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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. 

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