We experienced a warm and wet July at the farm. August looked to be more of the same. But after the first week, the temperature and humidity went up and the rainfall stopped. We truly began to feel that we were experiencing a serious change in the weather which we were accustomed to expect for mid summer. Eventually we began needing to irrigate my vegetable garden and Gretchen’s flower gardens. All of the gardens responded favorably.
Gretchen’s flowers seem to have reached their summer peak in terms of beauty. The flowers in front of the Gallery and our back door are annuals. Some of the varieties have passed their peak performance and have been supplanted by other slower developers. Here is a view of the Gallery garden. The garden in front of our back door tries hard not to be out done and it seems to succeed. The flowers next to the Bed & Breakfast entrance are also underneath the B&B kitchen window. They are all perennial flowers and only reach their flowering peak in mid-summer. It is a mix of Black-eyed Susan, Conef lowers and Phlox. The Coneflowers and Black-eyed Susan are favorite flowers of a host of our local varieties of butterflies. We are having an especially good year for monarch butterflies. One can almost always count on seeing a number of them on the flowers under the kitchen window. They are not alone however. This Painted Lady was very happy with the selection of blossoms. But it could not seem to choose a favorite flower (I think the Coneflower won!). It is wonderful to have the butterflies as pollinators for our gardens, but we truly miss the once staggering number and varieties of bees. Aside from a few Bumble Bees, we are seeing virtually no bees in our gardens this summer. I am sure that their low numbers has resulted in some very poor pollination of some of our vegetables.
Over the last week the temperatures have moderated here. It has made the task of moving pasture fence early in the morning much more enjoyable. The sheep have responded with more speed and enthusiasm heading out each day. Yesterday we received a staggering 3″ of rain throughout the day and into the night. The rain was not accompanied by damaging winds. As a result everything seems to have responded very positively today and hopefully conditions will remain so for a while.