HOT!! johanna_lea Jun 8, 2010 1 Comment

i have been AWOL as well for awhile. wish i could say it is housecleaning, but living
alone does have its merits. i would rather dig a hole than run a vacuum cleaner!
my sandy driveway continues its slow migration into the kitchen. visitors and
my old dogs dont help... it has been up in the 90's, with many stormy afternoons.
we do need the rain, but the grass is very tall, and my 4-legged lawnmowers cannot
keep up. i have a borrowed push mower, and have cut back the yard, and pathways
to greenhouse and asparagus beds. you must be up early before it heats up, and i
confess that temps rising are proportionate to my unwillingness to mow. the horse
and goat are out this morning. it has been 70 @ 7 AM, most mornings lately.

here in ga. the rains came at proper time for the fruit crops. little green figs are fast
appearing on my old figs trees. i believe they are "brown turkey"- quite large trees
(bushes?) a large-fruited brown variety- another bequest from past owners. they are
quickly picked and preserved... the yellow jackets and ants love them as much as i do!
all the peach growers have bumper crops. lots of big blueberries and blackberries, too.
i wait 'til mid-july for the "red indian" freestone peaches to freeze, but i have been enjoying
a box from nearby orchard while i wait. a juicy mess on my chin, but heavenly flavor!

there are more and more small organic farms springing up; city markets too.
the demand for fresh organic produce is rising, along with public awareness of their
healthy delicious products. i sold 35 bunches of asparagus this year- some to the local
food co-op, and some to friends.
i recommend the early hard work of setting out the crowns and liberally composting.
after that, wood ash the beds every winter, and occasionally use compost or old manure.
it is the most rewarding vegetable, with the least amount of yearly work. they get mowed
once a year in earliest spring, but live comfortably with the grass. my beds are 25 years
old, still producing big spears of green gold! they will long outlive this humble farmer.

all the flowers have been especially gorgeous with proper amounts of rain and sunshine.
right now blooming in my yard are several salvia gigantica cultivars. cobalt, sky blue,
and one with very dark stems called "black and blue". the hummingbirds love salvia and
i do too. they are hardy, reliable and bloom all season if cut back. the purple globes
of the elephant garlic flowers (alliums) stand high, waving in a sudden breeze. their
heads bent over from a strong storm revive the next day, and tower over the flowerbeds.

even if mimosa trees are a southern pest, i enjoy the fluffy pale flowers while they last.
the magnolias creamywhite blooms fill the air with that sweet lemony scent. my hydrangias
are in full bloom, both the big blue bunches, and the lace-caps. they have grown on the
semi-shaded eastern side of the house since i came here-another gift from a former
resident. even the bonsai enjoy the rain and shine, although they must be watered,
sometimes twice on these summer days. my late-blooming tiny satsuke azalea still
displays pale pink freckled blossoms. i am prouder of this "child" as i made it myself
18 years ago. i ve reduced my collection to just 15, for easier care, but temptation is
always there for "just one more".
almost all gardeners share this desire. (weakness?illness?) i stay away from the plant
nurseries this time of year, and start my own seeds. i still plant too many, and must
find new homes for my babies each year.

the morning chores are done, the lawnmowers are hard at i am retiring
to the cool den, under the ceiling fan to work on my artwork. perhaps this afternoon,
i'll take a dip in the water trough, my redneck swimming pool. %D
a straw hat and a good novel are crucial, and of course that southern sweet ice tea!
i'll emerge, refreshed, to tackle the evening duties once more.
Life is good, even if sticky-sweltering temperatures....
best greetings from patagonia farm!

vty- j-lea
by Ilona Erwin

A gardener, blogger, writer, who has been blogging here since 2004, and writing for my website, Ilona's Garden since 1998.

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1 comment :

  1. just a small "last word"
    i have several oak leaf hydrangias -
    i recently learned that they were first discovered wild on the flint river...about 30 miles west of
    where i live. i did not know they were a native georgia plant.
    they are beautiful in every season.
    i dont know why i skipped over one of my very favorites!


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