Archive for June, 2013

When I got up yesterday morning, I was greeted with this almost mystical vision of sun rays over our shade garden.  A very special moment which I’m happy (and surprised) to have been able to capture on camera.

Unseen just to the right in the picture is a small clump of spigelia, also known as Indian Pink, which bloomed in the past several days after a two year effort.  The original seedlings were eaten back to the ground by some critter, but they came back this year and hopefully will continue to expand.  I grew a clump in New Jersey, but most people down here seem not to know it, even though it is considered a native plant from the Mid-Atlantic states down to the Smokies.  It’s definitely one of my garden favorites, and I think the pictures below will explain why.

An unseasonably cool and wet spring slowed things down a bit, but currently our vegetable garden is booming.  Everything planted is now up.  We’re harvesting snap peas, lettuce, prize choy, turnips, broccoli, collards, swiss chard, and herbs (parsley and cilantro).  Various kinds of beans, cowpeas and cucumbers, are scurrying up my three trellises (I seem to add a new one every year).  I don’t think I’ve ever seen such healthy-looking potato plants (with not a single Colorado potato beetle yet, although we do have an ample supply of Mexican bean beetles).  This year I tried a new variety of turnip offered by Baker Creek: Boule d’Or.  With a flavor both mild and rich, it did fine as a spring crop, despite the advice on the packet to grow it in the fall.  With all the stuff coming in, you learn to be creative.  Monika and I ate turnip oven fries last night!

In early June we spent a four-day weekend with Dave, Sue, Paityn and Cody on their horse farm.  We had a great time. Moni has organized our pictures into the three categories illustrated above: grandkids, horse farm, and deppen family history.  Click on the relevant picture for each.

We’ve been blessed, as they say around here, with four wonderful family visits recently.  Nic and Alison came out for Mother’s Day and made Monika a great crepe breakfast.

Shortly afterwards, Tim and Megan made a weekend visit; we toured water-powered Woodson Mill in nearby Lowesville, as well as several houses on the Nelson County Historical Society’s annual tour.  The stone-ground grits from there are really good!

Later in May, Jim and Arlene spent four days in the area with us, including stops at the AT suspension bridge and Crabtree Falls, a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a trip to Appomattox.  And of course lots of nostalgic reminiscing and catching up.

And at the beginning of June, John came down for a quick visit with Cally and Sylvia, partly in anticipation of their upcoming family trip to Germany.  Three earlybirds got to climb Spy Rock in the morning; the rhododendron and flaming azalea were in bloom!

click here for more pictures of their visit