“Rain, rain, go away.” Isn’t that what we all sing? But after two months of really hot weather, I’m singing, “Rain, rain, come and stay!” Yes, it rained vigorously on July 10th and has continued off and on. I don’t actually have to go out and water, but I have some transplants to pamper. Besides, it just feels great to have cooler air and wonderful wet drops on my arms.
For my daughter’s birthday, I bought her tickets to an outdoor concert. “Mozart on a Summer’s Eve” was an informal affair with a string trio and a nine-piece wind band, set on an open lawn at Manito Park. The temperature was great and the music lovely. Manito Park is such a gem.
Revisions in Bed 5 have begun. I cut down two large asters, the cranesbill, and my big lavender bush. Then I dug out the root masses. This looked like a long, awful job, but they came out pretty quickly. Once we had a good rain and several cooler days in the forecast, I began moving plants over from Bed 6. White Yarrow, a purple Coneflower that was being shaded out, a White Swan coneflower for variety, a Blue Flax seedling, a couple of Indian Blankets… I even rescued a tuft of Blue Fescue grass that was being smothered by my growing Lilac bush.
For the front row, I added succulents to improve bee habitat immediately. There’s a Razzleberry stonecrop and an Echeveria that wasn’t named but looks a lot like Perle von Nurnberg, a hybrid that’s popular at the moment. With all this, we should have a more consistent look to the front of the house.
Black Wax Pencil Pod bush beans and Lemon cucumbers are doing well. The Golden Bantam corn is starting to put up tassels. I’m trying to collect enough blackberries to make jam, but my son keep using them in smoothies!
Snap peas are about done for this year. I’ll soon be collecting seed from my cilantro. The other herbs are finding the sun just a bit too harsh in their window sill.
No sprouts yet on the Mexican Hats and Milkweed I started to put out in the fall. It’s only been a few days, after all.
I’ve found several very easy plans to build a nesting box for my native bumblees. I can use extra pots and some dry grass from my lawn as bedding. Little stones reclaimed from the yard and a scrap of bird netting will keep things dry inside. All that remains is to pick a site that is a bit sheltered from wind, gets afternoon shade, and won’t be watered too much. Perhaps in my iris bed.
I know it won’t be occupied right away. These things have to weather a bit before bees will use them. But if I put it in now, it will do that weathering over the winter and perhaps by next spring a bumblebee queen will find it to her liking.
Until next week, keep digging in the dirt!