Feverfew in my windowboxes and matronly Fairies in the Black Cherry shade garden

I have Feverfew in my window boxes on my deck railing that sits one and a half stories up from the first sloping terrace of my gardens and land that is my "yard".
Tanacetum parthenium, from Virginia Davis' yard which she willingly gifted me because in her aged and familiar older gardener perspective, "It's every-a-where's, it reseeds itself shamelessly and I rip it out all the time, so I always have it, you can just pull these here up, they won't mind a rough yank. Just plant them as soon as you get home and water them well for two days and they'll come up where they want to next time"
She was right. I took those yankings out along with a root of one of her most unusual Hibiscus that I don't think will survive, but we'll see.......and planted them in the BBQ pit-fountain raised garden. The Hibiscus I tucked in with the Cumberland River hibiscus in hopes that the companionship would encourage it to survive.
I remember yanking a healthy clump of them (the Feverfew) out of a pot I'd planted sempervivums into. The pot was a joining of two broken pots that had sheared off but left the bottoms attached like jagged clay teeth. I nestled one broken pot into the jagged other one and they fit to make 2/3rds of an interesting pot that I filled with loose sandy soil and tried to plant a nice hen and chicken into. With the jagged edge, I tended to use it as a handle and pick it up and move it to get the light, but it must have been too moist and shady when I spaced it this spring and summer and the feverfew in the BBQ fountain garden bloomed and seeded into the semps pot.
I yanked it out when I realized what it was once I touched the leaves and that wonderful sharp smell wafted up. Gardening is so much smells as it is sights and even tastes. I pulled the plant out, which I remember had quite a tenacious root to it despite the soil that had apparently gotten compacted, and plugged the plant into the western bed (the one that Sméagol has dug twice now).
Somehow, when it bloomed in October, it had time to throw some seeds to the winds. Or the soil I used had seeds in them. Because there it was, shining green to me to the balcony as I stood outside looking at all the green and the woods now that they were barer and I can see what I SHOULD do...............(the woods are so daunting, so much to do!)
I was showing son, Miguel, the Dusty Miller (Senecio) that is an annual, but insists in a Jersey accent that "I'm a perennial, damnit, I ain't no annual. I stick around all winter and say F-ouse! Put me in the perennial family, I insist!''
After wrongly identifying the Dusty Miller to son as Artemisia,(I confirmed and corrected myself later with my garden "bible") I stood on the balcony looking at the deck as it stuck out on the west side of the house and jutted towards the north woods and downward slope.
As my eyes traveled past the way too happy two clumps of D.M. in the white window box I'd tied to the wide railings of the kitchen deck, I felt the pull of fresh green beckoning to me and looked and the gray window box I'd tied to the northern railing that had the Zinnia's and variegated Pelargonium (geranium's to some, but the annual) residing in them,and there was the Feverfew. Laughing at me as it had seeded almost a story and a half up and was hanging over the edge of the pot, all lush and green and building up character for next spring's flowers. Maybe it'll reseed in the woods! <gbseg> More fairy work.......
There is also a matronly fairy in the Black Cherry shade garden. She sits under the canopy of the Hellebore clump. When they first came to the store this spring, a group of four well done and detailed garden gnomes or little fairies, I remember thinking that of the four of them, only two really fit into my garden. One was a little weathered and smiling old man named Bulb....the other was deffinately fit for my gardens.
She was a matronly fairy/gnome of gentle character. Puddin' bag shape, obviously an aged elder who was past middle age, garden hat on her head, little frogs around her feet. I wanted her badly to tuck into some corner of my raised beds but the price was a bit much. I would have rather had plants than the investment of one little garden ornament, no matter how well constructed or ultra violet proof the colors were. (good point though!) So I put away the idea of them, and when I saw their price fall to half in the Autumn, I decided I might afford one or two.
The temptation was too great when Lowes had their employee appreciation week and gave us 20% off everything in the store. I snagged her, and once home, the perfect spot revealed itself to me. I had been tucking bulbs into little spots around the black cherry shade garden a few weeks back, and once I stepped out of the car and freed her from her display box, I pondered but a brief moment as the fairies spoke to me in little hushed whispers. "put her here! under the protective spread of the Hellebore leaves! put her here!!".
I went and knelt down on the driveway and felt the soil under the canopy of hellebore leaves for signs of disturbance, but felt nothing. I didn't want her sitting on top of a later emerging bulb! She settled in as if she'd always been there, and she and her frogs almost disappeared before my eyes.
I've left her there, and when I go out in search of wintery signs of garden or just to see if a little puppy has been good or bad, she smiles at me at the most unlikely moments. I've gone back and gotten her kindred, Bulb, and he'll be tucked up under the Vitex bush to guard the plants and be lord of that garden area.
I have accumulating images and indications of fairies popping up all over the place now. There is an ethereal young fairy that stands gently at the southwestern corner of the BBQ pit and watched as I built a raised bed around the whole thing and filled it with wonderous bulbs and plants and roots and rhizomes. There is a water fairy perched on the edge of the pit that Squire converted to a trickling creek and fountain display that now needs a new pump, and another little fat cheeked baby fairy that is blowing bubbles that I perched on the blue slate that edges the deeper trough of water that feeds the whole fountain and where the frogs reside. (I hope the fish have survived....but wouldn't be surprised if they have been fished out by the raccoons).
Another clay fairy that stands with her wings propped against the young Pawlonia tree and in the new bed of Eupatoria is now on the kitchen deck out of the dampness so she won't flake and crack until next spring, then I'll put her back in her revered spot. She was a gift from Zhan and I treasure her much. And over on the ledge of the raised BBQ fountain garden is a plaque that warns you gently that there are fairies at the bottom of this garden that sweet Katie gifted me with.
Garden things are starting to pop up more in my raised beds now. I found a nice glass and brass sun with flames sweeping sideways that I've not hung up but put on the rod in a pot that is home to white Platycodon or white Balloon flowers interplanted with muscari and a bit of Witches red Dianthus that dangles over the sides of the pot that is starting to crack and flake.
Other garden things are scattered here and there. Little frogs leaping thru the air hovering on rods with big green glass bulging eyes that I snagged for 50c. Glass and brass four foot edgers that have dragonflys or butterflies on the glass that I've edged the sidewalk beds with on either side to hold back the draping and flopping plants that refuse to let you pass.
And now there is another garden doodad to put in a cherished place. A wonderful word that fits these fairy gardens and myself, the madgardener. The sign says "LAUGH" and as soon as the ground unfreezes, it'll go somewhere prominent and special and obvious......maybe in that western bed that Sméagol dug up that I'm re-doing before spring.............a gift from a sweet and gentle red-haired lady who belongs in the gardens with her own little grubby city fairies. (I had little grubby city fairies in Nashville, they stayed behind at my old house and infected the new owner's lady quite well with gardening fever from the looks of the yard from the street).
Thanks for allowing me to share with you these images and thoughts. I hope you have a good Solstice and gentle winter. I look forward to talking to you over the garden fence soon. madgardener, up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7 Sunset zone 36
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