Little pots of optimism and Springtime, and a Sugar incident (again)

Good day, the ol' madgardener here. Sitting here, looking outside the southern nook, garden insanity and Acurite thermometer beckons me to come outside and visit the gardens to see if the fairies are tucked in for the winter. I know differently. I glanced down to the NSSG (not so secret garden) yesterday when I was coming back inside yesterday and saw that the Hellebore fairy was busy at work, preparing for the cold day in February when I am thrilled at the buds that are hanging off the new leaves that are sheltered under the older leaves of this last year's.
I also saw that the protection of the quickly deteriorating walkway that leads you to the nook and den (the boards are rotting after decades and need to be replaced very soon) has kept the Bear's Britches green, despite the bitter temperatures lately and that brrrr windchill.
I have still not planted all those bulbs that are crying out to me in the back fridge, and today, after I ran Squire around looking in desperation for jobs for him in Knoxville concerning trucking, we got home at the fall of dusk with the day totally shot. As I let the girlz inside, I looked at the two octogonal nursery pots I'd scrounged from work and made a mental note that I should go ahead and at least pot up SOME of the spring bulbs. The main reason being that Sugar persists in dismaying me by digging up huge gaping holes in various gardens around the whole area. The latest one was the east side tomato/perennial bed that housed daylilies, perennial Mertonensis foxgloves and Veronica's. I wept when I saw the three foot by three foot hole all the way to the bottom of the box she'd dug and didn't even try to survey the damage to whatever plant because it was impossible and way too cold.
I came inside that day to scold towards Squire and knowing it was more about the situation around the house with lack of job and money and mounting bills and dwindling hours at my job, he went looking for Sugar who had slipped out of her choker collar and booked off towards the east side of our woods when I had tried to drag her to the box to show her what I knew she knew she'd done. (don't flame me about her "knowing" about the cavern she'd dug. She KNEW she'd done bad because she was acting guilty and had her tail tucked in all morning just before I discovered her damage).
When he got her to get into his truck, he praised her for coming to him. he re-collared her and leashed her and after he got her inside the house and down the hall and thru the kitchen, he said she immediately started to put on her brakes as he took her out the kitchen door and out the deck to the side yard. He said she actually KNEW where he was taking her and resisted him the whole way. Once he got her there, he did a Marine drill instructor on her, rubbed her face and nose in the dirt from the box he saw I'd not been able to fill the hole completely with, yelled some more at her and asked her what did you do"?????? and then proceeded to tell her she'd been a baaaad dawg and took her inside thru the downstairs doorway that leads past the laundry into his computer cave. He kept her on the leash the rest of the day where he said she stayed at his feet.
I don't know if this will work, but I will say that when I let them outside for a quick potty the next couple of days, when Rose went down into the side yard towards those boxes, Sugar immediately did a hard turn around and went into a safe area and did what she had to do and immediately came back to the door to be let inside. But despite that I think she might eventually get that she can't dig into my beds, I am reluctant to plant the bulbs into the loose soil because it would make me crazy to discover them dug up after all the work. Pots of bulbs is safer and easier and after they bloom, I can plant the plugs into the soil where I will have pockets of color for next year. A good excuse to plant them in the upper woods.
So once I got everything put away, I went to the back fridge and started pulling out bags of bulbs. Lordy, but there are alot of them. I picked out the Woodstock hyacinths, Tarda tulips, Lilac Wonder tulips (these are species and smaller), the dark pink allium oreophilum to bloom in late May or early June, tri-colored crocus and 18 purple Iris recticulatas.
I sat outside in the dark and cold on a chimney screen and filled the large pots with cheap humus halfway and then sprinkled a quarter cup of bulb food into the soil and mixed it up. I then planted the Woodstock's two each in the center and the recticulata's and Tarda's and Lilac Wonder's around those. I then filled over these and plugged in the pink allium oreophilums, tri-colored crocus and some unknown loose bulbs that were sprouting outside in a saucer. My fingers were cold, but as I sat there, I got all kinds of ideas with what I have left inside. I could tell that fairies were whispering ideas for the treasures they knew I had sitting inside the fridge. No self respecting fairy would approve of keeping perfectly good flower bulbs from being planted and doing what they were meant to do- flower and multiply.
I started counting in my head..........
There are three bags of golden crocus, four more bags of tri-colored crocus, a mixed bag of crocus, two bags of Cream beauty crocus, two bags of blue Triteleia Queen Fabiola Brodiaea, four bags of snowdrops (the smaller ones, not galanthus),four bags of forbesii Chionodoxa at 35 in each bag, two or three bags of 35 in each bag scilloides libanotica Puschkinia, and about 5-6 boxes of Ornithogalum's at 24 in each box.
I am considering just getting a couple of reduced window boxes at work and fill them with humus and bulb food and planting everyone in those and placing them out on the north facing deck off the back room so I can see them up close. Once they bloom, I can do the same with them as I intend to do with the other pots I just planted up. Plant the plug of bulbs somewhere near my woods that is partially cleared and walkable.
Ever the optimist, I figure putting these bulbs into the woods will be a lingering and perennial reminder long after I'm gone that a gardener and fairies lived up here in this spot.
Things might not be going very well for the humans up here on the ridge, but I must keep on with why I garden in the first place.
As I wander thru the early winter garden I am taken by it's own timed beauty. I don't clean up the garden much because I like what remains. Sometimes when it gets really ratty, I'll go ahead and clean it out in a fit of the moment. My idea and way of cleaning up the gardens consists of breaking off large stems of spent whatever's and tossing them out into the driveway. Then I rip up offending tubers and knobby stems of 4's that insist of flopping about and toss them into the driveway. The sunflowers were past the bird point and I had to take the one that had come up in the large pot I have those four lilac's starting out life in that busted the side out with it's huge gnarly root. I still have three I think that need removal. I'm sure the birds have planted my next years crop of sunflower trees for themselves somewhere else.
The Hellebores are funny. Bright green like umbrellas peeking up from underneath the older, darker green parasols of their parent leaves. Soon Mom's Nature and her weather tantrums will shred them and by late winter, the lime green babies will have thickened up and there will be new shoots laden down with flowers to greet me and I can snip the older leaves out to give air to the stalks with the blossoms.
Now I want to go outside and peer down between the dead stems and other remains and hunt for next years signs. The thread leaf coreopsis has little clumps of purplish fairy fingers just waiting to send out the slender green threads that will support the random leaf and all those flowers. I just hope the Bright Eyes survives. If not, the moonbeam will surely come back along with the Limrock Ruby. I did like what I read in Fine Gardening with those. I bought the reduced pots and when I plugged them into the quarter barrel, I mixed pea gravel with the humus to make a good draining medium for them to grow in.
But one doesn't go out in the cold dark to hunt around for early signs of next years perennials. That's what you do in the cold light of day. Since I start my work week tomorrow and work the next four days, I will make an attempt at healing my poor stressed out mind with looking for my babies that the fairies have left me signs of everywhere before of after I get home. The next few days here are supposed to be cold, crappy days, and unless I am completely insane, I won't have a really good moment to do this until Monday. When I do go outside, rest assured I will be inspired to share with you.
I just thought that I should share that I'd planted some pots of optimism and Springtime tonight in the darkening winter evening and thought I'd say hello. It's been awhile since I wrote to you. I am alright, just stressed by the way. Life seems to be throwing me some familiar curve balls. I've dealt with worse, it just changes when you're older with how it affects us. My health for those of you who are concerned, is alright as far as I know for now. The scare I had a while back was a reminded that I am almost 51 and things are different for some of us when we get older and still deal with tough times. Can't get rid of the stress, but realize that there is only so much we can do in the situations we're in at the moment. Eventually things will smooth out and it could always be much worse. I am grateful that for now I still have my gardens and can go outside and enjoy it.
I will holler back when I wander around like some crazed madgardener. Until then, thanks for allowing me to share............. madgardener up on the chilly ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking a snow dusted English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36 (as far as I know) <g>
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