Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Another beautiful early fall morning on the grounds of Port Swiller Manor.  I didn’t need to bother with the lawn today, so spent most of it just pottering about.

Out in the butterfly garden, where the buddleia are all overgrown and still blooming pretty heavily, I’d say that this year’s war against the morning glories has been for the most part successful, as they only really managed to partially tangle up one bush without my noticing it.  It’s now late enough in the year that I won’t worry about fighting them any longer.

While poking around, I noticed today a number of young foxgloves suddenly coming up.  I used to have a fair patch of them at one end of the garden, but they had pretty much dwindled away a year or two ago, so I was surprised to see new ones appear now.  Ol’ Robbo loves him some foxglove.  Seeing these, it came back to my mind that I really ought to put a bed of them in under the cluster of maples we have in one corner of the back yard.  I can’t think why I haven’t done it before, except that I have a vague recollection Mrs. R was worried the Gels, when toddlers, might have tried to eat them.

Speaking of eating, the groundhog who lives in my yard has been raiding my raspberry bushes.  Dratted varmint.  Decanter Dog’s ruling passion is to some day catch him, but it’s probably just as well she’s unlikely ever to do so. I’d bet those things can be formidable when cornered.

I’ll be interested to see what happens with my hedge of forsythia next spring.  I razed it to the ground this year and gave it a good feed, and now it’s sprung back up, albeit a little on the spindly side.   If it flowers well, I can pat myself on the back.  If not, I’ll just have to admit finally that it has got too old, dig it all out, and plant new ones.

Ol’ Robbo has mentioned here from time to time the pachysandra we put in the ditch out by the street last summah.  I’m happy to report that, other than where the snow-pack from the plowing killed it off right by the road,  it has really started to take off this year.  Another year or two and I think it will have filled in quite nicely.  Ol’ Robbo was quite proud of the dodge he worked out last year of placing a soaker hose uphill of the bed in order to water it at need, but I’m even happier that I’ve had no occasion to do so this year, what with all the rain we’ve had.

Finally, watching a hummingbird at the feeder just now, I got to wondering how much longer I can expect to see them round here.  What is it in their brains that one day says, “Yup, time to pack it up and head for Mexico”?  Other birds do it too, of course, but the hummers’ migration has always been especially mind-boggling to me.

UPDATE:  Beautiful early fall morning? Meet beautiful early fall evening!  There are those what say one should give up G&T’s (like seersucker and white shoes) after Labor Day.  Ol’ Robbo isn’t quite so rigid about this but prefers to go by the weather:  Once it gets cool enough, one wants to switch over to the Laphroaig.  But we’re not really there just yet. (Not that I really touch the hard stuff much anymore, and you better not tell my doctor, but once in a way it certainly hits the spot.)

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