Showing posts from July, 2017

Spaghetti Squash Is Everywhere

When we planned this year's garden back in the winter, spaghetti squash wasn’t technically even on the drawing . We had pumpkins and butternut squash as usual, but when we went to plant, we decided to use some of our spaghetti squash seeds instead of pumpkin — pumpkins don’t last as long in storage, and we really only use them for one meal each year . The spring was so wet that most of our first round of seeds rotted in the ground. I couldn’t remember which half was butternut and which was spaghetti squash. When I replanted, I only had a few butternut seeds left, so the rest of the empty spots were spaghetti squash.  Fast forward to today, and it’s all we have. Not a single butternut or pumpkin in sight: These aren’t ripe yet — they’ll need to turn yellow in the sun, and right now they’re still pale green. This is just a small fraction of what we have going on. The vines have completely overtaken their bed: You can see them spilling well into the gravel pa

Thuya Garden

Last week we stayed in Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island for our summer vacation. In addition to lots of hiking, rock scrambles, and some sea kayaking in Acadia National Park , we also took time out of a sunny morning to visit Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor. These formal, English-style gardens  are on the site of an old lodge (a great building in and of itself). The property was donated to the town and the gardens are now for the public. It seems to me that the compressed growing season in Maine means that things tend to flower almost all at once — and to pretty marvelous effect. Different beds have different color schemes, but the clear pinks, blues and yellows above was one of my favorites. Also impressive are the delphiniums. These are enormous — though they have been carefully, individually staked. This explains why mine always look so floppy and pathetic — that and the fact that it probably gets a little too hot in the perennial border here.

The Office Garden, Expanded

The little garden I planted outside of my tiny office is filling nicely. For example, the small nicotiana I transplanted has blossomed: I like the handling flowers, and it smells nice, too. The container planting has also filled in over the past month or so: Since this container gets a fair amount of shade, the pansies are still going strong. The whole thing has filled in with all the rains we’ve had: This garden connects to a tiny strip of land bordering the garage. I filled that in with daylilies that I moved from the perennial border a couple weeks ago. These are a very vibrant red, but that color no longer works with the white-orange-blue color scheme that I’ve switched to : So now these are hanging out in the back, and once we paint the garage yellow like the office, they should really pop: The daylilies should also look a little fuller in seasons to come. These are divisions that I transplanted fairly late into the season, so they’re a li

It’s Raining Cats

So just when we decided that Smithy just didn’t come around enough for our tastes and got an indoor cat to play with , another cat seems to have walked into our lives: This one is a big guy, and — despite the somewhat startled expression on his face in the photo above — is oozing confidence. I saw only his black tail scoot past the back door and thought it was Smithy, but then this much bigger  cat sauntered through the cat door onto the porch for what was left of Smithy’s breakfast : This photo is better, since I opened the door to take it. When this guy was done eating, he came right up to me and was just about to walk on into the house, but I didn’t let him. So ever so calmly turned around and walked away, without flinching or even picking up the pace beyond a slow walk.  He looked healthy and clean, so I’m not sure if he belongs to someone or is just a solid survivor. We’ll see if he comes around again for more snacks — I wouldn’t mind having him set up shop in

Meet Fiddle

So this happened yesterday: After much discussion, we decided that we would really like a house cat in addition to a barn cat. Smithy has become increasingly aloof this spring since we went on our April vacation . He only comes around at night for his food, and sometimes he’ll go a few days without coming around at all. I even tried enticing him with catnip and caught him in a Have-a-Heart trap to give him his tick meds, and though he stuck around on the patio and ate breakfast that day, he wouldn’t come up for a pat. He may change his tune when it gets colder again and he remembers the treats in my warm office, but he seems content to come and go as a barn cat should. Trouble is, we kind of got used to the ultra-friendly barn cats of the past, so we decided we should have a house cat to dispatch the errant mouse and curl up on laps.  So this is Fiddle. He’s an eight-month-old boy who was found in a feral colony, but who the rescuers thought was young enough and sw