Friday, June 18, 2021

Summer Solace

 In a few days, the Northern Hemisphere will mark it's year's longest day, and the Southern, it's shortest.  Another year, another solstice.  

Thus far, I've been enjoying the lengthening days -- especially the early morning light, because, being a "lark" by nature, mornings are my best time.  By 6 p.m. I'm ready to pack in the day, most days -- even if it's still light here till after 10 p.m.

The challenge to enjoy a Summer of Slow and Quiet continues, but I think I might be making a bit of progress in the "quiet" aspect of that objective, being up early with coffee, while most of the hamlet around me is still sleeping -- ahhhhhhh.....

The garden is burgeoning with beauty, and most of the seedlings are now in the ground. 

Irises along my east wall

"Brown Pot" with baccopa and pansies

Looking south at the long "west bed"
-- full of lilies (yet to bloom), daisies
and lupins

Cherry tomato seedlings now 'grounded'
with the hollyhock to supervise...

The dandelions have died back on the East Lawn, and white clover -- aka Dutch clover -- is appearing.  This is good news, because it means that the soil is gradually improving and being improved by what's growing on it, not sown by me but by Mother Nature.  I'm not aiming for a lawn-full (any more than I want a lawn full of dandelions!); rather, I want to end up with a lovely mix of plants and grass that has colour and texture.  

I've been spending some time clearing long grass round my assorted trees -- in part to remove suckers (the lilac, willows, honeysuckle and Mountain Ash all produce them!), in part to give me space for transplanting some of those lupins and daisies (!) and in part to show off what I want to keep growing there, such as the Northern Bedstraw around the base of the Mountain Ash:

Northern Bedstraw 
-- the white flowering plant in the foreground

I have to keep the grass looking "kempt" or the County will come down on me.  Its officers are of the "golf green" fan club, and are affronted by anything that looks the least "unkempt".  😉

In the process of "kempting" the area, I've discovered there are dandelions, and then there are dandelions!!  I've been removing ones that I find growing where I don't want them, many of which I describe as "Big Ugly" because of their huge leaf-span and tendency to appear in clusters.  You have to try to get all you can of the root, because any wee bit left in the ground will produce a new one before you can say "Summer Soltice"!  That said, some of these roots are not only thick but long, and I've gone down at least 6" to try to capture them all.  Rarely do I succeed, but I did get this one yesterday.  It must have been 12" from tip to tip!

Now that's a dandelion!

All of this, of course, is an attempt to create Outdoor Studio II -- aka Outdoor Studio East -- another part of my property in which I can sit and stitch or read or nap, however the spirit and/or the muse moves!  

Right now it's best used in the early part of the morning -- before 11 a.m. -- as the sun moves around behind the trees and up into the sky over head.  (Once the sun moves farther west, there's no shade and it can become quite uncomfortable.) 

Pookie and I tested it out a few days ago, as I worked on some hand-stitching accents to finish off "Praire On My Mind"...

Miss Pookie surveys her 'cat-dom'

Truth be told, there's been precious little else done on the quilting front of late.  Last week I did manage to get 'Frolic!' bound, washed and mailed off to its new home (it should arrive today or early next week)...

Frolic's finish photo
Pattern: Bonnie Hunter - Mystery 2019

There's been, instead, some reading, some spinning, some hand-stitch and, of course, always knitting -- especially more socks for wee ones!

This pair is for Baby-to-Be-Soon
(due in August) -- cousin of Emme
who's getting these socks.

These are for baby Theo

This one will become two -- a pair for Theo's
big sister, Olivia.

One of our church's younger parishioners has just become a new mum, and has agreed to "2 or 3 pair" of socks for her little fellow, so once Olivia's are off the needles, there'll be new ones shaping up for Nicklaus!

Caring for the yard and garden, taking up my stitching/spinning/the knitting...solace, 'soul-ace' at the solstice.  May you enjoy the same, wherever these days find you.  

NOTE: Even as I link this to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, she's reported that her family is still in emergency mode.  I hope and pray that she and her loved ones will find peace and comfort -- and pressure eased -- soon!


Kate said...

Love the baby socks. I, too, love to gift babies with socks.

We own something called a "water weeder", that uses a stream of water to loosen the root of thistles and dandelions. The males of the family say it is an extremely refreshing thing to do on a hot summer day. The roots can go down a metre or more.

Bethany G said...

The peace and joy that surrounds 'home' are so beautifully clear in your post today, Marg. The pride of ownership, the beauty of the pots, and the lengths of flowers blooming on the west bed of lawn... and especially at your 'secret garden' - you need another for the afternoons... just look around and see where a little garden chair and a table might rest! Wish I were closer and could have a live walk about! Enjoy!

Teri said...

Just a quick note: dandelion roots are quite delicious and good for you. From the MSU blog: dandlions are rich in riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin A. One cup of dandelion greens contains almost twice as much iron as spinach, and over 500 percent of your daily intake of vitamin K, which may play a role in fighting Alzheimer’s disease. The leaves, however, are not the only edible plant part. The flowers and roots are also edible, and root extract has been shown, in some studies, to fight certain types of cancer.