A Slight Summer Squall

Mother Nature ushered in Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1, 2022) with a little shower that morning. The temps were in the 80’s which made for a very humid day, but when we ventured outside to run some errands the air smelled fresh and clean.

The squall did not last long and the sky gave way to some beautiful sunsets that evening.

At 11:00pm the temps were still in the low 80s. I LOVE warm Summer nights. I revel in them. When I was re-designing the Concrete Jungle this year I did it specifically with that in mind. My Magickal Space.

You may have to turn the volume up because I was whispering (All our neighbors were asleep.) Ramses was having the time of his life. We have seldom had the chance to enjoy a late evening in the patio.

Blessed Be to All.

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Concrete Jungle: New Fence & Display

‘Kayso after tearing down the old fence and installing the new one, (♫♪ Tearing Down the Walls ♫♪) the wood had to cure for about a week. The painters came in on 7.1.2022 and got the job done! That weekend I was busy breaking down my temporary wall and re-designing the Concrete Jungle.

Of course, Ramses had to put his two cents’ worth in…

The central focal point for the new Concrete Jungle is this birdbath.

I was so happy with the seating area and its half-wall, I left it intact.

In that sunny corner…

I found the perfect spot for my ant family.

This area gets late afternoon sun.

I’m not quite done with the space as I’ve not re-hung the wrought-iron planters on the fence, but then again, when working with living things nothing’s ever truely set-in-stone.

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There’s a Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On…

We moved here in 1993 and have had one fence replacement during that time. Well, we’re getting another one this week! That means moving plants AND hardscape (in this case cinder blocks) around to accommodate both the construction AND the painting – which won’t happen for another two weeks because the wood will need time to cure. That meant having to rearrange things so that my sun-loving plants won’t suffer during that time.

Some background on the cinder blocks. 77 of them, to be precise.

During the time I was a veggie/herb Buyer for Summerwinds Nursery I wanted to encourage apartment-dwellers to try their hands at growing their own produce. At that time, many growers were producing varieties specifically targeted for small-spaces – even zucchini! I took a hands-on approach and began experimenting with peppers, beans, cherry tomatoes, an heirloom eggplant, and that zucchini – as well as a variety of herbs. Only had one problem: I had to raise everything up to fence level in order for them to receive the sun they needed to grow well.

That’s where the cinder blocks came in. I built “pedestals” for the pots to sit on. After two years of growing veggies (with limited success, I admit) I was left with all those cinder blocks.

For the last seven or so years I’ve had most of them up against the fence.

Well, I’ve been wanting to make some changes to the Concrete Jungle. In fact, they’ve been WAAAAY overdue.

This first installment will remain as you see it. Other sun-loving plants will replace the blue bacopa which will go back up on the fence line once I re-install the wrought-iron flower boxes.

Likewise, I’m happy with the “sitting nook” and its little half-wall.

Ramses investigating the area behind the half-wall.

As the day became warmer and I became drenched in sweat from moving around the cinder blocks, we decided to take a much-needed break before I began tackling the right-hand-side of the patio.

I had to play around with the set-up for my herbs with the result being a temporary “wall”. They should receive enough sun to keep them healthy the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.
NOTE: The first photo is a BEFORE shot.

This endeavor has given me TONS of ideas, too. I can’t wait for everything to be back to normal so I can “redecorate” that corner. Stay tuned for updates.

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Concrete Jungle Update: 5.27.2022

We’re a good month away from the Summer Solstice (officially) but I’m already feeling the Summer Love. So is Ramses. He wants to be “outside” all the time!

(As I’m writing this, he has made himself into a little black “loaf” next to my chair. An unusual place for him to park but I’m not complaining.)

We had some real warm weather earlier this week. I still have some gardening to do (potting and re-potting) but it was too hot so I opted to spend some quality time with the plants, Ramses, and a nice glass of white wine. Did I tell you I cleared away a corner of the Concrete Jungle so I could have a proper seating area?

The mornings have been lovely, too, so I’ve taken to having my first sips of coffee out there. I think I want to hang some small pots on the trellis. Maybe ferns. The asparagus fern in the corner serves as a little hideaway “tent” for Ramses. (He thinks he’s hiding from me. LOL)

None of the birds have gotten used to me sitting out there though, as I’m VERY close to both feeding stations. They anxiously observe us from the nearby tree, cussing us out. (At least, it SEEMS like they’re cursing.) I watch the bees making their rounds of the African Blue basils. So does Ramses. I keep a spray bottle of water nearby when he gets too inquisitive because my cat’s an Über Hunter! Today he caught and consumed a Cabbage Butterfly. I consider them pests because of their larvae (cabbage worms) so I didn’t care. However, I had to intervene when he tried to grab Skipper butterfly – which is considered a no-no. I have to keep an eye on him constantly. Hence another reason for the seating nook.

In the afternoons (wine in hand) I chart the sun’s path through the patio and make notes of which plants I might want (or need) to relocate. Container gardening = flexibility. I note which plants need pruning or deadheading. The choices I made in plants last year have proved sound. They are thriving. The ones that flower are flourishing. Small though it may be, there’s abundance here.

Little by little, my Concrete Jungle is becoming a Sacred Sanctuary filled with Magickal intent…

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