Peony season

In early spring, peony watch begins when the shoots first emerge. It builds from there and I look forward to the last week of May.

Each year they provide hope and joy.

… and now it’s spring

This spring is already full of delights as I explore and exclaim at what survived the winter and where the daffodils decide to pop up.

As always Dot is here for the blanket lap snuggles and my spinning.

monarch!

I’ve waited all summer and was thrilled to spot a monarch on my butterfly bush today.

monarch butterfly with wings outstretched on a butterfly bush

This summer, my friend the artist Ruth Marshall ran an amazing program with Patti Cooper on the premises of Morris Park Library. As part of their “We Are All Connected Program”, they raised Monarchs. This program offered “art and conservation education [and conveyed] how the health and well being of the Monarch butterfly is connected to the health and well being of us all”. While I didn’t get there during the program; I feel connected!

The lack of diversity in the insects I see is concerning. I’m honestly a little sad that windscreens are no longer splattered at the end of a road trip. Though I don’t mind squishing the invasive spotted lantern fly.

When we worked on part of the back yard this summer, we intentionally chose as many butterfly and pollinator plants we could. This particular butterfly bush is existing and a few years old now. We added two more and I look forward to seeing how they do.

happy buzzing garden

They love the garden this year, buzzing around so quickly I struggle to get their pics. We intentionally planted pollinator friendly plants. On Friday I had a visitor drop in and explore my work.

garden gift

While most of our garden has been consumed by the local fauna (the rabbit, chipmunk, and deer communities enjoy my free salad bar) we’ve had a few surprises this year. It’s always nice when the garden gives me a gift.

Cucumber on vine which is larger than hand shown for scale. It measured 10-12 inches (26-30 cm) in length.

I just wish they happened before I went to the store.

This cucumber has been the largest. To my surprise it was also very tasty. It went well with some pita and enhanced a store-bought tzatziki.

Due to limited space I’ve previously not been keen on anything that is a vine grower. This year I relented and we planted two in the container — with both a tomato and a pepper. That wasn’t the best move, the other plants have been crowded out.

The cucumbers are in love with the weather (at least something is).

cucumber plant at the top of a screened container that is door height approximately 7 feet (213.25 cm). It needs some water and is in full sun.