Midsummer Supermoon

Last Saturday, my husband and I thought we’d try to view the Supermoon from the water. We loaded up our kayaks and drove out to Hoover Reservoir. It was still fairly light when we first put in:005Light, and fairly cloudy…would we see the moon, or would it be hidden behind the clouds? Then, peeking up over the treeline:

009Supermoon! Of course, we’d both forgotten our cameras so these phone snaps aren’t quite up to the challenge of showcasing how lovely the moon was. Huge and bright!

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Since we were on the water at night, we used the cool DIY kayak lanterns my husband made: a few feet of electrical conduit pipe topped by a simple solar LED garden light. You just pop the light, stake and all, into the pipe, then put the pipe into one of the rodholder holes. (We have kayaks designed for anglers, hence the rodholders.) The idea wasn’t to light our way, just to make ourselves visible to other boats. Easy as pie, cheap, and safe. 011It was a very peaceful night. Things were still and calm. I really enjoyed the opportunity to slow down, watch the fireflies, listen to the gentle lapping of the water against the shore, and bask in the moonglow. I could have stayed out all night.076Happy belated Supermoon 2013!

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Midsummer Bouquet

Last night my husband and I took our kayaks out to Hoover Reservoir so we could watch the “supermoon” rise. It was quite spectacular. We forgot our cameras, but tried to snap a few pics on our phones. Not sure how those turned out, maybe I’ll post a few later.

Yesterday morning we tried to get in a little gardening before the heat became too much –and to earn our play time, too! In between weeding and mowing, I couldn’t resist tossing together this quick bouquet, starring some velvetly splendid roses from our yard:

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A Cactus Blooms in Ohio

There’s something about having unexpected plants in our garden that tickles me. I like having things tucked in and flourishing that seem totally at odds with our region. I like surprises. I like a little dissonance. These tough hardy cactus plants more than fit the bill:

030One of our first purchases the first time we attended our town’s garden club plant sale, I  must admit that I don’t know much about this plant. I don’t know what it is beyond being a cactus. I don’t know the scientific name of the variety. I don’t even know a regional name for it.

I only know that the lady who had donated them to the sale insisted that they were easy to grow and hardy in our region. She advised us to just sort of throw it down on the dirt in a likely spot (a likely spot being a sunny one) and promised that the cactus would take care of the rest. My husband and I were intrigued. It sounded…ridiculous. She sort of came across like the garden club version of the flim-flam guy with the magic beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. Even though we believed that the first winter would absolutely kill it, for $0.25 we figured we’d humor her.

And, much like the bean guy in the fairy-tale, she turned out to be telling the truth. Growing this cactus took absolutely no skill or effort on our part. We dropped the original in the dirt in a sunny spot. Full stop.

It did the rest. This cactus has multiplied and spread a fair amount in the last 5 years or so. It graces us with glorious, desert-style blooms every summer. The bees LOVE it. And I love having an unexpected bit of Death Valley in our garden. $0.25 well spent. Sorry for doubting you, Cactus Lady!

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Dream Tree

My husband surprised me a few weeks ago by giving me my birthday gift early this year. He found and planted a lovely tricolor beech tree in our garden! I have been dreaming of adding one of these trees to our garden for several years. Although we’ve come across a few at the special plant sales we haunt, none of them looked like they were in good enough condition to purchase: they were all very small and spindly, with poor color, and a few of them were grafted specimens that looked pretty dodgy. And they were quite pricey, even though they all appeared to be on death’s door. Combine all of that with how slow-growing they are purported to be, and? Well. I’d pet the tree for a bit and pass on it, every time. Regretfully. None of them was the right one. Then?053 055Just right! He found a lovely specimen and got it for our yard. He even magically found a roomy enough spot for it by revising some of his original ideas for part of the garden. I’m so excited. I hope it takes.

Ahhh!

After an extra long workweek that kind of kicked my rear, it was extra nice to relax with my husband on our deck last night. The weather was perfect and I snapped a few pictures of him and some of our dogs enjoying those mellow-golden near-dusk moments.  (And doesn’t our garden look lush???) Pretty much heaven on earth. 🙂SRCKickoff 211SRCKickoff 233SRCKickoff 244Go have a great Sunday!

Mock Orange

Our garden is looking rather magnificent. How lucky to have a spring with rain! One shrub that is currently in its full glory is our variegated mock orange. The petals on the flowers are so white they are nearly literally blinding and the bush is just bursting with them!025 007 012Mock oranges are known for their scent. I find ours interestingly elusive. If I stick my nose right in the blossoms to smell, I don’t smell much of anything. But when I’m standing nearby-ish I’ll suddenly be surrounded by the scent. It reminds me pleasingly of crushed sweet tarts. Ours is supposed to be a variegated variety. Some of the leaves show some variegation, but honestly not that much overall. But it is well worth the space in the garden when this old-fashioned beauty is blooming. Wonderful!