Bulbs and warm fall days

Today I received the replacement bulbs for the Dutch iris, Eye of the Tiger. I decided that this year I'd plant them in a container that currently has thread leaf coreopsis, two asters and a surprise seeding of a yellow calendula that must have come from my friend, Diane out in Oregon.
The day was perfect. One of those days that you want to hang a hammock and lie in and snooze as the sounds of busy critters fade in and out around you. I decided to break Sugar's heart and dart past her, but Rose just didn't understand. I blocked the cat door to keep Sugar from escaping outside to disappear on me and wind up digging somewhere that I'd want to kill her for later and headed for the quarter white barrel I have the other plants in.
Survey the situation, appears that one of the coreopsis has died on me, so I break off the brittle stems but see that at the base of the rest of them are little ferny shoots that promise me the roots are cranking out life yet. The Calendula I see has another seed head of ripe and dried seeds in it and I carefully thumb them loose and let them drop into the soil below in the pot. Hopefully I will be rewarded for this next year by more than one plant of these perky yellow with reddish eyed daisy flowers.
The asters are done, but I leave the little dried up flowers on the ends of the stems and see I need to water the pot. That will have to wait as I look for the aluminum trowel that has lain in the pot waiting for the right moment to be used. Ahhhh, the sitting stool is close by, and I put it under the big ol' rear of mine since the ground is a little damp from heavy fogs and dews from the morning, and plunge the trowel's thin blade into the river pea gravel and rich soil. Pull backwards, plunk in a fat Dutch iris bulb and root around for another spot to plant number 2 of 20 that Dutch Gardens sent me.
I decide that I will plant them UNDER the coreopsis shoots in hopes that it pops up thru the plant next year. I almost hear the fairies approval with this decision. I scootch my seat a little to the left of the quarter barrel and find another spot to make another slit in the rocky soil and plant another fat bulb. This isn't going to be easy. I part the limbs of the asters like green hair and carefully plunge the trowel next to the rootball and plant a couple of more iris bulbs among their toes.
It wasn't easy but somehow I managed to tuck all twenty bulbs into the pot, but it was a tight fit. Next year I will see if my efforts were folly or fruitful. The pot will be full to bursting with the foliage of the iris in late spring.
The day was wonderful and perfect in temperature and the sun was just right, and as I sat low to the ground on the little seat, I looked up into the fig tree. Good lordy, it's still loaded with figs, and I will have ripe figs in a couple of days! This is absolutely amazing to me. I feel more than blessed and get up and search the scratchy leaves and limbs for at least one soft to the touch fig and am rewarded with one that will be honey sweet despite it's coolness. It amazes me that the stem of the fruit bleeds white when I break it from the limb.
My mind wanders and I check on the progress of the mum in the large nursery pot near the point of the fig bed. It's bud tight and almost but not quite ready to pop open. I always forget the color of the flowers. The surprise of them when they open at the middle of October is worth it. All these years of unsuccessful mums planted I am still amazed at the return of these in the pots I've placed them in. One is tiny and crammed into a bricko block with a sempervivum. Toes just cramped enough to prevent it from making more than six flowers but that was more than it had when I plugged it in as an afterthought.
I have forgotten about a wheelbarrow full of Geums that I purchased for $1 each and three pots of Red Foxx veronica. They are crying for me to fill the barrow with water and rehydrate them. I comply and hope they forgive me.
The damage that Sugar has done to my tomato now perennial box is saddening. I resign myself that this will not do and she will have to be reprimanded if this happens again. I was actually seeing some successful signs of survival in the plantings despite their closely planted positions. I try not to think murderous thoughts about the pup and start looking for flowers and textures.
What amazes me are the intensities of the colors that are still around. The ORANGE of the Bengal Tiger canna's slap the eyeball like a sunbeam poking you thru the curtain first thing in the morning when you first wake up. As I gaze at their orangeness, the screaming pirkle (pink and purple) butterfly bush blossoms on the bush near the topped jack pine tree just beneath the deck on the first real terrace of our back yard collides with the orange of the canna's that rise above them about three feet away. I HAVE to get in that swampy, mucky mess and yank out the blackberries and other things that don't belong but the canna's. Fall will be a good time to do this. The canna's love me for planting them in the gray water, boggy area of the drain from the washer and sink. The least I can do is give them leg room to spread into an impressive clump that will defy removal when I am long gone. <g>
Now despite their toxicity, the beauty of one of my woods dwellers has captured my eye. As I just stood and gazed across the spans of the woods, the rising trunks of the towering Jack pines are further enveloped in shrouds of flaming reds and orange with highlights of burgundy and some yellow. The darker reds are the benevolent Virginia Creeper that has risen to heights over 70 feet to disappear into the tops of the pines and the pin oaks. The other electric colors and drapings are my old adversary poison ivy and poison oak. The colors sing to me the reasons why the English gardeners love our itchy, blister inflicting vine so much. The berries are ghost white, but the tri-leafed foliage literally shouts it's appearance and location out in the fall.
I see I will have to go into the woods and sever them from their host trees and later pile the bases with wood ashes and douse with RoundUp if I have the chance. The Virginia creeper is a keeper, there is enough poison ivy and oak to feed the birds and keep me pulling and ripping and herbaciding well into my senior years. But for now I am in love with the colors the bane of my woods is flinging at my eyes. The colors literally light up the trunks of these towering trees.
The pin oaks are just now starting to lose their green colors and I can't tell what they will slip on for fall display yet. My woods are in a true holler and the first hard frost was spared them a few days ago when I frantically dragged in the tender plants. That was a study of hilarity as I ran the relay of grab two plants and place them temporarily in places in the house. I have only three good windows and I just needed places for them to lsit out the frost.
The frost missed me. The plants are still in the house. Now I have to consider the rest of the horde before Mom's Nature takes a more serious swing at me with all these cacti and tropicals. My work is cut out for me. I need to beg Squire for a sunroom.............. I will end here before I ramble off the edge of the continent and will holler at you guys later. There's work tomorrow and I have a rubber plant I need to pot up. That's another tale for another time.
madgardener up on the ridge, back in fairy holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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