Since I last wrote to you, I had promised that I would catch everyone up on
who was blooming, and just general fairy going's on. I had a goodly piece
started when we had a squirrel fart and the power blinked out and everything
I'd had just sitting there for final send off was wiped in the blink of an
eye. No back up, just whoosh, it was history.
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
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
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
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
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
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................