walking in the rains, nasturtiums and windchimes

Hello, Maddie back at the fence.........
I just can't stay away from the back fence.......not having the luxury of internet drives home how much I wrote and chatted to my friends out there who garden regularly. This is something I always appreciated but never realized how much until I didn't have it. So.........it's the end of the first week in May, some gentle rains have moved in from the west, and as I walked to the library with the young manchild who is the apple of his dad's eye (Patrick to those who don't know I'm now the mom of a 16 1/2 year old) I held the large umbrella over the two of us because it wasn't a pouring rain, but not a warm one either that I'd been more tolerant of arriving at the library wet. I'm already wearing what I consider garden attire (ie: halter top, wide brimmed garden hat, the newest one is blue, cargo shorts and sandals) so being soaked in the time it takes to walk to the library wasn't my first option..........the walk was nice, though, with the smells of damp soil and watching the many parental flying dinosaurs frantically snagging bugs and worms for their fledglings. (robins are the dominant breed here apparently)
I'm amused and relieved to see that there are wrens here, since as I stood gazing out the west window that overlooks the yards and is a nice view, I spotted a resourceful wren who had located the small dog dish full of water I've put out in the yard next to the fence for when Sugar and Smeagol are out and need a sip of water. it made me laugh. this is not a tiny dish, but not the largest one either. I was reminded that I desperately need to retrieve my bird baths that are currently at karol's house..........sigh.......
As I walked the sidewalk, looking at the roses that are opening up, seeing the bowl peonies, veronica, and the irises that are already bursting open due to warm weather, I reminded myself to rejoice in each moment and have even stopped to take pictures of other's flowers. The redbuds are finished and are quietly making seed pods, and all the sugar maple trees are now dropping the motherlode of winged seeds everywhere. Dogwoods are finished in the mid 80o weather recently, and the leaves are now plumping up nicely. My eastern neighbor has a nice Fringe tree that is completely in bloom and there is something wonderfully fragrant that comes inside the kitchen window that is over the sink.
Todays walk was more leisurly as the library is open until 7 tonight. spring is in full throttle here and I am slipping back into city mode more and more. Thankfully it's not too hectic here that I am appalled at some people's yard routines. the smell of cut grass is very welcome, and I now realize now how much I missed the comforting sounds of the trains clacking in time on tracks a few blocks away. I grew up not far from an old wooden railroad tressle in Nashville and was lulled to sleep more nights that I thought about. Returning to where the trains are so audibly noticible is a comfort to me now. and as quiet as the neighborhood is, I can rejoice in the choruses of bird songs. Maybe not the many varieties I had in Dandridge, but enough to make me smile and recognize.
Yesterday I planted nasturtiums around the tomato plants, and then located some of my more beloved wind chimes. The large ones had the wrong sound and I sat on the porch stoop and peered through the brass tubes and discovered that they were full of dirt daubber nests from a few years hanging undisturbed........so knowing the clarity would ring better once cleaned out, I retrieved the garden hose and was able to hose each pipe completely. .It's now in the western side of the large front porch hanging over the balcony railings. That another blessing with this house besides the huge windows that are EVERYWHERE.....the front porch is huge and has not only railings wide enough to put the largest pots on on three sides, but there is nice wide boards to hang all my assorted wind and sun catchers on that I didn't even have places for in Vinca Ridge! Before I hung things on the gutters and on the few places that were available, even using some of the larger shrubs and such. My hopes had been to eventually put windchimes and suncatchers on limbs down in the woods, and one day if there is places like that in my final home, I will. but I feel more at home now with the glass suncatcher and Woodstock chimes I've gathered over the years.
Soon I will go and get "Brenda" my 150 pound Cerius cactus that is visiting Gloria where she lives and the neighbors will realize just how insane I am when it comes to plants. They already have a clue since the first load of containers appeared. I suspect they don't REALLY know until I have everything positioned out front until I find places to tuck and plant all around the house. LOL
I'm busy now recognizing the surroundings, taking notice and figuring out how to deal with the insistent wood boring bees that are determined to chew holes in the landlady's railings on the porch and are now eyeing my wooden swing that is 25 years old........and where did I put that rope chair?? I now have a place for the first time since buying it six years ago to hang it and sit in it! While it's overcast, I intend tonight to return to the house and sod up a strip along the south portion of the back fence and plant the pole beans and okra seeds. the beans will support themselves on the fence, and the okra will not mind sharing a little upright space. I'm still searching in vain for the bag of seeds I have of squashes and other things to nibble.
What I want now is a good late night thunder-boomer with lightening to feed the new tree leaves and something to really wash the air with. The huge rosemary plant is now blooming on the west portion of itself, I've sown seeds of chives in the bare places, the oregano needs hacking back or at least cut half back and dried for later meals, and there's plenty of spearmint to make tea for the next two or three months! The evening primroses are now opening more and more and I hunger for a few pots of my garden soil to make a new bed with along the front of the porch. I can wait. I have a container with Autumn fern and tassle fern planted in what was home to something that passed away, and all that remained was the empty fibreglass pot and the ferns are bulking up nicely and reaching deep into faerie holler's black soils that I had filled the pot with.
In a huge porceline canning pot, I'd planted three type of heuchera's, and they've gotten their spring wind and are bulking up nicely, the textures of the leaves and each color complimenting each other. I have Amber waves, Pewter palace, Plum Pudding and another one of forgotten identity growing together in textural compliment. Next to that pot, in a heavy clay pot is Lime Rickey and it adds the contrast nicely and has started throwing up spires of flowerstalks.
Another container garden is white and green sedums with the dark liver colored sedum whose name escapes me now but who I will reveal later when I find my notes. Raspberry ice, and some sempervivums that add cute textures underneath their thick, succulent legs. At the corner, Prince Edwards tiny yarrow is blooming sulphur yellow flowers, and I see the Swamp sunflower has reseeded in almost every container I've got. I can prick them all out and give them a place all to themselves and maybe the finches will discover them later this summer! the hugeness of the flowers that look like coreopsis on steroids will be a welcome to my eyes. I now am chomping at the bit for the pot with the Herbsonne Rudbeckia to tuck into the edges somewhere so it can reseed a daughter for this house............let me hit the lottery and buy a truck!! LOL
As you all can see, I have garden madness right now and the only relief is to get seeds and divisions in the mails from those of you who have invasives and favorites to share with me. Last year's purchases are quietly growing and blooming without me 40 miles away..........I am also wondering how the Ghost and Japanese painted fern did once I lifted them and put them in pots........only time will tell how successful things have done with neglect. I will say that one pot I brought with me gave me a surprise. It's full of perennial begonia and a June hosta and a little toe of Virginia bluebells. It's staying planted in the pot of black soils from faerie holler.........My tree peonies right now are sulking and refused to give me any buds thanks to the crappiness of the soils I had resigned myself to putting in the larger pots when I retrieved them from Ethyl's house. I knew the soil at Lowes wasn't quality, but when you can't get what you need, you settle. it's enough to protect the roots, but that's little else it's able to do and it also holds moisture. Give me time and I will replace the mess with good, black rich soil from the garden shoppe a few miles away.
Houseplants are thriving and now I've repotted two vining philodendrums into one pot for the textural effects. Nigra and Brasil together will be stunning once they get over their snubbing me for daring to disturb their roots. Nigra is a dark leafed vining phil, and Brasil is a green one like the older house plant with a yellow stripe down the middle of each leaf. Awesome combination! I have a cactus in the middle of birthing it's first flower and it's a magenta pink one. I hope to find it fully open when I get home. Pictures will be taken to record it's birth and appearance. Thanks for letting me ramble. I hope to open my e-mail and see responses and your own reports of gardening and such or even replies and feedback on the group.
maddie up in the greene bowl, surrounded by the Cherokee National forest, in Greeneville, gardening in zone 6b - 7a
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lovely to hear from you, Maddy. We are seeing a fight between winter and spring. All the spring flowers have bloomed and are just standing there, waiting for the fight to be settled. It is one of the latest and longest springs I can remember. I havent even seen the poet's daffodils make an entrance yet, this is a month late. Ingrid
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