Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mid-Summer's Musings

My grandma, who will be 95 on her next birthday, is staying with us for two days. Something she always likes to do is take a walk through our gardens. The profusion of blooms always amazes her. She talks about how much things have grown and changed since the last time she saw them, even if it was just last week. Gardens are like that.

As we walked by the small corn patch, she exclaimed, "Look at that sweet corn! How tall it is!" Our son-in-law said the same thing over the weekend. They noticed it was taller than usual, and they would both know, having grown up on the farm and in the case of my grandma, making a living by farming.

While the old adage "knee high by the 4th of July" doesn't ring true for corn anymore, due to hybridization, our corn is still taller than normal this summer. It began tasseling out last week and just this morning, the bumblebees were doing their job of pollinating.

"If the corn is knee-high by the fourth of July,
It'll make corn, wet or dry."

I always feel like summer is half over by the time July 4th rolls around. Planting is done, growing is well under way, and maintenance is the order of the day. Somewhere along the line, we have switched from wishing this or that would hurry up and bloom to wishing things would slow down.

The wheat in the fields around us has turned that beautiful shade of golden yellow and it's being harvested as I type. The first of the trifecta is gone, and before we know it, the soybeans and corn will have gone the way of the wheat.

In reality, there's a lot of summer left. Hot summer. Just like the last two summers, I feel as if I've grown a tail as I drag the water hose around with me. Each year I vow to just let the plants duke it out with the dry weather, but then I see some of them looking wilty and I just have to quench their thirst. We really could use some rain.

This year, we've been asked by the Van Wert Master Gardeners to open our gardens to the public for their yearly garden tour in August. We aren't really doing anything differently because of it, although it did provide leverage as I "encouraged" Romie to build fencing around the pool equipment at the back of the pool house.

Until then, we will enjoy these salad days of summer, relishing in each new bloom as it appears and joins the rest of those that make up the color palette of the garden.

Echinacea 'Sunrise'

Unnamed hybrid daylily by Lana Wolfe

Leucanthemum x superbum 'Wirral Pride'

Lilium 'Tiger Rose'


bg_garden said...

Oh Kylee.... beautiful blog today ( no surprise!) I love the photo of you in the corn. NOW THAT is a true Midwest girl!
Enjoy the cool weather. We are about to get some heat before the weekend arrives.

Mia said...

I´m impressed of your corn. Mine is more like straws compared to yours. Not even knee hight. Lucky you to still enjoy the company of your grandmother, I lost mine 3 years ago, age 90.. miss her. I also envy them who will have the chanse to visit your open garden. Well, I will have to seattle with your blog, and that isn´t a bad alternative either :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am absolutely coveting these lilies I am seeing popping up all over the blogasphere.

What a treat being able to have your Grandmother visit. She looks so sweet moseying down the garden path.

IlonaGarden said...

Everything here is about on the same schedule- so when I write about it will be something of an echo. I love you absolutely beautiful perennials - you just have such a gift for growing and photographing them. I love your wheatfield picture :)

Anonymous said...

Our summer is just barely starting here, Kylee -- we have the rest of July, August and September is always more like summer than fall here. Your garden -- and the corn! -- look wonderful.

Unknown said...

As Nancy said, our summer is barely starting (and there's FROST risk tonight in some parts of the region!) so I can't possibly think it's half-over yet. NO daylilies or echinacea in sight here, not for a while; I still have peonies and the delphinium are just coming on.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I'd love to be on that tour and visit your gardens in person! The pictures of your flowers are beautiful, but the image of your grandmother walking in the garden is precious. It reminded me a painting from my post
Grandmother's Garden (May 11th).

Benjamin Vogt said...

I admire your borrowed scenery, the fields I mean. I used to have an apartment that backed to corn and watching the combines come by reminded of my early childhood farming wheat in OK. It's fun to watch harvest, I think, but not to taste the chaff!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Hi Kylee, how nice to have your grandmother around...95!!! wow.
Your gardens look wonderful...I really love the Tiger Rose. A delicate pink.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Ha, if you think your corn is high you haven't seen mine. Oh hang on, you really haven't seen it, yet. ;-)

It's good to know your grandma is still gowing strong.

Salad days, yes indeed!

Commonweeder said...

Kylee - how lucky you are to have a grandma strolling through the garden - and such a beautiful garden. Good luck with the tour.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

The garden looks lovely, no wonder your grandma likes to walk in it, I would too! Your borrowed view of the wheat field is wonderful. I hope you get some of this rain that's coming along.

MILLIE said...

You are indeed lucky to have a grandma who can walk around your beautiful gardens. It was a very nice musing to read. I am a little more hard-hearted when it comes to water..I actually should water a little more. One thing on my agenda is to get some kind of regular watering system to the vegetables. It's very hard to produce quality vegetables without a dependable irrigation system.

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

You are indeed blessed to have your grandmother reach 95 and still be healthy.

Living in the city I miss the sweet corn of the countryside. Yours indeed looks tall for this time of the year. Everything here is way ahead as well due to the abundant rain fall we've had.

Enjoy your summer.

frazzledsugarplummum said...

You have a very beautiful garden. Such a pleasure to visit and see your grandma enjoying it too. It is Winter in Tasmania Australia and the frost has been severe. Fortunately my high raised vegie beds are under cover. My garden has just been started: hope it looks even a bit like yours one day. Always love the photos. Thanks

Gail said...

Dear Kylie, Your sweet photo of your grandmother walking through the garden almost had me in tears! What a treat to have her visit and walk your garden. Which by the way is looking fantastic! I do hope to get to see it in person some day! Have a sweet weekend, gail

Connie said...

I love the picture of your grandmother in your garden....how special!
I have that daisy 'Wirral Pride' on my wish list. How long does it bloom?

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Kylee, This is a special post of a special visit (making those memories!). Your gardens always look wonderful and your featured flowers are, too. How are your grapes doing??

Kylee Baumle said...

Bren ~ Corn. Wheat. Beans. Yep, I live in the Midwest all right! :-) (And so do you!)
Heat would be okay, if we just would get some rain along with it!

Mia ~ I will miss my grandma terribly when that day comes that she isn't here anymore. She is a real treasure!

Lisa ~ This is definitely lily season! The orientals are starting to bloom now and they are the ones that give the garden such wonderful fragrance.
My grandma IS a sweetheart! :-)

Ilona ~ Thank you for saying such nice things! I love when they plant wheat behind us. Corn is weird, because it's like a wall behind the garden. Beans are okay, but not nearly as beautiful as the wheat. Even the combined wheat field is pretty, I think. I love the smell in the air as the wheat is harvested. Don't like the chaff flying around though!

Nancy ~ Gosh, I didn't think you guys would be that far behind us!

Jodi ~ Frost??? Well, we got down into the 40s a couple of nights ago, which really surprised me. Tomorrow is supposed to be near 90 during the day. That's okay, but WE NEED RAIN! We are soooooo dry.
I can't believe how far behind us you are!

Tatyana ~ Oh I need to get over and visit you at your blog! I'm always playing catch-up!
If you're ever this way, you're welcome to visit the garden! :-)

Benjamin ~ I love wheat harvest, but you're right...that chaff is a nuisance. It's in the pool, the little garden pond, and all the little spider webs in the yard and gardens. It's like a fine layer of sawdust over EVERYTHING.

Janet ~ This is the first year for 'Tiger Rose' and I'm loving it a LOT! The bloom is lasting a very long time, too!

Yolanda Elizabet ~ This corn is a special kind, which I'm told I can't name. Corn-which-must-not-be-named. LOL. If you really want to know, just e-mail me and I'll tell you that way. ;-) First time growing it.

Commonweeder ~ Thanks! With the tour being in August, I'm going to need that luck, I think!
Yes, I'm very blessed to have my grandma still!

Kara said...

You might have just solved a mystery for me! I have a daisy that looks almost identical to yours here- when I bought it there was no tag on it and it looked pitiful. Three years later it is huge and I had to move it to the back of the border!

Wayne Stratz said...

looking wonderful! nice to share the beauty with your family. hope you get that rain.

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