Dateline: Cattaraugus County, western New York
Alas, not much good news from the garden. Well Jack is always good news and although a bit of a slow starter this year, he's done us proud again.
Sadly I can't say that for the rest of the bunch. The deer have discovered the buffet and we made the big mistake of being away in June, when they did their worst. Even the rudbekias, blackeyed susans, yellow daisies, whatever, which usually proliferate like, yes, weeds, have only grown about six inches.
And well as the usual suspects - deer and slugs, we've had two new problems this year. One is wasps. I was gardening a couple of weeks ago and (accidentally) stuck my hand in a wasps' nest. These particular wasps live in the ground and are extra vicious. One got me on my finger, which swelled up a bit but was manageable. I sprayed the nest with the usual stuff that usually seems to do the trick. A week or so later, I was walking past - walking past at a safe distance, not poking around. One of the survivors, out to avenge friends and family, shot out and deliberately targetted my leg, which swelled up like a balloon. I spent the next couple of days with my foot in a bucket of ice. Hubby had to resort to the flamethrower. And we've just discovered a new settlement of the brutes right under the trumpet vine.
And the other thing is mud. Mud mud mud mud and more mud. And heavy rain is forecast again for this afternoon. The chap who was supposed to clear some of our jungle with his brush hog (not a species of wild pig but a tool for just that - clearing jungles) got his tractor stuck in the mud. Yes his tractor. It took all afternoon to pull it out. We might as well cut our losses and set up in business as a mud-wrestling venue.