Did I say that we won't have any flowers until fall? I forgot about the gardenias...the heavenly gardenias.
We have six or seven bushes and they're all in the last stages of blooming. The flowers don't last long in bouquets, but at night, outside, they perfume the air.
I forgot about this bush, too, with its little white trumpet-shaped flowers:
And the lovely purple butterfly bush...
...which has its own tiny trumpet-shaped flowers, in purple.
My 3 astilbe plants are blooming...
But alas, my hydrangea isn't going to do much, just like last year.
These purple flowers are popping up all over. I'm not quite sure what they are!
The fir trees are setting up their cones...
...and the oaks have the small beginnings of acorns.
I've been keeping an eye out for wildlife, of course, and was rewarded with the sight of a red fox, just beginning to eat the squirrel he'd caught for breakfast.
Later, he boldly came into the front yard to bask in the early-morning sun.
I also spotted this caterpillar, which will hopefully live long enough to become a giant leopard moth. Those red bands you see become readily visible when he curls up into a protective ball, and are meant to warn away predators.
We're in the midst of a South Carolina summer, with temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s every day. I am usually outside only in the mornings and evenings, but have been taking advantage of my 'inside time' to get some sewing done. I took a piece of old linen and hand-stitched around the edge in red embroidery thread...
...and made it into a bowl liner. I then filled the bowl with pine cones that I'd gotten from the yard last fall. It's a very "fall" color scheme and I'm going to replace the red plaid with a blue one for summer, once I get around to it.
I also bought some old pillows at the thrift store, thoroughly washed and heat-blasted them (I have a great fear of getting bedbugs!), and sewed them into fabric I'd also picked up at a thrift store. They make nice, soft throw pillows. Of course, they're plaid - my favorite. I'm going to add a third pillow soon, but right now these two are very cozy on our sun porch atop a big wicker trunk.
I've been baking like crazy, too. I recently made my favorite cupcakes for Todd's work - the delicious chocolate chip cookie dough-filled brown sugar cupcakes with brown sugar cookie dough frosting. We each had one, and the rest were packed off to Todd's office. Recipe here.
Every morning on my way home from the gym, I pass a local open-air fruit and vegetable market. I stop there multiple times a week and pick up local seasonal fruit and vegetables, and I'm addicted to their raw honey. Last week I bought some peaches (did you know that South Carolina produces many more peaches than Georgia? 95,000 tons to their 36,000 tons in 2012), intending to make a pie. Once they were peeled and sliced, I realized that I didn't have enough, though. I had also bought some cherries, so I thought I'd add the cherries to 'make weight'.
It worked - and the resulting cobbler was phenomenal! Much better than I expected. That sweet crust...YUM.
The original recipe is here. The only changes I made: used peaches AND cherries, used vinegar instead of lemon juice, and added a pinch each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamon to the cobbler.
Hope you give it a try...it didn't take long to whip up, and it was so good. Today's haul included fresh blueberries, so we'll see what I end up with for dessert tonight!
Have a great week!