Fluttering in clouds of vanilla

The heat of August is upon us. As I walked into the wall of late afternoon summer's blast from the cool interior of the house, I noticed the barely perceptable aeroma of the persist Harlequin Glory Bower tree/shrub at the edge of the NSSG. I remembered that the last time I walked outside I'd forgotten the digital camera, so I turned on my heels and went back inside and grabbed the little silver wonder up and popped back out of the door before Sugar and Rose could push past me in the screen door's closing.
I had replanted the Lipstick vine into a nice square pot that I'd picked up at work that we marked down because of discontinuance, and as I peered closely into the small forest of stems and leaves, I was rewarded with the fuzzy reddish orangery lipsticks that were nudging up from the depths of the pot. Stop, set the camera to no flash, get clooooose, hold the button, inhale. Ahhhh. Lately I have been letting the camera be my eyes for the details as my tri-focals seem inadequate despite their being a new prescription. Oh well, thank goodness for the camera's eye.
Back across the mini deck and I notice that a board has finally given way of it's nail and I have a bouncer. Soon I will have to think about replacing the old deck and when we do, that will mean Squire will change the lay of the whole thing. He wants to widen it, but with the lay of the NSSG it will be difficult. The upheaval of the garden would be too tramatic and I've finally hit on a successful planting for once even if the anemone's have jumped ship and are eating the walking space.
I stood in the heat that radiated all around me and very slowly made my way east towards the waifting fragrances of the beloved Harlequin and stood perfectly still. One does not rush upon fairies that are fluttering in clouds of vanilla. You have to stand quietly and move so imperceptively as to not startle them and spook them.
You could almost hear their wings beating the thick air above me as I almost held my breath and counted no less than a flock of 9. Mostly those huge yellow and black winged wonderful ladies, but there were Indigo blue and purple ones too, and little white cabbage butterflies and a few Artillary as well supping and tasting the last flowers of the Glory Bower that was a canopy above me.
I quickly zoomed the camera as close as I could and snapped a few pictures. No one wanted to venture too close to me. I posed too much of a threat, and I didn't get my feelings hurt with the implication. I was thrilled that they were dancing on the waves of fragrances and partially ignoring me so I could get a few pictures.
The magic of the moment held, as they softly glided past me and I could almost hear them laughing quietly at me, that dry, twinkly laugh that only the truely childlike can hear. One brushed past my face and I felt a thrill as the wings kissed my face and then the magic was gone. Back up high in the upper boughs of the peanut butter leaves and vanilla flowers, they taunted me with estatic fluttering and twittering. Just out of range for me to get the best picture of all of them together.
I moved away, the heat was pushing against me as I made my way up the crunchy driveway and looked at my tired and prone garden madness. Lordy I should have made more effort to cut back tall plants to branch, and I should have installed those support devices I've horded for just the lanky and tall ones. I can really tell I've been distracted this year. How many times do I have to say "Next year??" sigh....stop to admire the sunflower tree that is propped up with a bridge tri-rebar to keep it in the ground. As tight as the soil has become I'm sure I could remove it now, but why take the chance? The three pronged green coated metal has a good bite on the trunk of the tree like sunflower and if it works, don't mess with it.
But because of this and two more trees that fell over from the soggy soils of the last months, before two fell over, their huge leaves shaded my Crispa spirea just enough to freak it out. So lovingly I lifted the whole bush out of the hole I'd made for it, noticed that it hadn't even rooted this summer, and went to the corner of the wisteria/Sweet Autumn clematis point, dug another hole next to the other spirea that is doing wonderfully and plugged it in next to it's sister/brother. The name eludes me, I'll look it up later.
Tamping it down and watering it in, I could almost hear it's sign of relief as it seemed to settle in next to the other one. This might work. Both bushes are well behaved ones anyway. They'll light up the corner nicely. I must stop this extending. I've reached the driveway. I can go no further. It's time to admit I need to start the clearing project.
As I stand looking at my handiwork, I notice the six foot phlox has finally fallen and has mingled it's blossoms with the fallen buttery yellow Herbsonne rudbeckia. I have decided to name it Summer yellow rudy because the whole name tires me out.
The Joe Pye's are two colors at the point. The white one has thrown the soft blushing pinkish ones and the two of them look like odd circles of clouds hovering six feet off the ground. There are no dancing bees on the surface. I can't imagine why. It's usually standing room only........
The sounds around me in the thick heat are the sounds of summer out here on the ridge being surrounded by pastures and woods. Insects that make zipping sounds, cicada's with their throbbing sound that GOES with the heat. Stray buzzing of the larger ones, and when the heat starts letting go of the air towards the end of the day, I will start seeing the toads and frogs that seem to be in abundance up here this year. I have to be careful where I walk as they are all over the driveway making their way to and from like some bizarre cross traffic jam. Last night Polluxx brought in one of my precious frogs that has claimed the fountain/pool of the BBQ pit........I saved him and threw him back into the water.
So I thread my way thru the pathway I made between the asters and the Lemon Queen flowers by tying a bright red piece of nylon fabric that used to be a crochetted rug that I unraveled around the midsection of the whole family of stems and girdled it up carefully tying it on either side to the closest fig limbs. It worked. It immediately opened up the pathway that had been obscurred by the clasping limbs of the Lemon Queen and the asters and now you can actually WALK between to the BBQ pit fountain and garden area.
The damage that the leaves of the fig has done to my sun worshipers though is evident, the varigated Filipendula is still there but sulking because it needs blasting sunlight and its filtered.
I steadily chunk away at one forsythia and eventually I will have most of it removed. The other one will be more of a problem to get rid of because of where it lies at the edge of the yard.
As I walked thru the pathway of the Lemon Queen and pirkle asters, the absence of trickling water was deafening. The cats have knocked a tube loose from the fairy fountain piece and I had to shut it off so it wouldn't empty and burn up the pump. I now know that adding a little water feature was the right thing to do and already have plans to make a bubble jar for the deck next year out of two ceramic pots.
As I thread my way back down the dog run, I stop and smell the open 4 o'clocks that are hidden behind the Blue Egnima salvia. There isn't another flower equal to it's fragrance and I will never pull every stem out of my gardens as long as I can keep them halfway tamed.
The front of the house is now an overgrown and tired jungle and already the word is out to the finches that the Summer yellow Rudy is making seeds. One last family of wrens has decided the pot of sedums I relocated with the perfectly woven nest is safe enough to raise one last brood of fledglings. I see them flitting back and forth and scoping out the felines that sit quietly watching them, knowing mama will get after them if they venture into the flower beds. The pot hangs on the bent rebar and they're safe for now. Next year I will deliberately hang pots from the edges to give the birds more places to raise kids. They do a great job of paying the rent in keeping down the bugs better.
Stop one more time and inhale the heady fragrance of the Harlequin and step on the board that now goes "sproing", laughing to myself as I "hear" the sound in my head, to be greeted by two Lab's, one older and getting stiff, the other full of piss and vinegar smiling at me and asking me with their faces and tails "waddiya do outside,Ma? didja have fun??" The routines are becoming like old friends. Sit, plug in the camera, turn it on, wait for it to boot up, then patient, as it downloads the images I've caught. Then open PSP program to ensure I have the pictures in the file, then unplug the camera, and close the window. Go back to PSP and start to tweek the pictures, opening each one up, rotating the ones I snap sideways, sharpen up some details and minimize the size so I don't cause other's computers to throw up when I attach them adn send them to share.
Thanks for allowing me to share todays ramble. madgardener up on a sleepy, and humming August night on the ridge, back in fairy holler, overlooking English Mountain cloaked in a rising August mist, in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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