Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Perfect Day

From almost 10am sharp until 5pm there was a perfectly spaced flow of visitors. There was a chance for them to say hello to people they already knew, to meet new faces and to experience the wild cultivated gardens pretty much on their own.

It was a surprise and a pleasure for me to meet a few of my more anonymous local blog readers

It was a beautifully cool morning with a hint of breeze. The hot held off until three. One brief shower slowed the last guest's venture into the gardens.

The view from above at the start grabbed their attention and lured them in.

I made sure they were hydrated and made most of them eat haupia. Refreshing was the general response.

While I spent my time visiting and orienting people to the layout of the gardens from the cozy cabin, I had a map, word came back from several folks that Bulbarella was out in her garden giving private tours. I saved her some haupia.

It was a perfect day.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Curated Weed Show

My weeds .. er wild flowers are in massive bloom.

It is colorful out there, but it is still two to three weeks away from peak bloom. The asters have yet to arrive.

I considered doing the open garden day on September 17th. I had to wait until then because of commitments to the West Asheville Garden Stroll for the next two weekends. I was too afraid to wait that long though. Outside forces are unpredictable. Last year the Tall Flower Meadow was wrecked by a wicked thunderstorm.

I'm hoping that doesn't happen again this year and visitors are always welcome. The Sisters will be here at the end of October and while that is well past peak bloom, a perky fall meadow is much more interesting than a squashed one.

The fall meadow can actually be quite stunning in an entirely different color palette.

Tomorrow's visitors to my weed show will see the late summer meadow.

I did some minor touch up on the paths and in the fire ring. Can you tell?

It looks much mo betta without that hairball on the Great Lawn. It's Showtime!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

One More Day

Before company comes. All is well.

The weather is looking delightful if just a tad warm, which means it will feel nice and cool to all those valley folk. Chances are slim, but it would be best to avoid entirely any thunder storms. Another round of floppage is to be expected, but please let it wait a couple more days.

A last minute bit of tidy was done burning up the hairball in the fire pit. The hairball detracts from the ambiance. The remnant ring of weeds will get whacked tomorrow.

Somewhere in the wild cultivated gardens is a colorful gate for loose cows.

The tall grasses are looking fine.

In the right light they make magic.

The Tall Flower Meadow is ready. Come.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

And A Cow Plowed Through It

God grant me the serenity to accept the loose cow at the top of my driveway
The courage to chase the damn thing away
And the wisdom, speed and agility to run if I have to.

The disturbances continue. Orange tag.

So I walked back down to the house to call my farmer and when I returned the cow was coming down my driveway. It was me, the cow and a truck blocking its escape route.

Shoo cow. Shoo.

So it plowed right through the roadside vegetable garden. Several tomato cages were dislocated.

But praise be, the finest okra patch I have ever grown was spared.

At dinner this evening Bulbarella says, "I saw a cow walk by my kitchen window this morning."

Oh dear Lord. Did the cow stomp through the garden?

No. It wandered out to the back forty and headed into the forest.

Hmmm? I wonder if the farmer found his cow? Ohmm.

Last night I decided to hire myself out as a gardener to Bulbarella's broken boyfriend. He'll need time for his bones to heal. I designed and planted the bulk of his garden so I know what it needs. It is a much smaller and tidier version of the Tall Flower Meadow planted as a trap to lure in bugs for him to capture, kill and add to his collection.

My bugs are safe. I am also happy to report that the loose cow did not stomp through the Tall Flower Meadow.

I wonder if my farmer found his cow. The last thing I need is a feral cow colony just beyond the back forty making foraging excursions into the gardens.

It has felt all week like I am surrounded by evil forces intent on stomping the Tall Flower Meadow before my open garden day on Saturday. I have been having to put up my shields and fend them all off. After work today I tidied up the mess the tree trimmers left along Bulbarella's driveway. Once I got in there they were down graded to a C for cleanup. I can't fix the stompage.

Let's not mention the weather. So far it has been most cooperative.

It could just be pre-show jitters, but I have done this often enough that I don't really fret over the garden itself. Outside forces are much more concerning.

Right now it looks fabulous and only needs to get through three more days intact.

I will be even happier if it remains intact until the first of November when the tree trimmers return.

Then, God grant me the serenity to accept barbarians in my garden

The courage to supervise and direct the cleanup crew

And the wisdom to restrain my sharp tongue and replace it with kindness.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gaze Upon A Meadow

There is a great disturbance in the equilibrium. It started Monday morning at 6:30 am with some horrendous motorized mechanical noise headed straight towards my house. I thought a plane was about to crash. No, it was the tree trimmers warming up their chipper just down the road.

They have been chopping and dropping all around me as close as they can get without me having a fit. My poor neighbor across the byway. They get a D- for cleanup.

Stare into a blooming meadow. Ohmm. It is safe until November.

I was already unsettled headed to work Monday morning when I was stopped on the byway by a motorcycle/car collision. It was a side swipe crash. Somebody hogged the center line on sharp curve. Not only were the tree trimmers too close for comfort, I had learned over the weekend that a wonderful human being and old friend from my formative years as an adult was in hospice and about to leave due to cancer. Such sad news.

Ohmm. Look into the blooming meadow.

Yesterday the tree trimmers had chopped across the byway where the utility line exits the sunny utility meadow on the neighbors side. They get a C- for cleanup and were forced into that because they couldn't block the highway.

Today I came home and they had chopped up Bulbarella's driveway. Oh crap, crap, crap. Now I have to clean and fluff all this before the open garden day on Saturday. They get a B- for cleanup there. Despite its wild character, it is a private driveway and the freshly mowed paths they used to toss the rubbish from must have indicated the notion of garden. Still, it was a half assed B-. My maintenance gardener self was not pleased.

Gaze upon a meadow. Ohmm.

There are other helpful things that can be done when stressed other than just staring into space. A package arrived in the mail on Monday. I may have ordered some Louisiana Iris, in particular Clyde Redmond. The Black Widow slipped into the order and I got a bonus Tchoupitoulas.
Take your pick of pronunciation.

So I tucked my new iris into the meadow.

The bonus Chop-a-tulip also found a home. I really had no idea where any of them were going when I ordered them. You know how that goes.

If the Loisiana Iris "Black Gamecock' is any indication, the new iris should like it here just fine. They were grown in New York so my cold will feel just fine.

The rotten log iris department was already full with Japanese, Louisiana, the Black bearded iris divisions and a crinum. This may need to be rethought. The log is almost gone and I don't need a line of iris in the middle of the Great Lawn. I just might be forced into making a proper bed for them.

While I was grumbling at dinner about the mess the tree trimmers left, Bulbarella was telling me she had not been able to reach her boyfriend for two days and was concerned about his welfare.


She had been calling every few hours and no one answered and the machine was off. She called one more time after dinner. Ok. Let's go check on your boyfriend.

Gaze upon a blooming meadow.

Oh dear Lord. The man was mowing his lawn and fell off a seven foot high wall on to the driveway below. He broke ribs, a collar bone, maybe some vertebrae and was flown to a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee. Oh dear Lord. Bulbarella's boyfriend is broken.


Those tree trimmers better not come anywhere near me until November now that everything around us is done. It could be dangerous.

Monday, August 22, 2016


When I move slowly and absorb the smallest detail, the rest of the world slips away.

I see the first hint of fall in the changing leaves of a Cornus alternifolia. This morning's cool temperature suggested the same thing.

Late season path mowing is a much easier chore. Time is left over to inspect my work.

Time is left over to move at a snail's pace and to find a crawfish strolling the freshly mowed path. I assisted him into the stream.

When I stand still the life buzzing all around me comes into focus.

There is a feast happening on the Angelica gigas.

Bumblebees in particular park themselves on the cauliflower tops.

At times they seem to become drunk on the nectar.

Immersed in the meadow the world passes me by.

I can truly get lost in the roadside vegetable garden. Bent over while harvesting, I am invisible to the travelers passing by.

The vegetable garden is tucked inside a walled room made of meadow.

Where the tall ironweed grows.

Once you enter, I would suggest moving slowly. Absorb the details. Let the rest of the world slip away.