Behind the scenes of the scintillating life that I share with you on this blog is my Real Life. In my Real Life there are many relationships and each of them takes their turn at drama. Most of my family do Not read my blog, so I’m often tempted to spill the tea about them, but really I would rather just let it all be. However, Real Life intruded just last week when I delivered my Aunt Shirley’s ashes to her son Jeff’s house. I brought her ashes up from Florida last March and she’s been sitting on a shelf, surrounded by other family pictures. She’s been inspiring me — Shirley never was one to be quiet. — but it was time to move her along, getting her verry close to her final resting spot beside her Mom & Dad.
At any rate, I’ve had too many dramatic scenes played out for me this year, Distracting me from Ancestry research that I started Last Year and I was beginning to think I would Never Finish! I’m here to announce that I have, at last, added my great-grandmother’s family to my ancestry blog in a 3-part series published right Here: https://allmyancestry.wordpress.com/kinkade-mcwilliams-walker/
I still need to write a 4th chapter to tie up some loose ends, but I really need to move away from the family tree for the summer. Genealogy takes up so much time that I have to make it a seasonal hobby to make room for my gardening and travel, not to mention my Living Family!!
Here’s What’s Happening in the Gardens…
We decided to stake our zucchini this year…
…so far it’s working, but it isn’t helping them get pollinated so I need to attract bees. We’re looking at Bee Houses to attract Mason Bees, but it may be too late for this year…still studying. Any suggestions?
Ellis Park starts live racing Today…another reason I have to put away the genealogy. I’m skipping Opening Day, but I’ll be there In-Person on Thursday or Friday, or both…depends on the weather.
I suffered through another rainy, gloomy week and we’re now rewarded with sunny skies and oppressive humidity; it’s almost summer, finally, and as I sweat through my shirt I wonder why I longed for it.
Samantha went with us to the New Harmony Antiques Show yesterday.
I found some old sheet music, well-preserved, to buy and discovered we hadn’t brought cash with us, just enough for some drinks and treats. The prices at the show seemed very high, just like everything else lately, but I wonder how much they sold. It was a paltry showing of vendors, but the crowd was good.
When Spring decided to give us some planting weather, she did it right. We’re sleeping with the windows open, waking up with the birds, and loving every minute of these gorgeous days. I got Everything done: planted squash, watermelons, parsley, sage rosemary, thyme, basil, green beans, cucumbers, sunflowers, cardinal vine, marigolds, then polished them off with a splash of Miracle-Gro.
The coreopsis in the Peace/Bird Garden is so Cheerful, don’t you think? The purple coneflower blooms are beginning to open up and check out my strawberry!
We covered the pool area with new heavy-duty woven fabric and moved the umbrella table/chairs onto it. Today the pool goes up.
I’ve made some new discoveries regarding my Kinkade/McWilliams ancestors, and learned new Grandpa Eaton information, so I’ve spent any non-gardening time working on that. I’m planning a Cemetery Loop Scenic Drive for Memorial Day. I like to imagine that my 3x great-grandparents will be thrilled to have a visitor, as it’s been at least 50 years since any of our side has stopped by.
Oh, do you remember that we had to cancel our trip to London in June 2020? We received credits for our hotel and I rescheduled for June 2021…next month. UK is still requiring 10-day quarantines, so I cancelled out that date, as well. However, the folks at Queens Gate, where we’ll be staying, say things are opening back up soon and that quarantines should be lifted by July. We’ve decided to take our trip the last week or so of September and I’m full-on into making that happen. Sooo excited!
So that’s my week here at Sonnystone Acres… Hope you’re enjoying the Season wherever you are!
The rains have loosened the leaves’ grip on the tree branches, forcing their Fall. There’s more precip on the way, too, but when that’s moved out and the sun has moved in, we’re scheduled for our first hard frost.
We have already prepared a cart with plants to over-winter and they’ll be put in the shed soon.
Everything else will be on its own — some will die, others will just hibernate until spring.
Check out how big the banana tree got this year! Sadly, it’s too close to our fence, so we’ll try to move it next year. These trees put out babies constantly and spread like crazy. I’m not sure they will survive the transplant and not sure where to move them, so that will be something to mull this winter.
I brought in the Thyme and Basil the other day. I’ve never been good at growing herbs indoors, but this thyme is too pretty to harvest. The long stalks of the basil are going to be cut and used for pesto, but I’ll try to keep the smaller, younger plant growing.
Since there’s not much to report about gardening these days, I’m going to switch up my Thursday blog post to Rave On, MadWoman. You may have met the MadWoman before and she’s anxious to spout off — I mean, share her perspective. She can get a little annoying sometimes, to say nothing of her short attention span, so occasionally I’ll substitute a little bit I call Photo Synthesis.
It will all be right here at The News from Sonnystone Acres, your one-stop source of drivel…
It’s pretty much all over for the Edibles, though there are still a couple of rows of green beans. The butterflies and goldfinches are still hovering around the zinnias, too. Finally the Mums are in Full bloom. Though today it’s supposed to be 85 and sunny, we probably won’t see the 80s again until next year. Gloomy rainy days are on the way, but even then the trees try to shine out with their yellows and reds…
We’ve continued to pull in veggies: the broccoli never recovered from the onslaught of whatever-those-worms-were, though they made a brave stand; The limas, too, just lollygagged along until there’s no more time left. The last two stands of green beans are going okay, so we’re putting off picking the as long as we can.
We usually travel in September and October, so bring it all in right after Labor Day. In this strange year, we’ve stretched the season out and it’s been a Work of Wonder and Joy…
I made a video… With so many pictures of All of the gardens, I had to focus on just the two: The Edible and the Peace/Bird Garden… The music is one of my all-time faves from the Ozark Mt. Daredevils…
I’ve been to an appointment with the eye doctor this morning. By the time I came out of the office the temperatures had dropped and there is a cold rain. Here at the Acres, we’ve got the fire burning and it’s cozy as a bug.
Busy all last week when it was sunshiney and warm, we finished putting the rock into the garden annex, giving it a more “finished” look. We still need soil, but that may wait until Spring.
I potted up the cilantro… I had thrown some seeds into the washtub planter about a month ago and there are eight nice plants. Basil, oregano, and thyme are all out on the porch now, too.
The mums are Finally opening…
We’re planning a day-trip up North to see some Fall colours. Covid cases are surging througout our state and I still see too many people not-wearing masks, so we’ll be taking a picnic lunch. I’m pretty impressed at how the safety precautions we have to take actually encourage a person to be more creative. There’s always a Bright Side, if you look…
Back on June 18, I wrote this in my Garden Journal:
This is milkweed, Asclepias spp., the Only plant that monarch butterfly larvae can eat. It’s new this year, bought at the Zoo plant sale, and it might take a while to do its magnet thing.
Jo Mayne Casey, Garden Journal 6/18/2020
The Monarch butterflies had no problem finding it. For the last couple of weeks I have spotted monarchs munching on the zinnias and recently observed a couple of them feeding at the hummingbird feeder! When I checked the milkweek — Lo and Behold! monarch caterpillars have taken residence. So. Cool.
Slowly, but surely, the Edible Garden is being harvested.
The Birds are still wearing out the feeders, the migrants flocking in for baths, drinks, and grub. I’m watching the buds of the mums, which seem to be taking Forever to bloom…
Gardening involves quite a bit of waiting, but gives you plenty to do in the meantime. We’ve got the firewood brought up to the front porch and the outdoor furniture put in the cellar. The Fall Decorations are out. We’re eating well…
But I’m getting impatient, ready for the Proof of Autumn — mums in bloom..
I have spent hours watching the birds flock to the Bird/Peace garden. Especially since they started migrating south, the feeders have been packed with a variety of species just passing by, joining our resident cardinals, sparrows, wrens, titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers. The hummingbird feeder is being drained at record-pace.
I don’t think much about taking pictures when I’m bird-watching, but today I wanted to snap some shots for blogging and grabbed my Nikon with the long lens for the purpose. Lo and Behold! there were pictures on the camera from Spring when the rose-breasted grosbeaks migrated through.
Photos below were taken this morning…
resident cardinal couple
resident cardinal couple
We finished the melon-and-pumpkin-bed Addition… I have to brag that this cost us $0, built with leftovers from past gardens… It’s still a work-in-progress, of course, but I am very happy with it.
It’s definitely fall here with high temps in the mid-sixties and plenty of sunshine. Out in the Edible Garden, there’s a mess of green beans, about a dozen green tomatoes, and nearly as many bell peppers to bring in so I can take down the plants. The broccoli and the late-sown beans are okay to stay for a while longer.
On the Equinox, we said a sad Farewell to Summer, 2020…one for the Memory Books now…and spoke a hopeful Welcome to Autumn…Batter Up! As we move through the Seasons, we always stop to take stock of what we’ve accomplished, where we learned, what ideas we have to improve…
We’re going to expand the Edible Garden to make room to grow watermelons and pumpkins and sprawl-y vine-y such fruits. With a little bit of tree-pruning, we’ll have an new 24 x 8 plenty-o’sun area for growing. The bed will be 16 x 4 and we’ll rock the rest for containers and so carts can still get through. It will, of course have to be fenced so the critters don’t trash it, but we happen to have Just Enough fencing to re-use and the same gate will be moved to the south end. That sounds a bit confusing, but here’s the first of the “Vision” and I’ll keep you informed as it comes together.
We brought in two of the four remaining tomatoes, netting about a dozen small nearly-ripe fruits. Otherwise, the Edible Garden hasn’t changed much in the past week.
It was perfect weather yesterday to divide the Rudbeckia in the Peace/Bird Garden. We moved out all of the remaining daisies and shuffled the coneflowers around, too. Remember how my original plan was to have all natives in this garden? Well, as soon as the mums bloom and fade, we’ll remove them, leaving all Natives with space for more next spring…almost like I planned it that way, but we know better…
Fall is in the air, all right, with Super weather for just Being Outside…I’m really digging it…
We’re in a bit of a holding pattern here at the gardens, just waiting for the plants to Finish Up. There are almost a dozen peppers still maturing and it’s about time! The tomatoes look spent, but there are a good ten fruits left to ripen. The green beans have flowered, should be ready to pick in a week or so. I think we Saved the broccoli – no more worms — but they need to do a little catch-up growing. We cut down the cucumbers who had served us so well this summer.
I finally trimmed the rudbeckia in the Peace/Bird Garden, where the fall mums are almost ready to pop their buds. The urn that was in the middle was moved to the porch…
Have you met Larry Garcia? I bought him at a rummage sale for $3. To me, he looks like a mashup of Larry Caplan, our old County Ag agent who taught my Master Gardening class, and Jerry Garcia, you know, Grateful Dead Guy? He gets moved around on a regular basis, not an easy task since he is stone(d). Heavy, man..
I’m ready for fall weather and decorations, just waiting for the official First Day to drag out my Autumn stuff. I can feel the change in the air already, though, as the sun dips and the air nips…