The last few days have been downright fabulous. The unseasonable drop in humidity has been quite unexpected and lovely. I’m more of a winter-loving person — nice cozy socks and sweaters. Working outside in the hot, blazing sun can get very old.
In my perfect world, I would manage all my outdoor activities in the early mornings and evenings. Too bad that world doesn’t exist!
The vegetable garden is completely out of control. I’m finding plenty to eat, but only from a good memory. The weeds are over my head in some places.
I spent some time locating my peanut plants. Because the weeds were so huge and well-established, I cut them at soil level. I feared for the lives of the plants if I attempted to pull the weeds. Sometimes I stand on a plant to hold it into the ground while yanking big grassy weeds.
No — not exactly on the plant, but firmly on two sides of it!
I discovered some tiny sweet potatoes in the pantry this spring. They were pretty pathetic — last year’s crop. For kicks, I tossed them into the ground. They have grown into enormous vines. Hopefully, there will be some potatoes by fall. By the way, what’s the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?
Several years ago I planted some Grandpa Ott’s morning glories. They have reliably reseeded ever since. Grandpa Ott was a Baptist John Ott from Iowa. He passed the seed to his children and grandchildren.
They are so prolific that I had to cut some back. They are a lovely deep purple with a red star in the center. They bloom much earlier than Heavenly Blue and have nicer foliage.
The wineberries have seen better days. They were great this year. Rubus phoenicolasius is, sadly, considered an invasive. I am quite fond of them anyway. I have a small patch that has not grown significantly in several decades. They produce enough berries for us to enjoy for nearly a month. They never make it into the kitchen. We eat them as we pick them.
I have a tall chain-link fence around my vegetable garden. I’m fortunate to have it, thanks to Peter Goodale and sons Reuben and Jeremiah. A single Virginia creeper vine made its way up the fence a few years ago. It has crept along the top of the fence for at least 30 feet. It is blooming like crazy right now and turns a fantastic bright red in the fall.
In most situations it would be considered an annoying vine, but it is spectacular on the top of a fence — totally behaving itself.
The berries of Virginia creeper are a favorite of birds, but are poisonous to humans and some mammals. It’s always prudent to warn children away from berries. Pokeberries are another poison children love to play with to get the reddish purple color all over themselves.
I covet those basements that most of you have. My house sits on a cement apron. I would love a place for dahlia storage — never mind somewhere to put more stuff. My mother told of a summer in her childhood. Her grandmother, Mum Armstrong, lived with them. She was an avid gardener. She decided she needed a cellar (we never said basement in Rew, Pa.).
She made the five grandchildren dig one under the house. Mom said she never saw the light of day for months except to haul out endless buckets of dirt.
I mentioned this several times to my children when they complained about bringing wet towels downstairs.
A small group of my friends and I attended the annual production of The Moth on Saturday night at the Tabernacle. A great time was had by all. It’s wonderful to take a moment out of a busy summer for something so fun.
Speaking of fun . . . how great is it to live in a place favored by celebrities and presidents? Welcome to the Obamas! You deserve a vacation from the world’s most thankless job. Maybe after Congress takes more than a month to recuperate from their hard, well-paying job of doing nothing, they’ll be willing to work with you . . . as if!