No use crying over lost words, but it had been a labor of love, and I was allllmost ready to send her on her way when this blurb occured.
Since the last time I wrote, the Red eyed devils (17 year locusts, aka 17 year Cicada's with red eyes) were starting to awaken, and crawl out of the ground after their long sleep, and climb up to every stalk, twig, leaf and branch and split their tan exoskeleton and come out all pointy butt and red eyed. As they emerged, Rose who had a severe swelling beneath her right eye from who knows what and was on anti-biotics started munching them like tasty meat popcorn. She ate them by the tens. By the scores. By the literal hundreds. And ran me out of rooms with the stench of her putrid flatulence that was the end result from so much fatty high protein.
It was just the beginning........
Since the wipe out, there has been MILLIONS of these red eyed things to emerge from perfect 1/2 inch holes in the ground that are so close, the ground looks like it has been drilled. With the rains skimming past me here on the ridge and going either north or east into North Carolina, the dry ground holds these perfect evacuation holes and it's rather unsettling to see all of them EVERYWHERE.
The magnitude of all these holes is almost overwhelming. As I pondered them, I realized that 17 years ago the original owner was living in this house, and my not knowing when she found out she had brain cancer,that she had only just three more years to live before dying in her house that her daddy built for her as a wedding present.
I also realized that the gardens that lie on top of what was the original soil level next to the front sidewalk that ran along the front of this house weren't there, and the emerging "locusts" children of 2004 would have to push not only thru the depths of the real earth the eggs had been laid originally, but now up thru over 2 foot of loose rich earth that I have added and shored up.
The weight of all this was sobering. And as I thought of this, it was only because the sounds of their singing was so loud, it literally sounded like Nature's machinery. It doesn't sound like normal cicada's. It sounds like some strange machinery....really! I have noticed since starting this, too that when the sky clouds over, they quiet down, and that's even spookier. And they must not be nocturnal, because their cacophony isn't noticable. Just the night sounds.
As I stood there with all these thoughts running thru my head, I had made my way across the front of the house. The raised beds that lie along the driveway and face south are in a time warp. The daylilies are full and have grown upwards and then bent downwards. I don't see the bloom spikes yet. I'm still shocked at the irises that started out so wonderful and ladylike and with the blasting pre-summer heats, bloomed, fisted up and finished.
The fairies have been kind, though. And I have grown forgetful which I suspect are fairy workings as well. I had a total shock in taking stock of who was doing what the other day. I came to the BBQ/fountain garden that I thought I knew what I had planted in it. It had originally started with the quarter barrel of golden primroses, a sedum, some vinca I quickly pulled up this spring, then I had added daylilies, encouraged Feverfew, Helenium that returned last year but I see no signs of, this year, tucked in one piece of Bog Sage and then pulled it up but apparently left behind a root because it's back.......tucked in a nice tall Agastache but it died horribly this winter, it's gasps almost audible to me as I allowed it to dry and stand there against the red bricks of the old BBQ pit turned fountain.
Then I had tucked in purple leaf oxalis in a couple of places, tucked creeping Veronica into the corners of the Castlerock retainer blocks I'd lined the bed with, and two pink panda strawberry plants. Around the corner I had put some odds and end's Bearded irises, some unusual Foxgloves, the little blackberry corydalis that not only thrived but has bulked up. Wormwood, the Silver Queen Artemesia has returned, but no sign of the lily I'd tenderly placed at the back of the bed against the bricks of the structure.
Then around the other curve where the broken herb pot houses and protects the Iris Bucharicha that I finally identified but not discovered where or who it came from, and now harbors a pineapple lily and hopefully a hardy Agapanthus. But the huge surprises in this bed after Sugar dug the south side was Japanese irises!! I like to have fallen out! There they were, in georgous splendor,......... blue ones. So lovely I had to take a picture of them and ran back to the nook to retrieve my camera.
My finger had pushed the button to the left and instead of taking a picture, I had taken a 20 second movie of them, with background music of the machinery.
My reviere was broken when I realized that it was a mini movie I'd captured, and as I straightened up, my eyes were drawn to the Western bed where the Christophii allium were not only in full bloom, but were magnificent. Two globes of them at the northern corner, tucked in amongst the tall leaves of the spent narcissus, crammed up and growing thru Autumn ferns that wove thru their hairy, agave like leaves like soft golden fronds.
Tucked tight against them was towering Tradescantia, the deep blue one, and out of delirious spring happiness or summer fertility last year, it had thrown a daughter north eastward and out into the tiny yard just under the bird feeders and against the lattice that is nailed under the deck.
I had placed an old Adirondack chair at the narrow entrance between this bed and the Vitex bed because it was too narrow to walk thru and I'm still tempted to join them somehow, I just haven't decided if I want to. Mainly because the clump of Nancy lamium (dead nettle) has settled in nicely and rewarded me with splaying outwards and then blooming white flowers. It lights up the area under the Vitex quite nicely, and my other random planting was a beefy hosta that squats next to it like some surly Buddha.
My eyes and head are filling up with all sorts of images, but I take them all in. Almost like a drive by fast movie, or spinning wheel, I slow down, letting the sounds surround and wrap around me, noticing empty tan carcasses on everything, and seeing mine and the fairies plantings.
Under the Vitex and helter skelter are dark odd pansies. Brown and purple and blue ones that no one liked at work, I bought two flats of them when they reduced them and for my love and thoughtfullness, they have continued to bloom despite the sudden heat wave and onslaught of early summer.
Next to these pansies, are shoots of toad lilies, two Adenophora's or Ladybells that I transplanted from the western edge of the wisteria bed last year. Hellebore have set seeds and are now turning green bells and the leaves of the many crocus that I tucked under the Hellebore's skirts are melting into the soil.
I see familiar patterns and get on the ground to see closer. Tri-focals are such a pain...........and for my efforts I am rewarded with seeing I must have plugged in a piece of Ajuga. And oh, look, Astilbe ferns are up and out. Around the western edge of this odd shaped bed that houses the Vitex bush is a lily that always blows me away, and I ignore the stalk and focas instead on the irises I've tucked into the edges. Old timey ones. Purple falls and white petals that assault your nose with rich oily grape Nehi smells.
The Pawlonia branches I lined the bed's edges with are holding up nicely, but I have an idea to line this bed with those large retainer stones, one at a time as this bed isn't as deep as my other ones. At least not yet......
I've circled around this bed, and in working my way westward, I come to the side end of the Western bed. It's a mess of plants too. The Lemon verbena has claimed a corner, and last year I tucked a huge clump of Heliopsis Kuggle Sonne into one edge because it threw a healthy strapping daughter outside the front bed into the little island of "yard" last year amongst the Cleome and 4's and vinca and white yarrow. When I lifted it up, the hole it left behind was perfect for the Chinese Almond bush I plunked into it to fill it up.
As I stand looking at the prostrate leaves of narcissus, a magenta pink captures my eye. It's a little shoot of hot pink spiderwort. Outside of this bed that is way too wide, is a concrete urn of my mom's that I plugged a Husker's penstemon. Last year it sulked on me, but this year it's forgiven me and has filled up the urn and has not two but nine bloom spikes. Seeing them, I stop in my tracks and find the watering wand and give it a drink out of gratitude.
The old fashioned lilac was wonderful, but now I see the lowest branches are intent on dropping down and rooting in the flower bed it's so close. Bad decision there, but too late. The lilac has now been there for 9 years and it won't ever be moved. Pruned, maybe, but not moved. It loves it there.........
The Garter grass finally got pissed off and gave up. I loved it and longed for a huge patch of it, but I guess it couldn't compete with the lilac. I hope to find more and plant it somewhere it can grow lush and full and spread.
As my mind races with all this, I am reminded in the backgrounds of my thoughts of these goofy looking Cicada's with their wierd sound of machinery.....there is more................