A pre-spring ramble............sent the day after I wrote it---


peepers!!!!Posted by madgardener_ETN Z7 SE TN (My Page) on Tue, Mar 2, 04 at 23:03
Since I wrote last about me peepers and last started this thread, the fallow land eastward of me is literally bristling with the echoing love songs of my many peepers with their "com'on baby, lets make tadpoles" songs. The rains we got all day yesterday coupled with all the spring like temperatures was efficient in scrubbing all signs of snow from the land. The spring madness has started showing it's signs in me. Lying not quite dormant, I felt the fevers stir in me like the Peepers in the surrounding land and purchased little pots of over-blown purple crocus, two little pots of Te-te narcissus and three pots of waxing Blue Harmony iris reticulata when I got off work yesterday.
Once home, I plugged these into "bare" spots in the western end of my front raised fairy garden. I KNOW better. These are not "bare" spots, but I figured it would be a nice return next year when things are died back and my eyes are craving color. ANY COLOR. I almost killed myself turning around when I thought I spotted ORANGE and it turned out to be the nursery tape I had tied around my Bruce triploid daylily to identify it to dig up a piece and share with a friend in Maine last year.
I don't regret sharing the little piece, but Bruce once again showed me that he absolutely resents being disturbed. Six years ago I decided to divide his hefty clump and he rewarded my folly with performing like a pissed off drag queen in a Broadway play. Horribly. And without vigor. I don't even know if the division survived where I planted it. the remaining piece resides on the eastern end trying to overcome my happiness at sharing him. BUT......................................................
Everywhere there are streams of little pointy green tongues of daylilies. I now realize that I should plant the twice blooming irises in some of the "bare" spots between the daylily tongues. (I'll do that today, it's sunny and glorious outside)
Clumps of tri-foliate foot looking leaves of Heliopsis. Lemon Queen to be precise. And a stark reminder that I am insane for planting a red Rhody in the southern exposed bed, with the logic that it'd be sheltered by the southern sun when my Joe Pye emerges. It's bud tight, I don't have the heart to move it............... Hopefully the spring sunshine won't fry it and after it blossoms for me and you all hear the gasps of admiration from me, I will gently lift her and place her in a better spot with a more shady position where she can flourish without fear of sun scald on her delicate leaves.
So when I got home today, I filled up the new National Geographic glass and copper- holds 4.5 pounds of seed- bird feeder and hung it with the other 9 feeders and 6 thistle socks (forgot to put the suet in the cages, I'll do that tomorrow......) grabbed the bags of bright grape colored, oversized crocuses, the almost blinding yellow teeny daffs, and the deep sky blue iris reticulata's and in my desire to add more to the quietly exploding raised beds, I located the red bulb trowel a dear friend gave me last fall, and tucked in one instant clump of purple with bright yellow stamens in the black soil..................... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh eye gratification.
Searched the soil and paid particular attention to any signs of monarda or yarrow or whatever as I picked another random spot and plunked in some deep sky blue soldiers. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I almost heard fairies clapping in delight as I grabbed another pot, turned it over and gently popped the root bound mass out. It was the crocuses. I carefully teased the tender roots that grew in a circle, out a bit and chunked another hole and plopped another over-sized mass of almost unbelievable sized crocuses in and firmed them in. Not even a need for watering since the steady soaking rains all day had left the raised beds not wet, but damp.
These beds drain quickly.
A cleared spot against the weigelia trellis that the weigelia has abandoned and that shelters a single petaled kerria japonica that is intent on wandering where it wants to and an ambitious Sweet Autumn clematis who will hopefully take the place of the weigelia has been cleaned of almost every thread and fishing line vinca major clump. I know I haven't rid it of them all, but the now black, rich soil could use other things. So against the red timbers I placed the best pot of Te-Te narcissus. Already I see signs of the return of a good pale pink summer phlox that blooms from April until September, and this is the year I cut it back by half to see if it gives me more flowers but not seven foot tall.......
Way too many tongues of my Quanzo daylily remind me that I can structure a few other plants in with the daylilies if I move quickly. Those asters would be nice-----in my haste and need for a spot after I lifted them from Mary Emma's gardens where they'd reseeded themselves in her yard, I brought them, in their girth of soil and root and stem and out of sheer desperation, I chunked a hole OUTSIDE the edge of my south facing far western end bed in front of the weigelia. Plugged the asters into the holes, then took limbs of pawlonia and lined them against the edges of the asters to define the extended bed. I knew it was a temporairy solution, but the asters didn't miss a lick or note and wowed me with such vigor and flower production, it was impossible for me to think about a relocation in a better spot. The fairies had fooled me again..........blinded me with garden madness inspiration and folly. Unforseeable, not thinking about the future effects ?logic?. I never do. I never think about how the plants will respond or react to where I plug them. It usually works with the help of the fairies tweeking and nurturing. If it's not in the right spot, they have an outstanding bloom party and bloom themselves to death and dissolve on me and the fairies point out my mistake and placement and I plant someone else in the hole.
If it's an almost happy plant, it might reseed for me before dissolving, but that's not often.
Around me, the sounds of the peepers and birds fighting over the seeds I put out fills the not quiet air. sorting the sounds is interesting, but my mind is distracted with planting at the moment. The sounds are like filler for my obsession.
I spot another place to plug in the third purple crocus pot, and move to a place lacking in shoots and plant the third pot of blue reticulata. Only two yellow pots of Te-te's, those are rationed. I have larger, old fashioned yellow early birds. Heads heavy with the rains and the snow, they defiantly opened up more blossoms today.
As I gathered up the bag and empty pots, I started looking and I laughed with the fairies. In every perennial pot I've placed along the front, I saw teeny little purple pods. Or a little white one. Or a yellow with burgandy stripes since they're closed. The little crocuses I planted last fall are starting to peek out from all the forgotten and hidden places. And the long boxes haven't even gotten cranked up yet!
Black dirt under fingernails, I washed the trowel off in the smelly fountain water (not so bad since the snows and rains have "freshened" it up) and put the tool back in my bursting garden tool trung.
Back to the car, get the two bags of greensand out, the organic plant food and the cantaloupe sized Elephant ear bulb that must weigh 5 pounds and the split leaf philodendrum for $5.
Stand and listen to the peepers one more time before I go back into the nook door to where Sugar and Rose are waiting for me, upset that I was outside without them. Sugar inside, because she dug up my shade garden Sunday and I haven't found out who she destroyed. If the Blue Egnima salvia is alright, she'll be spared. She got the crate and a sound butt whupping when I discovered her gaping hole. she WILL learn......
Inside I go to the sink with the faucet that has a perfect spray that blasts the dirt from under my fingernails that I won't let husband change out. It's my sink. Since it's a two sink bathroom and the left one is the one that has the awesome pressure, he knows not to mess with the little aereator, or the faucet.
Spring is close. The peepers attest to that fact very well. And there are yet more new members to the bulb family for my fairies to tend to. thanks for letting me share this magical moment with you.
madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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Speaking of "peepers" I heard the first gecko singing last night :) And the male mockingbirds are looking for girlfriends again, invariably between 12 am and 5 am.
Shell
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late night wooing indeed.........................

the
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oooohhh.,.. what do geckos sound like????

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They make a cheeping sound and a kind of "whoo-ooop" type sound, very chirpy :) And very loud. Sometimes we can hear them from the other end of the block. Here are a few URL's with sounds
http://www.gekkota.com/html/gecko_sounds.html (The second and third sound pages are closest to what we hear)
http://rdanderson.com/features/gekko/gekko.htm (This is a pretty good one too)
http://www.junglewalk.com/sound/Gecko-sounds.asp (And this site has a lot of gecko sounds)
Shell
wrote:

the
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wrote:

Singing non-geico geckos? Whatchootalkin'bout Shell? LOL Where are you? Florida?
I've been trying to get someone's kids to catch a bunch of fence swifts and skinks and newly changed from tadpole toads and bring them over here and turn them loose in my yard! The lizards eat bugs, and the toads eat bugs, and SLUGS!!!! I have tons of little gray slugs that will take a trip up to the top of a 5' tall dahlia to eat holes in the petals and then go down again by sunup! That's got to be like climbing Mt. Everest overnight and having dinner at the top and going home by morning and being snug in your bed before your daddy catches you! LOL Ain't Nature grand! Well Nature makes toads to eat those wayward slugs, and I want 'em!! ;-)
Janice
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Im in southeast Texas :) Geckos also eat roaches. I will be counting the geckos that come out onto the eaves by the security light over the garage. Usually there are around 18 or so. The babies get in the house sometimes too. We have 2 species of anole, barking tree frogs, and several kinds of toads. The toads hatch out in the mud and after several days of rain the grass looks like its alive with baby toads that are about 1/2 inch long. I need to get something to get rid of the snails and slugs though, I can live without those :) and the snakes.
Shell

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Loquacious, indeed. Lonely in those TN hills?
On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 15:25:18 -0500, madgardener wrote:

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