after vacation is always a let-down. While you were away, the weeds had a field day, inviting all their friends to join them in paths that were neat and tidy before you left! A big storm that went through and washed lots of mulch away, but fortunately that seems to be the only damage. Broccoli that was beautiful on the day of departure is now lacy with holes and crawling with worms. UGH! And the Japanese beetles multiplied to feast on the climbing “Cannellini” beans, especially the blossoms. Produce everywhere needs picking and preserving. And the flower borders? Well, it’s better not to look. Sadly, the daylilies that were spectacular pre-vacation are now looking the worse for wear, and are badly in need of stalk removal. Everything needs deadheading and all the gardens need going over to bring them back to “acceptable.” Four things make this tolerable: 1) It was a lovely, lovely time in Italy with family; 2) I saw amazing, inspiring gardens 3) I’m well-rested and eager to get back to playing in the potager, and 4) There were sunflowers to greet me in the Cutting Garden behind the potager so I can have bouquets to remind me of our time in the Italian Dolomites!