Next week is the 4th of July? What? Where did June go? Dang, guess we've been busy because June just evaporated. Several signs suggest everything but us are on schedule. Had some black raspberries for breakfast; they aren't cultivated, just "tended" in the wildish black raspberry preserve at the rear of our property. Had 2/3s of a garden tomato, the 1st, and it was wonderful, but some tomato-loving critter ate a big chunk out of it. Typical. Having a wildlife friendly yard isn't all its cracked up to be at times. Zucchini, beans, peppers, eggplant are on the way. Usually by mid-June our gardens are in good shape and then the lilies, all sorts, break into flower for the mid-summer. This year there's still a lot of our yearly cleanup to do, and then all the gardens that we usually don't have to do anything to. Where did all the weeds come from? The Phactors are still planting new things mostly to repair the winter's damage. So work is longer term. Some American hollies had been demonstrating for several years that hollies don't like growing in the upper Midwest; this winter truly convinced them. TPP bit the bullet and removed them, well, what was left of them today. You know you've done the right thing when the space left looks better than it did with the hollies in place. Four of them were females, and birds loved the berries, especially cedar waxwings, but the male tree totally died so even if the others were growing well, their best feature, the red berries, were going to be absent. A relocation of a mock orange and a new oak leafed hydrangea should help fix things up. A ever larger Magnolia salicifolia is encroaching on this garden from the other side of a fence, so not so much space to fill. All this cutting and pulling is real work and TPP has had enough of it for today. Time to cool down, clean up, and blog. Off to a cocktail party at 5. Later to Hyde Park.