Dog Days of August

It was a cool morning in August last Sunday, so I did a little garden cleanup.  I needed to do some weeding, and clean out the dead flower spikes from the day lilies.  I am pleased with the flowers this year, but the vegetables have been a complete bust.  In case you all think I only post successes, here are a couple of epic failures.   The spaghetti squash seeds I planted all got eaten by critters.  The garlic disappeared.  My onion only make one scrawny green onion.  Out of five tomato plants, I got a whopping four tomatoes.  Yes, there are only three here, I ate the other one, OK?.  It was tasty, but about the same size as these.


No squash, no peppers, and the bear or a rabbit got my entire spinach crop.  The basil is doing well in a pot,


but the parsley has barely grown at all,…


same for the sage. I just don’t understand it, they got the right amount of water and sunlight but no go.  I worked compost into the bed before planting so they’d have nutrients too.  Ungrateful little suckers.  The bloody grass grows there but refuses to grow on the bald patch in the yard.


The hydrangea never bloomed either, like most hydrangeas across the country, the winter was too cold for it.


And the damn bear ate all but two of my peaches.  Serves me right for picking just two to let the other dozen ripen another day.  Next day they were all gone, pits and all.


On the other hand, my friend brought me two monster zucchini from her mother in law’s garden.  They don’t get out there often enough for picking.


Lest you think I am exaggerating, I weighed them. Holy moly!


2 pounds 2 ounces on that one, and one pound eight ounces on this one!


I have experimented with these for several dishes, all have been epic failures.  I practiced my new knife skills, though.


Oh, they tasted well enough for us to eat the results, but the dishes looked awful.  There is so much water in zucchini that the casserole was just too watery.  Just close your eyes and pretend it doesn’t look like something the dog barfed up.   Mmmm, zucchini.


I tried zucchini chips several times, all failures.


They remained soggy, no amount of baking would crisp them up. Not to be totally defeated, I stacked them up as a layered veggie side dish and ate them.  I thought I’d have a new dish for all of us, but back to the stove.  So I baked a loaf of fruit bread and forgot to put the butter in the batter.  Talk about a rubber mess!  Yet another epic fail for today!!  (Look, dear, homemade dog biscuits!)  What really bothers me is the waste of good ingredients.  But Sunday evening I got a very sweet note of support from someone who just found my blog, and she lifted my spirits immensely!  Thank you for your note, Johnnie.  I started again and made two loaves of my Banana Cinnamon Bread.

So, the flowers on the porch are still going well, the hanging baskets are starting to look a little ragged, but the torenias in the shade still look beautiful.  The pink geranium may yet give another bloom before autumn.



The butter yellow petunias continue to sing with the verbena, pink impatiens and blue lobelia,


and I still marvel at the other lobelia, how full and lush it looks with those dark intense blue flowers.


These New Guinea impatiens still are blooming just as much as they were in May.  I love white flowers.



Out in the forest, nothing is blooming, but the fruits are coming in.  Blueberries, peaches, and strawberries are fresh and fragrant at the farmer’s market.  Our Apple Festival is Labor Day Weekend and we will have loads of varieties to choose from.  There is nothing like a Honey Crisp!!  Never heard of that?  Well, it’s because we eat all we can here in NC.  Very few make it elsewhere.  More on that later, I have to go buy butter.



7 thoughts on “Dog Days of August

  1. Some seasons are like that-non growers, I mean… last summer we got about three fruits total from the half dozen squashes and tomatoes we planted. This summer we’re going with the volunteers and enjoying every little tiny tomato on the One that showed and produced. Who can ever tell why !~!

    Thanks for a “middle of the night, sleepless with hip pain, gone linkers” solo show; I had fun reading as always. And your pictures are so crisp and colorful–great skills showing both in taking and in post production.

  2. My husband would ask that you keep all the honeycrisps in NC, he’s a die hard Macintosh fan. I think they all make wonderful muffins. 😀 Too bad about the zucchini. I don’t grow any, so I’m lucky enough to not need to use up 4 pounds of it, but my favorite way to eat it is just sauteed with garlic and a few chopped tomatoes. But I’m pretty sure I’d be okay with dog biscuits sauteed in garlic and tomatoes — well maybe not the peanut butter flavored ones. 😀

  3. manasotavacation

    I got a great laugh on your veggie garden tales of woe! Same over in my neighborhood. None of the intrepid gardeners here could grow a decent tomato this yr….oh a few small ones and c couple of big ones out of a LOT of plants among them. The cucumber and zuchinni crops however grew to enormous proportions and one neighbor even took to dropping off bags of cukes on front porches when neighbors were not home as HOW MANY CUKES CAN YOU EAT IN A DAY? He had a LOT of them to get rid of.

  4. Sharon Schipper

    It’s been a wet summer in Denver, my morning glories are going wild. I didn’t do veggies this year, but generally in rainy seasons they turn into jungle plants with no fruit! I was hoping I’d get some orphaned zucchini so I can make zucchini bread and stir fry! we’ll see.
    Thanks for the smiles, I need to head for the farmer’s market for CO peaches, fab! and the green chile roasters are out by the roadsides. We live in Maryland: I CRAVE a Winesap apple, they don’t travel well so only in Virginia, sigh….


    Yes she has been a God Send …the macbook air…glad I got it this year as a back up..the ipad is limited to just

    lost your email…send it to me Carole so I can put it back in my mail…x

  6. Margaret

    I loved your sarcasm in this post so i started following you! In my area everything grew but didn’t get a good crop. That is just how it goes on summers that are not hot enough at night. I will not plant next year but will try a clover ground cover to naturally fertilize. Best of luck next year.

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