Thursday, August 1, 2013

Garden peace

Tiger Swallow-tail on Butterfly Bush
My apologies as the blogging has appeared to stop, but work has been so horrible I have been in a writing (and everything else) funk. Weeks like these have called for intensive garden therapy which has involved some digging in of new, on sale perennials, but mostly sitting in my chair on the porch watching the garden and it's creatures. Quiet time observing nature has an amazing calming effect. Each creature is out hunting nectar for survival, there is no psychology which unfortunately, we as humans must endure; just simply creatures doing their jobs and making it another day. The garden is such a bustling place, a New York or Paris for the birds and insects. We miss the heartbeat of the earth when we don't take time to sit quietly in nature. I have learned so much about my environment simply from observing. It reminds me that I too am part of this same small garden environment and my actions have significant effects.

I believe there are about five different hummingbirds flitting between the feeders now and sipping from the pink anise hyssop (Agastache rugosa). The Goldfinches, Red-headed Finches and the charmingly plain House Finches are eating the thistle seed with gusto and I have hung up two more feeder socks. The Swallow-tails are frequent visitors to the butterfly bushes (Buddleia) and the Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum). There have been only a few Monarch butterflies so far this season, I imagine their drought plagued migration route has decimated their numbers. The bumblebees and honeybees are buzzing everywhere eagerly feeding on the abundant flower nectar. The larger fuzzy bumblebees took shelter in the gladiola blooms when it started to rain, amazingly cute!
Monarch on Joe Pye Weed

We just had a couple of lovely cooler days (78F/ 25C) of drizzly rain, mist and morning fog, which with my additional watering returned the garden to it's pre-heatwave splendor. The bloom laden gladiolas were bending under the weight of the extra moisture, so I used up all of my bamboo poles getting them staked upright. The tomatoes shot up in height and have been producing a dozen or so ripe fruits per day. I had to invert a second wire tomato cage above the first and duct tape them together, to give the tomatoes additional support. One tomato plant, the "Mortgage lifter" has set lots of green tomatoes but is altogether out of control in the growth department; I will be needing some serious wooden stakes to support it's husky branches... The green beans are still producing at a slower rate and beginning to yellow. This week I harvested my first two zucchini squash!

Most of the veg we eat raw or steamed but the glossy green, 7inch zucchini rated special treatment. I sauteed them in olive oil and butter. Diced a couple cloves of garlic and six leaves of Thai Basil from the garden. To that slowly simmering mixture I added some mini orange & yellow peppers sliced thin, two mushrooms finely diced and half and onion chopped into smaller bits. I served this lovely veg medley over angel hair pasta for a delightfully light summer dinner.

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