Just what we've been waiting for....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I've noticed that many gardener bloggers have new pictures on their sites--lovely spring flowers, garden views etc. Every year when Spring begins I am mindful that no matter how old we get, it is as though this is the first Spring of our lives and we are seeing it for the first time. It is a miraculous thing to behold and everything we see is completely new.

We are having a spring rain today that is washing away the dirt from the snows of winter. It actually takes more than one rain--and this is about the fourth one we've had. The garden is showing a bit of color; crocus, a few lonely jonquils, pink at the end of the buds of the Jane magnolias. I hope Jane and her cohorts hold off on opening their flowers--we have always called them 'the heartbreak trees' as so many times they are hit by frost and turn brown.

I have worked in the garden for several weeks now gradually clearing out the detritus of fall and winter. The pruning is almost finished except for the yew hedge. The yew hedge is homage to my love of English gardens (and a desperate need to block off my neighbor's yard and dogs). I planted it when I first moved to this house in 2000 and it is now very lovely and dark and affords the privacy I want. It is also a beautiful background for the shrubs and flowers in front of it. My sister, who is not a gardener, calls them Hughes. In honor of her charming malaprop, friends and family have named them all: Hugh Grant (my favorite), Hugh Walpole, Hugh Hefner(ugh), Hugh Downs, Humongous, and Hugenot. Not very many but...

this is a verrry small garden, only 35x70 feet. I think it is most beautiful and it keeps me happy in a neighborhood that is not very lovely. My little Eden. I think that this is what is so grand about gardening. It does not matter how huge, how grand, or how well designed--each of our own gardens are simply the best and most beautiful--and provide us with a creative outlet an individual needs--without regard to talent. "All you need is love".

Friday, July 17, 2009

What NOT to do in July

Well, nowwww I've done it....gone and broken my ankle and have to get around on crutches and have a big ugly fat splint on my leg. Bummer! And the doctor says no weight on that leg for 2 months. Whoa! So after a surgery to put in a metal plate and screws, another fall coming home from surgery, and a week of being in shock about "how on earth am I going to do this" I have moved my life and my cats to the upstairs of my house (where the bathroom is). My sons bought a small fridge and put it in the big bedroom, brought up my microwave and coffeemaker, provided me with lunch food and frozen dinner food and fruit and yogurt and just about everything I need. Except mobility.

My dear sister has taken wonderful care of me, my family and friends have come with food, wine and company, Now the cats Julia and Metairie hang out with me and sleep beside me a lot, I know everything there is to know about the current health care reform and debate (plus all the other stupid political happenings). I have read a number of books. I have learned to bathe in a small sink, maneuver a walker and a wheelchair, cook in a bedroom and try not to let boredom overtake me.

Thank goodness I cannot see my garden close up--only from the second story windows--and it looks quite lovely. The daylilies are almost over, the phlox are coming on strong and the summer daisies look good. I imagine the weeds are getting ready to take over and soon all the flowers will need to be dead-headed and trimmed up. I will turn a blind eye when it rears its ugly head.

Now that I'm out of shock and my life has a certain routine, though a very slow one, I am trying to figure out what oh what to do. I have read Five Quarters of an Orange and Howard's End and I'm starting on Deaf Sentence.

Perhaps a post every day. Hmmmm, wonder what new experience I would write about.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

And the rains came....

It has been awhile since I have written anything. I recently was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and that has been a pretty big deal for me. The medication the doctor is giving me seems to be a miracle drug. After a month of taking it I am so much better that it is amazing! I feel like a human being again and life is good.

We are getting rain today and it is wonderful. My garden is parched....even though I water on a regular schedule. Somehow those plants know the difference between rain and a garden hose. The daylilies are in bloom now and they are really beautiful. I had forgotten what pleasure they give until a few years ago when I found one in bloom at the nursery and planted it. I love the more unusual colors and I now have an almost white one with pale yellow throat. This Spring I found two bags of "misc" and planted them, I call them my baglillies. They have had a few blooms and show much promise for good color. Next year will tell the whole story.

There is nothing lovelier than a good rain. This one is slow and soft with "rolling thunder". Several years ago I went to visit the graves of my Mother and Father. This was a full day's trip and the first time I had done so since Mother passed. Afterwards I sat in the little park the they took us to as children and experienced rolling thunder in a way that I had not....before or since. I could almost visualize what thunder looked like as it rolled across the sky. It lasted quite a long time and has stayed with me ever since.

Oooooh, the rolling thunder has just changed to very loud booms! What a treat. I have been reading Edwin Way Teale's Journey through Summer....for about the third time (and the third summer). Teale is an American naturalist who wrote these journeys through each of the seasons. The books were written in the 1950's, a time when I was a child at home with my parents. Though I think what he writes is timeless, it also is close to my heart because as I was growing up I was a close observer of the land. I knew every blade of grass, every rock, every wild flower the bloomed in a part of Ohio that was scarred by strip mining for coal but was beautiful to me. Teale traveled by car with his wife Nellie and drove thousands of miles as they followed the season through many many of the states. It is lovely poetic writing and such a fine thing to read as I live through each season and take a jouney of my own through my garden, the "wetlands" which is close to where I live, and various parks that are close to my home. I would recommend it to anyone who loves the land and nature.

Later......it is still raining and I have been sitting on the porch enjoying it. You can almost see the flowers and plants going slurp slurp.

Later still, much later....it is still raining. Amen.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What do you feel at this sight? When I read all the blogs I follow, there seems to be one tiny thread that connects us all. We simply feel that there is not enough time. When I go out on my porch or look at this photo of it, I remember that we all have the same amount of time and few of us, and I especially, do not take advantage of these wonderful days of Spring and very soon Summer, to smell the roses, sit and read or just contemplate....which I call staring at the walls..., smell the smells and just enjoy.

I am awed at the sight of my garden in the early morning. All that hard work and knowing that it must continue is well worth it. I believe I am the richest person on earth right now. Is there anything more lovely than one's own garden, with all it's design faults, poor plant placement, weed, bugs and all. It makes my day beautiful.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Those darn preying mantises

My grandson Patrick is a budding, oh what is that word...oh yes--bug person. So at Christmas I send him a bug kit for a gift....you are supposed to keep egg cases of preying mantises in this until they hatch and then raise them to become adult bugs.

I ordered 3 egg cases to go with it and he was so very excited about them. It took many months for them to be sent with many calls back and forth and to the egg producers and Patrick, as with most 10 year old boys, has little or no patience. He kept bugging me (oh yes) and finally his egg case came. He and his Mother put it in its darling little house and impatiently waited. The hatchlings finally came out (many many many of them) and since they wanted to keep only a few, not hundreds, set the house outside in the yard with a stick so the little buggers could climb out. These wonderful people live in Texas and that night, with little warning, came a huge rain which flooded their yard and the first floor of their house. The darling little house full of preying mantises floated off down the street and of course that was the end of the bugs. We were all sad, especially Patrick.

Now in case you are wondering why I would post this silly little story on what I consider to be a "sort of a garden" site, I had also ordered 3 egg cases for myself knowing that my garden would benefit from those hungry little buggers eating up all the bad bugs as they grow to adulthood.
In the course of pruning my shrubs this spring I had found about 5 things that looked like what could be egg cases...and yes, they do match the ones I received in the mail yesterday. So I should have roughly 800 to 1500 preying mantises in my garden (35 x 70) this summer. How's that for trying to be "green"....and organic!

No bad bugs for me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter to anyone who reads this! It was a lovely day--sunny but chilly. The magnolias got frozen the night before Easter and the night before my son gave me a digital camera.

I was going to post pictures of the lovely Jane (pink) and butterfly (yellow) magnolias but they are both brownish now. Everything else survived thank goodness. The garden has been a great inspiration to me lately and working in it has been good for the soul, although hard on the body.

We had a family dinner and a special surprise when my oldest son called and said he was on lay-over from his flight from Texas, he is a Continental pilot, and came from the airport to see the rest of the family. What a treat! We were all sorry the rest of his family did not come but the grandchildren wanted to be with friends.

It has rained today and I think the garden looks particularly lovely after a rain. So here are some of the better pictures.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tennessee--Oh How Lovely

I have two new followers--ooooh how happy I am. This could be too much fun. So a Brit in Tennessee alerted me to the series on Appalachia on PBS and I watched the first one last nite. There was a lot of geological, rock stuff and I thought of my childhood in TN and what it meant to me. There were rocks, of course, on my uncle's farm where I would walk his fields and watch his cows and horses. The rocks were large flat expanses and were level with the ground. I wonder how far down they went. We spent most summers in Jamestown in eastern Tennessee "on top of the mountain" which I never quite understood until I was married and with my pilot husband in a small fabric covered plane actually flew over Jamestown and it is literally on top of the mountain. No wonder we could not see any mountains when we were there.

Isn't it interesting the things a child remembers about a beloved place...of course it is mostly about people and they way they relate to the child. But it is also about places--small vignettes of places--certainly not a full picture with everything connected together. We were allowed to walk to the post office which still had those lovely little pigeonholes of brass doors with a little lock, not plain but with wonderful designs and curlicues on them, not at all like the big black mailbox on a post out in the country where we lived in Ohio. And there was a drugstore with a soda fountain, although we did not have many cokes for because that would be a waste of money. And there were grownups who said "howdy" as we walked along the street to the PO. I thought that was soooo friendly until after I had grown up and realized that these people knew who we were....our Grandparents were well known in town. I still like to think that people in Jamestown say howdy to small children on the street, known or unknown.