Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's up in the garden.................

The colors of the season.................

.......................last night it rained, really rained.  Starting after midnight, the thunder was constant for over an hour, booming continuously like cannons, the lightning bright as day, its flashing sheets framing the window blinds with brilliant whiteness. I could not fall asleep for a long time.
But we need the rain so desperately.  Although these recent images taken in the garden look green and healthy, the overall picture is not pretty.......browned out grass crunchy and chigger ridden (my ankles prove it, oh how those tiny bites itch!).  Shrubs struggling to keep putting out new growth, flowers almost non-existent.

Bumble bees seem more prevalent this year though, a good sign, so perhaps they enjoy hot, dry days.  The lantana is one plant appearing not to struggle without rain.  Funnily I saw this same 'ham and eggs' variation also growing in South Africa as we bumped across the bushveld daily.  It is most unwelcome there and apparently highly invasive, although I thought it pretty among so much green.

My flat-leaf parsley was growing well and, as usual, the Monarchs laid their eggs on this favorite.  The caterpillars munched continuously day after hot day until only the stems remained.  This is fine though, I love to see more butterflies in the garden, can always pick up a bunch of parsley from the store!

Yes, at long last I have some figs coming along on my two small trees....well not 'trees' quite yet but the bushes are now starting to get tall after three years since planting.  Perhaps I'll harvest enough fruits when they're ripened later this month to make at least a dessert or two!

Still also picking tomatoes and cucumbers - making frosty gazpacho and cucumber Vichyssoise for hot Summer dining.  Other fresh veggies and fruits we pick up at the market, enjoying them while we can.

Today, here in our part of North Carolina, the heat index is expected to hover around 110 degrees!!  Yes hot, dangerously hot, so I'm off to make chilled soup right now......a bowl of fresh goodness from our garden, a glass of chilled rose, all that may be required by the end of this unbearably hot day!


  1. Good morning Mary. I have not blogged in a while so am trying to catch up this morning. You take the most beautiful pictures! We had that storm to roll through here last night to. At first when I went to bed I thought there was a strobe light somewhere. Thankful for the rain though. Lets try to work out another date to get together. I think I am up for it now!

  2. Beautiful photos Mary! Especially the figs, since I LOVE them. The caterpillars on the parsley are very attractive, even if they are hungry.

    Have a wonderful day,

  3. I also love Monarch butterflies, it's such a joy to see so many when we visit HH.
    Only green tomatoes at NL so far, it's a good thing that we enjoy chutneys!

  4. Hi Mary, I am dreading the temperatures today too. I think I will stay in the air conditioned house for most of it. Try to stay cool! Carla

  5. Keep cool dear friend. Those thunderboomers are supposed to be here this afternoon...better think about dinner prep early I guess!

  6. Hi Mary,
    Glad you got some rain. We have been getting rain on and off the past couple of weeks, which has greened up our lawn.

    Could you send me your cucumber vichyssoise recipe?

  7. can even make creepy-crawly bugs look beautiful! Gotta love your skills!

  8. Oh Mary..your photos are amazing, wish I had your talent:) Love Monarchs too..hope your weather breaks soon, those temps are terrible and so hard on people. I will keep you in my prayers..
    xoxo Gert

  9. Hi Mary
    Such beautiful photos! You are so lucky to have those monarch butterfly caterpillars. Will they make their chrysalis there too? My garden is very sad, just too hot!
    Hugs, Mary

  10. Oh great little critters!! My boss has been bringing me figs for 2 weeks! LOVE them!! Got tons today!
    Hugs, Lisa

  11. That rain was unbelievable, wasn't it? I didn't sleep well that night either. My grandmother used to say to be very still during a storm because God was talking to you.

  12. We have been that hot lately too Mary, such yucky weather! Can't be outside unless you want to be out before 7am!! Glad you got some rain too as we have had some here as well, and I can hear some right now on the skylight. Hopefully we will have a cool fall, but who knows what the weather will be. I have quite a few monarchs around, and have not seen the parsley. Glad you showed what the caterpillars look like!
    Take Care,

  13. I don't envy you those temperatures even though we have a typical grey, cool and damp English 'summer' morning here. I'm glad you have such a good attitude to the Monarch caterpillars, it's worth losing parsley leaves if it helps produce such beauty.

  14. The weather has been hot even here in Holland. We also have had storms and I do enjoy a good storm. Luckily, it cooled off about two weeks ago. The air is cooler but still humid which you feel whenever you try and do any housework. :-)

    Those caterpillars are beautiful. Now wonder the Monarch butterfly is so amazing when this is how they start life.

    Hugs from Holland ~


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