Getting the Lay of the Land in Early June

Tetley's Morning WalkThis morning’s walk with Tetley after yesterday’s monsoon-like storm, everything felt charged. Green stuff erupted everywhere – certainly the bittersweet that threatens to topple the trees along this wooded stretch of ignored land seems to have grown by feet overnight. The blue sky through the green canopy promises a lovely day.

Blue sky beyond the bittersweet.

Blue sky beyond the bittersweet.

A few years ago, I threw a few strawberry plants in the sloping patch beside the driveway just to get them out of my vegetable patch. Here they thrive and continue to multiply and after this storm, so did ripe strawberries. I had to bring Tet inside so I could use both hands to pick the good ones.

Strawberry Patch

Strawberry Patch

In harvest-mode, I wandered around to the back of the house to see what else might have erupted into ripeness. Before yesterday’s soaker storm there had been days of sunshine and heat – just what a garden loves. Looks like a little salad might be possible. Certainly there’s arugala-a-plenty as you’ll see in the next image.

Baby lettuce mix.

Baby lettuce mix.

Plenty of horseradish and a tomato plant holding it’s own between them. And mint hovers in the background ready to strangle everything.

Tomato tucked between wild arugala (it just keeps coming back - a good bite to it - yum) and horseradish.

Tomato tucked between wild arugala (it just keeps coming back – a good bite to it – yum) and horseradish.

Unfortunately, my beloved Peonies took a beating yesterday and I’m not sure I’ll even be able to salvage another bouquet. Is it ridiculous to say that the incredible bank of Peonies is one of my favorite things about this little patch of property? They’ve been here forever and were also beloved by the old woman who I bought the house from in 1997. Their heady perfume evokes all that is sweet about summer as well as the melancholy of passing too quickly. Ah well. Seize the day … and the flowers, while they blossom.

Battered Peonies

Battered Peonies

The weekend weather report looks good for planting – if I could only decide where to set these Zinnia and Cleomes so they don’t get eaten by the ravenous groundhogs. I guess the not-yet-eaten lettuce patch bodes well, I may tuck them in there.

Waiting for a home.

Waiting for a home.

The Roses blossomed over night and after the storm, have taken a dramatically desperate pose, don’t you think? I really like Roses although they are a bit prissy. Give me a giant, scratchy Sunflower any day over these posies. But then again, I appreciate their hidden toughness – they are deceptive with those treacherous thorns! ¬†And I love their scent. I do make it a point to always stop and smell the roses – much to my daughter’s embarrassment. In any case, these need to be tied up. (!)

Roses striking a tragic pose.

Roses striking a tragic pose.

Around the side of the house I check on the Blueberries. This is the first year I’ve seen so many berries. These bushes are smack under a Mulberry tree that grows like a weed. The birds will be swarming in a few more weeks, to get the fruit of the tree and maybe they’ll miss these little guys waiting to ripen. Bird netting is on the to-do list.

Blueberries not yet blue.

Blueberries not yet blue.

As is mowing the lawn, weeding, weeding, weeding. And the hedge is crazy-high again.

Behind the house.

Behind the house.

And, looking at this photo, plenty of cleaning up to do. Time to clean up the furniture and get ready for outdoor feasting. In the pots, I confess, I thought I was planting Dahlia bulbs I’d carefully saved from last autumn — but I think they’re Gladiolus. Again, not my favorite flower — rather funereal, don’t you think? I’m thinking I’d rather not be wasting those pots on them – better to pick up a few herbs or plant some of the Zinnias in there … work, work, work!

Homemade yogurt and granola with just picked strawberries - and aspargus! (not for breakfast though.)

Homemade yogurt and granola with just picked strawberries – and aspargus! (not for breakfast though.)

But first, breakfast.

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4 Responses to Getting the Lay of the Land in Early June

  1. I totally understand your peony obsession. My last house belonged to my grandparents and there was a patch of them which came up without fail every year – probably planted in the 50’s. An unctuous dark red. What amazing strawberries! I love the look of your house it looks very cute and that is a lovely spot for alfresco dining. I won’t have a word said against roses though!

  2. Tricia says:

    Haha! Of course not. I do love roses too – especially as I do virtually nothing for them and they come back religiously – just like the sweet peony.

  3. Lea Sylvestro says:

    Oh, this was a sumptuous post! The strawberries, yogurt and granola look heavenly, and I love the pictures of your gardens and yard…and Tetley! Love the name and he is too cute! XO

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