It must be early August as happy sunflower faces are appearing everywhere. They make this gardener smile and wish for multiple acres of this symbol of good cheer – a happy daydream!

Lush mint plants vie for space bordering the older herb garden on two sides and are  just beginning to flower. Soon they will provide even more pollen for the bees who will be happy, as will be gardener who enjoys doing her part to provide nectar for nature’s best helpers. Bee admirers may want to check out a newly published book by Thor Hanson called “ Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees” for an interesting read about the “bee-pocalypse”.

The new small herb garden has filled out and meeting all expectations. The tiny sage plant has elevated its status to huge and will provide us with fresh sage for our Thanksgiving turkey dressing and even enough to share. How is that for planning ahead.

I can hear the five gallon containers of worm tea humming softly in the dedicated alcove near the potting bench. After two days of brewing, the tea reveals a dark rich brown color and is ready to disperse to favored garden plants. Indoor plants also eagerly await their turn and will then soon show  a healthy dark green color after receiving a cup or more of this nutritious concoction.  Make note to self to give Editor Michael a jar of this brew for his plants. Must remember to properly label!

Handyman is enjoying plump raspberries as their season is just beginning. Healthy doses of compost and water have paid off. So many starts have appeared that Garden Helper thinks we may have to prepare a new bed. Will give that idea some thought.

This is the first year for the cherry tree to produce healthy looking dark red cherries. The birds are delighted and are spreading the word. Not a good thing!

It is time to collect seeds from the chives and yellow columbine. It is easy to shake the seeds into a paper bag, then transfer to small envelopes and label. Makes a nice gift to share.

Will take a few minutes to pull up a chair and enjoy the garden view. The handsome ‘Dolgo’ crabapple is a visual treat with its branches full of soon to be ripe fruit. The nearby ‘Sweet Sixteen’ apple trees are just beginning to show pink as thy continue to ripen. Their tasty apples will be something to look forward to soon.

I do hope you also can take a few moments to just sit and enjoy your garden. I am sure you also have earned a few moments of gentle repose.


Nancy Riebe is a master gardener and master composter from Belgrade whose columns appear weekly throughout the growing season. Reach her in care of, who also eagerly awaits some worm tea.