Summer Daze

I love summer. I like the heat, the sun, the sudden wild storms, the bursting gardens. I love looking out my window and spotting a hummingbird at the feeder, or hovering over my flowers.

Just yesterday while I was deadheading roses, one of these little flying jewels hovered a foot away from me, watching—like: What’re you doing there? Then zipped over to the roses, fed on two or three before zipping up to a tree branch to rest a minute. Before doing it all again.

That’s a summer bright spot in so many ways to me.

I love being able to work all day, get my workout in, then pour myself a glass of wine and wander all around the gardens.

Too often on these happy journeys I rescue a plant Parker has inexplicably pulled out of a pot. And yes, I’ve tried everything. Hot sauce, cayenne, chili powder, dog repellent, etc, etc. He will not be deterred from this strange habit.

BW is building me benches so we can put the pots up higher on the back patio. I’ve already either done this, or tried to block off pots on the lower.

The deer got through all our efforts and munched on a good chunk of Black-Eyed Susans, but I can take it as I have multitudes—so many I plan to dig up twice as many next year as the massive amount I dug up and passed on or transferred this spring.

We’re also going to dig up a whole hell of a bunch of my yellow flags which have gone insane in the last couple of years. They’re crowding out one of my spirea, and blocking the water feature. I’ve got another place in mind for some, and am passing the rest to Jason and Kat who also have a place.

These babies like their feet wet, and since when I planted (a few!) of them a zillion years ago where we have an underground spring, they’ve grown to like it too much.

I’m also enjoying my new patio fountain. Several years ago we were given this great big white stone urn. It’s lovely, but we had no clue what to do with it. We’re just not great big white stone urn people. Then I discovered these solar powered disk things you can put in bird baths or other vessels.

So we did just that. Jason and BW hauled the big-ass (heavy!) urn out of the pool house and onto the lower patio. Filled it with water—and after we’d charged the solar thing, put it in.

A fountain!

We had our little gang up Friday night for pizza, and swimming after. It’s so great to be able to get together like this again, just spend an evening with family, watch the kids have fun.

Griffin also likes the gardens, and wandering (usually at warp speed) around. This weekend he discovered the bench under the huge Black Walnut tree, and spend a lot of time rolling the walnuts Kat would hand him off the bench. Then bouncing them off the end of the bench.

He makes his own fun.

I love spending time on Saturdays weeding my beds, talking to the flowers, deadheading faded blooms to encourage more. It’s not a chore for me, but a total Zen activity.

And I’m rewarded on those walks with wine most every evening.

I hope on this holiday weekend you’re able to—safely—gather with family and friends. And have something that offers you the easy joy my garden offers me.

I’m going to close with the ultimate in Random Katness. Those who followed the travelogue know BW found some buffalo fur in our yard (then Kat found more). Kat, in her Kat way devised a make-shift spinning wheel. (She actually has a real one at home.) She washed and dried the fur, spun it into yarn.

And she made this.

It now resides in our library, and will make me smile every time I see it.


39 thoughts on “Summer Daze”

  1. Ah, so lovely! I also used to have now in a retirement home so those days are gone for me. But I have wonderful memories and love watching you with yours. Happy Holiday Weekend!

  2. Beautiful gardens! Kat continues to amaze me with her many talents

  3. I do love the flowers in my garden. My husband is the gardener and does an awesome job and I get to reap the benefits. I love sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee in the morning and just breathing in the flowers.

  4. What a beautiful way to spend the summer. Thank you again for sharing.

  5. In the process of moving this summer, so no gardening or flowers for me right now.😏 Rereading the Garden Trilogy to get my fix!

  6. Beautiful garden. I’ve not caught the gardening bug. My husband, however, loves to garden, so I get the pleasure of wondering and a glass of wine.. Maybe I’ll get the bug when I retire in a few years. Kat is Awsome. Does she post her insights on social media? I’d love to follow her.

  7. Gardening, wine and family, this could have been written by Mia Devlin from the Three Sisters Island trilogy. Lovely! After In Death, those are my favorite reads! Thank you for sharing!

  8. So lovely..I felt I was right there with you. Unfortunately we live in an apartment so we don’t have the luxury of a garden or flowerbeds…but do enjoy watching the birds come to our feeders. Summer is such a lovely time! 🥰🥰

  9. What eventually stopped our dog from ‘touching’ things he shouldn’t have was Deep Heat or Dencorub. Your garden looks lovely Nora.

  10. Your Kat is the totally creative person that everyone wants to be I’m sure. She makes something out of nothing almost. Your garden is so beautiful. My husband was the gardener and now I just have pots on my little patio, but it is color and I do have hummingbirds that come to drink. It is soothing to look out and see the colors.

  11. Gardens can be so peaceful and good for taking the mind off of troubling happenings. My husband did a paver patio with a paver path through my gardens around the back yard to the other side of our where our pool pump is located and the other door to enter the screened pool area is. I walk around it every day and enjoy the view and it’s helpful for weeding! After surgery and during chemo it was a life saver to do that walk every day as a necessity to keeping moving when the body did not want to do nothing but not move. My gardens and path kept me sane during this time and since it’s become a daily joy. Kat is an extremely talented and intelligent woman capable of anything. I agree that she is the best to have around if zombies happen….

  12. Beautiful gardens and always enjoy your statues/urns, etc. Dogs will be dogs, they dig in dirt just like gardeners do so you plant several and not worry about the ones that are dug up or stepped on. I was wondering if we would see what Kat would do with the Buffalo fur, Kat is one of a kind, such imagination.

  13. What a wonderful life you must have. I have a few flowers but no real garden…maybe……soon.. I just love the way you write ….. I’m kind of like Stella in Blue Dahlia and Black Rose….I want to be Nora when I grow up. Thanks for the glimpse of your life!

  14. I have a pond behind our house in Florida. I love to watch the herons, egrets and ducks. I have seen hawks, ospreys, and even a Bald Eagle dive for fish. We have gators that swim around and sun themselves on the banks. ( its fenced in, they stay on their side, we stay on ours. Plenty of food, no need to feed them). My equivalent of your garden.

  15. Garden tour is wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing!

    Kat is amazing…so much creativity!!!!

  16. Enjoyed the beautiful garden tour, so peaceful and made with love. Your white urn as water feature is perfect. Thank you for sharing a beautiful slice of your life..

  17. Right with you, girl. Squirrels dug up half of my iris bulbs, Mama bunny is hitting the greenery. In the garden of the big house we used to have, there was a raised garden of daylilies. Every year, when the day lilies were almost done blooming, my dogs went nuts chasing the lizards that seemed to be everywhere in June…..especially in raised beds. The dogs completely flattened everything, My son called it ‘nam.

  18. I love your garden! I do not have a green thumb! I can kill plastic or silk flowers!
    I’m happy we were able to spend time together (my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter), plus hoat a party celebrating my 13yr old granddaughter’s graduation from Middle School last week.
    It was great seeing/hugging friends and family we hadn’t seen in person since March 2020!
    I was annoyed when we discovered one person had lied about being vaccinated! He hasn’t been and since it was raining Saturday, we had to have the party indoors, rather than outside as we had planned (my son-in-law stayed outside in the rain grilling! My daughter’s family (even the 13yr old) and I are all vaccinated. So was most of the people, but one of my grands teachers and his wife were not, so we all kept our masks on, until they left in late afternoon. My daughter, granddaughter and I all suffer from asthma, plus my daughter and I have autoimmune system diseases. We cannot risk the chance of contracting a new strain of Covid.
    Your Kat is SO artistic! It seems like she can do anything, with the tools at hand! A real-life MacGyver!
    Enjoy the rest of your Summer!

  19. Your gardens are just beautiful! We had a very strange Spring, with fluctuating temps, and some things didn’t come up at all, which some did with a flourish. I actually have a sunflower coming up in one of my pots, which is odd since I didn’t plant one. I very much suspect it’s a donation from the bird feeders and already about 4 foot tall. The late freezes didn’t both the perennials , so that’s my garden this year and it’s been fun watching the changes. I’ve been looking at those water fountain ads – they really work? Kat continues to amaze – she really is first pick for partner if the zombies come. Wishing you and yours a safe and happy summer.

  20. Your garden in lovely. I don’t have that gene so I love walking your yard. The fountain in pretty…and huge.

    I think Kat is reincarnated from another time that bowl? is wonderful. I can’t believe it is from Buffalo hair. Wow!

    Thanks for all your great posts on your family activities. Love them.

  21. Love the garden, and the story. Life. Just a moment in life. So beautiful to enjoy whenever you can.

  22. Wow Kat is so talented nice job. It’s been so much fun watching Griffin grow up he is so cute. Nora your gardens are spectacular I would get lost in them for hours. I hope your enjoying your summer I’m in the middle of my annual reread of the In Death series gearing up for September. Thank you for sharing your life and imagination with us.

  23. Beautiful gardens! So nice to enjoy them. Kat has so many talents and very nice work.

  24. Beautiful gardens! My favorite plant is Blue Daze. Not sure if it grows in your area, but I love the little blue flowers. My flowers bring me joy!
    Kat is so talented. Very nice item to remember the family vacation.
    Enjoy your Summer, Nora!

    1. Everyone needs a Kat in their lives. I admire your plants, smiled at the fountain but was purely envious when it came to the buffalo yarn container. Sigh.

  25. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your lovely garden! I love the little toadstool houses and the statue of the woman. I marvel at the many talents of Kat; I stand in awe.

  26. A beautiful garden! Glad to see that Phoebe Peabody’s Goddess is still gracing the flowerbeds.

  27. your garden is divine. i garden, but have no idea what yellow flags are. There’s nothing that rewards and relaxes me quite like gardening. You’ve never mentioned it, but i think i’ve spied my favorite tree, a weeping willow, in the background. i love a bench under them too.

    1. Yellow flags are a variety of Iris.

      I do have a willow. Used to have two, and storms took them. The one I have now is still pretty young,


  28. Love your garden! Such beautiful flowers. My thumb is not green at all! So I will enjoy the virtual stroll through your lovely grounds.

  29. Your gardens are gorgeous.

    Kat will be your Zombie Apocalypse protector.

    I have a friend who claims “she’s a farmer and loves to dig in the dirt.” She is always talking about all the things she’s potted on her deck. She rents so no real garden for her.

    I grew great plants in Germany in pots. Coleus, Ivy, Geraniums, all grew with no effort on my part. When we transferred to OK I bought plants and killed everyone of them. I decided my thumb had turned black.
    Hawaii was so beautiful. We had a Plumeria tree in the front yard. Lovely yellow and white flowers. We had banana trees, my husband decided to transplant and move them around. Ever tried to figure out what to do with 400 bananas when you don’t like them except buried in banana bread? We also had Bird of Paradise, gorgeous flowers, and Hibiscus. All outside around the house. I didn’t have to worry about killing anything.
    My best friend warned me that the Plumeria tree would go dormant and lose all of its leaves and blossoms. She said she thought she’d killed hers when it happened.

    I killed the two plants I brought home from my husband’s funeral within a year.
    I might try again when I get back into my own place again.

  30. There is just something so peaceful about gardens. The comfort they provide makes it feels as if all is right with the world. Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Nora your gardens are magical
    🤗🌈 They look so inviting and maybe the when you take a walk, the faerie folk are peeking at their neighbours, watching over you all. 🤗 🌈 Thank you for letting your readers take a glimpse of your family at home. 🤗 Stay Safe.🤗😷🌺🌻

  32. Nora,
    I was wondering about the white and green variegated looking leaves on your nasturtium plants. I have several potted nasturtium and one plant in a bed. Most of the leaves on all look variegated. Is it a leaf fungus or a seed variety (I didn’t know I purchased)? The blooms are normal and beautiful.

    Either way…you have a lovely garden!

  33. Today I finished my latest project. An old 5 gallon fish tank is now a terrarium. I have several young carnivorous plants that have taken a beating from the summer storms we have had. So my DH suggested a terrarium. I have a pair each of pitcher plants and Venus flytraps. One each sundew and butterwort. Actually the flytraps have taken the beating. I have native pitchers in a ceramic bowl in the garden that are 2 yrs old now and doing really well.

  34. Please forgive me for this late post on “Legacy”. Just finished listening to the audio book (always read book first). Nora, this is one of the best of the best stories you have ever written. Love everything you write, but this one really took my heart. I cried, laughed, swooned (Raylan, wow!) the dogs’ love affair, the children. Reading the book was lovely, but the audio was amazing! January LaVoy did a wonderful job portraying each character perfectly, especially the children. When Bradley asked Waylan if he still loved his mom, that just sent the tears rolling and I don’t cry easily. And Phineas! he is just too cute! So thank you again for your amazing stories.
    Also, thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens. You inspire me in many ways!

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