Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Solstice

Yesterday was Summer Solstice and the forecast was for warm and sunny skies. This had been predicted a day or two in advance and so I rushed around the day before to get my house tidied and the laundry caught up, so I could have the day to spend outside. You see, we have been having an unseasonably wet and gloomy Spring with very little sunshine. The day started out with these dramatic cloud formations.

My poor marigolds have been sulking in all of the wet weather. You can see how wet it has been by the pot on the end. It is covered in moss.

Although, my pansies are very happy with all of the cool temperatures and have put on quite a show this year. Doesn't it seem like they are peering at you with curiosity?

My roses are just now starting to bloom. These are a Rugosa type. They plant these in highway meridians and places where they have to survive on their own. Mine have spread into a large clump with vicious thorns. The scent is heavenly. Since I have had my dog Whitey Bear, the deer have left them alone.

This is 'Hubby's Garden' on the steps of his workshop. These are the last of the flats of flowers I bought way back in April. I only go out when it is dry to pot up flowers and that tells you how very little dry weather we have had.

He likes to display old tools and artifacts around his workshop and so I thought these old pots and watering cans would fit in perfect. Hopefully the marigolds will stop sulking and grow bright and beautiful.

I actually used some of the pots at one time in the kitchen. This large kettle came in handy whenever we had a power outage and I needed to heat up water. We had many such outages before they started putting the electric lines underground. Our frequent 'wind storms' in the winter bring down many trees across the wires.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trimming branches from my 'Golden Rain' tree. It is so heavy with blooms that when it rained all day last Saturday, one of the main branches dipped precariously low, threatening to snap. I clipped the ends where the branches had forked and gradually the main branch lifted enough for me to tie it up to the main trunk. That left me with all of these beautiful blossoms that look like yellow wisteria blooms with a very sweet scent. I decided to try and dry them for potpourri. I was informed by one of my dear blog readers that all parts of this tree are poisonous, so if you have one yourself, keep that in mind if you would like to try and dry the blossoms.

I ended up with quite a few and put them into cardboard trays to dry. I left them on the deck for the afternoon to let the bugs escape before bringing them inside. They are in my bedroom and have scented the whole room.

After that I mowed the little side yard with my push mower (that is my garden) and when hubby came home from work I made a nice quiche for dinner and we sat on the deck until nightfall watching Mt. Rainier turn a glorious shade of pink in the reflection of the setting sun.

We stayed out until nightfall watching the stars. It stayed light until after 9:30, so we were quite tired, but so happy to finally have a little taste of Summer.

Now it is back to the usual, and this is the same view today. It is just as well because I think I over- did it and am feeling the effects, so I will pursue less strenuous activities today. I think I made the best of the first day of summer and so happy to look forward to more! I hope you are having a wonderful start to your summer, too.


  1. Those are stunning photographs! I love the morning sky - I think they call that a "mackerel sky" here? And rosy Mt. Rainier... sigh! Your marigolds are much further along than mine. And I never would have thought to dry the blossoms of your tree. Is it the same as a laburnum tree? We have one and it is wonderful, but we've been warned by various people that all parts are poisonous. Thanks for the lovely post.

  2. Hi Christine, yes I do think they call it a 'mackerel sky', although I haven't heard the term since my childhood in New England! Yes, it is the same as a laburnum tree and NO, I did not know it was poisonous! Thank you so much for that warning! I will not be using it for sleep pillows if that is the case! I guess just a simple potpourri! I am glad you like my photographs, I am a complete amateur and I owe it all to my little camera. I don't touch them up with photo shop or any program. Thank you for your input and I hope you have a lovely day!xx Karen

  3. I love all of your beautiful flowers and your pictures are amazing! It brings back childhood memories of visiting my great grandma. She had an entire flower bed of the most beautiful flowers. I was going to ask you what kind of flowers would be best on our balcony. The area gets a lot of sun too. Thank you for sharing this post.

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  5. Hi Jennifer, thank you for sharing your sweet memories of your great Grandmother and your nice compliment. Some flowers that I would recommend for sunshine are Petunias, Marigolds, Geranium, Daisy's, Nasturtiums, Pansies (in Spring and Fall as they like cool weather) and Blue Lobelia. These are the most common and easy to find. Good luck and I hope you have fun planting your flowers! xx Karen


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