Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Of Grass and Blooms and Spotted Fawns

Welcome! The last day of June, summer is in full swing,
and there's lots of life going on outside That Old House.

Remember those ripening tomatoes I so proudly showed off last week?

We had 4 or 5 beauties . . . and couldn't wait for our first tomato sandwiches of the summer.
Good bread, Hellman's mayo, and ripe garden tomatoes; heaven on earth!

Turns out the chipmunks beat us to it.

Our gorgeous, ripe, red tomatoes, ruined!
. . . sigh . . . .
We got a few cherry tomatoes; all the other ripe ones have been gnawed on.
We're tying the fruited branches as high off the ground as we can,
hoping to thwart our cute but ravenous little rodents.

Anyone got a spare pea-shooter? I could use some target practice.


So what is happening outside your home on this summer Wednesday?

We've got hydrangeas, petunias, day lilies:

. . . and daisies! Pure white daisies, well tended by happy bees:


And also outside --
our shutters!

Real shutters, the kind that could actually close over the windows . . .
that's if there weren't so many layers of old paint on the hinges and pins.

Our shutters define "shabby chic."
Well, honestly, they more truthfully define just the "shabby" part. There ain't no chic in these old fellows.

When -- in that mythical someday -- the house is painted,
we'll also have the shutters repaired and repainted.

Our shutters have worn so many coats of paint for so many years that they will probably shudder apart
from sheer embarrassment when they are stripped, poor dears.

Also outside . . . for the first time in years, Howard has been mowing the lawn himself.
Doing a nice job, too.
That's our side yard, the one you look at from the dining room bay windows:

We don't water our lawn. In the words of my father, "If you water a lawn, you'll just end up cutting it!"
But that's not why we don't water. We practice tough love with the lawn.

Grass is an amazing plant, designed by Nature to withstand drought.
It does something very smart; it plays possum -- stops growing, turns brown, looks dead.
It is not dead.
One good rainstorm sends that chlorophyll surging right back into those blades and presto! the grass is green again.

We are okay with occasional brown grass; it saves us thousands of gallons of water,
and means we don't have to keep moving a sprinkler all over the yard.

Because this little freeloader is no help at all in the garden:

This fawn and a sibling came trotting through our yard Monday morning, tasting shrubs.
Luckily for us, they liked our neighbor's bushes better!

**************************** Linky Parties! ********************************

Visit Faded Charm for White Wednesday.

Check out Wednesday Is Rednesday
at It's A Very Cherry World!

And at A Southern Daydreamer,
it is Outdoor Wednesday.
Go visit!

Have a lovely Wednesday. Our heat wave has broken, and we are in for several days of picture-perfect weather. Hooray! I just may join Dion DiPoochy in a celebratory munch on some raw broccoli! -- Cass


  1. Beautiful garden so much eye candy abounds in your garden.... pooch is adorable, my little guy is very sick right now ---but on the mend and getting to feel better each new day.

    Have a Happy Outdoor Wednesday and 4th of July.


  2. Hi Cass,
    Beautiful gardens my friend! I want those hydrangeas. We have lot's of those deer friends that like to munch. I throw can's at them. hehe. And your yard is so green, it could be here! We've had lot's of rain and now it's quite nice out.
    Have a wonderful 4th too!

  3. We don't water either -- too much $$$. But, of course, all we have is the front lawn -- the back is all garden which we do water! Our heat wave is broken, too -- it was a great day yesterday!

    We had our first tomato sandwich yesterday -- it was heaven -- a tomato that tastes like a tomato! Luckily, we have no chipmunks -- so we got to eat ours!

  4. Your yard looks like it's doing well! We still had the heat yesterday but thankfully the humidity is gone. Today should be beautiful! My tomatoes have a L.O.N.G. way to go-enjoy!

  5. Lucky you, if we didn't water in Texas, we would be a dessert. Love home grow tomato's. You need those cages.

  6. Cass,

    Beautiful gardens. I love Hydrangeas. Today is supposed to be beautiful so we are off to take some pictures later.

    I can truly identify with the tomato disappointment. Last year I tried heirloom tomatoes and had 3 absolute beauties almost ready to pick. I was sitting on the porch and out of the corner of my eye I saw a crow stab one with his beak, fly a few feet away, and fling it onto a rock - just like a seagull with a shell. I yelled, I ranted and yes I swore!! The next day all were gone. The chipmunks gnawed on the cherry tomatoes.

    I gave up on tomatoes. Now the squirrels are burying nuts right next to the zinnias!

    Have a great 4th!


  7. Cass~Dion is just the sweetest little dog and he eats his veggies, too!!
    I like your father's philosophy on the grass!!
    The Tattered Tassel

  8. We have a massive chipmunk problem this year also. So far they haven't found the tomatoes yet. Right now they are just running up and down my trees and downspouts - I know I'm going to find one in my house one of these days.

    I love that you pratice tough love on the grass. My husband tells me that the farmers would laugh at me if I watered our grass (since we live in a rural area). When we lived in a housing development I watered religiously.

  9. What a wonderful post, Cass. Your photos are terrific. Sorry the pesky chipmunks made it to your tomatoes before you did. And I know what you mean about too many coats of paint. I have a few old painted pieces in the yard and I know it's the paint that is holding them together. I don't water the front lawn in the summer either. It's just too expensive and it greens up after the first rain.

    Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend.

  10. Hi, I just popped over from White Wednesday. What lovely photos! And I actually love the look of your shudders, although I chuckled at the idea that they were "shuddering" from embarrassment. The little fawn is so sweet ... he would be welcome to my lawn any time. And yikes! I've been feeding peanuts to a rather sweet little chipmunk this year ... never occurred to me that he's probably going to feel quite welcome to my tomatoes when they are ripe! :S

  11. We had a couple of little spotted fellows on our driveway on the weekend - but the wonderful fence kept them out!...lots to eat in the forest.

  12. Your flowers are beautiful! Sorry about the tomatoes. In the high 80's here today and tomorrow, but back up to mid and high 90's.

  13. Your garden is beautiful. Same thing happens to my tomatoes. Darn! Love your shutters!

  14. Those shutters look cooooool! I am going to have a tomato sandwhich for lunch. We sometimes have trouble with black spot (have had some heavy rain here) and it is the birds that get ours. Last year we had to cover them with a net!

  15. Your yard is wonderful! Could just come and sit a spell. Spraa your tomatoes with a mixture of dishsoap, tobacco juice....tastes terrible and gives them dirareah..they learn to leave it alone. Be sure to wash real good before you eat tho..hehe.

  16. i feel so bad about your tomatoes. The bunnies got to my beans and peas and I was devastated!

    I am so with you on watering the grass. Such a waste of money. When I see my neighbors watering, I see dollars bills coming out of the sprinkler!


  17. Wow, Cass what beautiful pictures!
    I have a new blog that is inspirational called I Owe it All to Him...
    I'd love to have you come visit.
    If you would like to share one of your flower pictures on there,
    I'd be happy to feature you as a Guest Artist and write
    an inspirational story to go with it...
    If you'd like to do that, just email me at:
    and just let me know...Just make sure you
    leave a complete blog address so I can
    link back to you (so people can go to your site.)

  18. I love the photos of the shutters, and the little destroyer of gardens, I mean fawn! And of course the sweet little pup!
    Happy REDnesday and Happy 4th!

  19. I seem to have all the pests that you have, but I don't have closeable shutters!!!

  20. Love those shasta daisies - so dependable every year!


  21. What a great post! Bummer on the tomatoes. We have only had one grape tomato so far - but it was delicious. Tiny, but delicious!

  22. Cass -- When Erik and Anna's parents were here we did the exact same thing -- Thanksgiving in June. We couldn't think of a more typical American meal. They loved it and Anna's father (the only one who spoke English) told us that they had turkeys in Sweden but didn't eat them!!!! We never asked why! We asked Erik, however, when he came back -- so now we know the answer!

  23. Lovin' all your wonderful shots of flowers & green, Cass...oh, & the ones of Dion always make me smile.
    Pat the pooch for me, okay?

    Have a nice 4th of July, too!

  24. Hi again Cass, thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm following you now and look forward to finding out of you have any success keeping those chipmunks out of your garden! :)

    By the way, does your dog really like broccoli? That is too funny!

  25. Just had to stop back and say, I did have my tomato sandwhich yesterday after reading your post. Wow did I enjoy it and I think I will have another today....I had forgotten the joy of it!

  26. I'm sorry about your tomatoes, Cass. That must have been disheartening. Good luck with the next ones that ripen! Your garden blossoms are gorgeous, beautiful colors! Your side yard looks nicely-manicured. I'm with you on the grass watering issue. I sort of like those dry weeks when it doesn't require cutting!

    Your shutters definitely have character!
    You might just be right about the layers of paint holding them together ... got wood glue? ;)

  27. Hi Cass it,s cottonreel . your wish is my command .

    I posted a picture f the roses growing on the arch

    Beautiful pics, of your flowers, thankyou

  28. Oh, you poor thing - those lovely tomatoes ruined! I'll gladly send you a pea shooter! I keep asking Mister to get me a BB gun, but he won't! I hope there will be more to have at a later date. I've read that planting sage between and around tomato plants keeps the varmints away.

    Deer are beautiful creatures but, as a fellow gardener, they're as much unwanted as the rodents and woodchucks!

  29. Hi Cass! Oh, your gardens are so pretty. My mouth was all a waterin' about your pretty tomatoes and then I saw the chipmunk bites. Mean little boogers! Well, little Dion is still as cute as can been and he's getting his vitamins chomping on the broccoli.
    Have a happy 45h,
    shelia ;)


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.