Spring arrived last week, but the cold snaps put a damper on the celebrations. No one told the fairies and the early arrivers. My Cornelian Cherry tree, ever the earliest arriver ALWAYS, who shows up decked out in total party apparel in February has by now begun to get that worn out, been up too long look.
The great-great great-granddaughter Forsythia beside the entrance and driveway has a few bright yellow flowers, but now the leafy arrivers have started crowding the delicate shredded bells.
This particular morning I was wakened by the rawkus of the morning birds squabbling, singing and generally lifting my conciousness blanket. Breezes were blowing the sounds of massive activity all the way inside the room. I hit the ground running as the dawgs were asking to please go outside and play, and tinkle,the phone was ringing, and I had to gain immediate control of all this chaos.
As I left early in the morning light to go pick up son at his drop off point from work this morning, I took time to not just walk out of the nook door, almost being knocked over by the dawgs, but to slow down and look at the skirts on all the hellebores. Beside the nook at the corner and near the false Indigo, one clump is half as big as a bushel basket, loaded down with so many bell like blossoms that no fairy need to go unclothed in the late evening celebrations.
I took in her majesty and saw the darker one I planted up near the older dame, hoping one day that the youngling will join edges with the older and you'll be able to see two distinct colorations. And to mingle pollen as they will from secretive flyers and give me odd seedling children up the road, years from now.
As I passed by the tree peony in the NSSG, her dark leaves, edged in deep plum and forest green, reddish stems seemed to reach up towards me, their deep colors more prominent in the early morning light. When the young stems hadtime to emerge and leaf out so well is past my understanding. The fairy hands are quick and guiding. You could almost hear the protests of the unfurling of them a few weeks ago as the false Spring and early Summer warmth promises them that Winter's icy cold grasp was over.
The fairies teased and cajoled them with promises of cool nights and warm days until they listened and believed and sent out fresh, young growth all full of life and vigor and redness. It made my heart swell with pride that the gift that Mary Emma was so happy where I'd placed her.
The dogs were thru with their early morning tinkling, and stood beside the van in eagerness to get out of the chill of the morning and for me to start the van and warm the interior. I hesitated long enough while opening the side door to glance down at the bricks bed that I just edged recently with stacking retaining blocks in assorted colors, and saw the sedums had been busy stretching and filling out, the yellow Corydalis had returned with her delicate Columbine like leaves and the darker purple red leaves of the old fashioned fall phlox had decided long ago that it was past time to come out and flaunt. The darkness of the leaves against the blue-green, over a short bit, the ruffled promise of a Zebrina daughter who would rise past everyone eventually. And emerging from the center kinda askewed, the dwarf white buddeliea is covered in tiny silver leaves, showing me the dead ends to be trimmed off very soon.
The background music that had wakened me that early chilly morn were the birds. All the fliers and small dragons were twitterpating and lusting with such vocal swellings I was able to pick out individual birds songs.
Call the dawgs, load them up with "lets go get Michael!!!" and they almost always come to the van to jump in to go pick up one of their favorite members of the pack. Sugar is the only one, prowling the perimeters sometimes to run off a straggler cat from bendejo's side of the ridge. Most mornings though, lately, Sugar is quick to respond. Sméagol ALWAYS comes back...he's a good boy. (and Craven..........quite a craven puppers.)
As we pulled down the driveway, I saw specks in the opposite pasture from the dead end's corner. Turkey's!! Maybe since I remembered the camera this time, I would be able to get a good picture of them on the way home.
I noticed the slight flush of the redbuds scattered in the woods, which sad to say on the eastern side just along the pasture the neighbor's have been harvesting and clearing. I try not to let it bother me as it's young poplars of 50 or more years old, a few Jack pines.
On the return trip the sun was high in the eastern morning sky, and sure enough, turkeys were gathered in a meeting of the mature and agile tom. There were five, FIVE toms all fluffed out and spread assed and stomping and grand standing in front of at least 30 hens. You could almost hear their gossip as they knocked heads admiring this one's tail plummage and making fun of the younger ones. There was enough motion and stamping of turkey feet that Smeagol and Sugar both got upset and started raising a ruckus, and the turkeys were only slightly distracted. they began to move UP the pasture towards the top of the ridge where Miz Mary puts cracked corn on every boulder and rock for them.
I took distant pictures and bemoaned the dogs raising hell, and kept slowly rolling up the dead end road until I got 2/3rds of the way to the top of the ridge where the view is, and unlocked the door and released the hounds who hauled ass boogie in dead heat as the first edges of the hens and one tom were cresting the top. They took flight and flew over the amazed canines and flew over the northern pasture to the thicket of cedars and scrub trees and such, leaving the dogs in turkey dust. The rest immediately took flight and scattered in two other directions near the woods on the south side of the pasture and over my head where the rest had gone. It was deffinately spring.
Now fast forward. I have been so caught up in the ever popping sounds and sights and smells of this spring, I am overwhelmed beyond words. I will do the best I can.
that was a mere week and a half ago that I started this. Since then, the Korean Spice Viburnum produced for me FIVE incredibly fragrant clusters of delicate pink and white trumpets that made me happy beyond words. Underneath the black cherry tree, all sorts of magic was unfolding before me, ready to wow and amaze me.
The Hellebore were very busy last year. Every clump of Hellebore had many, many babies scattered about their feet. Tiny little perfect leaves of seedlings that were so cute and green. EVERY Hellebore produced seedlings for me. I discovered the one I'd moved for youngest son to finish the nook's mini deck had sown seedlings that moved themselves to spots in amongst the emerging Fallopia and Blue Enigma salvia. One came up near an older rhizome of Japanese painted fern.
The black cherry tree garden was blowing my mind with the colors and textures and combinations. The fairies had been very good at whispering instructions while I planted. The rich humus from the ancient chips pile I'd raked underneath the tree years ago has finally produced an enviroment that is extremely hospitable. I don't remember putting a yellow woods poppy (Celedine) near the north corner Hellebore, but this year the plant was triple the size and loaded with bright yellow lanterns that glowed from across the driveway to your eyes as you gazed at the whole thing.
The spent whiskey barrel gave up her sides but the iron rings still stand as testiment stuck by soil that still holds a few staves that are touching the real surface of the tree near roots. Inside the barrel, the Virginia Bluebells are completely filled out, little bright sky blue skirts that dangle in the winds. The first to show up were the ones in the soil just outside the barrel. the last are the ones in the soils I filled the barrel up with originally.
Leaves of heart shaped Cyclamen with deep stained glass patterns on them, and this year, larger leaves from richer loam that was sifted on top. Little Te-te' narcissus already done, and the newly planted Shooting star has filled out the first bloom spike with incredible shooting stars and has made another spike of flowers and they're starting to form.
Next to the woods poppy in velvety textured bright green scalloped leaves, is the Pieris. One of two variegated ones, their newly emerging leaves a flaming pink-red that shines across the distance and makes you question what on earth is blooming that is so red? and when you investigate up close you are shocked to see they're leaves......... Next to the red and pinkish red leaf tips, at their feet are deep purple blue iris reticulata's that lasted thru the brief waves of 70o F plus temperatures those couple of days past. At every inch, something else. Rising points of tulips of the yellow variety I suspect, and if they are, I'll pull them out, but the great floppy white edged leaves of the New Orleans Mardi Gras tulip blend in perfectly with the Strawberry begonia or mother of thousands that has bulked up during the winter with all the humus and Ironite and granuals I sprinkled for the bulbs.
The Arbovaetie fern which is actually a type of moss, is leafed out and poking thru it are more dark blue purple reticulata's. At the edge of the raised bed, a columbine has seeded itself in the root's little soil pocket. Not sure of the color of flowers yet. Near the back of the New Orleans Mardi Gras tulip leaves an emerging tassel fern that I got for a song when it was dormant at a small nursery is shoving out shaggy fronds, and beside and behind it, the Epimedium has made new delicate heart shaped leaves with speckles of plum on them. Soon the yellow fairy lanterns that look like minature columbine flowers squashed will come out on branched tiny shoots high above the new leaves.
Spent "taters" the woods hyacinths that Pottingshed gave me years ago have bloomed quietly and the stands of dark green leaves are tribute to their existance. Ferny area's of Astilbe, an emerging Japanese painted fern baby has shoved it's fronds thru a red brick and the color combination and contrast work and I haven't the heart to gently tease it out of the small hole.
Toad lilies are up fat and thick. And next to them, the first shoots of Variegated Solomon's seal. Hosta's are now unfurling little spikes of early leaves, and the small root of Bleeding hearts has made a little clump of fleshy leaves that resemble columbine somehow.
Overwhelmed, I see Lady Jane magnolia has frost burnt blossoms that look like pink chalaces, but they're regal never the less. Under her boughs laden so heavily with buds, the Blackberry Corydalis has bulked up so much, and is loaded with the most beautiful ethereal flowers. So similar yet so different than the yellow corydalis flowers. And shoving thru the soil, a Pulmonaria whose name eludes me but whose three colored blossoms make me grin. And perfect blossoms of Precocious narcissus that are perfect deep salmon-rose cups and ivory white perianth's with the bowls being just frilly enough to entice any self respecting fairy to try them on in the evening. The darker ring just inside and visible when you're leaned close to take a picture.
Barrett Browning narcissus, Lemon Drops, Thalia's, double cheerfullness, and nowthe Sir Winston Churchill's are bursting forth. Every pot has muscari, sedums, little pieces of this and that, tiny species tulips of orange red, called Little Princess. In other pots, the ones called Little Beauty of a beautiful cherry reddish purple pink with blue and yellow throats. Some fat water lily tulips of unknown variety floor me when I see them nestled against the Blackberry corydalis.
The NSSG is fluffing up on it's own. Yellow corydalis, wild strawberry leaves filling in the spaces, healthy shoots of Jackmanii clematis are willing to be carefully wound near the new trellis and the three strands of rebar I bent over the whole bed. Daylily shoots filling out so fast you can hear the leaves crackling, fall anemone are bursting leaves thru the foliage, and a lone remaining clump of some great ornamental onion is rising at the edge near the feet of the new Harlequin Glory Bower tree daughter near the St. John's Wort bush that is so happy it's covered in goosebumps of new little green leaves, smaller than a fairy child's fingernail.
My little gnome, Barrow has a wheel barrow full of interesting things he's gathered that the artist thought was perfect, including a nut and a penny, and he sits just behind the little azalea that is struggling. And he sits ON top of a slice of staglatite that I found in Michigan once. All of this is overshadowed by the ferny fronds of the Sorbaria bushes that are tromping thru the whole NSSG, with the Cornelian cherry tree leafed out rather well with tufts of spent sulphur flower clusters every inch on every stem and twig. Next to her, my first flowers fill out slowly on the baby dogwood tree. It's taken her eleven years to reveal her color, and I guard her like a protective mother. Woo be unto anyone who brushes past a delicate bud before it unfolds for me. there are only four.
I am so overloaded, and I keep going.........the black cherry tree has blown open and hummed for a few days before the rains and cooler temperatures returned to chill the bees back into their hives, and release a few thousand petals, looking like a black cherry snowfall of blossoms, sticking to everything and adding even more textures to everything.
The massive lightning storms from the other night fed all the shrubs and trees and despite exploding one of my clay container gardens next to the driveway, has given everything a burst of energy. Everything in the small patio garden that used to be where the dead maple was is packed tight with all sorts of wonders. Around the bricks and tucked everywhere are violets that the violet fairy sowed seeds of both white and dark blue. Everywhere.
Inside pots, in cracks of bricks, any edge, any space. Inside the bed, the white minature buddelia has leafed out more, and my happy fingers don't wait for the snips, I break off dead ends just at the newly emerging leaves. Sedums, fall phlox a King Edwards yarrow, some thrifts, leaves of some unknown mum, a slender piece of survivor Russian Sage, a Cherokee sunset salvia is busy making dark red buds to throw me off in a week or so. This bed is packed tight. Muscari wind themselves and pop up thru the sedum leaves, the dark blue in beautiful contrasts to the blue green of the succulent leaves moistened with rain drops and dews.
The Pots blow my mind. My combinations revealed by the magic of the fairies and the season. One pot of what appeared to be just muscari provided me with the most incredible pictures of the little jugs with white edges, and now pouty pointy species tulips or orange red are poking thru the slender foliage of that same pot. Everything is filling up my eyes and my ears and my heart and I'm about to burst.
I stopped, breathed............and slipped into a settled state of peace of mind and I just listened for a moment. Faint sounds of peepers and tree frogs from the moisture left after that violent storm echo above and around me.
It feels surreal, I recall dragging my gardening co-hort thru the holler and gave "Ethyll" a full encounter with a late afternoon/dusk fairy evaluation. I slip in and out of time as I draw all the information into me. The peacefulness crept into me and I went into the nook and left the door open and got some pressing matters out of the way. The outside beckoned to me and the whisperings began afresh and I reached for my camera.
After I took some pretty awesome shots, I went back inside and snagged son to give him a "mom and her garden Spring memory" to tuck back for another time long up the road.
The earth's renewal put it all into prespective to me as I drew him thru the textures and colors. I've been trying to get him to slow down and SEE. I wanted to show him what early spring meant to me HERE, and to put a special fragrance to it while it was still around. The Korean Spice Viburnum, brief and as sweet as any and more than the sweetest honeysuckle and Lilies of the valley, scenting the air as the morning warmed up to just release the almost intoxicating perfumes and pheremones of her as she beckoned early lucky pollinators.
Everywhere there was spring sign as I pulled son thru Fairy Holler that me and my fairies have been creating these last eleven years. I felt like a child showing him all the magic of the day and the colors this spring that all seemed to come together in a quilt that my dear mom would have recognized and popped in the sunlight and shade.
He noticed that the black cherry had welcomed her children, the bees to come dance in the fragrances released by the warmth of honey and hay and not unpleasant.
Now it's another time, and there's so much more, so I will continue this tomorrow after the other wave of violent storms and tornado's and such are past me. The air will be cleansed and the trees will be more green from more lightening and nitrogen released into the air for the leaves to suck it in.
thank you for letting me start this and share with you all.......
madgardener up on the stormy and dangerous ridge in the middle of tornado watches and flash flooding, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English Mountain which lights up with strikes, in Eastern Tennessee