The kid is off to the beach for a week with her dad, and I promised I'd visit "the girls". The girls are the dogs, Tiny (below) and Abby. Tiny is an enormous sweet old girl of dubious lineage. Molly named her Tiny when she was a pup. She roams the property and protects it from ground hogs, voles, and those big bees. Abby is a bit camera shy. We kidnapped (sort of) her from a bad home several years back, and she now prefers to stay inside as much as possible. She also needs to stay on a leash, because she was used to 250 acres and can't seem to figure out where she is when she's loose now. We think she might be a mix of Doberman and hound. She is also older and very sweet. They are glad to see me when I visit.
We walked around and looked at some of the plants. Everything is wildly overgrown and getting way out of hand. This fall, we're going to dig everything out and put them into a more manageable arrangement. That should be interesting. Some of the blackberry lilies are in bloom. It was dusk, so it was hard to get a good picture of them. They are a gorgeous deep orange with speckles - about the size of a quarter, and grow on stalks of several flowers.
The really cool thing about them is that when the seed pods ripen, they burst open and look exactly like blackberries. I'll try to remember to get a shot of that later. These aren't ready to pop yet. They make a really pretty arrangement when mixed with lunaria, silver dollars.
The grape vine is completely taking over the barn. There is a trellis that forms a sort of porch roof in front of the barn that is where they are *supposed* to grow, but they have spread out to cover the lilac bush, snaked along the power line to the barn and just look almost jungle-like. Not sure that's a good thing. At least there will be tons of vine to make wreaths with - if I don't get electrocuted.
So It looks like there's lots of work to be done. Most of my plants still reside happily with the ex. Lucky we stayed friends! I'm looking forward to getting everything into a better place. The lavender plants have fallen under the shade of a growing oak tree, and the rugosa rose is happy where it is....too happy, I'm afraid. The valerian is spreading like crazy, and I'm thinking of putting some in the woods to see if it will be happy there. The elderberries got attacked by caterpillers, and look pretty forlorn, but the bee balm and echinacea might like to spread out into the woods and beside the stream. Butterfly bushes are volunteering in all sorts of places. It appears to be a perfect place for gold finches. The other night I pulled into the driveway to be greeted by a flock of the little gems. They allowed me to walk within a couple of feet of them before flitting up to a nearby tree. They love the echinacea seedheads.