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Please begin with an informative title:

Good morning, and hope you had a whiz-bang Fourth.  Welcome to Saturday Morning Garden Blogging.

Here in Denver we ended June and started July with unseasonably cool weather.  Last Sunday the high was only 77°, with the highs gradually rising through the week to get us back into the 90s by the end of the week.

We've also been getting monsoon rain patterns: scattered, heavy downpours from thunderstorms, with other areas receiving, at most, a few sprinkles.

Unfortunately the thunderstorms have been dumping on some of the burn areas from the last few years' worth of wildfires, causing flash flooding and mud slides, and missing my little slice of heaven — we've been getting the "few sprinkles", totaling less than a total of a quarter-inch.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

One of the great things about Saturday Morning Garden Blogging is how we help each other out — we suggest plantings; identify bugs, diseases and weeds newly discovered by some, but unknown to others.

For example, last week Agathena posted a photo of an unfamiliar weed growing in her yard — a weed that I had coincidentally seen invading my yard from the rental property next door.  Having had great familiarity with bindweed I knew what it wasn't — but didn't know what it was.  A little searching and the culprit was identified as wild buckwheat.

And I know all y'all will be helping me as I cope with a new invader to Colorado: Japanese beetles (and yes, I know these are fucking Japanese beetles.

We've never had much problem with Japanese beetles before because it's so dry here; this is the first time I've ever seen them in my yard.  Our arid climate slowed the spread into Colorado (Japanese beetles need moist conditions for their eggs/larva), but I think the whacked-out weather of recent years gave them a toe-hold (do beetles have toes?).  A recommended control is to allow the turf to dry out; however, the beetle breeding season of late June through July coincides with our hottest, driest weather, and the attack the roots of the grass limiting its ability to take up water.

Of course.

But it's not just solving problems — it's other surprises, too.  You guys have sent me seeds, and books, and plants, and drawings (although, sorry 'stix, I can't properly display your Christmas cards!).

And then there was the unexpected package arriving in my mailbox yesterday, into which Missys Brother had stuffed books and incidentals geared to my, and the Mister's, obsessions.  There are two wonderful old cookbooks: The Enterprising Housekeeper.  Suggestions for breakfast, luncheon and supper:

Breakfast is, perhaps, the most difficult meal for which to provide.  As a race, we are a hard-working people; a nation of wage-earners, yet high-strung and nervously organized.  American habits, as well as climate, make the American breakfast a necessity.  We cannot work on the delicate fare of the Frenchman, nor can we so easily assimilate the heavy food of the Englishman.

The morning meal must be dainty, to tempt the appetite; palatable and nutritious, for after the night's fast the system requires such assistance, and before another meal the hardest part of the day's work is usually done.

and "Aunt Babette's" Cook Book; Foreign and Domestic Receipts for the Household — a true gem where the chapter for Easter Dishes has a sub-heading "How to set the table for the service of 'sedar' on the eve of Pesach or Passover" and lists recipes — whoops, that's "receipts" — with matzos as an ingredient.  Best of all is the instructions for treating a sore throat:
How to Make a Bacon Bandage for Sore Throat. Cut the bacon in strips one quarter of an inch in thickness and two or three inches in width and long enough to pass entirely around the throat.  Remove the bacon rind and any lean meat there may be in it to prevent blistering the throat or neck.  Sew the bacon to a strip of flannel so as to hold it in position and prevent its slipping and then apply the bacon to the throat and neck.  Pin it around the neck so that it will not be uncomfortably tight.  The throat and neck should be completely swathed with the bacon.  If after and application of eight hours the patient is not better apply a new bandage in the same manner.
There's a book for knitting ("The Yarn Harlot"), for sewing there's a 1928 volume from McCalls on how to make clothing and old sample needle packages; and GUG remembered the Mister with a volume on keeping aquariums.

There's even a LOLcat!

I really love surprises, and a package in the mail nowhere near my birthday, or Christmas — well, unless you want to go with Christmas in July — was a wonderful addition to the holiday weekend.  So thank you, to GUG in particular, but also to the rest of you because, well, SMGB is kinda like a present every Saturday morning.

That's what's happening here.  What's going on in your gardens?

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