carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

How’s the garden looking?

Well, thanks for asking. It still looks pretty good. Here, Hurricane Dorian was no worse than a thunder storm. We have had some thunderstorms this summer that caused some damage to the garden but nothing awful. And we have had some well spaced rain, but still I felt like I had to do way too much watering.

The tomatoes are still producing although the plants look rather sad.








I did finally get some green beans

The front needs some work. When the weather finally changes I will be moving some things around. I hope to plant daffodils in the new bed where the crepe myrtle is. It has done well and even managed a bloom. Next year should be a good year for it.

That’s how the front looks. Look for a later post about the deck.

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Elephant Ears, Part 3

We have been having a number of afternoon thunderstorms. During one of them I looked out to see that we had a naturally occuring water feature on our deck now.



The water collects on the cup shaped upper leaf and then rolls off to the leaf below. Pretty cool!

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How’s the yard looking?

Very well, that is so nice of you to ask… Except for a difficult 10 days of 90 degrees plus dry weather in MAY, it is been a fairly decent Spring. A good bit of rain. Sometimes too much. But more or less spread out.

The bee balm is being a little pushy, but the day lillies held their own. I’m real pleased with them and the blue salvias.

The butterfly bush has finally gotten settled in (only took two years!). It is doing well this year.

This is where the ramp from the deck ends, at the back of our condo. The hydragenas in the pots were $5 half dead ones from Lowes. They have perked up and are about to bloom again. My friend, Jim, gave me the vinca in the two pots in back.

Here’s the deck. Doesn’t it look great! It is so nice to sit out there. Guppy now sits beside me in the blue chair. I’m waiting until she starts expecting her own glass of wine….

I finally figured out something to do about the ugly telecommunications post.

I relocated some of the elephant ear forest and the flamingos… much nicer looking than the ugly box.

I am aware that we are fortunate to have this space, the time and the means to be able to indulge in something that is just pretty. It does provide me with a huge amount of enjoyment and the activity that I look forward to every year.

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I have tomatoes

This is an update to my tomato experiment. The expirmental plant that I am growing, a teensy yellow, has fruit. I think the fruit appeared on 5/20 but I could not see it for all the leaves. A few more have appeared since then.

I am a little concerned because this is supposed to be a drawf plant (I thought). So far it is the tallest plant of the group.

Twenty eight inches now (5/25) full of blooms.

The gardenia also burst forth this week. There are two in our courtyard.

This one gets much more sun and was just full of blooms. The summer like heat wave that we are having sort of did them in. They are fragile flowers.

Blooms are just now opening on the other side of the courtyard. Guppy stops each morning to give these a sniff.

My “imported from Oxford” vinca arrived this week. (Thanks Jim). Those were the last plants I needed. I am finished planting for the season. Unless of course a hydragena falls in my lap.

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Things that fall from the sky

We’ve been having a lot of rain. And reliably warm temps have arrived. It is so nice to be able to walk outside without having to bundle up. I would say that spring is safely here, in Raleigh. All the rain brings a clearing of the pollen from the air and things from the recent re-roofing that was done on our building.

Oak tree tails

They’re everywhere. Coming out of the downspout

Along with roofing nails

This is the haul after the last rain. Are there any nails left on the roof doing what they are supposed to be doing? Note the pollen too. Ahhh, Carolina in the spring.

The dogwood was very pretty this year, Each rain storm more of its blooms drop.

We are still mourning the recent cutting down of our cherry tree. Right around the corner there are three planted close together. I imagine I am in Japan when Guppy and I walk through there.

So glad that spring is here. Have a lovely and safe holiday, whatever kind you celebrate at this time of year.

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Daffodils

It has been a very good Spring for Daffodils here in Raleigh. Not too cold or hot. Occasional rain but not heavy downpours or any hail. My daffodils have looked good for over a month.

I think this is the best they have ever looked. I think this is also the first time that the bloom time of all the different varieties has overlapped. Usually, heat has done in most of the first ones and some of the last ones get nipped as buds by frost. It’s a delicate game daffodils play here in North Carolina.

Around the property there are clumps of daffodils that appear but don’t bloom. Last Spring I looked at them and thought, next fall I’ll move those. Well, that didn’t happen. So this year I just moved them even though it is not the best time of year to do that. They just needed to be separated and moved to a sunnier spot. A little food wouldn’t hurt either. So we’ll see next year.

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Early Spring

This was our first daffodil.

I found this in very early February. It suffered a bit from a nasty cold snap. Don’t know why it bloomed so early. Even now (2/23) all the others are still buds.

Flowering trees have started. The cold snap did not get them. The cherry tree that was cut down a few months ago would be in full bloom now. We all miss that tree.

Daffodils are doing well elsewhere on the property. So I am thinking that spring is just about here. Tommorrow, 2/24 we will be finishing 8 days straight of rain at least some if not all of the day. Not been a fun week to have a dog. On our walks, other than glancing over her shoulder to make sure I am close enough to receive the maximum benefit when she shakes the rain off, Guppy is unfazed by the rain. One morning this week she had to stop and smell every daffodil. While I am pleased to see her interest in flowers, REALLY! EVERY FLOWER IN THE RAIN!!!!!!

These pansies have done very well all winter.

They are planted in Miracle Gro with a slow release fertilizer. I think that is why they look so good. Anyway, spring is moving right along here.

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Scaldaletto

Guest Post: By Guppy, The Lucky Dog 3

I don’t know what that word Scaldaletto means.  I’m hopin’ it’s nice since She has taken to callin me her little Scaldaletto.  She says She used to have one in Italy and She misses those.  Her bed, which She only lets me use when She doesn’t want it, is right next to the windows.  It’s usually kind cold up there so  I’m guessin’ that She likes it when I get it all warm and toasty for her.  Always happy to be of service.

I’m a little scaldaletto…

Today, she forgot to feed me.  It was almost 11:00 before I got breakfast.  I almost had to call Saving Grace to come get me.  And She and Ben went out at night this past week!  I should get double bones for having to work over time.  I mean!  Really!  I spend all day protectin’ the house from squirrels and then they go out and I have to sit up and protect.  That cuts right into my quality nappin’ time.  They went to see a movie at the library, Crazy Rich Asians.  Came back all happy and laughin’.  I guess they had fun so I suppose it’s okay.  Long as they don’t make a habit of it.

It snowed here last week.  Boy was that fun.  She didn’t let me play in it though.  But I walked around in it enough.  Had to stick my nose in to tell where those pesky squirrels had been.  And I sat on the deck a little bit but it sure was nice to come inside.  

I’m seein’ lots of Chewy boxes on porches but not one on our porch.  I’m thinkin’ I might not be gettin’ any new toys for Christmas.  She says I really might not need any.

I don’t know how She figures that.  Those red ones always end up under her bed so I only see them about once a week and then BOOM they escape under the bed again.  Or maybe I throw them under there.  

Well, She says I’m being too whiny.  And that I am a Lucky Dog and should be grateful.  So, I guessin’ I am.  

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Four Seasons in a Week

That’s what life here in North Carolina is like.  Sunday, December 2, it was 70 degrees.  Each day after, the temps slowly dropped so that by Sunday, December 9 it was in the 30s and snowing.  Many of you know my passion for snow. HA!!!!!!  Anyway we ended up with about 6 inches.  Fortunately, our less than 2 year heating system which had not been working well since October was finally replaced last Monday so we were warm.  But Sunday’s icing and on/off power did the very diva like ice maker in.  So now that is broken.  It is just over a year old.  

This week also marks the second anniversary of when we packed up and moved from Italy.  Once we arrived here, the first time I bought eggs in the grocery store I cried.  I don’t even like eggs but I do miss Richard’s chickens that spent time with us too.  Now I am able to get through the grocery with only fleeting moments of ‘Oh, I miss…..”  There are predictable places for these to happen, the wine aisle of course and cheese.  But it is odd things, like these green beans.

 

Why is it so hard to get these green beans here?  I have asked at my Harris-Teeter.  I have asked at the Farmers’ Market.  Really, you would think I was asking for some exotic tropical fruit.

And boxed bechamel sauce.  The laundry spray starch that I liked the smell of.  The beef pinwheels with cheese and arugula that Esselunga made.  The gargonzola cheese covered with marscapone and walnuts.  I miss the Esselunga.  Just eating lunch there….

Any way.  Enough whining.  I bet you thought there would be snow pictures.  HA!  No, instead the last flowers of summer taken in November

Wild Ginger, cut in November before the first frost

Wild Ginger

Hot Biscuits as my Father used to call them

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What’s up

Well, I have finally bought a camera so maybe I will be updating this more often.  Certainly glad that Guppy is keeping up with her guest posts.  She has such a difficult life you know.  So much to complain about.  Yeah, RIGHT!

We haven’t been doing too much.  October was just one appointment after another.  I am glad that is over.  Still warm weather here.  We might, might, have a frost this coming weekend.  I went ahead and pulled flowers out the boxes and dug the elephant ear bulbs.  Quiet a lot of elephant ear bulbs.  We’ll see how many come up next spring.

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For next year, I am thinking of planting the large elephant ears in pots along the ugly fence and putting the darker leaf ones in the planter boxes with caladiums.

Before  one appointment we managed to eat at Mr. Dumpling in Apex.  Hmmmmm, a very good Chinese restaurant.

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Several different dumplings are offered.  And classic Chinese preparations

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Eggplant with chili garlic sauce

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Dried Fried Green Beans

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And one of my all time favs, Beef Chow Fun.  I knew we would over order.  We always do.  I was prepared for left overs which provided us with two more meals.  It was wonderful.  We will be back there this week.   I’m excited about that.

I hope November is calmer……

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