We've had about four or five days of rain in the last two months (not a lot, but some moisture nonetheless), and it has been fairly warm, so I guess the plants are trying for one more bloom before the cold sets in. It looks down right Spring-y around here - the hills are greenish, the "lawn" has decided to grown and turn green again, and flowers are blooming. I've even seen some sunflower sprouts. I've got my fingers crossed for a real winter, but it doesn't look promising.
As mentioned before in a previous post, I shared gardening duties with the squirrels this year. They planted some beautiful sunflowers that I watered. They harvested most of the flowers, but left a few that I cut a few days ago.
No one seems too interested in these right now (acorn season), so I'll store these in the pantry for a couple more months and break them out when food is scarcer. I'm sure the squirrels will find them much more attractive in November or December than they do now.
I've been noticing little signs of the Fall to come. It even rained last week, though there is no sign now that it did. Everything is dry as a bone and the weather is heating up again - still very much Summer, but Autumn is creeping in.
Shadows are getting longer, days are getting shorter. I have mixed feelings about Fall. I mourn for the lost long hours of daylight, rejoice in the cooler temperatures, mourn for yet another year gone by too quickly, anticipate the beginning of a new year with all its great possibilities (I don't know why I look at the beginning of a new calender year as the start of something fresh, new, and loaded with possibilities when really it is just part of a continuum).
Though overall, the yard/garden is a dismal mess, little bits of color have popped up - a smidgeon of Fall appearing....
I can feel summer winding down - though where I live it doesn't mean cooler days until mid-September. I can see the leaves preparing to change color, everything is getting super dry, and there is a back-to-school vibe brewing. There also is quite an abundance of lemons. My mom brought these to us the other day. They are so bright and cheerful. I'm thinking lemonade.
As I mentioned a few posts ago, my garden/yard is completely done with its pretty phase for this year - or until it starts raining again. But, my favorite rose did manage to eek out another round of blooms. I love this little rose so much - its fragrance, its color, its shape, even its dried state is lovely. So, I subjected it to another series of portraits.
I'm not exactly Irving Penn - but at least I'm getting better at remembering to document some of the things around me.
I've pretty much given up on the pretty garden thing for this year. The poppies have finished, the pincushion flowers are also winding down (though I did lop off the tops, so they may just have a second go before winter), and I have completely stopped watering the "lawn." In short, our yard now looks reeeeeally baaaad - but I can hardly justify watering the grass in the midst of a three year drought (though that doesn't seem to be deterring anyone else - I've even seen people washing their sidewalks). I guess every area has its growing season. Ours just happens to be Spring/early Summer during drought years.
This year the squirrels and the birds planted sunflowers - a nice surprise. I thought I would nurture the sunflowers, have a bountiful harvest, and share the seeds during the winter. The squirrels had other plans and ended up harvesting a bit early. I was horrified one morning to see the largest sunflower's head ripped off about a week or two before it was ready for cutting. I was a little mystified as to who would do such a horrid thing, but figured it was probably raccoons. Then more heads began disappearing.
Then all out carnage. Pretty sad. I really enjoyed the sunflowers - they were so over-the-top cheery and added some desperately needed life to the yard, not to mention badly needed food for the bees.
I guess there is a squirrel who regards our back porch as a sort of tree. S/he brings sunflower parts up there and then scatters the left-overs in a flower pot I have. Now I know who was digging in that pot and killing the pansies that were in it.
I can't say I approve of all the gardening decisions the squirrels have made, but it is their yard as much as it is mine, and I'm OK with sharing.
Just a short tour of the garden/yard. I'm sort of a lazy gardener, so the pictures are strategically taken - meaning the photos make the garden look much better than it really does. Granted, there are some nice flowers in my yard, but the overall picture doesn't look that great. Due to the drought, I am trying to do my part to conserve water, so things are turning a bit brown now. The "lawn" has definitely seen better days, but I would rather use the water for flowers than for a pathetic patch of grass. I'm sure the bees will back me up on this.
These aren't exactly my favorite roses but they were here when I moved in so I would like to do right by them, and they make some of the prettiest dried roses ever.
Isn't this a cute little bud?
Ever wonder what to do with onions that have been hanging around so long they start to sprout? Stick them in the ground and this is what you get.
These just appeared. I don't know how many times I saw this little sprout, almost pulled it up, and then thought better of it because it looked like it could turn into some kind of a flower. I'm glad I let it grow because it turned into a snapdragon.
These are the ultimate lazy gardener flowers - geraniums! Pretty, prolific and take next to zero effort.
I absolutely adore poppies, but they're looking a bit scraggly/dead now and I have had to pull a lot of them up and compost them. The pincushion flowers are merrily blooming away, as are the sunflowers. I hope they all survive my vacation....
I went away for the weekend and found this when I returned - What a lovely surprise!
I knew it was going to bloom sooner or later, but I suspected later. Actually this whole flower and all the other sunflowers in my garden, except two, were a surprise since I didn't plant them - The birds and squirrels did. I fed them this winter and fortunately, they are messy eaters. Well, I'm assuming they are messy eaters and not intentional gardeners, but I could be mistaken....
Would you look at that structure - amazing!
Whilst checking out the sunflowers, I discovered this little guy.
Don't know what he is, but I thought he was kind of interesting.