Glories of Summer

Be thankful for the heat because it brings us the glories of summer.  Of course, at the top of the list of those glories (well, at least MY list) are the wonderful tomatoes coming out of Elm Street Gardens.  It is now officially the time of the year when you may enjoy sliced, dead ripe tomatoes with at least two meals a day.

Rethinking my opening line above, about being thankful for the heat, we should note that too hot is not a good thing for tomatoes as well as people.  So let’s hear it for a bit of moderation.  Hopefully, the entire summer will not be the way it has started.  Meanwhile, let us glory in our wonderful tomatoes!

Suzy

                                                        Elm Street Gardens tomatoes call to customers at the Morningside Farmers Market in Atlanta on Saturdays.

                       

                                Elm Street Gardens tomatoes call to customers at the Morningside Farmers Market in Atlanta on Saturdays.

Spring comes to Elm Street

There is no doubt that it is spring in Sparta here on Elm Street.  Things are blooming, trees are full of new green leaves and pollen coats everything.  Chickens are delighted to feast on some of their spring weed favorites, especially the appropriately named chickweed and hen-bit.  And the vegetables are beginning to transition to spring and summer crops. 

The border of spirea behind the house never disappoints.

The border of spirea behind the house never disappoints.

This picture shows the early leaves just opening on many of the trees.  Note that the pecan trees are the last to leaf out.

This picture shows the early leaves just opening on many of the trees.  Note that the pecan trees are the last to leaf out.

White iris are generally the first of the iris to bloom.

White iris are generally the first of the iris to bloom.

In this view of the garden below the house, you see kale plants responding to the warmth and sending out their flower shoots.  I have been using these blossoms to add to salads. 

In this view of the garden below the house, you see kale plants responding to the warmth and sending out their flower shoots.  I have been using these blossoms to add to salads. 

A shade covered oasis in the summer, this arbor in the garden is just beginning to green up. 

A shade covered oasis in the summer, this arbor in the garden is just beginning to green up. 

The aptly named snowball viburnum plants open their wonderful  blossoms.

The aptly named snowball viburnum plants open their wonderful  blossoms.

Heirloom roses are favorites on Elm Street.

Heirloom roses are favorites on Elm Street.

The Elm Street tomboys seek a shady spot on a sunny day - but not before someone has captured another sign of spring:  a young snake.

The Elm Street tomboys seek a shady spot on a sunny day - but not before someone has captured another sign of spring:  a young snake.

Spring is, indeed, a magical time of the year.  We are so fortunate to be so close to the changes and delights of the season here on Elm Street. 

Suzy




To Everything There Is A Season

“To Everything There Is A Season” is not exactly an original line, but so true, especially in a garden.  At this point in September however, we see both summer and fall crops co-mingling in the beds and that is something I certainly have occasion to enjoy. 

While I’m not yet tired of tomatoes, I surely am happy to see lettuces and other greens that prefer the cooler nights and days coming into their own.  Last night we enjoyed fresh young turnip greens with our field peas, sliced tomatoes and grilled sweet peppers.  The best of both worlds!

While the favorites of both seasons have their brief moments of co-existing, it is clear the days are coming when heat loving summer vegetables will be finished.  In the meantime, it is nice to see the bright green of the turnips and lettuces next to the struggling okra stalks.

Suzy

Looking out from the second floor of the house, this is a sight that greets me in the morning.  I love seeing the bright light green of the young turnips in the farther bed.   

Looking out from the second floor of the house, this is a sight that greets me in the morning.  I love seeing the bright light green of the young turnips in the farther bed. 

 

Swiss Chard never looked prettier than it did in the afternoon sunlight.   

Swiss Chard never looked prettier than it did in the afternoon sunlight. 

 

And August's zinnias still bloom brightly in the afternoon sun too.  

And August's zinnias still bloom brightly in the afternoon sun too.

 

And here is summer personified!  This is the last of our day lilies still bravely blooming in September.  Looks as if we have only one more bloom to go.   

And here is summer personified!  This is the last of our day lilies still bravely blooming in September.  Looks as if we have only one more bloom to go. 

 

Kale, kale, kale.  Glorious kale has grown really fast and well in just a short time. 

Kale, kale, kale.  Glorious kale has grown really fast and well in just a short time. 

A true harbinger of fall:  Goldenrod.  I have read it is not really the allergen most people fear it to be and butterflies feast on it.  

A true harbinger of fall:  Goldenrod.  I have read it is not really the allergen most people fear it to be and butterflies feast on it.

 

One of the sentinels of summer:  The okra struggles on although the cooler nights slow it down. 

One of the sentinels of summer:  The okra struggles on although the cooler nights slow it down. 

New Friends. Old Cars

Sparta had the pleasure of hosting about 25 old Model A Fords and their proud owners this past weekend.  A number of historic houses were open for touring on Saturday, including 15 Elm Street, the home of Elm Street Gardens.  This house tour, sponsored by the Sparta Historical Society, was open to any who were interested as well as the Model A group who enhanced the Sparta streets with their old cars.

Robert and I enjoyed our various guests during the house tour that day and talking about the house we love as well as showing off the gardens. We also had the pleasure of being the location for dinner for the Model A touring group. 

As dinner time approached however, so did the afternoon thunderstorms and the rain made it impossible to set up on the lawn as originally planned for dinner.  We moved the rented tables and chairs to the dining room and the connecting front parlor and everyone fit in just fine.  We now know there is a way to seat 54 people for dinner in our house. 

We had a grand day.  And hope we get to do it again!

Suzy

 

The Model A Ford tour group begins to arrive in Sparta.

The Model A Ford tour group begins to arrive in Sparta.

On a wet evening Elm Street becomes lined with the old cars.

On a wet evening Elm Street becomes lined with the old cars.

Part of the line-up in front of our house.

Part of the line-up in front of our house.

There were a few of the cars parked by the side of the house and by the old cotton warehouse building where Sparta Mushrooms are raised. 

There were a few of the cars parked by the side of the house and by the old cotton warehouse building where Sparta Mushrooms are raised. 

  



Hot Times, Cool Picnic

We had our 5th annual Hancock Community Labor Day Picnic here on Elm Street on the appropriate day.  The temperatures were right up there to make it one of the hottest days we have had this summer (I chose not to look and find out just how hot it was).  It has been very dry here and we have spent a lot of time wishing the rain would pour down, but instead we got the sun pouring down on us.

Despite the hydrangeas looking a bit crispy, it all worked out very well with lots of good potluck dishes and pork and chicken barbeque as well as a whole lot of very nice people sharing in the work and visiting with old friends and new.  And that is what it is all about:  The community coming together. 

Suzy

Welcome to all!

Welcome to all!

4 H Club members.  4-H'ers put together a history panel display for Hancock County as well as a lovely presentation of memories of the recently burned Hancock Courthouse.   

4 H Club members.  4-H'ers put together a history panel display for Hancock County as well as a lovely presentation of memories of the recently burned Hancock Courthouse. 

 

Barbeque! And working hard to pull it off the bones and chop it for serving.  

Barbeque! And working hard to pull it off the bones and chop it for serving.

 

Flowers from Elm Street Gardens decorated all the tables.     

Flowers from Elm Street Gardens decorated all the tables. 

 

 

Randie Gray (left) receives her " Community Hero" award for her work with 4-H with presenter Shawn Bell.

Randie Gray (left) receives her " Community Hero" award for her work with 4-H with presenter Shawn Bell.


SWAH Fitness Dance Group did some mighty fine line dancing.  

SWAH Fitness Dance Group did some mighty fine line dancing.

 

The picnic was enjoyed by all ages.

The picnic was enjoyed by all ages.

And especially the young!                

And especially the young!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Elm Street, Sparta, GA