It's been a lovely, quiet summer so far. The weather has been mild, a good mix of happy sunny days and charming all day rains. The flower gardens are really coming along, although I still have some major weeding to do on a couple of them.
Our hard winter was really tough on my perennials. Quite a few didn't survive, including several of my roses. I put off weeding and planning to see what really was gone, and what was just taking its sweet time about coming back. I've had a few nice surprises, especially from roses I was sure were gone.
The pond also suffered from the hard winter. We lost nearly all of our fish. The ice was nearly three inches thick when we finally hefted it out of the pond, near the end of April. We'd been waiting for it to simply melt away, but our cool spring prevented that. Despite having lots of aeration, I think the fish suffocated. We've added three new fish and a few new water plants. and I think it is looking well again.
Gracie is learning that grass is good for sprawling, but mom gets super mad when she lolls around on the flowers. I'd lay prickly rose branches between the plants to discourage her, but they seem to be her especially favorite to chew. I catch her swiping them out of the weed cart all the time.
The gardenia is now constantly in bloom, adding its scent to the lavender and roses. I've left the few milkweed volunteers, hoping to coax a monarch butterfly, or two. I haven't seen a single one so far this year.