I've spent some time in the garden today, doing that most melancholy of summer gardening chores - removing spent plants.
The peas are done. We got three excellent meals from the few plants we put in. Is that worth it? We think so. Those peas, fresh out of the garden, cooked a very few minutes and then dotted with butter make one of life's sublime foods. If I can have eat them three times a year, that's enough to hold the memory until next year's crop. No peas in the store, frozen or fresh can compare.
You may see them in the garden on July 8 - in front of those orange daylilies.
And the first picking on July 14.
Another plant I cut down today was the mallow. I've mentioned before in my letters that I grow mallows because my mother told me they grew in front of the chicken house on the farm where she grew up. I knew as soon as I had my own farm that I would plant them. I think some view them as weeds, but I find them a lovely addition to the garden. They self-seed all over, which is a bonus.
They were the queens of the garden on July 1, and for two weeks afterward.
Today they looked like this. Blurry, but you get the idea.
Though the mallow, and also the aquilegia
look terrible after blossoming, there are some plants that look almost as good when they aren't in bloom. I think both the Baptisia australis (blue wild indigo) and peony plant are lovely in the height of summer when their blooms are long gone.
Though it was sad cutting down and pulling out the dead plants, I was cheered by beautiful daylilies which are still going strong.
We've been so lucky with rain. There was a dry spell for a couple weeks, but since then, we've gotten at least an inch of rain a week.
Most of the nesting is over. I still see a few phoebes, the crow family, a wren, and an occasional robin. The cedar waxwings stop by to eat some honeysuckle berries, and the turkeys stroll by with their almost full-grown babies, but the songs are done. It makes me feel wistful, but I look forward to spring next year when the beauty and birdsong begin all over again.