Updated: Aug 30, 2019
"You know who must be very secure in their masculinity? Male ladybugs."...Jay Leno
Well folks, how was everyone's June? I'm blown away how time flies by when it feels like I've done nothing all month. Although I will say I've been doing a little planning...for a VACATION! Yes, this family is taking a break and heading south in a few short weeks. I know I said short and because we are going on vacation, time will undoubtedly sllooww way down and July will probably be 594 days long! So, if you know us personally, you know that we rarely going on a family week long vacation. For the most part, we'll take a long weekend trip here and there, mostly in October, but for whatever reason (I can think of a few!) I just decided I really want to get away. It's a shame that all the money my hard working husband makes goes straight to paying bills and projects around the house. Well, I'm quite finished worrying about "projects" around the house. I want to travel, I want to vacation, and I want my husband to relax!
Yea, somebody's getting a bit taller. She's "windowsill inches tall" and putting on the weight. This is her watching her daddy and sister outside and pretty soon she won't need to prop herself up on the windowsill. In the morning, I will run outside to check on the gardens and maybe do some flower cutting and I always turn around to look at the window where I'll see both dogs staring at me...wondering why they can't join me.
Well, the main reason they're white furry paws are inside is because of the amount of rain we've been getting. I would say, of the 28 days of June so far, it's probably rained 22 of those days. If not, it sure has heck feels like it. The past three days have been extremely hot and dry and our yard has yet to dry out. Just last week, we had a fairly nice and pleasant (low humidity) day so I decided to kick off the air and open the windows and back door. While sitting at the kitchen table I hear the most unforgetful sound, a sound I heard 5 years ago...this loud tearing/ripping sound and then BAM! As I was running towards the back door, my son came running from his room asking, "what was THAT?". And without even looking, I told him, "someone just lost a tree". Sure enough, one of our next door neighbor's huge hickory trees completely uprooted and fell. Fortunately it fell in the opposite direction of their house, but it crumbled a section of another neighbor's fence behind their house AND missed the man on a riding mower! Poor guy didn't even hear it fall. He literally turned around and saw it down and was totally shocked and confused lol. I called our neighbors at work immediately, who rushed home and called a tree service. Sadly because of the ground being so mushy, the tree guys are waiting to chop up the tree and root ball when we get some dryer weather. The ground is just so wet and mushy that if you have weak or shallow rooted trees, you really have to keep an eye on them.
But the plants and flowers are LOVING all the rain. Literally everything is blooming! Can you say LUSH? Above are a few pictures of the front yard and below are some from the back yard and back deck looking out the kitchen window.
In the past, I have tried to grow sweet peas and NEVER EVER EVER have they bloomed for me...until this year!
Okay, so there's only two little blooms, but hey, I'll take it! They smell amazing, too. Do you see the blue delphiniums behind it? They're stunning!! Again, with all the rain, I had to stake them.
I've also had to harvest some herbs already. Of course the lavender is doing amazing. Every other day I'm cutting little stems with blooms, sitting them on a napkin in the kitchen to dry and rubbing them into a little cup to collect the buds. I've also had to start harvesting the chamomile every other day. I put a video on my FB page and Instagram, just a quick tutorial of how I harvest, clean, and dry chamomile for tea. Be sure to follow the page or IG if you don't already! And while I was checking on some herbs planted in the ground (I have some lavender and all the chamomile in pots) I noticed the parsley was ready to be cut.
Parsley is just one of those "things" not a lot of people think about, but I cook with dried parsley a lot. Look how fresh and green it looks! I harvested it, cleaned it real good, and put it in my grandma's colander to dry. I then set it aside for about a week and waited for it to dry and shrivel up.
Yea, that's it lol. All that fluff and this is what I get! Honestly, it's a lot more than it looks. It's pretty easy to crumble up and store, but I actually don't wait for it to get REAL dry. I like a little green in my parsley flakes. So, to get started, I stripped the stems of all the leaves and put the leaves in my handy dandy little food processor I bought at a garage sale last year. (2 bucks 2 bucks 2 bucks!) It's perfect for these small jobs!
Then I dump it on my cutting board and tear apart any pieces that were still a bit too big for my recipes.
I don't like them too minced up either. I like to see my herbs in my food as well as taste them, and oh my gosh, you can smell the parsley as you're doing this. And when I'm all done, into the container they go!
I used a pretty big container because I still have parsley out in the garden that I will add to it later in the summer. But, there you go. Easy peasy, garden fresh and ready to use!
Oh and here's my chamomile I've been drying...This jar is also pretty big so it looks a bit empty, which right now it is, but as summer continues, the glass will fill up.
As for the rest of the garden, right now the brussel sprouts are doing amazing and Bill and I are watching them like a hawk for those stupid cabbage worms!. He's worked so hard getting them to grow, but the rain has really made them take off. You can see that the worms had started to get to them on some of the bottom leaves, but we took care of them! Our peppers (poblano!), cucumbers, and zucchinis are doing well, too.
OH, and before I forget, I have to show you our surprise harvest!!!
Yes, we have two garlic bulbs!😂 These were planted in the fall of 2017! We planted two or three rows and they didn't do well, except we saw two stalks still standing and we let them go all last year, over the winter and the other day I told Bill I think it was time to harvest them and this is what we got! And I'm sure it will be the best garlic ever lol.
The cutting flower part of the garden is doing amazing! Early last week I was able to start cutting! Of course it's just one dahlia here, one there, but now they are all getting blooms and I'm so excited to see the lot of them bloom and bloom. I will say, the ranunculus isn't doing well at all. Bill and I have never grown them, but we are thinking the they are getting too much rain. I will have to look into them and see if that may be the problem. And yesterday I got to cut my first gladiola! Bright red. Can you see all the blooms popping up on the dahlias?