So I'm alive. I feel like I should probably clarify that since I just totally disappeared on you. Once again I got behind on things before I headed out of town to go sailing and then the posts I had scheduled to go up didn't and well, I figured you'd all hang in there and wait for me.

I snapped a quick shot of the garden off the deck as I was running around before I left. 
I was off on my annual summer sailing trip (it was highly successful and full of great sailing, warm Lake Michigan water and lots of sun), but one of the posts I had planned for you while I was gone was about preparing to leave your garden for a week or more. It's scary to do, especially at this time of year when everything is growing so much, but after doing it every year, I've developed a few strategies.

This was the topic of an article I wrote for the Troy-Bilt e-newsletter "The Dirt." We always have someone stay at the house to take care of the animals and the containers, so I'm fortunate that I don't have to worry much about container watering.

I love a bouquet of sweet peas and sometimes the smaller they are, the more charming.

Even though I was running around like crazy before I left (this is my natural state of being before I go anywhere; I am always running around like crazy), one of the last things I did was make several big bouquets for the house. Sure they are a nice treat for the housesitter, but I have a much more selfish for cutting every flower I can: There will be more for me later. Flowers keep producing when they are deadheaded, but lots of spend blooms go undeadheaded when you're gone. By cutting all the flowers I can I get a head start on the deadheading. Sure the garden lacks some color while I'm gone, but who cares? I'm gone!
The 'David Howard' dahlias were going nuts when I left so I cut everyone I could find.

I also made sure to fertilize all of the containers (I don't ask the housesitter to fertilize, just water) and water them really, really well. And the last thing I did was run around (in the dark, for the most part) with the deer spray.

Only one 'Crichton Honey' dahlia was blooming when I left but I cut that too. I can't get over the gorgeous color on this one. 

I don't have a lot coming out of the veggie garden yet, but if I did I would have made sure to harvest any ripe vegetables so the plants keep producing.

So how did the garden fare while I was gone for 10 days? I'll show you the "after" tomorrow.

I wanted to share just one photo from while I was gone. We left to take the boat to Chicago at 11 p.m. Tuesday during the Buck moon. By 5:30 a.m. or so, the moon was still shining brightly while the sun was rising. I took this panoramic photo (and yes it's a real, untouched photo) that managed to capture both the full moon and the sun rise at the same time on opposite sides of the boat. 


  1. That shot from the boat is amazing. Sounds like a great trip.

  2. What a great photo. Beautiful! Good advise about cutting off all blooms before leaving for vacation.

  3. I loved following along on your trip via Facebook and Instagram! That last photo is gorgeous!
    I bet the garden was about a foot higher when you got home after all the rain we had in the last week!

  4. Your dahlias are stunning!! I have major garden envy. :) My post about the 2017 Fling is up with dates! I hope to see you there.


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