Job Supervisors - Tucker & Cooper

Dog Days

CooperIs it possible that summer is on the wane? It is August already and this month has arrived with decidedly cooler temperatures, less humidity and, wait for it, corn! Almost everyone loves corn and no one more than Cooper pictured above. Every time I wander the garden he makes a dash to the corn patch and picks an ear usually with the stalk attached. I have no picture of him dragging that corn stalk and dismembering the ear of corn but here is the corn patch. CornI wish you could smell its sweetness. The smaller vegetable garden is also producing and a late crop, if one can call three rows a crop, of carrots is starting to emerge.  Vegetable garden
The pepper plants produced the first peppers and then a nice little hornworm stripped three of the plants before I could locate him. The hornworms are very well camouflaged among the stalks and stems of peppers and tomatoes.
We have picked swiss chard, yellow squash, a few cherry tomatoes, beets, dill, basil and cucumbers and there is much more coming along.  There is nothing better than home grown. Long BorderThe borders are full and lush with phlox at this time of year. The tall garden phlox, Phlox paniculata, is a rampant self-seeder and reverts back to its plain purple parentage. It is plain but pretty and oh so fragrant. GlobeSummer nights scented with phlox were the beginning of my lifelong garden dreams.  Its fragrance takes me back to my grandmother's garden. Do you have a color, fragrance or particular plant which brings back a childhood memory?

The Dog Nose

Maine and Gisele's 022Do you have a dog in your garden? Many of us could not garden without a dog or two but others find dogs just a nuisance. They get in the way, trample plants, DSC_0002knock over planters, DSC_0056play in the mud and generally can make pests of themselves. They also supervise most garden tasks, DSC_0004take walks with you, pose, DSC_0035watch the baby IMG_3577 and, on occasion find lost items. There are two dogs here at Ledge & Gardens, Tucker at 14 is getting stiff and sedentary but he still resides over the garden with a dignity he has refined over the years. Tucker is never one to push himself into your lap. He likes attention but doesn't crave it. Not so with Cooper. Cooper is two and he is a bundle of energy. If there is something to get into, Cooper will find it. He has a great nose for any kind of scat and always wants to share. DSC_0062
This morning he found a frozen pile of something. Fearing the worst, I gave him a call and he trotted over to show me what he had found in the frozen leaves. DSC_0057Ahhhh, I knew that glove was among the missing. DSC_0056-001I can't imagine gardening without these two. I am appreciating Tucker every day. DSC_0022At 14 his days are numbered but then all of ours are numbered as well. Dogs just do not live long enough. If we only lived 15 years on average do you think we would appreciate life more? Do you garden with a dog? What does your dog add to your gardening adventures?  

Come, Walk With Me

DSC_0014I am working at making a commitment to walking five days per week. Cooper, the 2 year old lab, needs more exercise than he is getting. He is not alone. Tucker, the Job Supervisor, is 14 and after a short romp around the yard, he is ready for a nap. DSC_0082Well, so am I but I need to get walking. I am very lucky. I have rural and scenic roads on which to walk. Currently, Cooper and I are walking two miles but we do hope to double that distance as we get a bit fitter and faster. There is much to see along the mile stretch and back and if one looks closely, there is always something new along the way. There is also a lot of old. The road is bounded by stone walls which once enclosed the open rocky fields. The fields may have held cows or sheep or been used as hay fields to supply necessary fodder for the animals in winter. Now the fields are filled with oak and white pine but the walls remain. We pass old houses on our walk. DSC_0016The first was built in 1797. The road takes us past two ponds. DSC_0019The first sits right across from this old house. I call it Charlie's house but Charlie is gone after having lived here over 40 years. DSC_0021The next pond is one in which I swam as a child. Those days are long gone but the pond remains and now I enjoy just walking past. We turn off the gravel road and pass the rather large, right on the road, Tyler House which was a general store and post office in the 1800's.DSC_0022It is hard to imagine there may have been a bustling business here at one time. A lovely woman named Lila lived and grew up here. Years ago, she told me that, on hot summer nights, she would sleep outside on the upper porch. Lila is also gone and several other owners have enjoyed this house. DSC_0024Further along the route the road rises and turns and on the right is this beautiful barn. DSC_0026The barn has three levels which all can be accessed from a ground level since it is built into the side of the hill. My nephew had his wedding in this barn. It was beautiful. DSC_0029The house in the front is traditional and, again, old. DSC_0032I don't know the original building date but it has this field opposite with a quarried stone retaining wall. DSC_0037The return trip reveals a red barn keeping an eye on the swimming pond. I do remember it contained a sleigh many years ago. We walk, literally, over the river/stream and through the woods returning home via the back path which has escaped the heavy load of snow. It wraps up to the back of the house where Cooper can have free reign.  DSC_0040The ground is still warm although cooling quickly with sudden cold temperatures. The shorter, colder days are difficult motivators for walking. I do find that I always feel better after though. Thank you for taking this mornings walk with me. Not everyone has such lucky views. I am grateful for them.