August 6, 2015


I’m taking a big step this year and entering the floral competition at the Spokane Interstate Fair. I’ve enjoyed those displays in past years but never got myself organized enough to enter. What will I use? Native wildflowers, of course! Coneflowers and yarrow are my most reliable bloomers, despite the harsh weather. I’m also enjoying the beautiful colors of my Black Knight and Hot Buttered Rum coral bells, so I’ll enter those as foliage.

Entering the competition is a challenge to myself. It will take me a little outside my comfort zone, but perhaps it also will show other gardeners at the fair how beautiful these humble wildflowers will be. Maybe some will even give a tough, drought-tolerant wildflower a try in their own gardens.


The sky has been very smoky, as we are downwind from a couple of large forest fires. So far I haven’t had to curtail my activities, though.


Wax beans and cucumbers continue to produce well, although the cukes are kind of sneaky and tend to hide from me until they’re over-large. I’ve gotten my first summer squash for the season.

Sadly, the pumpkin I hand-pollinated got stepped on and destroyed. Might have been me, but more likely my son decided to take a short cut through the garden. I do see many bees at work, but I will continue hand-pollinating because I have several varieties growing in close proximity and want to be sure each is pollinated by its own.

Indoor Forest

The milkweed and Mexican hats are growing apace. They should be good to plant by mid-September. And I’m babying along a Christmas cactus that wasn’t happy where it was.


It’s the time of year when I see mother birds leading their fledglings around the yard, showing them what’s good to eat while the fledglings flutter their wings and beg to be fed. This was very cute to watch, until one of the fledglings crashed into a window. Now I’m pondering what I could hang on that side of the house to prevent it from happening again.

For the first time I saw a mouse on my property. Don’t worry, it was outside! Evidently the corn and sunflower patch offers good habitat for small mammals in addition to food for goldfinches and bees.

Until next week, may you summer be stress-free!


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