rains, settling into city life, better late than never spring garden, and a new granddaughter!!!!

Good day to my friends over the fence.......madgardener (maddie) here. Just throwing out a quick ramble as catch up for those of you who like reading me rambles. Settling into city life here in the green bowl, we've had some nourishing rains and are about to get some more. I welcome rains always, especially since we had such a severe drought last year that still affects us despite the rains we've been receiving lately. James and I (mostly James as he likes doing garden work and does it wonderfully) have removed some sod from the western side of the back yard near the fence and I've tucked in some heirloom tomato plants and two yellow cow horn peppers. We'll plan out another location for the beans and okra very soon, and there is already a working compost pile in the southeastern corner of the upper yard. As soon as I locate the screws to the new composter that are somewhere.........(anyone know how that goes when you pack something carefully??) there will be a second composter to use, which is black and I can transfer the older stuff into. I'm going to enjoy living in the city because I'm a hopeless scrounge of leaves and grass clippings. A lot of the people around here don't treat their lawns and so the grass clippings are safe. I've made one run to Karol's house to get some of my beloved container gardens and some pots of things. It's hard when there are so many to bring back and room is at a limited amount. But knowing how intense and how much direct sunlight there is, I gravitated towards the sedums, succulents and larger containers. But not wanting to miss out on the nine barks, I snagged the 'Diablo' in the pot, the container with the new one, Coppertina I think it is, and she'd been planted up in Juno irises which I'd missed blooming.........never mind, there will be next year. But now, this young ninebark is setting buds and I'm thrilled to see how beautiful they turn out. I won't be planting her in this yard, though. Anything planted here would either have to be lifted or left when we move in a year, if we do. Lots of variables here, not enough time to discuss them. I have bean seeds and okra to plant soon, since the temperatures promise that we're firmly into spring and careening towards summer.......we still ain't had our "blackberry winter" yet though. I have planted Mr. Stripey, Old Homestead, and German pink heirloom tomato's, and we've decided for now on two plants of yellow cowhorn, but I'll purchase some jalapeno and maybe one plant of cayenne for James to knosch on away from the sweet horns. I also will eventually find my squash seeds and plant all of them, and hopefully James will find the spot for the Rhubarb I got him. Not enough time to get some strawberry plants, and it's so tempting to get golden raspberry canes........I'd rather have boysenberry but it's not easy to find them now. I have two more loads of house plants to retrieve at Gloria's house, one trip today for the larger ones. "Brenda" my 150 pound Cerius cactus will have to be on the last trip. I might have to break her arms moving her in the station wagon. She moved quite nicely in my van, but I no longer have it. Most of the houseplants I've noticed are of prickly varieties and succulent, so they've been deligated to the steamy back porch off the kitchen and put upon the thankfully wide window sills. The front porch has received my porch swing and she looks at home and needs a new coat of paint tp spruce her up with. The corner plant stands have found a home on this old fashioned front porch that is more than ample. I've already put the vining split leaf philodendrum on it and repotted the surviving bushy split leaf phil in an old heavy duty clay pot on the northeastern corner of the porch behind the swing. I moved the African Blood lily outside today and put her in the western corner of the porch to enjoy the direct sunlight and gave her a good soaking. The last huge blood red flowers that resemble allium flowers is starting to wind down, and now I regret I didn't set it outside sooner to possibly get pollinated. The leaves are neat though, the base of them are speckled red like the shoots of the flowerstalks. Next I will relocate the African lily to the front to enjoy the heat and sunlight. (I'll remember the proper name when I've logged off the library computer). One cactus is trying to bud for me, and I can't wait to see her colors. I do need to find a better place for my Vanda jewel orchid though, it doesn't like the eastern and harsh indirect south and western sun of the back porch. I'm champing at the bit though to go back to Karol's and retrieve at least the glazed container gardens and all my faeries and gnomes and my double wheeled garden cart. I desperately need it right now! I could also use my bird baths as I see if they were set up in two places I'd have more varieties of birds than what I have right now. And as I sow seeds that Helen and whomever else sends to me for flowers, I'll have more than enough flutterbyes and maybe more varieties of flying dinosaurs. I'll take seeds to anything that reseeds with abandon, including 4' oclocks, Lab Lab vine, (I have perfect places for vines around the front porch! not to mention the fencing around the back yard). Gloria who lives close by has given me Cardinal vine seeds and I'm sowing them in little pots to ensure their germinations. Still doing a rain dance though, and hopefully I'll have more news to report to my gardening friends and updates on successfully job locations and tomato's and beans and flower babies. Once I figure out how to use the stick successfully, I'll send pictures of flowers and what not. Now..............I am the proud grandmama of a beautiful little flower that popped out April 29th at 2:40 p.m. not 15 miles away from me. Her name is Khylan Adhira and she is my youngest son, Damon and his beautiful lady, Renae's newest daughter and addition to our family. I couldn't hold back any longer and went to see her on her second day. She is her own self absolutely despite that she has strong resemblences to her dad and her mom's features as well as to her older siblings. Adhira has an older brother who is almost 15, and a beautiful sister that is 10 who will guide and teach her as she grows and thrives. I will now have something I've been denied for sixteen years now. His two older daughters live in New Orleans and I've not had the priviledge to know them like they deserved, nor they to their maternal granny up in Tennessee. I will keep all of my friends posted and will holler back soon. Keep me posted on your own gardens as I miss hearing from you all. I still care and want to know! I'd love snail mail as well, and there are those of you who have my new address and those who want it can yell back at me on my e-mail address and I'll send it to you. My love to you all and thanks for letting me share some of my rambles with you.
maddie up in the greene bowl, surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest, gardening in zone 6b- 7a in Greeneville, Tennessee in the historical part of town........
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