Flowers from afar.

We went to Juneau in July to visit DH’s best friend. A day out to see beautiful Tracy Arm (14 hours on a boat but we got to see whales and glaciers and seals, oh my!) and the Peanut was a champ. A day of hiking abandoned mining towns, taking a tram to a mountain top, hiking said mountain top, and then a day where DH went fishing and the little one and I traipsed about downtown Juneau to pick up some gifts, take in a berry crepe, and see the sights of a cutesy downtown. Juneau has some lovely flora in July…

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Does anyone know the name of the lovely rosy orange flowers above?

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Or the funny pink ones?

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That also come in purple.

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Any guesses on the name of the fuzzy white ones?

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These look like strawflowers to me, unless strawflowers have a more appropriate name…

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So cheerful for being upside down.

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August, nearly gone.

Things I find hard to believe these days:
– August is nearly over
– How mild this summer has been
– How envious (and grateful) I am of (for) other people’s gardens and the fact that they share
– What starting from scratch looks like with this much space

I’m sorry, summer is almost over? When did that happen? And what kind of “summer” has this been for Texas, you ask? A ridiculously mild one. Here’s a graphic from last year around mid-July.
100degrees
Keep in mind, that was mid-August, and by the end of the summer in 2011, we had had a stretch of 100 or more degrees that lasted 27 days, with a total of 90 days over 100 degrees that year.
By the same time in July this year? Zero 100 degree days. It was glorious.

Other people’s gardens (and farms) have been keeping us in delicious squash, peppers, tomatoes, melon, peaches, greens, beets, and various other goodies…like blackberries.
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And so the planning begins in earnest. Trying to recall through the fog left behind by our adorable sleep thief which fall veggies to sow when and wondering if I can push things around to fit into the timeline of still needing to actually build the beds. I pull out my fall garden seeds to see what I want to sow this year. Of course the answer is “all of them.” We’ll see how that goes. Also, I don’t think I can justify buying any fall garden seeds this year…
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But I can read through one of my favorite gardening books while I plan how to maximize space, balanced with aesthetics, keeping in mind that a 5′ wide bed was wider than I could reach to the center of at the last house.
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And try and make it to the library for a book on monarch gardening (unless one of you clever folks knows of a useful website on the topic?) After listening to a piece on the radio about their continued decline due to Round Up (and other chemical) usage on GMO crops in the Midwest taking out their larval food, I’m reminded that not only do I want food for the bees, but for the butterflies as well. I’ve seen a tiger swallow tail or two, and we have about 25 resident dragon flies practicing maneuvers each evening in the backyard, but no Monarchs. We’re in their migratory flight path, and every species I know of likes road trip food. Just because they can’t knock on my door and ask for food doesn’t mean I shouldn’t feed them.

Hopefully there will be some “breaking ground” posts in the next month or so. In the meantime, thanks for keeping up on your own blogs to keep me excited for y’all and inspired for the work to come.