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
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