Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Summers last breath

 Do you welcome September as much as I do?
Spring and Autumn are the best times of the year to me.
Everyone in the Hollow seems a little cooler and  more content as summer breathes her last and Autumn takes command with a crispness we all recognize and delight in.
As the perennials in the cottage gardens fade, turn to skeleton and go to seed, it is the fabulous Zinnias that continue to burst forth with more and more bloom, even as the gourds and pumpkins grow ever larger on the vines.
  September gets me in the mood to put paint to paper this week on the Rooster piece I drew many months ago.
  A chance to paint the colors of Autumn.
  
I'm excited to paint the gourds, squashes and pumpkins next.
Vegetables are so darn comical,
 but not as cute as baby chicks.
 This illustration is a joy to paint!  I expect it will be complete by Monday.

Please enjoy the last of summer color as I take a walk through my Zinnia Cutting garden.
 I got pretty excited over these simple plant, and you will see why.



33 comments:

  1. Oh he is WONDERFUL!!! Such detail!!
    This is my favorite best time of year!! :-)
    (I love that video)!!
    xx oo Linnie Lou

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    1. Linnie, I am loving your goats..makes me wish for kiddies... but James says "no more goats!".

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  2. you have me convinced, zinnias!
    your painting looks lovely.
    It is beginning to look more like autumn every day here too.

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    1. Zinnias would be incredible with the backdrop of your Montana mountains and Evergreens. You must plant them and take photos next year!

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  3. Love your rooster painting and it does make one feel like fall is approaching. I can hardly wait.

    Your zinnia garden video was delightful! It made me want to grow my own patch next year.

    Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

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    1. They would be perfect for your cottage gardens!

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  4. JERI LANDERS! HIYA!

    OK, school has started here, and I am back in the classroom. It's been HOT AS HECK in the building, but outside, it's been a paradise of cooler weather, still in the 70s, but an indication that one of my favorite seasons is on the trail, coming soon.

    I have to agree with you that spring and autumn are the best times. They are the exciting introduction to both life and "death" but not a forever death.....a dormancy that incites expectation and hope. I LOVE the gourds, the colors...OH, the colors we get here in Minnesota are astounding!

    Your roosters are a delight. Yesterday as we went for a walk in our neighborhood, we say a posse of turkeys. All female, they were lounging about in someone's yard, strew across a picnic table and lawn and front stoop! I LOVE THIS CITY!

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    1. Your city is unlike any other... You have turkeys, ducks, geese, and rabbits too. It must be a very friendly place to attract the variety of country critters it does. You have the best of both worlds!

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  5. OH! We did not go, but the State Fair is here. On the news they showed some of the animals, and of course goats are always a feature. They showed one goat, a kind I'd never, ever seen. Instead of having long ears to the side, he had these TINY little rounded ears, like that of a small teddy bear! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA do they clip goats' ears?

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    1. Anita, I have never seen a goat with teeny ears, but wonders never cease. I would not think goat ears would be clipped, ouch!
      Goats are sweet and naughty at the same time. My red goats found an escape route into our "Yard" and have been grazing daily throughout. I don't mind, as the gardens are past their prime and the goats don't eat my flowers anyway. However, they've make a beeline to the pear tree every day.

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  6. You've convinced me, too, to grow zinnias from seed next year! When is the best time to sow the seeds?

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    1. Cathy, my plan is to follow nature's timing. After the plants have browned and turned to seed, I will do a thorough weeding, prepare the ground, plant the seed and cover in heavy mulch. Around here, that will be the end of October, at the same time you would plant your bulbs. I've read that you should plant AFTER a killing frost, to insure that your seeds don't try to grow before their time. Don't till deeply, else you will bring more weed seeds to the surface.

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    2. Oh, one more thing. You don't need to mulch it after you've pressed the seed into the ground. I only do the mulch because my chickens will devour it if I don't cover. In the spring, I will remove the mulch.

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  7. Jeri, thank you for the pleasure of seeing this splendidly colorful rooster appear on the page! The colors are definitely September messengers, and I can tell why you are enjoying this painting so much. It is looking wonderful.

    Thank you also for the delightful zinnia video. I've also always found the vast variety of zinnia colors and shapes amusing, and like your "comical" description very much. Fun to see all those butterflies and bees, too. I've been seeing lots of brilliant zinnia bouquets for sale at the farmers market, and am always taken back to some sweet childhood memories of helping my Mom pick some zinnias for an arrangement.

    Good to be reminded that zinnias still have that power, all these decades later. xo

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    1. Frances, Thank you! These colors are a joy to mix, so many shades of ochres, yellows and oranges.
      It is so nice to gather big bunches of these Zinnias every other day and disperse them around the house. And if I have any guests, they get to pick their own bouquet to take home.
      A lovely memory with your mom. Now that I think about it, it was nearly the only flower my mother could grow besides tulips! Mom did not have the inclination to garden.

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  8. Thank you for the video, Fantastic tribute to zinnias!
    Its amazing how many butterflies are there. Your rooster is stunning with such strong autumn colors.

    Zinnias are a favorite cut flower with a stem of mint in the vase (when I had a yard to grow them in).

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    1. One morning, there must have been a hundred butterflies in that patch, every size and shape and color.... as varied as the Zinnias! I ran for my camera and the battery was dead.
      A stem of mint in the vase? Is that for the scent, or the look?

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  9. Oh, your rooster looks just like my Valentino did. I don't see any powdery mildew on your zinnias. Must be the climate there. Do you save seeds from them? I know they self-seed, but I look every day for one that's ready to save. I love them so. Autumn is good. I'm looking forward to it too.

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    1. Donna,
      Valentino! Aren't roosters the most dashing and handsome of farm folk.... aside from peacocks,of course.
      No mildew thank goodness, I had it my roses instead.
      I've been saving the seeds so that I can spread them in every garden. At 3 bucks for a pack of seeds, this is the way to go!

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  10. Jeri, September is certainly a prelude to beautiful Autumn. We've had cooler temps, but our heat will return this week. Your zinnia garden is lovely. I save my seed from year to year and grow these happy flowers by our mailbox. Because of our shady property this is the sunniest spot and they perform so well that I'm able to gather bouquets of them. Enjoy your cooler temps. ♥

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    1. Martha, After all my years of gardening, you'd think I would have discovered these dandy blooms long ago. But from here on, I will never be without them>

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  11. Your rooster is just gorgeous. I just love all the color combinations that roosters come in with all those glossy feathers laying so neatly on their bodies.

    Your zinnias are beautiful. I always grow some but not as many as you. How long is that boarder that you have them growing in? The nicest thing about them for me is that deer leave them strictly alone. So I don't have to worry about them all season long spraying them with deer repellent to keep those rodents on hooves away from them. The other great thing about them is that they come in such a wide variety of colors, flower shapes and sizes and in varying heights. There seems to be something for everyone. Not only that they are amazingly easy to grow and pretty much just take care of them selves. What's not to like????

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  12. Vic, Roosters are stunning, and they know it!.
    The Zinnia bed is about 3'x10'. I was quite astounded by the various petal and flower shapes and now I'm bound to go hunting for all the varieties that can be found. This grouping is at least 5 ft tall now,so i would like to find some shorter varieties for the front of a border.

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  13. Oh Jeri~ If I am ever feeling blue-this is where I wander to-your little spot on the blogosphere...Of course your painting is wonderful....the gardens are lovely too. I have been inspired by your zinnia garden to plant them again next year. It's been a while since I grew them-how silly of me! Thank you for such a lovely post!

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    1. Debra, nothing will cheer a person quite so quickly has the crow of a rooster and a handful of flowers!

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  14. Jeri, Ok, that's it! Next year I will seed Zinnas! I can't believe that this is the result of ONE packet.. They are amazing, Jeri. I wonder if they would survive the heat here. I went out yesterday to dead head my roses and you would not believe the size. They are only 1/4 the size they should be. The bush itself looks so sad, they are struggling. The weather has dropped 30 degrees this past week, and we are now in the 80's. There is a cool breeze (finally) so I hope this helps. Lost most of the lavenders. I have four left.

    I love your illustration. The colors are stunning. There is such detail in your beautiful Rooster, and the chicks are as sweet as can be. Your video was so enjoyable, I felt like I was there with you.

    Thank you so much for coming over to meet Lily.
    fondly,
    Penny

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    1. Penny, Nothing in my gardens was as successful as the Lavender and the Zinnias, I think it's because they LIKE the heat. These were planted in the hottest areas of our garden, full sun all day long. I only relied on the rain for watering, and that didn't happen too many times this year. Don't despair with the lavenders, you know who many I have killed! If only one plant survives to become a big bush, it was worth it.
      ROOSTERS! Why did I never paint roosters before! Mixing the paints for these was a great adventure, so many vibrant colors in the feathers, I am sure I missed some of them.

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  15. Dear Jeri I was never a great Sunnis fan but in the last year's I have really enjoyed them. Unfortunately this spring I forget to plant them. So glad I got to enjoy yours.
    By the way your rooster and chicks are lovely. Fall colors are so warm and inviting. Have a great week. Hugs!

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    1. Thanks Deborah. I expect I'll have a gazillion seeds for next year, as well as those that drop and blow in the wind. They ought to be everywhere next time around.

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  16. I've gotta admit that summer is my favorite season and ya gotta drag me into autumn kicking and screaming every single year. That said, I DO love September weather with the perfect blend of warm days and crispy nights. And all those mellow colors and the delicious flavors that come with the change of seasons.

    And zinnias--the perfect summer flower!

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    1. Roxie! By the end of August, I've had it with the heat and am grateful for a change. I must admit, however, Autumn and winter put a real damper on the mood of my animal friends and my grain bill goes WAY up. No more insects, grass or seeds for the critters to eat .. they are so bummed out.

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  17. I agree, spring and fall are the best. Thank you for sharing your amazing flowers, it's a treat. In my neck of the woods my flowers are already drying up and saying goodbye.

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