And sorry if you’ve now got that annoyingly singable tune from Grease floating around in your head!

I just had to tell you about our beautiful weekend here in Michigan Reading through some of your blogs towards the end of the week I noticed a common theme….. rain! Seems like the good old English summer has done it again, not appearing that is, even a lady I know who lives in Toronto was lamenting the fact that out of the last 71 days it’s rained there for 41 of them. And I’m sure our Australian friends would like a bit of warm sunshine soon. I know we had a lot of rain here in June, I remember posting about it, but since then it’s pretty much dried up. It hasn’t rained here for three weeks, and the long range forecast (for the next 10 days) is for more sun and no rain. Not that that I’m complaining mind you! It’s just a bit “feast or famine” that’s all, a bit of rain here and there would be nice too, especially for the garden, all the hand watering is becoming time consuming, and we don’t want to run the sprinklers every day, not only is it wasteful of a precious resource we’d also get quite a shock when the bill arrives!

But having the sun is wonderful. I freely admit that we’ve both become sun worshipers since moving here. One of the best things is that you rarely have to plan which weekend you’re going to do something or go somewhere based upon the weather, as most weekends are lovely to be honest. So what did we do?

Well, we started off Saturday morning with a leisurely breakfast on the deck…. homemade blueberry pancakes with organic maple syrup and fresh coffee. It made getting on and actually doing something difficult I can tell you!

So I took the easy option at first and wandered round the garden taking a few photos of what’s currently in flower:

Rudbeckia Herbstonne “Autumn Sun” – isn’t it cheery? It will be a big boy eventually at 4-5ft, but I like bold splashes of colour, and as you can probably guess from it’s name, it will go on flowering right into Autumn. I also planted it in front of a blue spruce to make it “pop” even more!

Next up is a really interesting little flower… Ratibida, or Mexican Hat Flower! You can see why it gets it’s common name. I really like plants that are striking visually, there’s a lot in my garden that makes people go ” What is that??” This is also teamed with blue, a small shrub called a Caryopteris, a very pretty little shrub, available in a lovely spectrum of different shades of blue to dark purple. The bees and other insects absolutely adore it and it flowers well into September.

[Cayopteris flowers]

I do love Mallows too, such a stunning range of colours available, they’re really a hardy type of Hibiscus, although over here, they’re always known as the Mallow. I only have two, I’d like more but they can become quite sizable shrubs and I don’t have room.

Another flower I’ve loved since I was little is the Balloon Flower or Platycodon. It’s not the flower that fascinates me, although that’s pretty enough in shades of blue, pink and white, it’s the way the flowers form and how they derive their common name. Take a look at this… do you see that veiny, engorged balloon like thing under the open flowers? That’s how the little buds form, if you squeeze it gently you can even feel the pressure! They grow larger than this and then eventually pop open to reveal these beautiful blue flowers. I can quite clearly remember going round my Grandma’s garden and “popping” the balloon flowers open whenever I got the chance!!

After all this photo taking I knew what my tasks were, deadhead, cut back the earlier flowering shrubs and perennials to allow more light to reach those currently in flower, spoon on some rotted compost to enrich the soil and to stop it drying out so quickly and to water some specific plants that needed it. I also potted up a rather sad looking perennial, my fault completely as I should have got it in the ground sooner. The gardening pretty much took up the rest of the day, until it was time for an afternoon cuppa. After that, I joined my hubby on the deck for a half hour relaxing sunbathe. We ate a simple dinner out on the deck and sat and chatted until long after dark, watching the wonderful fireflies light up the night.

Sunday we were up early and took our bikes to the park for a ride around the 8.5 mile paved trail, after which we washed up in the loos, changed our clothes and headed to “Moe’s On Ten Mile”, a very good local restaurant that has a superb breakfast buffet! Excellent quality too, and the price of $9.95 (about 5 pounds) includes the cook to order omelette and waffle station!

Later I went back out for a browse around the craft stores, one had 40% off EVERY item in it’s scrapbooking/card making aisles. Didn’t want to miss that! This is my haul, the bargain of the day was the set of 600 Making Memories eyelets in different colours on clearance for $6.97….. it went through the tills at $1.97!! I couldn’t believe it, a quid for the set!

And yes Maddy, you do see two little Fiskars tools in the front!! A craft knife (scalpel to you and me!) and a neat little thing for quickly embossing card stock from embossing plates. The orangey things in the top middle are silk maple leaves. The little purple box is a set of alphabet stamps for $1, and the four spools of self adhesive ribbon (top right) were only 50cents each! Considering the amount that was on sale I think I was very restrained and focused!!

Anyway, here I sit, early Sunday evening and it’s still 84F outside. I’ve been working on a little project I’ll show you in a few days as I don’t want to be out any more today. A is still outside in the sun, having worked in the garage all afternoon. A little salad for supper I think tonight and some fresh fruit too, nice and cooling and refreshing.

I hope whatever you’ve been getting up to you all enjoyed it and had a great weekend.