The last week has been one of spats with the weather goddesses here in
Eastern Tennessee. I will NOT moan about the over abundance of rainfall,
because this time last year we were going into our third month of summer
drought. But with this deluge of rainfall comes the practical jokes of the
weed and grass fairies.
I have to clarify something since I haven't been so regular lately. A lot of
things have been going on up here and I've just been too burned out and
tired to talk about everything. But I have been able to at least document
the blooming of the fairy beds up here. I have slipped on writing to my
beloved friends from all over, haven't made entry one in my garden journal
and that should warrent a kick in the butt.....I mean, how else will I know
that this year was one of the moistest ones in our weather history?? To say
that my job in the nursery/greenhouse/outside lawn etc at Lowes has me
distracted and tired is an understatement.
There is a new puppy that I've vaguely mentioned lately that I will update
you on at a later date, but suffice to say, Sugar is a DIGGING dawg. If I
don't watch her closely when I let her out, she gets bored and goes into my
fairy beds and does incredible damage. The last time I was tied to the
phone with the IRS, I let her out in hopes that I had caught her in time
before she went into the den instead, and watched from the window walking
thru the NSSG. I had a terrible sense of foreboding, but what are you going
to do? Tell the IRS agent, "ummm, excuse me, could you hang on since you
had ME hanging on for YOU for 49 minutes while I go out and run my puppy out
of my Eastern shade garden?" I don't think so......so I sat there hoping
she was just chasing Polluxx the cat. As soon as I was off the phone I
called her and ran to the end of the small deck and looked down and
nothing........but I still felt like things weren't quite right, so I walked
around the island of compaction and stepped inside the interior "room" that
this little patch has become and went over to the open section where the new
Lobelia, Ruby Slippers had been carefully and lovingly tucked in.
I like to have dropped a log. In just moments when I saw the Japanese
knotweed shaking, Sugar had not only dug, but dug up six perennials.
Astilbe, Lobelia, the transplanted and extremely happy pulmonaria that not
only appreciated relocating but this year tripled in girth was just stems.
It was destroyed. She had dug up lilies, daffodils that were quietly waiting
for next spring to wow me, and as I freaked out and tried frantically to
rake the soil back over and marveling at how little soil there was to fill
the holes it came OUT of, I glanced around for other signs of destruction
and saw that she had dug out quite a hole where the Glory Bower roots are at
the edge of the concrete driveway. The dog must die. Except that Rose
loves her now and to see them playing is endearing. So for now, I must be
ever vigilent and watch her every move and stop her from digging and either
give her her own place to dig to her hearts desire or just stop her
altogether. I fear as smart as she is I will have to designate her a spot
as her own to dig. The first clue of this impending disaster was when I
first had her and as I was planting a new pot of perennials and plants, she
jumped up and started digging with me in the pot of dirt. I should have
never thought it was cute...................little did I know....
So here we are, the weather goddesses are messing with us up here in Eastern
Tennessee. We've had more rainfall this year than ever before. Just trying
to negotiate the back roads in the predawn morning has been a challange for
even me. The fogs lately have been totally impentritable. The visibility
has been zero. I can hardly see over the hood of the car and the regular
headlights are too bright. It's been feel myself along the road until I
finally come to a higher spot where I actually SEE the road ahead of me.
Thursday when Gloria and her sweetie, Bobby came by on their way home from a
well needed trip to mountains to meet me, it rained so hard, so many times
and the clouds were so low, you could almost reach up and touch them. The
incredible view of English Mountain that I speak of was not there at all.
The mountains south of me were gone. Wiped out by dark blue/gray clouds that
dumped massive amounts of rain on us as we negotiated the constipated
flowerbeds, me identifying the plants that were blooming, digging up extra's
that we kept finding, gathering seeds......It was a perfect day to do it, as
overcast days are much more gentle on digging up plants, but I was mortified
by the overgrowth of grasses in the few spots that there is a resemblance to
a yard. I call them my islands to stand on, and even now the plants are
pushing that believeability a bit too far. The sunflower trees were a great
The birds always give me five good ones. And this year I actually had five
good ones, no more. But the trunks of three of them that came up in the
same spot was pushing my endurances. The trunks of two of them were over
three inches thick! As I pushed one over to get to the orange Montbretia to
gently pull a few wandering corms up for her to take home, it couldn't stand
the pressure and broke at the base. Well good riddance. There were still
two more that were over 14 foot tall and over three inches thick and were
just starting to bloom!
The same applies with the Cleome. My beloved Cat's whiskers. They are so
thick, they don't allow you to just STAND, let alone see the edges of the
beds, which are now obscurred by foliage.
I kinda think that Gloria and Bobby now believe me when I speak that I have
total garden madness and things around here are "constipated".
I now have a new rock to greet people with as they stopped and got me a
little gift in honor of my previous lifestyle. Old hippies never die, they
just mellow out, and they found a fake rock with PEACE on it to place in a
prominent place. I know just the spot........<g>
The grass fairies though have gotten a bit out of control. I admit it's my
fault. I am the one who has the lawnmower that has in the past helped me
with maintaining the height of the pasture grasses that blow in and taste of
my rich soil. Three months is pushing it. I deserve whatever vengence they
put on me. And I know that it's now time to remove the pile of forsythia
branches where I lay them and Squire and I bundled them up and let them dry
out. All the rain has just made them a bundle of brown mess. And the
forsythia bushes have regrown new branches that are now two foot
long.......this is going to be interesting to see if I can keep them chopped
down. I no longer want them taking up so much space in the little "yard"
that I have.
Today was a day that spoke August to me. Muggy, with teasings of that
previously mentioned fog this morning that burnt off quicker than yesterday
and made me realize it would FEEL like August.
The fountain over on the western side of the yard now has two new occupants.
Two dark colored frogs have claimed the deep water that feeds the fairy and
small goddess and the trickling stream that pours from the bowl, down the
rocks and into the pool to fall into the deeper end. I was sitting in the
swing just marveling how Squire had "seen" the end result that made such
wonderous sounds of water and noticed something dark sitting on the lowest
leaf of Pottingshed's canna I plunked into the water to grow some more in
the pot I had planted it into. It won't flower for me this year, but it
seems to appreciate that it's sitting in water, but now not one, but two
frogs have decided it's just perfect to live in for the while. I feel
blessed. That also means the Bt mosquito dunkers will cease as the frogs
will do a much better job of keeping the water clean of the larval.
I have lost quite a few plants in the flowerbed that started all this
madness with the BBQ fountain, but that's due to the Pawlonia and fig tree
stealing the sunlight all the plants that reside in the new bed need. I see
trimming limbs in my future, or I will have to rethink places for shade
There is some reflections I want to address, but I will cease as there is a
large thunder boomer outside and the lights are flickering. I will write
Thanks for allowing me this brief sharing of thoughts and stuff.
madgardener up on the stormy ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking a
cloud enshrouded English Mountain again, in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7 Sunset
zone 36 where the bottom is about to fall out again.........