ample opportunity to see what a green city Rome is-almost as if the plants are lurking ready to take over despite millenia of urbanization. Returning home we found a cascade of vegetables and herbs from our garden-strawberries, tomatoes, basil, sage, green beans, corn, greens and blue berries. Hollyhocks and echinacea abloom, tiger lilies and mint spreading, Virginia creeper creeping, jewels of opar blooming and our acanthus (Roma!) growing. We had a few peaches but I ate all of them before they made it indoors and we now have a few apples and pears growing, along with mounds of tomatoes, and eggplants, peppers, blackberries and muscadines. Not everything has been going so well. We have had the twin evils of a late frost and a drought which has now limited watering to one morning per week (better mulch well). The frost coaught all the plums, and the drought has caused all the plants to struggle, but none as much as squash. Every variety we planted this year struggled and then was pounded by squash borers so that we had no fruit! A second crop of corn has just broken the earth and pumpkinns have sprouted too. The bees are humming and I think this summer I will harvest my first raw honey and hopefully will not be stung in the face again and left with the temporary forehead of a klingon. Our littlestream has flowed as low as I have ever seen it and has developed a rather nasty rust brown algae bloom. The overall maintenece of the garden has been rather easy this summer because things simply aren't growing as much as the usually do. For example, english ivy is usually a monster to keep in check this time of year but I haven't had to do much. The kudzu is growing slower than ususal too but this is also due to years of cutting back by me and the colonozation of this end of our creek by an ever growing band of groundhogs which love to eat kudzu. In fact their presence has caused other types of plants to emerge and thrive (by eating the kudzu and apparently not having a taste some others). Unfortunately poke weed seems to be the primary beneficiary at his point. The drought is ushering on a few older trees-in fact I can see the crown of a weeping cherry from my window that is one third gone and shedding smaller limbs and debris. Other items abloom this day in mid-July: fennel, dahlias, sunflowers, budleias, hardy begonias, pee gee hydrangeas, oak leaf hydrangeas, rose of sharon, phlox, buckeye and a fe straggler gardenias. We have begun to have a few afternoon rain showers but certainly not enough rain to alleviate the drought. Is more like adding enough water to steam in the 90 degree heat so that the humidity level skyrockets. But that is simply Georgis this time of the year which is why we are going to Maine for two weeks this August. Leave. It is the only thing you can do to get away from the oppressive heat. Sitting outside at the end of the day for a drink in the yard is great - almost a year round possibility here but the wee bit of rain has been enough to cause the mosquito population to explode so drinks loaded with quinine seem to be the order of the day. That is all for now in this summation. I have a garden inwhich to work.
Posted by Lee at 3:59 PM