Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bye-Bye July

I am sad to say good-bye to this precious month of July...

A favorite time in the garden. When bright bloomers smile at me from every nook and cranny.

Does your garden have mood swings?

Mine sure does.

In July, cool blues bow out gracefully..

Making way for the silly sun worshippers who think 90 degree days...

Are what summer is all about.

Calling all bird lovers.
I'm perplexed by this new bird. He showed up two weeks ago and has been eagerly devouring every honeysuckle blossom on the monster vine. Chasing away my precious hummers!

I much prefer the messy birds who plant volunteer sunflower gardens for me. If Mr. Pesky keeps whittling away at those honeysuckle flowers, people might notice how badly the deck railings need a new coat of paint. :)

Three cheers for the sunshiney days of July. May August bring us many more...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cucumber Basil Salad and Crafty De-lights

My dear friend, Sandy, showed me how to make darling tea light candles for the gardens. (Vintage jars, sand and wire.) Finally! A crafty-type project that doesn't require skill or patience. Right up my alley.

My BBQ went off without a hitch. At least, I thought so until I looked in the 'frig this a.m. to discover I'd forgotten to serve the super fab cheesy potatoes. I may have to eat those high calorie goodies all by myself. Life can be tough some days but I'll find a way to muddle through.

So nice to take a break since I frittered away the entire week on such ridiculous chores it's kind of embarrassing. 

Moved all the flowers from one garden into another. Finally admitting to myself that cutting corners just doesn't cut it. On one side of the house, I amended the soil and things are hunky dory:

On the other side of the house I thought, "Oh, why bother?" I'm sure you know how this story ends. So, we're starting over and believe you me ~ this time I bothered:

Dedicated 3 mornings trying to reason with the horse. "Let's go in the barn." [me] "I don't wanna go in the barn." [her] "Go in the barn!" "I don't wanna and you can't make me." On the third day, I prevailed. Then she refused to come out of the barn.

So, she's got my number. And, sometimes I feel my daily life is so meaningless...
The Perp:
I was lost. But, now I'm found!

Oh, and I lost the dog.

I had half the county out looking for him. Six hours later he strolled up the driveway wondering what all the fuss was about. Toying with the idea of embedding a GPS tracking device in his brain. Plenty of empty space up there...

So that was my dumb week. On the up side, fancy heirloom tomatoes are ripe for the picking. And, so are cute as a button baby cucumbers.

I didn't grow these, but I picked them. Does that count?

As a grand apology for a blog post containing nothing the slightest bit newsworthy, here's the yummy recipe that got rave reviews at the BBQ!

Cucumber Basil Salad
Start with 2 boxes of couscous, cooked and cooled. Then add a few of your favorites:
  • Diced cucumber
  • Diced tomatoes (heirlooms, of course.)
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh Italian parsley
  • Snipped tops of fresh green onions 
  • Pine nuts and sunflower seeds
  • Squeeze a lemon over this mess and toss a bit.
* The whole process takes about 15 minutes but do like I do... act very harried when the guests arrive and they'll think you've been cooking for hours.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays: Sunflower Flats

Locals: Find this stunning wildflower meadow along the Blackhawk Trail, Mt. Nebo Loop, near Payson, UT.  * Don't forget to pack a yummy picnic lunch! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day ~ July, 2010

In this mess: Catmint (tall blue,) Jupiter's Beard (tall pink,) Geum (orange,) Johnson's Blue Geraniums (short blue,) Dianthus (fuschia) + 2 cool birdhouses I painted myself (though my snooty birds refuse to live in them.) Missing from the party is (white) Baby's Breath. She adds a lovely, soft texture to these big bloomers.

It's a jungle out here! My short mountain growing season inspires every perennial to behave differently. Bloom times are all squished together ~ turning July into a riot of color.

Malva, Miniature Hollyhocks

It's hard to decide what to show on this Garden Blogger's Bloom Day ~ so many fun flowers to choose from. Here are a few that always make me smile:

Rose Campion and perennial Geraniums

Sweet Peas climbing the front porch.

Out of control, nearly wild roses.

Cute columbines are so plentiful they are flowering in the cracks of my sidewalk.

Lounging beneath this Six Hills Giant Catmint (blue) and Valerian (red) is one lazy, little kitty. I wonder if I should tell him that I'm planning to turn the sprinkler on?

Three cheers for Carol of May Dreams Gardens, creator of Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. Click here to enjoy more pretty gardens!

Wordless Wednesdays: My Lilies are Blooming :)

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tour de Coop!

Life never stands still. (How's that for stating the bleeding obvious?) But, I do declare the slow start to our summer (frozen tomatoes on June 16th!) has the good times so backed up I feel I may never catch up.

Best Coop!
For instance, I just now got around to downloading pics of the annual Tour de Coop ~ a day in the Salt Lake City valley when urban chicken farmers hold an open house for one and all. And, that happened two weeks ago.

There were fancy chickens...
I'm too sexy for my head....

And, selfish chickens...
Unwilling to share one tiny bite of juicy watermelon...

Tour de Coop is the brain child of a great organization: Wasatch Community Gardens. They do such a wonderful job of promoting sustainable living that I almost bought a hen.

This one:
I thought her brown markings were so pretty, though she had some serious ants in her pants. Simply would not hold still for the photo op!

Contemplating laying an egg.

As much as I love this idea, I can't ever see myself owning chickens. Perhaps it's their lack of eyebrows but they always look like they're mad at somebody. (And, if they were mine, I'd assume it's me.)

CHICKEN ART: Half the fun was seeing all of the clever, crafty things chicken lovers came up with:
I raced right over to Homer Depot for a gallon of purple paint after visiting this place.

These pretty stained glass panels are old window frames bedazzled with plastic baubles.

Mood Lighting:  Re-purposed pasta jars with tea light candles decorate the sides of the coops
Best use of an old broom.

And, I soooo want one of these!