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Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Garden Report: Never Give Up

Not much is doing lately, except that I’m rereading all of the Harry Potter books this week. I started five days ago and am halfway through book 5 in the series right now. I love these books; they give me such pure enjoyment.

So since you have obviously (!) been wondering about my garden after two years ago when it was such a disaster after the fiasco of filling all the grow boxes with rabbit and cow manure that had not aged long enough and that burned up the plants scarcely a week after I planted them, I decided to give you an update. (But remember that the plants eventually came back and finally produced something of a harvest, even though it was late and the cold weather put a stop to it before we got much.)

This year we planted things rather late. We have no excuse. We just did not feel like planting until the last week in May. Many of our neighbors planted in late April, which hereabouts is risky as there is always the threat of one last snow storm, one last freeze before mid-May. And that is what happened. We had that brief snow and we had frost in mid-May, and people were putting blankets all over their plants, vegetable and ornamental, throughout the neighborhood.
Blankets cover new plants May 18th when we had a freeze

We were feeling smug. We had not planted. We did not need to rush out with whatever old quilts or blankets or sheets or bedspreads we could find.

When finally my husband went to the garden store to buy plants, the selection was pretty limited. He bought three tomatoes, a pumpkin, and two sweet bell pepper plants. We had wanted acorn squash. We love acorn squash. He had wanted zucchini, and I was secretly glad he couldn’t find any. Last year our zucchini went wild and we had to throw half of it away, there was so much. From two plants we got over 50 zucchinis. I baked, fried, grilled, grated, pureed, and froze zucchini until I was heartily sick of it.

We have had a harvest of one tomato so far. There are a lot green tomatoes on the plants, growing larger every day. There are a lot of pumpkins down there; I haven’t been able to count them all yet. We’ve had a green pepper, but the weather turned so very hot that no blossoms set fruit for a few weeks. It’s been at or over 100 degrees F. for a month now and we hope the weather simmers down a little. This last week the thunderstorms cooled things off a little and the forecast says this week will be the same.

Well, that’s the Garden Report for this year! We’ll have a decent harvest of tomatoes and pumpkins, that’s certain. Come by around Halloween and see our harvest.

Update: picked a tomato on August 5

Monday, July 10, 2017

Patriotism Rampant

In my neighborhood, patriotism shows up not only for Independence Day on the Fourth of July, but for the entire month of July. My state has two holidays in July that are celebrated with fireworks and lots of flag waving, and my morning walks offer a glimpse of lots of flag-related decorations. I call this rampant because there is so much that you have to say patriotism is standing on its hind legs with its tail in the air, like the lion in heraldry. (Whatever!)

Here are the decorations I noticed this morning.
I saw this house this morning but used a photograph I took last week.
They do it up in grand style. Even their mailbox is covered with
red-white-and-blue ribbons.

The flags are definitely flying, with lots of houses flying the flag every day, not just on the holidays.
People fly little flags, big flags, and alternative styles of flags.

I like bunting on porch railings. It has that old fashioned feel, like being wafted into the movie The Music Man.

People even continue the red-white-and-blue
theme in the flowers they plant in the yard.

Flags fly on trucks too!

One of my good friends has been posting on Facebook about the largest U.S. flag ever flown that is hanging between the walls of a canyon near where she lives. You can see a picture of it here and read the article. Yep, Utah does love waving the flag.

In the words of George M. Cohan: “You’re a grand old flag”