Wise & intrepid gardener Marvel, in mid-July:
We’re finally seeing some serious heat in the Willamette Valley (90s all week) — the Summer started so mild, most of the veggies have just been, well, vegging out. This week I expect (no: DEMAND) some significant growth out there.
This will be our last Summer on the 3/4-acres we’ve called home these last ten years. Keeping this much landscape from overtaking the house, the cars and our good-natured selves is a younger person’s game so we’ve found a home with a smaller lot and will be moving soon. Gonna miss the place and its green beauty, but we’ll carve out some loveliness in the next place, too.
Here north of Boston, we’re among the many suffering what I think of as Florida weather — high temps and horrible humidity, in the 70+ range. Scattered thundershowers bringing down power lines here & there across the region, but not enough precipitated moisture to break the streak. My cherry tomatoes flower but don’t set fruit; their larger cousins refuse to ripen properly; and even with my varmint waterer conscientiously topped up, something is leaving half-eaten green tomatoes littering the yard. UGH.
What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?
I live in Florida. Humidity levels are usually above 85%. 70% is low for us. Add on 90+ temps and I’m sometimes amazed that there aren’t more killings down here. The jails have air conditioning. //
Lovely garden, Marvel. Take pics of your next one as you transform it, please.
Li’l Stinker update: The Huntington had their last of their Summer Evening bashes last night, so I went with Madame and a friend. Madame and I stopped by to check on Li’l Stinky, still no bloom.
I set aside 1/3 of my 2000 sq ft vegetable garden this year, and seeded it with sunflowers and zennias and a big bag of wildflower seeds. At first I thought the weeds would triumph, but I crawled through the huge spot a couple times pulling weeds, and finally 2-3 weeks ago the flowers triumphed. It is a riot of color and wild beauty. We sit on the deck and watch the goldfinches, hummingbirds, and butterflies it is attracting. I got a great photo with my Pentax and telephoto lens of two goldfinches sitting on top of a large sunflower blossom which is print worthy.
For weeks I have been making regular batches of breaded fried okra, breaded fried green tomatoes, and my habaneros are coming in, so for lunch I am having homemade salsa from fresh tomatoes, carrot, celery, bell peppers, cumin, lemon juice, vinegar, a spoonful of sugar, run through the Ninja blender, with a whole habanero thrown in, the orange variety. I grew one plant of the super hot Carolina Reaper to check it out. One tiny bit of one pepper heated one batch of salsa to the point I declared the Reaper to be a Weapons Grade Pepper.
The water scarecrows keep the deer out, but the raccoons have ravaged the large tomatoes. I had to start picking them before they could vine ripen, because the coons were so destructive. I have been so busy and not felt great, so I did not try trapping and relocating to stop it. With 28 plants and 20 varieties of tomatoes, three neighbors are supplied and we still cannot eat them all.
Oh, and this is of course the time of year when we eat bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches on whole wheat for any meal of the day. It is the right thing to do.
Maybe I will send Anne Laurie the goldfinch pics, plus a cool butterfly pic, and some shots of the garden plots for next Sunday. Maybe she will use them. I submitted pics of a trip to Bahamas, with a cool panorama taken from the yacht anchored in the marina beside Atlantis resort, but for some reason they have never appeared in the Travels with Balloon-Juice feature.
Sometimes Alain loses track of pics. (he gets a lot) If you give him a little goose I’ll bet they appear.
I guess Li’l Stinker just doesn’t feel like it this year. You know what delicate flowers can be like.
The weeds pretty much took over my raised beds, I can see my flowers if they’re near the edges. It’s back in the humid 90s again, so I’ve surrendered to the weeds in the bed this year, I’ll clear it out after we get a frost that kills the mosquitoes. I have all I can do keeping my trees and shrubs alive and the crabgrass mowed. My tomatoes are doing lousy too, lots of greenery and some small tomatoes from the last cool down that aren’t ripening in any hurry. The heat has kept most flowers from blossoming. The one I drowned is making a come back but it’s about a month behind the other one in growth so unless we have extended summer weather I doubt I will get many tomatoes from it. It’s been a miserable summer for gardening because of the heat and lack of rain in my area.
@HeartlandLiberal: yeah, a couple of people have had to send them more than once to Alain. Especially if you used the form to submit them. After three tries that looked successful, I ended up just emailing them to him.
Alain’s got a lot on his plate right now. I don’t think he really has time to take care of a goose.
@OzarkHillbilly: Yea. my beach pics never showed up. Anybody tried CBD oil on their pets? Lil Bit’s cough is not getting better and I’m going to try it.
Marvel, I’m sure you will have a beautiful garden in your new place. You’ll have more time to enjoy it also.
@Amir Khalid: Seems to be a constant state of affairs for him of late. I hope he gets a chance to catch his breath soon.
@raven: Sorry to hear your still dealing with that. The Woofmeister’s cough is under control with Furosemide (for the pulmonary edema), and another drug for his congestive heart failure, for whatever that’s worth.
Marvel, I can only imagine the work you put into your gardens now, so what @JPL: said. That said, your gardens and pictures are wonderful.
I’m sceptical that I’ll even bother with growing any vegetables at all next year since I’m surrounded by beautifully grown produce four days of the week anyway, all looking better and just as fresh as what I can grow.
@raven: Good luck with Lil Bit. Figure the CBS oil can’t hurt and may make her more comfortable.
Is that a roll of packing tape on the rock in the first picture?
My two pomegranate trees have flowered twice this year and no fruit. Tomatoes are appearing too but stay the size of berries. Triple digits all summer long a factor?
Study question: Here in inland CT we’re getting way more “overnight lows in the low 70s” for July and August, the last few years, than I’d care for.
What about other jackals?
For no reason other than symmetry, a view of part of Mom’s terrace taken 180 degrees from the pic last week, at 7 a.m. today.
The trees go up at least another story and a half (same on other end of terrace). She’s on the 3rd floor, which is top floor of the building, so overhanging branches provide some shade.
Anonymous At Work
@satby: It’s in every picture. I was wondering why there was a roll of tape (packing or scotch) in every picture, too.
Good Morning, Everyone ???
@Anonymous At Work: Perhaps to provide scale for size?
@rikyrah: Good morning.
@raven: I’ve used a spoonful of honey for my old girl – she loved it and it has done the trick a few times – ending the cough in a day or two. We have not tried CBD oil, but hear about it frequently on the various pages I am on for the pups endocrine issues. I have not seen anything specific to coughing. Mixed reviews on pain (arthritis) and general anxiety – but there is always uncertainty as to the quality/purity of the product. Unfortunately too little testing at this point, though I understand that Cornell had a study that was positive for pain reduction – I haven’t gotten a copy of it. Some other herbals you might consider – Sage helps with soothing the throat and respiratory tract – antimicrobial, I believe. Also, Slippery Elm provides a coating from the throat down to the digestive tract and helps with throat and stomach issues. Both these are available in a powder and can be mixed with water or food. Dogs are generally tolerant of the flavors. Hope you can find the relief your pup needs.
@OzarkHillbilly: we had X-rays and an ultrasound this week and congestive heart failure and phnemonia were ruled out. They proposed turbrtol to break the cough but it’s $300 for 100 and we’re down about 4 k this month so we’re exploring other stuff.
@Dog Mom: I’ll put it on the list
Things I never thought I’d say #671,892:
Sitting here cutting a pool noodle in half lengthwise.
Gonna jerryrig it into a strip of insulation Mom can easily pop into place during winter to block the seam between the sliding doors to terrace, where she says cold air seeps in (terrace faces NNE). She’s pleased we found a pool noodle that comes close to matching the color of the carpet.
@Anonymous At Work: huh, hadn’t noticed it, but you’re right!
@rikyrah: Good morning ?!
@NotMax: that’s a great idea!
Give mom my regards ☺. I think of her offering to send coffee every morning, so sweet!
@Raven: I knew she didn’t have CHF but thought the lung clearer might be of assistance. It has the advantage of being cheap too.
90s during the days, mid-70s at night -+ no end in sight here just outside Boston. But I am getting a huge number of celebrity, rutgers (new favorite) and San Marzano tomatoes. Mr. Stripey and Romas failed. Jet Star are struggling. Hot peppers thriving, Tomatillos have gone wild.
Typical, my tomatoes are ripening just as I get ready to leave for 10 days. Ugh.
Only 70% humidity? I should drive to Mass. It’s going to be 94% here in Maine again.
Anyone have an opinon, positive, indifferent or negative, about either the Brave or WARP browser for Android?
Meanwhile I had a plumbing disaster in the basement laundry room. A 110 year old unique, 10 inch tall, egg-shaped lead trap failed at the point where a discharge pipe came out. Watered my laundry room. Ok. I was going to solder some new lead on, then the place where the outflow pipe was attached started leaking. I just cut the whole thing out last night and now have like 20 pounds of lead trap plus pipe. I have to fix it today because we need to do some wash before we head to Texas….
@raven: A coworker uses it for her dog’s arthritis. She says it works wonders and only took a few days to start working. If/when my dog needs it, I’ll start using it.
@HeartlandLiberal: Would live to see pictures of your flower garden.
In Noo Yawkese: Oy vey.
This year I planted tomatoes in pots and thought the small tomatoes were because of that. I keep looking at the long range weather forecast but cannot see any relief. I found some dwarf cosma seed at a wild flower farm and did not get them planted till late. They are starting to bloom and are so pretty. Bright gold yellow flowers against the dark green foliage .
Cilantro does not like me. I have tried growing by seed and plants but they shoot up with out a lot of foliage and go to seed. My daughters friend who is Hispanic did recognize them and wondered were the leaves were. I keep trying to grow them and stagger the time so I can get a little for all my summer recipes that call for it.
I’ve already decided the same regarding zucchini and cucumbers. I don’t eat them enough to give them space in the garden. But I do love fresh tomatoes and peppers that are not always available (like poblanos which are going great guns in our heat)
@Immanentize: Lead pipes are very difficult to properly solder. The one and only time I came across the need to do it I called a plumber, and boy was I happy I did.
Oy vey iz mir! Indeed.
I love New York. I love the view from your Mom’s balcony too. I hope you are enjoying your time there. And your noodle idea is very clever.
@OzarkHillbilly: I will in the future do just that. Hack saw and sawzall proved to be just the thing -+ lead from the old stone double sink, brass on the outflow side. Welcome PVC and rubber joiners.
Emails show Trump White House lied about US Poverty Levels to undermine UN Report
Marvelous garden. I have vegetable envy. Every year at this time I wish I had the room (and the stamina) to raise more edibles.
We’ve been fortunate in our weather this summer in Buffalo. Only a couple of days in July got up to 90 and the humidity had been pretty moderate. Not even any powdery mildew on the tall phlox this year.
I’m looking for suggestions for a foundation area that needs re-doing. It’s the north side (fromt) of the house, an area about 15×6. In front of it is a path about 18 in wide that gous under the garden arch for the roses and clematis fronted bu a nearly 7 foot deep area that has been filled in by shasta daisies, lambs ear and veronica. The east and west edges have some spirea, a small hydrangea and a couple of very large hostas and a large fairy rose at the northeast corner. The only thing that must stay in the area to be planted is a weeping cherry tree, full grown at about 7 feet with about a 5 foot canopy. It’s shady with morning sun. I want to plant some shrubs, evergreen and deciduious mix that are not too large for the scale of the space. Any suggestions for such a space in zone 6?
KrisS ? Your Vote, Your Voice ? (@MplsMe) Tweeted:
Al Franken was set up.
White nationalist provocateurs, a pair of fake news sites, and an army of Twitter bots and other cyber tricks helped derail Democratic Senator Al Franken last year, new research shows.
A great reminder that Nikki Haley is as corrupt as her boss.
Alain is way behind and also had some computer troubles. I followed up on some pix of our trip west and they were not received. I sent again, confirmed receipt, and await their appearance.
I look forward to the goldfinch on fleur photo. We have a similar garden with similar denizens.
No veggies this year. But the cardinal flowers planted last year are blooming and the hummingbirds love them. Meanwhile, the hardy hibiscus are exploding–bees love them. So do Japanese beetles, unfortunately, though not as many as in years past. A few of the liatris spicata, which are supposed to average 2-4 feet tall, are well above my head (I’m 5’6″).
The only veg grown this year is some wild purslane that sprouted along my driveway. It’s filled in a decent chunk of a landscape rock-covered area near the house, and makes an attractive ground cover as well as a decent salad.
Me too! I’ve lived through your gardening wizardry.
@Anonymous At Work: (…and Satby) Packing tape = kind of a thematic icon: we’re moving.
That’s typical summer weather here in central Ohio; if I recall, back when I lived over tehre, the summer weather in Ohio usually showed up in NYC a day or two later.
A Ghost To Most
@A Ghost To Most:
This just made me Laugh??
@A Ghost To Most: Totally legal to meet with a foe to discuss internet hacking. He also said the fake media can start wars. He needs to be marooned without means of communication.
@rikyrah: Thanks for this. We–as in the Democratic Party–threw Al Franken under the bus in what was clearly a concerted effort to smear him. He took it for the team. I’m trying to imagine if any of those who condemned him before investigating the charges would do the same. I doubt it.
Good morning, all.
@Marvel: Good luck with your move. Someone is going to be thrilled to have your beautiful home and gardens, and you get to beautify another home and landscape.
Pictures of everything, please. We will get the “before” and “after.”
I want Marvel’s garden
@John Cole: We ALL want Marvel’s garden.
Is he planning on running again?
A Ghost To Most
@tobie: Agreed. Kristin Gilibrand threw herself under the bus on this.
@OzarkHillbilly: But most of us want it without the enormous work that Marvel and her spouse out into it ?.
@debbie: I wish he would.
A group of us started a neighborhood garden in a fairly large patch of land that runs along the utility/fire access lane. We have individual raised beds for most of our gardens but this year we decided to do something with a large area outside the raised beds. The problem is that whatever wild weeds had been growing there undisturbed for years do not like the idea of us encroaching on their territory. Because we have bat houses, lots of birds, and a plan to keep bees next year we don’t want to use any herbicides.
I read about a vinegar and dish soap concoction that is supposed to have good results but I wonder if anyone here has any ideas for an organic solution.
I’m amazed that they are able to grow so much on just 3/4 of an acre. I assumed they had a big farm.
Marvel, lovely garden as usual. I’ve missed you this year and I’m glad to see your garden again. We are facing the same tipping point soon and will either have to start paying people to help maintain this place or find something with a smaller lot, which is sad because we’ve just about got the place to where we want it. .
@Marvel: That was my guess! Your garden is always so gorgeous. I’ll miss your photos of it, but look forward to seeing the progress of your next garden.
@Raven: I’ve had two friends who have had luck with acupuncture for their dogs. One for arthritis and one for pain due to cancer treatment. Can’t say it would work for a cough but it’s fairly low risk and according to both of my friends it calmed their dogs right down immediately. Maybe it could calm some neuro pathway that would help with the cough.
Also, when I had a bad cough my doctor told me I had to talk cough medicine until the cough was gone. The more you cough the more the lungs stay irritated so the more you cough. I followed his directions and the cough went away fairly quickly after that. Don’t know if it applies to dogs but maybe the short term use of a medication would help Lil Bit get over her cough.
@MomSense: What exactly are you spraying? Weeds along the edges? If that’s it, then yes, the vinegar/dish soap spray will control weeds. If you are talking about a large area, the spray is really not practical. Try putting a thick layer of cardboard down and cover with mulch and let it sit. That should kill a lot of the weeds. Birds and other animals will still drop weeds from the top so you won’t get rid of them all.
@satby: What is the sigh about?
I giggled out loud at this.
@rikyrah: I hope Al decides to run again. I hope this blows up in their face just like blocking Elizabeth Warren from running her brainchild organization, and instead they got Senator Warren.
Did none of these people have moms to tell them that if you win by cheating, it’s not really winning?
@WaterGirl: She typed CBS in her previous post by mistake.
@A Ghost To Most: Yes, she did.
@opiejeanne: Thank you! I hadn’t even caught that. We really do see what we expect to see.
Marvel, your garden is always so lovely. A good friend of mine had a place in the country – she was an artist and she created the most amazing outdoor setting with ponds and a million trees and lovely flower beds and and and.
A month ago she moved to Oregon – she hated to leave her lovely space but she just couldn’t do it all anymore, and it would have cost a fortune to hire someone to do it. She was lucky enough to find a buyers who could really appreciate what she had created. Bee keepers, in fact, with youngish kids, and the realtor reported that even the kids couldn’t believe their good luck at moving into an outdoor retreat like that. That helped my friend be at peace with he move.
What fun you will have in creating a new space. Can’t wait to see it as it progresses – we all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
@ThresherK: I have been saying for years that the “tell” on global warming here on the Least Coast isn’t the daytime highs but the nighttime lows. Here in Bawlmer Murlin (hon) we’ve always had ferociously hot stretches in July/August topping out in the 35-40 C (95-104 F) range. (At least as far back as I can remember, which is the mid-1950s.) My folks had no A/C until I was gone from the house, just window fans, but there were at most a dozen summer nights when it was too hot to sleep (essentially high 70s with massive humidity). Now it seems there are at most a dozen nights each summer when it isn’t too hot to sleep in unconditioned air.
BTW & FYI that has to do with humidity & cloud cover. More heat trapped in the atmosphere means more water (in cloud or vapor form). After sundown, when the surface & planetary boundary layer are no longer heated, they radiate the accumulated energy in the IR. Even the hottest desert will tend to cool down rapidly if the sky is clear & the air very dry as the day’s heat escapes unobstructed into space. But any H2O in the atmosphere absorbs heat would otherwise escape into space & re-radiates some of it back toward the ground, while clouds tend to reflect the IR.
@rikyrah: I guess I just don’t have the energy to add fuel to a D on D fire. I like both Franken and Gillibrand (relative to other choices). Gillibrand is my senator and I need for her to be as strong as she can against this administration. I didn’t like that she pushed and he stepped down. In a just world, I would have liked to have the accuser shown immediately as the provocateur that she was and have anyone ‘believing’ her treated and dismissed as the hypocrites they were. That wasn’t what we could expect from the press, and certainly not Republicans and the Russian trolls supporting them then. The one pic of Franken was slightly creepy – and I think it would have continued to be flogged and used as a distraction. (I hate having written that.) I do hope Franken can get that justice now in the court of public opinion – I would also love to see some legal action taken if possible against those who smeared him (acknowledging I don’t often engage in wishful thinking). If Franken choses to run and the people of Minnesota vote him back in, I think that’s great.
@rikyrah: And a certain Gulliblebrained “colleague” was only too happy to slam the shiv into his back at her first opportunity.
@WaterGirl: that I can’t edit in mobile, which is how I read the blog on my Kindle. Annoying.
@Uncle Cosmo: I missed that. Who is the colleague?
J R in WV
*Maybe Alain had a major computer crash and lost a lot of good stuff. Maybe you never saw his remarks about that. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve lost in a hard drive crash…
Maybe when he gets this newest site update pushed through you could send both your cool vacay pics AND your wonderful garden pics to Alain for our wonderment! Maybe using the new submission page, even…
On Reddit, a banana is often included in photos as the standard unit of measure (feel free to Google). I applaud the use of a roll of packing tape as the Balloon Juice Standard for showing accurate scale.
@J R in WV: You, like Amir, are unfailingly nice. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?
@WaterGirl: I know the thread is dead, but I feel compelled to clarify that I wasn’t talking about all your comments today, JR, just the one where you were defending Alain to Heartland Liberal.
@Avery Greynold: Also quarters (US $0.25 coins for aliens), which are exactly 25mm – slightly less that 1 inch – in diameter. Some pics exemplifing this in future.