Welcome Summer!

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. And like previous years, the weather in Northern Virginia has gone from chilly and rainy to hot and humid overnight. Pop-up afternoon thunderstorms are common and everyone is complaining about ants overtaking their homes. They are everywhere!

We kicked off the weekend by hosting a birthday party for our daughter and 25 of her closest friends. We’ll be eating potato salad, corn on the cob and watermelon for days! She has an amazing group of friends from her church, and they all had a great time eating, laughing and playing card games until midnight.

Garden Update

Today’s walk around the garden was fruitful, to say the least! The pea vines and pepper plants are covered with blossoms, and we already have tomatoes and squash on the vines. I picked two cucumbers and a bunch of radishes this afternoon. We’ll be harvesting beans and lettuce soon too.

But keeping your garden healthy is a season-long battle. We are already seeing signs of blight on our tomato and cucumber leaves. And it appears that have some hungry slugs munching on the radishes. Hopefully we caught both issues early on. We’ve learned that you always have to stay one step ahead of these gardening challenges or you may lose your precious produce!

You’ll notice that I labeled one photo “Mystery Tomato”. We are not exactly certain what variety it might be because it was a volunteer that came up towards the end of winter in a potted houseplant! We transplanted it into its own pot indoors, and it was the first tomato to go into the ground in the spring.

This week we said farewell to our beautiful peonies and we are picking the last of the spinach as it is beginning to bolt. But we have lilies ready to bloom, and my favorite Mexican Sunflowers are growing rapidly. Thankfully, there is always something ready to replace the plants that are dying off. It’s the horticultural circle of life.

We love having our vegetable and flower gardens. Nothing beats that freshness, when you walk outside and pick your own food, and then serve it the same day. That is farm-to-table at its finest!

 

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Remember . . . Freedom is Never Free

On this Memorial Day weekend, I am feeling so very blessed for my home and family, and am humbled by the sacrifices that many brave men and women made to preserve my cherished freedoms. May we always remember the price they paid, and never take those freedoms for granted.

Buds and Blossoms

Our peonies are blooming! Oh, what a glorious sight! The only sad part about these beauties, is that they have little to no fragrance. But as one friend said, what they lack in fragrance, they certainly make up for in their stunning color.

These peonies reminded me how we sometimes expect things to be a certain way because of their outward appearance. When we purchased these bulbs years ago, we probably would have passed them by had we known this variety was missing the signature fragrance we have come to love. But if we passed them by, we would have missed these gigantic showy blooms greeting us in May. Now they are a showpiece in our garden, and I look forward to them every year.

I took a walk around the yard after church today, and just had to take a few more photos of some of the flowers in bloom. Our daughter planted foxglove under our mailbox and beneath the cherry tree. They are all in full bloom now, as are the yellow Knock Out roses. We weren’t sure they would survive their first winter, but they came back stronger than ever and are bursting with roses!

All these gorgeous flowers come as a reward for enduring the long, cold winter. I’m certain springtime blossoms are appreciated even more by those living in the snow belt states!

It’s hard to believe a week ago we were struggling to hit 50 degrees and even turned our heat back on at night. It’s currently 88 degrees today in Ashburn, VA, with increasing humidity. You would think after living here for over 20 years we would be accustomed to this leap into summertime temperatures each spring. But I’ll sure take this over the damp, rainy days of April!

Wherever you are, and whatever your weather may be, I hope you are enjoying a lovely spring day.

Have a blessed week ahead!