The cold snaps have been stretching thinner. Kinda like the morning ice that
tried to form on the BBQ pit fountain/gardens on the west side of Fairy
Holler. More and more Spring sign up here on the ridge, despite Father
Winter's failing grasp on the lands. Mom's Nature is having HER way up here
and all her children are insistent about moving forward in the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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