Changes in the Garden While I Was Gone


Hibiscus began blooming during my week riding a bike across Iowa on RAGBRAI

What happened in the world while I was off the grid?

Oh, yeah, Obama caved and there is a budget deal. I’m not quite as angry as some seem to be—congressional Republicans seemed in no mood for rational thinking—but I can’t say I’m happy, either. With a crushing federal deficit to erase, the only answer is crushing spending cuts?

Blah. But I don’t feel into it enough to write a political rant just yet.

It felt a little odd getting back to my gardens after riding across Iowa on RAGBRAI. Despite oppressive heat—the first three days of the ride were proof that despite advanced pudgy middle age, I’m apparently able to tolerate hot weather—Iowa appears fairly lush. A lot of native cone flowers and lilies are in bloom. The corn is high and breathing out a lot of water vapor.

When I got back home, the lawn needed to be de-sticked and mowed, but it felt a little odd that seasons had not changed or anything. RAGBRAI was such an ordeal that it felt like it was much longer than a week—my son Jon and I noted to each other on day two that it seemed we’d been on RAGBRAI for months and not days.

Lizzie and mushroom

Granddaugther Lizzie looks at giant mushroom that came up in front yard--proof it could not have been all dry the week I was gone on RAGBRAI.

Mushroom in yard

Close look at mushroom of doom

When I got back, two of the hibiscuses were in bloom, though not the Rose of Sharon, yet. The biggest surprise is that one of the new hollyhock flowers I had planted chose to bloom this year—hollyhock aren’t always in a hurry to get into gear, and I wasn’t expecting much from these new plants. Nice to see this flower return to my garden, even if I miss the cool looking black ones in back that the bunnies ate out last year.

Well, here are some yard and garden photos. I moved several favored young trees—the walnut tree and two oak trees were sent to the deer garden behind the fence, where I hope one survives but I fear all will be salad. The mushrooms were put into the yardy cart before I began mowing.

Lizzie helped me take these garden photos, in that my visiting granddaughter from England babbled to me and walked around with me while I photographed.

All in all, it was hard to fathom that I’ve been gone only one week. The best sight I saw in the garden I had no chance to photograph—during a family gathering on Sunday, I took out some recycling and was walking by the east side of the house.

A male hummingbird chose that moment to feed on some hostas just two feet away from me.

Well, cool. It was a nice welcome back to the garden. Hope you enjoy the photos.


New hollyhock in bloom

Peace Lily

Potted peace lilies--Spathiphyllum--also bloomed during RAGBRAI

Walnut tree

Couple of oaks and walnuts were transplanted before the post-RAGBRAI mow

Butterfly bush

Butterfly bush in front was already in bloom, but bloomed a lot more.

Bug eater

Spider on the deck. Had to rebuild the web after Sunday barbecue, but got the job done

Snake on a hose

Went to water Sunday after RAGBRAI and encountered this big garter snake. If it's Solomon, he tripled his size, so it's proabably not. To me, while a bit startling, the sight of such a snake in my garden is good news

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