Sitting here cooling off after walking the mile or so to the library in the center of this old historic town in mid 90's and 60% humidity. I was starting to squish as I got to the bank that has replaced eight itea plants due to their planting them, but not returning to WATER THEM, and the hot, dry weather did them in. of course. NOW they have five lime yellow spirea planted in some of the holes. Lets hope they survive......it pains me to see these plantings, with mulch around them but no follow up for moisture. ackkk.... The city faeries are kind to me. I found an abandoned hens and chicks pot with slightly tattered sempervivums in some of the holes and nary a crack on the jar. It musta fell off and landed just on the grassy place next to the sidewalk last night as I walked the neighborhood because I wasn't tired enough to pass out. It was quite a find, I'll tell you. I have different sempervivums (hens and chickies) to tuck into the empty holes today when I return home. I will take my time returning because the heat now is pushing towards 100o. There are HUGE magnolia's in full bloom though and the fragrance of lemon is enough to make me tear up and have tears of happiness and memories of where I grew up in Nashville and never realized that those same Southern Magnolia's that were at LEAST 200 years old was some of the smells of my childhood and young adulthood. I sometimes am able to bury my nose and face into the huge blossoms because these people respect these trees and they grow with limbs down to the ground and are four feet thick or more. and there are younger trees as well and they're blooming too. I miss so many of my beloved perennials (children to those who understand my emotions) but I am holding strong because I am emotionally happy with me Englishman and heart-mate. He's like a middle aged child as he checks out the rhubarb and tomato's and "nose twisters" every day when he comes home. I wish now I'd put more of me back into digging out a true garden, instead of the pathetic attempt strip along the back fence row. Live and learn, though. I have the joys of working with real soil, but the added aggrivation of having to do poop patrol as I walk UP the slightly steep back yard towards the back strip to see if Bugs has munched the beans.....and yep, telling me I desperately need a piece of dogwire to cover the beans as they emerge and keep bugs out. sad to think there's a large piece back in vinca ridge waiting for me to just drive down the driveway, walk down the steep slope and snap back up and put in the car, those and the old oak tobacco sticks that Mr. Harold made me one year when I still lived in White Pine. I ordered and paid for 125 and they lasted me up to last year and my numbers had gone down to 75 well aged but still sturdy and straight oak tobacco sticks over six foot tall and four inches thick. sigh...... I have a cobweb sempervivum that is blooming more deep rose flowers, and I don't see too many chicks to remain after mom blooms. I'm faced with the decision of pinching off the flowers before the mother hen dies or let it run it's beautiful course. And the green sedums are blooming yellow stars now. As well as the Angelina sedum that I had in a windowbox that I snapped up and brought with me first thing. Another pot of sedums I brought with me revealed where I'd tucked in the Lollypop lilies, and they're almost done, but have brightened up my day as I placed the pot on the concrete stoop beside the downstairs entrance door to where we live and sleep (James and I, Patrick sleeps upstairs where the air conditioning is, this house is HUGE and used to be a duplex for a few years, just open and not closed off apparently). I will need very soon to find or get a larger container for my Harry Lauder's Walking stick tree (twisted filbert) as it desperately wants a larger pot than the three gallon I have her in. Location isn't the problem as much as the toes want to stretch and grow more. The woods poppy has survived the north and harsh indirect western sunlight and I keep a keen eye on her for moisture stress during this heat wave. I just wish I had some hard as nails zinnia plants to fill into the concrete containers I did bring with me that were given to me by Miz Mary. Maybe with a little time and patience........... I eagerly watch the mailbox every day for letters, sympathetic small boxes of growing things.....<g> now I wish more than anything that I'd been able to have located my "Nashville stainless steel walking ferns" before we moved because I never identified them and they withstood direct sunlight. I miss them horribly. I DO have healthy as nails, rosemary and the oregano is about to bloom as is the spearmint and lemon verbena that is in the herb strip along the west side of the house underneath all those downstairs windows. Speaking of the western side, apparently I have yellow finches and not only wrens but rose finches but they prefer the driveway side of the house. So I have refilled the thistle sock and placed it next to the tomato's that I planted along the western side of the back yard fence because the grasses that were growing there on the other side had started to go to seed and they were perching on the stems. Makes me wonder if my 'Heavy Metal" grass is living over at Karol's......ackkkkk, this was just common grass and three foot stems and seeds.... Planting the Tithonia today regardless of the heat, and replanting okra as well. I'm about to move the majority of the cacti and succulents outside as well to benefit from all this strong heat and sunlight. I expect to see sunburnt skin on the plants though as they've been enjoying the indirect back porch that has eastern, southern and western sunlight. I was going to leave everyone in the porch where it feels like a dry greenhouse desert, but realized they'd thrive more if moved to direct baking sunlight. Can't remember if the clivia like direct sun or not and need to find the book on them to make sure I don't scorch them. And finding the book won't be easy as I haven't yet set up the nook and the garden books. There are many things to accomplish and the garden no matter how small it is here in the new temporary home seems to take priority with me as it always did in vinca ridge. The sanseveria seem to have finally adjusted to the harshness of EASTERN sunlight on the PORCH!! Now they're happy and starting to show new leaves as they remember they're TROPICALS.......LOL I am shocked and pleased silly with the pink primroses as they have bloomed now for over six weeks and show no signs of letting up. There are some that have a blotched yellow on their leaves and it doesn't appear to be a virus or fungal disease but possibly a newer variety. If it were a disease or fungus or even problem, it would have spread to the rest of the plants and it hasn't so far that I can see. I will have to try and lift a little piece of it and try and locate an empty pot and pot her up and see how it does. Now that I think about it, I had plenty of time to have taken soft wood cuttings of the Coppertina and Diablo ninebark, but it never entered my mind until the new growth was hardening up last week. oh well, another lesson learned. the day I don't learn, I've gone to the dirt sleep, eh? The dawgs have adjusted well with quiet older inner city life with exception to Sugar who focuses on those pesky rabbits and squirrels and wants to chase and murder them (she catches them, too) but her intense focus means she doesn't see the cars coming up the street where I live.......so I've had to tear her a new butt at times with me tongue when I see her crouch and start to tear off. The border collie in her, added to the fact that she's still in excellent shape means she's still needing some intense exercise and not living out where she was totally free to wander makes it hard on her. She has taught Smeagol how to escape the fence at the back of the house near the downstairs entrance and they are usually waiting for me with smiles and tongues hanging to the ground when I return from the library. Soooo, locking them into the house and denying them access to the back yard through the back porch door is their punishment. Smeagol comes immediately, but Sugar is intent on having those fluffy tailed nutters and bugs relatives. I may let her sleep outside and try some night deterance and hope she doesn't tear up the garden too much (she's been good so far with no digging). I had to tie up the tomato's with the soft cord that I'd balled up from a rug that the former occupant who lived in the house on the ridge had started making but never finished. it was the silky edging of blankets she'd crochetted into a rug, so I unraveled it and have used it years now for tying up plants. It's tough and doesn't deteriorate with sun and rain and is screaming pink-red. <g> It's time to call it a day and head back in the sweltering heat. I have enjoyed catching up the mail I have gotten from some of you, and reading posts to former writings as well. I will see you over the fence sooner than you might expect. Everyone have a great weekend, great gardening experiences I look forwards to reading about and keep in touch, I'll have sweet iced tea for those who'd like to visit me <gbseg> we now have a working fridge! thanks for the time to chat and share.
maddie up in the green bowl, surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest and Appalachians in Greeneville, Tennessee gardening in zone 6b - 7a with REAL dirt!!