September!

September!

I apparently took an unintended summer vacation from the blog, oops. It’s still technically summer, though, and the recent return to high temperatures proves it. It was really weird having such mild weather in August, but it was also rather nice — especially last week, which was sort of like a little fall preview. It was awesome. Of course now it’s back to 90 degrees with 80% humidity, but that’ll only last so long, at least.

So! Goings-on of late:

  • Went to the first weekend of the fair, ate unhealthy food, and looked at bunnies.
  • Wrote a post for the NaNoWriMo blog; it’ll be up soon!
  • Something else??? I feel like I’m forgetting something.

In the yard, the flowers are winding up for the year. The echinacea and rudbeckia are mostly done, which the goldfinches have been appreciating. The yellow rose bush is really big again, but the flowers have mostly been extremely insect-damaged, so it’s not much to look at. The orange rose bush is still tiny, and only has two or three flowers at a time, but they’re still super-pretty when they first bloom.

Oh, and the hydrangea actually bloomed! It only had one bloom, but it was a pretty dark pink.

I didn’t end up planting sunflowers this year, so the only plant out there for most of the summer was the one I posted a picture of back in April. It got huge, but I’ve been cutting off the blooms once they’re dead and the seeds are mostly gone, so right now it’s not very tall, and just has small flowers. But! There’s a bird feeder outside one of the windows (entertainment for the cats) and it turns out that the birds planted their own sunflowers.

There’s four or five plants; I decided to leave them alone and see what would happen. They’re not very tall, because they started so late, but the tallest one has a big pretty bloom on it. And I’m sure the birds will appreciate the seeds regardless!

Fall is my favorite season, and my birthday is in a month and a half, so I’m looking forward to the next few months. (Although, to be honest, I have mixed feelings about the birthday.) I’ve been a bit too casual about my business over the summer, so September and October are all about really working hard and getting some new clients lined up — and then in November is NaNo!

I’m not sure what I’m going to write this year; I really want to work on something I’ve already started but that’s against the rules. I have two other unwritten ideas I could pick from, but I’ll have to see if either one of those really grabs my interest by November.  I could try to come up with something new…but seriously, the last thing I need is yet another novel idea. (I should really actually finish one I already have first.)

That’s all for the update! I’ll have a post on Thursday…about the fair, maybe?

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Monster echinacea

Monster echinacea

I don’t know if this image fully captures it but the echinacea is tall this year. It’s awesome.

tall echinacea

 

On the right there’s one of the not-exactly-red-hot pokers (the other plant isn’t even red at all; the flowers are yellow!), and at the bottom is some rudbeckia. This pic was taken last week? Some of the rudbeckia is just about to bloom now.

Sushi & butterflies

Sushi & butterflies

The long-delayed Cincinnati trip post! On an unspecified Thursday!

Lots of pictures in this post, starting off with lunch on the trip: sushi from Fusian, a.k.a. the reason we even went to Cincinnati in the first place.

sushi
(There’s a piece missing because I forgot to take a picture before I ate one. But at least I remembered to take one at all!)

Fusian is an Ohio-based independent chain restaurant that operates rather like a Subway, Qdoba, or Chipotle — except with sushi (yay!). You go down the line and pick what you want, starting with a nori wrap vs. a soy wrap, continuing to your choice of rice (white or brown), protein (including raw, cooked, and tofu options), and whatever toppings you want to stuff in there. Then they cut it into 10 pieces and add whatever sauces you want. The sushi in the picture, if I remember correctly, was half-salmon, half-tuna (both raw), with every topping (mostly veggies, plus cream cheese) minus cucumbers (because they’re gross), and with wasabi mayo on top. It was very very tasty.

So basically they have fast, customizable sushi at really decent prices. It’s amazing.

I first went to Fusian when they opened a location in Dayton while I happened to be in town. I’ve been a few times since, in Dayton and Cincinnati. They also have locations in Columbus, but unfortunately nothing in Kentucky yet. Come to Louisville, guys!! (Please!)

So after having our sushi lunch, we (my mom, my niece, and I) decided to be cultured. My mom and I had been talking about going to Ikea and Jungle Jim’s while we were there (which I mentioned before), but I had looked up stuff to do in Cincinnati and found out that there was a cool Japanese art exhibit going on at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and a butterfly show thing at the nearby Krohn Conservatory. So we did that instead. Culture! And bugs!

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The garden of yesteryear

The garden of yesteryear

flowers

And by yesteryear I mean last year.

This is a snippet of the flowerbed last June. The echinacea (coneflower) was blooming, and so were the poppies that had self-seeded from the year before. (I’m hoping they come back again this year!) The spiky-looking plant on the left is a red hot poker that was just starting to bloom, I think. You can see a bit of red on it. There are two of those in the bed, although I can’t tell in this picture if you can see both of them.

To the right of the red hot poker is some self-seeded rudbeckia that wasn’t blooming yet. The year before, I planted two of those, I think, and neither one made it through the winter but tons of little fuzzy plants started popping up from the seeds, which was cool.

There’s also some marigolds in there, and the upper left is a sunflower with its giant leaves. The other side of the fence has more sunflowers, and there’s a yellow miniature rose bush in the flowerbed but not in the picture. (And pay no attention to the fact that I am terrible at weeding.)

So this is about what things will look like this summer! The echinacea is already starting to come back, the rose bush has new growth, and I’m pretty sure the little fuzzy baby rudbeckias are popping up again. I’ll keep an eye out for the poppies, and I definitely want to get some spring-blooming perennials in there this year.

A few more leftover pictures from last year:

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The crocuses are blooming, the crocuses are blooming!

The crocuses are blooming, the crocuses are blooming!

crocuses

Okay, to be fair these particular crocuses are no longer blooming, since this picture was taken over a week ago. But four others have bloomed since then (in a cute little row), so the title is still accurate.

(Also, while in this photo they look blueish — or is that just my computer screen? — the flowers are actually a very pretty purple.)

The story of the crocuses:

They were originally planted over a decade ago, as part of a flowerbed that was eventually overtaken by lawn again. (Probably the following year, actually.) But the crocuses persevered, and a few would pop up again every year in bright spots of purple, before the leaves were unceremoniously mowed down the first time the grass needed cutting. I intended to transplant them but never got around to it, and once the leaves were gone it was impossible to find them anyway.

Two years ago, I dug up the area around the crocuses again for a new flowerbed. After looking up how to transplant the things (and learning that they don’t have bulbs, they have corms), I divided up the corms and replanted them along the edge of the new flowerbed, and hoped they would come back the next year. They did! Last year a bunch of little green leaves sprouted up along the brick edging — and more than a few here and there in the middle of the bed, too. I’m guessing those are the ones I missed when I was digging up the bed. But, unfortunately, none of them ended up blooming; they just grew long pretty leaves.

So then I was hoping that maybe they were just storing up for next year, or something, and they would bloom next time. When these little purple guys popped up earlier this month it was super-exciting. They’re so cute and happy! Of course, the rest of the bed is still rather desolate right now, although it won’t be in a few more months. I need to look into finding some other spring-blooming plants so the crocuses won’t be so lonely next year. Or at least something with nice spring foliage.

In other news, like the crocuses, this blog has returned once more (and I promise I didn’t even think about that metaphor until I was writing this post). Let’s see if I can keep to a schedule this time! There’ll be plenty to write about as I get the garden beds going for this year, at least, and as the weather warms up maybe I’ll actually get out and go somewhere worth a post. There’s no shortage of stuff to do in Louisville in spring, that’s for sure.

The first sunflower (and the first post)

The first sunflower (and the first post)

sunflower

This is the first post on this blog, so I figured I’d start out with a pretty picture of the first of the blog’s namesakes. I’ve planted sunflowers for the last two years or so, but this year they started popping up even before I’d put any seeds in the ground, just from the seeds that had fallen last year. The picture is the first flower to bloom on one of those self-seeders.

The picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, a few days after the flower bloomed. All its petals are gone now (and the birds are quite happy about the seeds it’s developed), but plenty more flowers have taken its place. Six or seven of the self-seeded plants have started blooming; a few more aren’t big enough yet. Neither are the seeds I actually planted this year, but they’re getting there. They were from a packet of mixed types, so it’ll be fun to see what the flowers actually look like.

About the blog

My current, very casual aim for this brand-new blog is to share fun or interesting things in Louisville. Since my amateur gardening efforts take place in Louisville, and since planting things and watching them grow makes me happy, plant updates will probably be a regular thing for a while. I’ve got lots going on besides the sunflowers, and I’ll be posting pics of some of the rest soon.

Other posts will feature cool stuff beyond my backyard: shops & restaurants I visit, events I attend, whatever I happen to do that’s actually interesting enough to talk about. (There will also probably be lots of pictures of my dog. It’s okay, she’s really cute.) Tomorrow I’m going to a tea tasting at Louisville Tea Company, so I’ll post about that and cover the blog’s other namesake.

That concludes the first post!