Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4th On The Mountain Top

It's been unbearably hot on the mountain top for the past 5 days. We are not used to this heat and humidity, especially not for extended periods like this. 


The drapes in my living room, dining room, and bedroom have been drawn all week, with the windows shut tight against the heat of the day. 

My air conditioner is back in the dining room window, and I'm so glad I opted for the version with WiFi, as I can turn it on from the app on my phone about an hour before I go home from work. 

The flowers in the garden are loving all the sunshine, although I do have to water the pots quite frequently in this heat. 


My red, white, and blue color scheme is most appropriate on this Independence Day. 

It contrasts beautifully with the yellow of the Evening Primrose, which is in full bloom all over my property now. 


What a hardy, easy plant Evening Primrose is! My mom has some in her garden, and I remember her giving me pieces of it years ago to put in my garden at my previous house. 

At this house, it was already here and I have taken pieces and stuck them in other areas of the garden, to fill in and hopefully someday crowd out most of the weeds. 

It's a work in progress, as most gardens are. 


On the arch by the veggie garden gate the roses are in bloom, and I'm so happy to see them. This is climbing New Dawn, with a heavenly scent. It's a repeat bloomer, although the first bloom is always the best. Last spring I tied all the wayward branches to the top of the arch and it did not bloom at all - I think I stressed it too much. This season I left it alone and it's quite happy!


The Super Dorothy rambling rose I added along the fence line last year is covered in buds, and just starting to bloom. These are tiny roses, very different from New Dawn, but it is supposed to flower continuously from Spring to Fall. 

Yes, please - I'll take it!

 
The wild lilies are everywhere on the mountain top right now. They grow along the road sides, in ditches, in the creek banks, and are also growing in more than one spot in my garden. 


The happy orange blooms never fail to delight me, and they sure add a spot of sunshine to any garden bed. 


The Shasta Daisies are just starting to put on a show....


...as is this beauty! It's some version of Rudbeckia, but I don't know which one. I bought a start at the farmer's market last year for the huge price of $1.00. I bought a few other starts from the same vendor - they are all hearty plants that will fill in and crowd out the weeds....fingers crossed. 


It's easy to see why Delphiniums are known as the Queen of the Garden - this blue color pops from all the way across the property, and beckons me over for a closer look. 


The yellow lilies are just starting their display as well - my garden goes through 'stages' of colors through the seasons. In spring we have the yellow of the daffodils, then the blues, purples, and whites of Carpet Phlox, Snow in Summer, Iris, and Catmint. Next comes the explosion of yellow and orange, with the Evening Primrose, Lilies, and Rudbeckias all clamoring for attention. The yellows and oranges are joined by red and hot pink when the Bee Balm blooms. Next we get more yellow and orange with the addition of the wildflowers Goldenrod and Tansy. Then the trees start changing, adding more red, orange, and yellow into the mix. 

It's a glorious thing, being a gardener and living in such a beautiful area. 

It never gets old for me. 


Of course, the various shades of green all around and the red of the Japanese Maple compliment each season perfectly. 


The whole time I was out taking photos this morning, this yellow butterfly was my constant companion. 

Good morning, Papa!


My other constant companions? The Monkey and Little Miss Molly. 

Molly was admiring the path that Sweetie's been working hard on. The pavers were so far apart and had giant weeds growing in the cracks. He power washed the path to get rid of the weeds, pulled all the pavers up, relaid them closer together, and filled in the cracks with fine sand. 

He's a keeper, that man of mine!

 
Back up on the deck, I am loving this container grouping, paired with the flag bunting. Again, I kept with the red, white, and blue color scheme and of course it compliments the flags perfectly on this July 4th celebration of our country's independence. 


I absolutely love the dramatic foliage of the Castor Bean, which I once again used as the centerpiece in these large planters. 


I don't grow Castor Bean for its flowers, but rather for the striking foliage that towers above the planters, with almost an umbrella effect. 


The flowers are interesting and unusual, but get lost against the dramatic foliage. 

I start these from seed in the winter months, along with all the veggie garden starts. They are loving this heat and flourishing in the humidity, unlike me. 


I hope you all have a fabulous July 4th, and are enjoying cooler temps than we are at the moment. 

If not, feel free to go get yourself some ice cream or a frozen cocktail to help ease the heat! 


And remember in your thoughts and prayers all those who fought for the independence we are so blessed to enjoy in this great country of ours. 

They are heroes, one and all.

43 comments:

  1. Your flowers are beautiful! And you are right, every garden is a work in progress. You likely already know this, and probably won't be eating your castor bean plant anytime soon, but they are quite poisonous. Just feel compelled to let you know. On a different note, have a very happy fourth of July! -Jenn

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    1. Hi Jenn - Yes, fortunately my pups don't like to eat plants (thank God!) so I feel safe enough planting the Castor Bean - if Mr Bear wants to snack on it, go right ahead though!! :)

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  2. I’ve never heard of castor bean, but I have to say I’m intrigued by that foliage. Everything looks so beautiful Debbie!

    I read your other post but couldn’t comment because I was on safari (it’s been an issue ever since google made changea). I know you’re still grieving for your dad and I love the way you’re honoring his memory and creating a space you love.

    Stay cool my friend!

    xxx

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    1. Awww, thanks Doreen! It was one month yesterday, and still so hard to believe he's gone...xoxo

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  3. Beautiful garden flowers! Hope you had a fun fourth!

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    1. My fourth was spent at WORK Carole, sigh. We did go see fireworks on the night of the 3rd with some good friends, so that was nice!!

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  4. The Shasta daisies and tigerlilies are in full bloom around here too - prolific on many of the country roads around here also - just love them.

    The heat and humidity has been brutal! supposed to get rain tomorrow and much more comfortable temps. Let's hope!

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    1. Please God, Karen Ann, because I'm melting over here!!!! We had a downpour earlier (of course, since I had laundry on the line!) but it hasn't done a darned thing to cool off the temps around here.

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  5. We are experiencing very hot and humid weather as well. Also unusual for us. My puppy definitely not liking this heat wave!
    Your flowers definitely loving it. How gorgeous everything looks!
    Don't know if that is Molly smiling or she is just too hot LOL such a sweet girl
    Take care
    Jeannette

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    1. Molly smiles all the time, Jeannette - when she's not smiling she's either kissing us or running around like a crackpot! She's so happy, I'm so glad she's in our family!

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  6. I never get tired of your garden either, Debbie! Love the colors, and all the variety of flowers mixed. Your containers look great too. Being a little further South, I have gradually reduced my number of containers, simply due to the neediness of watering. I'm ok with every 2-3 days, but not every.single.day or more than once a day!
    Love the metaphor of the butterfly accompaniment. I like to think the same thoughts...

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    1. That's a lot of watering, Rita!! Usually I could get away with about once a week but with this heat wave I've had to water every other day...too much on both me and my well!

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  7. Glad you had a great 4th. We are having all the heat too here in Illinois. We need some rain to cool things down. All your flowers are so pretty up on the mountain. This is when your home really comes to life. Such a great renewal of life after our long winter. Enjoy enjoy.
    Kris

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    1. It really is, Kris - isn't it amazing how fast the summers seem to fly by though? Maybe more so for me since I'm so crazy busy both at work and at home...but I can't believe it's July already!

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  8. Your flowers are all so pretty, in your lovely garden spaces.

    Enjoy your summer ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thanks, Lorraine - I don't have the variety you do, but with our short growing season I guess we don't do too badly up here!

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  9. The temps have touched 100 here in the Carolinas. It's so hot but then we get those afternoon thunderstorms that I love. Those are some great photos of the flowers! daisies are my favorite!
    Lisa

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    1. We reached 100 here too, Lisa - it was brutal!! We had a great thunderstorm this morning, I woke to the rumble of distant thunder and was so happy to hear that sound! Things are better today, thankfully, as I was really tired of all my makeup melting off the second I put it on!

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  10. Such a lovely happy place! I love gardens when the daisies bloom!

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    1. Me, too, Chip! I love most blooms but there's just something so happy about daisies!

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  11. I definitely want to look into castor bean! Your photos are so lovely. Mine are trying to survive in this heat.
    Brenda

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    1. It's a cool plant, Brenda, but it is poisonous so if Charlie likes to eat plants you would need to put it up high where he couldn't get at it.

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  12. Beautiful flowers. My daylilies may have finally given it up. They haven't bloomed for a few years. I just love them.

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    1. Oh that's sad Katie....I wonder if something ate the tubers? My oriental lilies have no buds on them this year, either something ate them or they don't have enough nutrients this year...so sad, they were gorgeous the past two years. Sigh.

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  13. Your garden looks marvelous! I know there is more work when it is this hot . . . water, water, water . . . it can get tiring, but look at the results. Beautiful!

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    1. The containers had to be watered so much more than usual, Connie - usually I can get away with about once a week. The violas, which usually last the season up here, are suffering in this heat and may need to be replaced.

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  14. Your flowers sure are putting on a show! I just love the evening primrose (which somehow moved itself from the end to the middle of my garden!) and the orange daylily. They are nostalgic for me from childhood and I have one plant in my yard. Do you think I can find any to buy at the local nurseries? No! I have been contemplating digging some up from the side of the road but I decided I like my freedom from jail more than the plant! I did find some deep red daylilies and will plant those when this crazy weather cools off. Waiting for my red bee balm to bloom which is always a showstopper.

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    1. I love my bee balm also, AnnMarie, and I'm always delighted to see it bloom - it's nearly ready!! My evening primrose seems to jump all over the property - I guess maybe the birds drop seeds or something. It's everywhere!!!

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  15. I am always amazed at the variety of flowers and foliage and colors in your gardens. I always see things I want to try, for example Evening Primrose. Anything that attracts butterflies goes on my list.

    I was not aware that you don't have central air conditioning there, so I'm guessing that you usually don't need it? What a wonderful climate you have there on the mountain. I hope the extreme heat there is short lived and you can throw your windows open again.

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    1. My windows are all wide open today, Dewena, and it's just lovely out now! We had a great big thunderstorm this morning that cleared out that awful heat....at least for now! No central air here, I've never had it and only invested in a window unit two years ago when my dad was struggling with his breathing and I wanted him to be comfortable when he came for dinner in the summer months. Admittedly, I was glad to have it this week!

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  16. As us! I like the orange lilies that grow along the road also. We had them in our yard at our house in Michigan. Love the butterfly. Happy to see a couple of them in my little courtyard this week! Nancy

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    1. I'm sure your little courtyard brings you much joy, Nancy, and it's surely a lot less work than a full garden! Someday I will probably downsize, but I will always have to have an outdoor space, like you!

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  17. You really have a green thumb! I love gardening, too, and when you love something, its never a chore. Still--you go to work all week! Love your energy.

    Thanks for sharing the flowers. I have to check into the primrose and delphinium. They are gorgeous!

    Keep an eye on that butterfly. I've named many of mine. And don't forget cardinals! :)

    Jane x

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    1. The cardinals don't visit me often enough, Jane, although they are regulars at my sweetie's house. It's a shame as they are so very lovely! I did see a Cedar Waxwing outside my office window yesterday eating the berries off a tree - he was gorgeous!!

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  18. What beautiful gardens and yard you have Debbie, I sure do love seeing it and what all is blooming. The first thing I thought when I saw the bean plants is "uh oh those are very poison"....looks like quite a few others noticed as well on the comments. I think you have to actually injest it to have it hurt you though, not just touch it. I am in love with those blue delphiniums....have never grown those and actually not sure if they will grow in our climate here, I will have to check that out. I love their shade of blue, so gorgeous! Hope you had a real nice 4th!

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    1. The castor bean must be fine to touch because I touch it all the time, I'm so mesmerized by those gorgeous leaves!! I knew it was poisonous, but since I'm not eating it and my pups don't eat plants it's safe enough here. The delphiniums are a favorite of mine, that's a new color that I added this year and hopefully they will come back yearly!

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  19. Your flowers and garden are looking wonderful! Hope your heat wave ends soon.

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    1. Thankfully we have a reprieve today, Penny - it's absolutely glorious outside this afternoon!

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  20. Your garden is so gorgeous...and so hearty! I was wilting in the heat and so were my flowers. They are better today, after that storm. And frankly, so am I!! Enjoy your cooler weather and your lovely home.

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  21. What a pretty garden. Thanks for sharing it. You may have mentioned this, but do you have a well? Everything is so nice and green and you obviously work out there often. We're in the Sierra Nevada Mtns and have to enjoy our flowers while we can too....snow will come soon enough. (Castor bean looks interesting) Enjoy the beauty of your labors.

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  22. I hope by now you've gotten relief from the heat. It was horribly hot again here in IL too, but yesterday and today have been absolutely perfect - barely 80 degrees. Most houses here have central air conditioning. Your plants are gardens are always so pretty...have never seen castor bean nor evening primrose (though I do take the supplements, lol!). Amazing work your BF does. When are we going to get to "meet" him? :-)

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  23. Your flowers are so beautiful! Hope your weather improves soon!

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  24. lovely growth and flowers and we'd had a slight cooling here / hope it moves your way


    Castor Bean is new to me :) Beautiful!

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