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I’m back home after a wonderful week in Seattle, with side trips to Vancouver and Mt. Rainier.  Now it’s back to tending my own gardens, faithfully watered by my daughter while I was gone.

There are a lot of green beans to pick, snip, blanch, and freeze!001I planted a French bean, ‘Nickel,’ this year, and it is now my favorite bean!  These stringless beans stay very slender and are slow to form seeds.  This made them ideal for my late-summer absence of eight days!  They are tender and delicious.  I highly recommend steaming them lightly, then sautéing them briefly in some melted butter and garlic.  Yum!003Also new to me this summer is Zinnia elegans ‘Zowie!’  Prairie Rose posted such stunning pictures of hers last year that I knew I had to try it in my own garden.  The first one came into full bloom while I was away.  It looks like a party waiting to happen!023The butterfly bush (Buddleia) growing along the back wall of the house, under my kitchen window, has several blooms.  It attracts plenty of bees and sometimes a hummingbird finds it, but no butterflies yet.  Even the well established bed of six big Buddleias in my neighbor’s yard is absent of the many Monarchs we usually see there in late August.018021The Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium ‘Little Joe’), in its second year wedged in the corner between my vegetable garden and a rock wall, is blooming well.  Again, it attracts many a bee, but no butterflies.  Last year, the Painted Ladies really like Joe!029On the front porch, one of the African violets I rejuvenated last spring is covered with blooms.  Two more are showing buds, so I think I can safely pronounce the surgery a success!037Finally, I find this amusing.  A volunteer morning glory has wound its way through a rhododendron bush, giving it a second season of bloom!032Time for me to get back to the beans!  I hope you all have had a great weekend with your own gardens!