Standing on the kitchen deck the other day, as dusk was drawing closer, I
listened to the sounds around me and inhaled. I had watered the new
extension odd-ball bed I placed in front of the woods boxes. I had to find
somewhere to plant the perennials. This time I had mixed the clay soil with
the cheaper topsoil after I was able to get the shovel into the ground. I
always forget the pick-ax....
I had watered everything that I thought needed it, because despite how green
and happy everything is, the rains continue to split around me here on the
ridge and go north and to the east, northeast of me. But, the smells were
wonderful from my own watering. That rich, earthy smell that water releases
There is one bird, I don't know his identity, but every dusk,and lately, the
early mornings, he starts out his acca pella solo. It literally sounds like
"Tweedle ee Tweedle ee" and is very melodious. I suspect it's my little
Indigo bunting, but this song of his, whomever he is, is awesome in the late
afternoon just before dusk kisses everything.
I started looking at everything around me, and with camera in my pocket, I
opened the shutter that I've set the sound to be a chirping bird when I do.
Various other birds interject their notes of randomness around the main
vocalist up in the trees somewhere, and I start where I am and peer over the
railings of the deck.
Wood boring bees are too plentiful this year, and I fear they're undermining
me where I stand. The males hover before my face and glare at me and then
dart off to conflicts with others, like some flying Samuri intent on combat
with another male for territory.
Their glare is obvious. I am not intimidated by them, I don't believe they
can sting me, and I'm larger than them and if they twart me too much, I'll
shoot them with a blast of pyrethrum. I just wish they'd munch the trees
instead of my deck, railings and boards along the perimeter of the house
where I walk. My NSSG has daily accumulations of sawdust that blow onto the
pink Buddelia giving it a strange dusty look.
My mind starts working on tangient threads...............
There are two new gardens in containers on the kitchen deck. Put there to
enjoy the direct southwestern sunlight, they hog the dwindling space where I
put the cacti and succulents I bring in each fall. This year as my mind
zigs and zags thru horticultural thoughts, I have to place the "Redundant
gardens" in different places. That's the cacti and tropicals that reside
inside because of my zone that won't support them outside.
Before I realize it, dusk has fallen, and I'm unable to capture any images
on the camera, so I pad quietly down the cooling cement dogrun/sidewalk that
cuts across the front of my house and behind the raised beds that face
south. The BBQ pit/fountain and garden is accumulating those fallen
lavender blossoms of the Pawlonia tree, and one pump can't handle all of
them. Like huge Foxgloves blossoms, they're filling the ground and water
with their spent beauty. Maybe tomorrow--
The next day I came out to look around me and take notice, the Red Eyed
Devils or 17 year locusts were making their early appearances. I noticed
because there was an allium I was particularly interested in and it turned
out to be the Christophii. The leaves resembled the hairy leaves of an
agave and before I messed up and pulled it out, I decided to wait and see
what came up from the whorl of leaves at the edge of the bed.
Irises I don't remember being in places where I didn't think I had them were
opening and wowing me. Not a huge fan of bearded irises, I had ordered the
twice blooming ones from Dutch Gardens last year and had potted them up into
pots that spent their first winter on the deck off the kitchen. These
couldn't be them, it's too soon. And when I bumped the pots of them out and
tucked them in here and there this spring, I realized I should have allowed
them another season to make more roots.
As I noticed these things, I noticed another. Dried husks of locusts.
Quite a few of them. Ahhh, the 17 year locusts are starting to hatch.
Already? Wow, the last few days of very hot weather has waken them it seems.
Almost overnight the oriental poppies that I've tucked into the extension
bed by the driveway have shot up. First hairy mounds of ferny leaves, and
almost overnight, stems with tight fisted green knobs with little hairs
sticking out of them. A few are not round but mis-shapen, but there are more
blossoms this year than last and I can't wait to see who's revealed. I long
for a simple orange one to clash with the red, but it seems they might all
be red. I love them anyway. When I come home from work, I see the fairies
have tickled the most misshapened one to open up her sheaths and the flower
is like red scarlet paper mache that is clasped like folded hands.
Now we can fast forward to when I decided to catch this up and finish it.
Saturday. The temperatures reached the low 90's and after all that heat, I
knew the flowers would be in fast forward. Irises were popping open, the
finished ones were shriveling up faster than I could pop them off carefully
above the new buds.
Grab a glass of sweet iced tea and check out what the fairies have given me
on Mother's day...................I'll continue this later <g>
madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy holler overlooking English
Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36