Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer

Dear Friends,

Here is our dog, enjoying the dog days of summer! She seems to be enjoying the fragrance of our African marigolds, which are almost as tall as I am! They are among the few flowers that survived our being in Idaho, and the bees, wasps, and butterflies love them.

This volunteer squash is growing in our front garden bed (and so is a lot of grass). So far it has only put out male flowers, but we hope that some lady flowers make their appearance, too!

We think that these two plants are some type of vervain, but we're waiting until they bloom before we're positive about it. I just ordered a 981 page book called "Flora of Missouri," but apparently this plant is in the second (also huge) volume. :)

This plant I grew from seeds I ordered form Horizon Herbs, and can't for the life of me remember what it is! Do you do that, too? I know it's a member of the mint family, but it's a mighty big family!

The love-lies-bleeding is putting on its unusual display of red. It's a quite fascinating plant, and edible, too.

This volunteer tomatoes (we have a lot of volunteers this year, it seems!) has one teeny tomato on it, and either a deer or ground hog "topped" it, so hopefully it will fruit more~

And this little flower is growing so quickly! Thankfully she still has her baby curls.

We wish we had more sunflowers for the goldfinches, who come visit this one every day, hoping for some tasty seeds!

We actually found a chicken feed that the hens will eat during the summer; Purina Layer Pellets. We have been hanging a wet wool blanket in their coop every night to cool the air, and it does an admirable job. We also get them wet before bed, so they aren't panting and holding out their wings.

Our little currant tomato is finally fruiting,

And we've really been enjoying growing our own stevia this year. Of course, we won't have much to dry, since everyone takes a nibble from it when they walk by!

This family of deer makes a nightly appearance in the field next door to ours. The picture isn't very clear, but the fawns are triplets.  
I just finished reading the book "Mother," by Kathleen Norris. I've read it once before, but it was just as poignant this time. The book is about a girl who is embarrassed by the shabbiness of her home, and the noise and clutter from all the children in their big family. I won't give away the plot, but it has a very happy ending, which will make you want to phone or write your mother and tell her how much she means to you!

I will leave you with a few quotes from the book~

"You know," he went on musingly, "in these days, when women just serenely ignore the question of children, or at most, as a special concession, bring up one of two-just the one or two whose expenses can be comfortably met!-there's something magnificent in a woman like your mother, who begins either destinies instead of one! She doesn't strain and chafe to express herself through the medium of poetry or music of the stage, but she puts her whole splendid philosophy into her nursery-launches sound little bodies and minds that have their first growth cleanly and purely about her knees. Responsibility-that's what these other women say they are afraid of! But it seems to me there's no responsibility like that of decreeing that young lives simply shall not be. Why, what good is learning, or elegance of manner, or painfully acquired fineness of speech, and taste and point of view, if you are not going to distill it into the growing plants, the only real hope we have in the world! You know, Miss Paget, there's a higher tribunal than the social tribunal of this world, after all; and it seems to me that a woman who stands there, as your mother will, with a forest of new lives about her, and a record like hers, will find she has a Friend at court!"

"She had met brilliant women, rich women, courted women-but where among them was one whose face had ever shone as her mother's shone today? The over-dressed, idle dowagers; the matrons, with their too-gay frocks, their too-full days, their too-rich food; the girls, all crudeness, artifice, all scheming openly for their own advantage-where among them all was happiness? Where among them was one whom Margaret had heard say-as she had heard her mother say so many, many times- "Children, this is a happy day," - Thank God for another lovely Sunday together,"-"Isn't it lovely to get up and find the sun shining?"-"Isn't it good to come home hungry to such a nice dinner?" And what a share of happiness her mother had given the world!




  1. Dear Marqueta,

    I so enjoyed your post today. The pictures remind me of the little wild garden! I wish I could help you identify the forgotten plant, and yes I do that too. We did the same with stevia. Need to pot some up when next year rolls around (Lord willing). Enjoyed the quotation from the book. So very true. Those years go by fast too! Glad you are embracing them!

    Much love,

  2. nice post thanks for sharing i found you thrue other follower..looking for to visit more...blessings

  3. That was a wonderful excerpt from the book, Marqueta! I forget what I planted all the time. For years I;ve been pulling up what I thought was a weed, only to discover that it's a lovely daisy-like flower. Too hot to to do much weeding this year. My stevia is hanging on just barely. Surprised the deer haven't discovered it.

  4. Marqueta, your garden is so luscious and green. My sunflowers aren't quite so tall and I have to protect them from the squirrels. Now is your little dog a chihuahua?

  5. Lovely post Marqueta...I think I must read that book :) Blessings this Lord's day.

  6. Thank you for the little tour of your garden today. I enjoyed the photographs.

    The book you're reading sounds like a good one. I'll have to check it out sometime.



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