August

Isaias came plowing through New England last week. We were without power for 9 hours but many others were out much longer. It took me several hours to pick up all the downed branches, but I didn’t have to worry about dealing with too much water because we only received about 1/16″ so I’ve been doing more watering than I’d like.

We’ve been enjoying lots of cherry tomatoes, but the big ones are ripening, and they are delicious. I have one regular sized plant that has one tomato on it. It’s kind of funny but also pretty darn strange.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a tomato hornworm that I’d given to the chickens, but this week I found this poor guy. I almost feel sorry for him, but I left him right where he was so nature could take care of him.

Braconid wasps live in and on hornworms if you’re lucky and eventually kill their hosts. If you want more detailed information, check them out here, but I’ll save you non-gardeners from the gory details.

Peaches are in too so I bought some at a local orchard, made some crisp and prepared the rest for the freezer. There is nothing like fresh peaches to make up for the heat and humidity.

My beautiful winter squash had to be pitched because the chipmunks decided to taste test them. Life isn’t simple and neither is gardening.

Before we leave the topic of gardening, if you’re looking to make any design changes, Smithsonian Gardens did a great webinar that is definitely worth checking out – Designing Gardens, Foliage First.

Last Friday, when we had a break in the hot and humid weather, a friend and I went to Prescott Park in Portsmouth which is just one town over. Lovely morning, good conversation, gorgeous landscape, and that early in the day we were pretty much by ourselves. All good things topped off with an exceptional iced coffee at our hometown coffee house. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Besides beautiful plants, trees, and water features Prescott Park has wonderful water views including the World War I Memorial Bridge which has a vertical lift. So, it was pretty interesting to watch the bridge go up for a tiny sail boat and then a huge ship out of Nassau.

Seeing a good friend, fresh veggies and fruits, lovely landscaping, and water views made it a pretty nice week.

How’s your week starting out?

Stay well, stay safe, and stay away from Sturgis. ๐Ÿ˜ท

————

“Thatโ€™s where we are, trying to balance threat of spreading the plague with our deteriorating mental health. Weโ€™re still living, on a smaller, modified scale. The list of things we donโ€™t do is long. As is the list of things we long to do. “

Best words I’ve read lately to put things in perspective from our blogging friend, Joey at Joeyfullystated.

About NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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67 Responses to August

  1. Sheree says:

    Gorgeous garden!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oddment says:

    That tomato is a work of art and no mistake — it makes for a happy soul! Your getaway to Prescott Park sounds most therapeutic! I especially love the way that gnarly old tree hovers over everything. Thanks for taking us with you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Those all sound like wonderful activities, Judy. I do enjoy seeing drawbridges open. I’m glad you didn’t have much damage, and that your power outage was short-lived by comparison. Most of the ones around here were measured in days.

    I hope we all find ways to discover those things we used to take for granted. Today, they are treats. Enjoy the tomatoes, I’m afraid someone is nibbling ours before we get to them.

    I hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s kind of ironic that those nibblers don’t eat the entire thing. They just snack from one to the other which renders it all destined for the compost bin. Yes, I felt so bad for all the folks who were out of power for days on end including your daughter. I hope it stays on for everyone this week because it’s going to be a hot one. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion says:

        Our daughter’s electricity has remained on. It’s hot here, and humid. Maddie and I sat outside for 10 minutes. It’s about all we could take this afternoon. Still, it makes her feel better to do it, even for a few minutes.

        I don’t know why they don’t just eat one whole thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Isaias was stronger there than when it went by here. Thank you for sparing us the details about that worm. Nothing in the world better than a home grown tomato! Glad you had a fun garden outing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joanne Sisco says:

    Weโ€™re all just trying to cope with this unusual summer the best way we can, but it sounds like you are doing a decent job of keeping as much normal in your life as possible. Iโ€™ve all but given up on my garden. Itโ€™s been a losing battle trying to keep it watered, so I will just have to live through the success of others like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such is August in New England! I love the photo of the garden, love a little mini-trip in these times.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I will be watching that webinar. I pretty much have an all foliage garden in the front yard, and I have to figure out how to make it look better, with focal points, repeated patterns, and flow. All on a shoestring budget. A challenge! Hoping to pick up some tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ve had a lot of tomatoes here. Wish I could put them away for January when all that is available are the red globes that resemble tomatoes but don’t taste like them. The gardens are beautiful. I live fairly close of Longwood Gardens. Haven’t been there this year but it’s always uplifting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Murphy's Law says:

    Prescott Park is fabulous. What a beautiful place to spend a few hours, especially with a friend. Your tomato looks delicious. A friend gave us some from a local farm. After dinner, they will be yesterday’s news!

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bridge with a vertical lift. That’s an impressive piece of engineering.

    Thanks for letting us tag along with you. Best entertainment ever!
    ๐ŸพGinger ๐Ÿพ

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’d love the history – the Prescott sisters purchased the waterfront property in the 1930’s and willed it to Portsmouth in 1954. Residents have been enjoying it for 66 years. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a couple of big red tomatoes ready to pick in the morning. I see tomato sandwiches in my future. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. bikerchick57 says:

    Peaches sound so good right now. I haven’t had a good peach for some time as I either have to wait for stores or the farmer’s market to bring in Georgia or Carolina peaches. Dad used to make a fabulous summer peach pie and I regret that I don’t have the recipe.

    Lovely gardens, Judy. Glad you had the opportunity to visit and enjoy with a friend. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a peach orchard just down the road so I try to visit at least once a year because there really is no comparison to a peach direct from the tree into your dessert. I wish you had your Dad’s recipe too because just the thought of a good peach pie with great memories makes me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Joyce says:

    How refreshing those park views are! High humidity here, but no after-effect rain from the hurricane that we sometimes experience. Cherry tomatoes are starting to come in with a vengeance from the plant we re-homed to Karen’s deck. No comparison whatsoever between those candy-like morsels and the ones made of “cardboard pulp” we’re used to eating from the grocery store! (Of course, you know that!)
    Going to the grocery store today to get a few things I’ll need to make ice cream with the grandkids later this week (electric maker)….I’ll wear my mask in the heat and mumble under it when I pass those non-observant-of-the-arrows in the aisles! grrrr! I’m already stiffening in rage! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are sweltering up here with no rain in sight so that little sojourn was very welcome. You are so right, there is nothing like a fresh tomato of any size. I have two big ones to pick today, and I’m already anticipating my tomato sandwich for lunch. ๐Ÿ™‚ The masks and the arrows make you both mad and smile as you watch other folks at the store. It’s like a sociology lesson up close and personal. ๐Ÿ™‚ Making ice cream with the grandkids sounds like a perfect August activity. Hope all the family is well, and I’m sure there are some challenging choices having to be made regarding school this fall. Stay well and try to stay cool under that mask.

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  12. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a vertical bridge before. The drawbridge-types, sure, but not one that goes up vertically like that. I love its classic design and appearance; very no-frills. Who said this blog is only about gardening? ๐Ÿ™‚ – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • That vertical-lift bridge between NH and ME is really pretty interesting so I thought maybe some other folks might enjoy it. The plaque on the bridge states “Memorial to the Sailors and Soldiers of NH who gave their lives in the World War 1917-1919.” There is also a small lovely Memorial Park before you cross into ME that features bricks with the names of local veterans including my uncles. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay well, Marty.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. pbmgarden says:

    Thanks for linking to the webinar. Thatโ€™s the reddest tomato Iโ€™ve seen all summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful shots at Precott Park. Would love to see that pretty place. We, too, experienced a bout with Isaias — at the beach. We were staying in Pawleys Island SC when the storm came through, but we were told beforehand to move our car to a better place. It seems that storm water builds up underneath the condos where cars are parked. We moved. The storm raged. And then all was over, and we (and the car) were safe. Hope you’re dealing with August the best ways you can. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, you know how to make my pulse quicken by mentioning Pawley’s Island. I love that place and go numerous times in the winter. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good idea to move the car and be better off safe than sorry. One winter down there, they forecasted an ice storm so we moved our car from the top level of the parking to under cover on one of the other levels. Those that didn’t move their cars were stranded up there for several days until the ice melted. Hope you had a great visit but stayed safe and well.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nancy says:

    That hornworm with its hitchhikers is quite weird but quite interesting! Just got up out of my comfortable chair to go show sweet man. (Iโ€™m on my iPad.) He was in awe!
    We are enjoying cherry tomatoes as well… but waiting for that first tomato sandwich! I loved seeing that red tomato of yours!
    I love the gardens you went to …how beautiful they are! I am glad you are getting out for your short trips with a friend. Plus iced coffee too! Itโ€™s really the little things that count these days. And good for our mental health.
    My day just git a bit ruined… the Big Ten Football conference just cancelled the season and soon many others are going too as well. This virus needs to be gone… NOW!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know that hornworm is kind of gross, but it is also fascinating how nature takes care of itself. You would love that garden, and you are right about a simple but delicious iced coffee enjoyed with a friend seems like a gigantic treat these days. ๐Ÿ™‚ I saw the football cancellation and thought of how many players and fans were affected. You are right, we need to adios this virus.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. We had 1 — just ONE — day that wasn’t 100 degrees with 80% humidity. It has been horrible trying to breath outside. I have no idea what my so-called garden is doing because just managing the plants on my deck and dining room seems to be more than enough for me. The heat is really bad and combined with the humidity — and lack of rain — it’s not a great summer.

    Our wild butterfly weed is blooming and I hope it attracts some butterflies! This isn’t the stuff you get at a nursery or order online. This is the wild weed and I twitch whenever I pass it. It is a truly unattractive plant, even with flowers. But I’m determined to help the butterflies, so I have kept it. i think it’s trying to take over the garden completely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was out doing a few chores at 8 a.m., and it was like I was trying to work in a swamp. This afternoon the real feel was well over 100. We lived in the Midwest for many years and would have two weeks of this weather every August. Here we are in New England and each summer this type of weather stays longer and longer. It’s as bad as winter because you don’t want to go outside. That weed might be common milkweed. If so, it spreads like crazy. Stay well and stay cool.

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  17. Eliza Waters says:

    I love Prescott – esp. for their trial gardens… are they still doing them?
    I would love to go to visit the ocean, but will have to pass on that pleasure for this year.
    This latest heat wave has me inert in front of the fan, which provides marginal relief. Remember when all we needed was a couple of window fans maybe twice a summer? Methinks those days are long gone. Stay cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They don’t have the trial gardens, but those beds are planted with a variety of gorgeous plants they started from seeds. I noticed this year, they didn’t have labels which they have had in the past. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wouldn’t go within ten miles of Hampton Beach, so it was nice to see the water right there from the park. Yes, I remember those days, and now as I drive up and down the streets I see lots and lots of window ACs in a variety of homes. I had several neighbors who never had AC and now have at least one to pull the humidity out. At some point, you just can’t ‘live’ in 100 degree temps. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. germac4 says:

    Nothing tastes better than a tomato brought straight in from the garden on a summer’s day, and yours look lovely…….we don’t have hornworms (as far as I know) in this part of Australia, but every year our tomatoes are attached by something!
    Prescott park looks lovely..and I love the Memorial Bridge, good to watch busy waterways. Talking to a friend, and seeing lovely gardens…. that was a good week! Happy Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. We have much better luck with the cherry tomatoes than the larger ones. For some reason, the critters don’t seem to like them as much. Since so many people are growing veggies this year – some for the first time – I’m happy that we’ve had almost perfect weather for it. Hopefully many of the newbies will try again next year too! That poor hornworm (words I never thought I’d say)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have the same experience with tomatoes. It seems everything that affects the larger tomatoes doesn’t affect the cherries. I have had some serious conversations with myself this year about maybe growing just cherries and buying the bigger ones at a local farm stand. It is really dry up here, and we need rain but there’s nothing in the forecast. A fellow NH blogger posted yesterday that she had actually harvested and pulled up her garden so she could stop watering. Enjoy your garden. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a lovely way to spend a week, doing so many special things. And enjoying home grown produce as well. Delicious! You’re having very hot weather and we had an unusually frigid Antarctic blast for a couple of days. The beauty of living where we do is that extremely cold weather only ever lasts a day or too and we’re soon back into mild sunny days and brisk nights. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. pastpeter says:

    Prescott Gardens are lovely. And peach time is always welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ally Bean says:

    I agree about peaches. At this time of year they add a level of joy to my life, too. Thanks for the link to the garden design resource. We are in the throes of thinking about what we’ll be doing about our landscaping in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A fresh peach is like a fresh tomato – delish. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you find some tidbits in that garden design link because I found some good points. She thinks with big plants because of the size of that garden, but the idea can still be utilized on a smaller basis. I want to do some work when the weather cools off, and I’m going to watch it again.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Eilene Lyon says:

    Thatโ€™s such a lovely garden! I could hang out there for hours and hours. Too bad you didnโ€™t get some moisture from the storm to go with all the damage. Your tomato looks tasty. We got to eat a homegrown brandy wine last night – delish. The smaller ones Iโ€™m growing donโ€™t seem to have much flavor, unfortunately. Iโ€™ve never had a hornworm here. Those parasites are so gross!

    Speaking of winter squash, maybe you can solve this: I saved seeds from a spaghetti squash from last yearโ€™s farmers market. Iโ€™ve grown them from seed packets in the past. Well each of the four plants is producing different-looking squash, none of them spaghetti. None look like anything familiar, but they taste fine (so far). I hadnโ€™t been aware that spaghetti squash was a hybrid. Is that so?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it interesting how growing tomatoes is such a challenge each year, and some years they almost melt in your mouth and other years not so much. I had to smile at your spaghetti squash seed experiment. I wonder if they cross pollinated with something else. At least, they taste good so far. I can only imagine you’ve had a few laughs about this. I have a full sized tomato plant with one tomato on it. I know that’s caused me quite a few chuckles. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  24. Judy, Isaias was a strange bird, and one we were grateful to wave to as it raced along our coast. There are others on the runway, so stay tuned. Your week sounds almost ‘normal.’ The gardens are lovely and I’ll always say yes to peaches. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Rose says:

    I don’t know where to begin…so will say that I enjoyed the views from the garden, and wish I could see that bridge work in real life.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. tonytomeo says:

    1/16″?! That sort of takes the fun out of a storm of such notoriety.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Karen says:

    Whenever we had guests visiting us in New Hampshire, we always took them to Portsmouth. Oh course, Prescott Park was always on our “A” tour. Even the men seemed to like it with the view of the water and bridge. A fresh picked tomato or peach, both delightful summer treats. I thought for sure that you would get some rain from Isaias…sorry that it created work but not really any moisture for your parched soil.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Brenda says:

    The heat has finally broken here, but we still don’t have any rain! Such a summer. It has been the year of the chipmunk (and mouse) in my vegetable gardens this year. They are nibbling on everything–except winter squash (so far). In previous years, they just went after strawberries. I haven’t seen any tomato hornworms this year, which is unusual, but we are inundated with Japanese beetles. They are even munching on my peaches–horrors! I’m surprised you aren’t headed off to Sturgis, Judy. You could wear a quilted Harley vest and do a master gardening class for bikers! Ha.

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