Last weekend we were finally ready for our Sheherezade photoshoot, an idea that I have had for some time.

Nick was the photographer, as usual. (I think he is getting better and better, though he always insists that he is an amateur.) I did the styling, including this lavish up-cycled necklace that I made a few years ago.

I often use weekend mornings for self-care, so I applied my “horse vitamin” hair mask – or, as I like to say, “I was a horse”. (It contains liquid vitamins, originally meant for farm animals.) I did not want to miss laying in the sun too, but I was not sure if my mask-covered hair should be exposed to it, so I had to find something to cover it. My straw hat did not seem suitable, as it would be hard to clean later. I did not want to go upstairs to look for a scarf either, because I would wake Nick and Boris. So, I dug out a long bright pink piece of patterned fabric from one of our many blue Ikea bags (meant for reviewing, if we could use the stuff or not), and I wrapped it around my head like a makeshift turban. It looked surprisingly stylish to me. At least, I hope I did not scare our neighbours who were already working in the yard, though I think they must have gotten used to our oddities by now.

The small trees and shrubs in the corner of the porch are starting to flower. I keep rearranging them, so that the blooms would be visible, and for nice colour combinations.

I have noticed that bees especially like this orange Indian canna, along with some other exotic plants. I guess our porch is like an abundant buffet breakfast to them, so they choose the tastiest and the most unusual dish. They seem to like gladiolus and abutilon too; they try each new plant that I bring here (which is quite often), and some seem to make them happy, like us when we discover a yummy new food. They even buzz angrily when I try to water or move a plant they are busy with. If I knew, I would not disturb them. But it’s hard to know in advance, as they are often completely hidden inside the blooms – even the huge fuzzy bumblebees.

Talking of insects – our “waspinator” seems to be working. I noticed that the wasps fly quickly by, as if they are “checking” if it is another swarm’s hive, and then they fly away.

My crocosmias are starting to flower, they turned out to be yellow.

I think they were the last plants from the color coordinated set of bulbs that I planted this spring.

There was supposed to be some orange too – but so far, I have only seen yellow and pink-white.

Dahlia “Suhshine”
 “Princess Margaret” gladioli (with our Fantasy Garden mug)

I like these colours too, but orange is my favourite… Actually, I chose this set because of it.

My zinnias suffer from powdery mildew, just like last summer. I treated them with pest control spray, but I am still not sure if they would make it. Fortunately, I think I saved the avens from the same disease, now it is about to bloom at last.

I am almost out of pest control spray, and Nick needed some bits and pieces for his workshop, so we made a trip to the “men’s mall”. They were out of spray too, but I got some new plants: vinca and scaevola.

I also found a pink oleander, a plant I’ve been dreaming of for a long time. (I had one at some point, but I struggled to save it from the aphids. Then we moved into a small apartment with no balcony and I had to leave most of my plants behind.)

I planted my new oleander in this ceramic pot (Nick found it next to the trash bins and rescued it). I think it is a great match.

On our way to the supermarket yesterday, I checked the roadside plant stall. It was invaded by piles of watermelons – they had been there for some time, but now they had total supremacy. (Must be the season, as Nick said). I found no inspiring plants there, but in the supermarket there were some purple ones for me – gomphrena, aster, and callistephus.

They looked like a great match to my new scaevola, so I combined them in a common flower box.

We also found these beautiful yellow tomatoes.

Their fresh sweet smell reminded me of a tomato picking in a farm where I worked when I was in high school. (They tasted nice, but not as different from the red ones as I expected.)

I am reading “The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly”.

It is about a group of elderly people who decide to stand against the rules to change their lives – a really fresh change from my usual reads. Just as I reached the part when they cause a short circuit as a part of their robbery plan, there was a power outage here too.

It is quite common, so we got a power generator – Nick starts it every time when the outage lasts longer. It is enough to power our wi-fi, laptops and even my sewing machine, but (oddly) not the toaster and coffee maker, so we have to use the gas stove. (I am a bit afraid of gas, so I always ask Nick to light it).

This is one of the drawbacks of living outside the city limits – but they can never overshadow the peace and quiet. We are living our best life here, among the trees, flowers, birds and squirrels.

I started this new project, “Night Song” – up-cycled cotton top with embroidered flowers and birds.

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