Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Lesson In Signs

After work work there was time for a little water meditation and a few other small chores in the roadside vegetable garden. It was nice after a hot day to be up high on the low spot where it was a good 10 degrees cooler.

One of my local neighbors - so local his family name is still seen on old and abandoned buildings in the upper reaches of Spring Creek - stopped to say hi. And by stopped I mean he turned off his car, left it in right there in the middle of the scenic byway and got out to talk story. They'll figure it out he said.

The subject of vegetables came up rather naturally, so I said come on in. You can see it better from inside.

Well I'll be darned. Look at all this. Everything looks good and no disease. What do you feed them with?

Just wood chips for mulch and cow or chicken manure at planting.

And when do you till?

I don't. That's what God made earthworms for. The only tilling that gets done is when I dig for taters - and rocks - and I move those rows every year.

The sunflowers? They just come up on their own now and I thin them out. Not enough obviously.

Sugar snap peas and strawberries were sampled. Advice was delivered. Questions asked. Then I learned about the signs.

The creator put the moon up there for a purpose. I plant by the signs.

What followed was an example filled lesson in the knowledge the ancestors of these hills used in many of their activities from digging post holes to killing weeds to when to plant root crops, berries, fruits or even plant a lawn versus a hay field. Each had an optimum aspect in the first second or third quarter and the right productive sign in the cycle for best results. There was a right time to begin things and a right time to end things. It was all determined by the signs.

Yes there really is a vegetable garden in here. You just have to come inside to see it. But it was the sunflowers that encouraged him to stop.

I had seen other signs in the roadside vegetable garden yesterday. Big shoe prints right through a newly seeded row. Those feet were too big for Bulbarella. Who had been in the roadside vegetable garden? The prints led straight to a sunflower and right back out they way they came through the middle of my newly seeded row. Other than the shoe prints nothing looked disturbed. Was it a picture taker?

It seems so strange that with all the different kinds of flowers in this particular spot on the scenic byway, it is the common ordinary sunflowers that seem to have the most magnetic draw.

Uncle Ernie wasn't talking so I could only guess what a big footed person was doing in my roadside vegetable garden. Once you come inside it is obvious this isn't just an extraordinary patch of weeds. You are in someone's garden. The mailbox, driveway and cozy cabin nearby are additional signs that you just might be in someone's front yard.

Then I looked closer. The big footed person had actually been cutting sunflowers to go. There were signs. The multi stemmed sunflowers had several of the side flowers cleanly cut off with a sharp instrument. The big footed person was a flower thief.

It seems so strange that with all the different kinds of flowers in this particular spot on the scenic byway, it is the common ordinary sunflowers that seem to have the most magnetic draw.

If there's one thing I got it is abundance. I can only be so annoyed if Bubba Earl needed a few sunflowers for a special occasion. The signs showed this was a judicious selection and not a grab fest. Care was taken not to step on the visible vegetable plants and to make the pilferage nearly invisible.

Time will only lead to more abundance. The attractive nuisance I maintain along the scenic byway can only get worse. The Ratibida columnifera I seeded in the spring is joining the exuberant chaos that I call a garden. Perhaps it is understandable that without a lawn and horribly shaped shrubberies people are confused into thinking this is a wild place.

Maybe I need to put up a sign.


Lola said...

Strange things do happen. But someone knew what was there. Not heeding the fact that they were on someone's property.
Those sun flowers are spectacular. A magnet of sorts. Maybe for seed but not ready I assume.
Signs do help to a certain degree as they could protect you. Do be careful.I learned the hard way.

sallysmom said...

I bought Mexican hat for the first time this spring. I potted it on into a larger pot because I couldn't find a good place to plant it at the time. Well, the extreme heat set in and it stayed on the patio in the pot. It is in full sun and laying over, but loaded with blooms. Does yours stand up?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Signage is good for those to pause long enough to read.

Siria said...

It amazes me that some people can be so rude. I'm not sure if someone that is willing to come onto your prpperty and cut sunflowers in what is obviously someone's treasured garden will respect a sign. Remember the sign on the old house on Upper Crabtree Road that you posted in one of your posts? Anyways, your pictures say it all. The roadside vegetable garden is absolutely incredible! It gets better and better each year! I can't believe it is the same place I walked through back in April. Amazing! It looks like there is a little bit of room to expand over by Uncle Ernie. Those sunflowers are absolutly gorgeous ~ I'm jealous! :)

Christopher C. NC said...

Lola it is way to soon for seeds. What did you learn the hard way?

Sallysmom so far my Mexican hats are standing up. They are a bit spindly from the competition, but that same lush is holding them up. As perennials I hope weeding and time will help them fill out.

Lisa I think reading and thinking have to work in tandem.

Siria I can't be mad for too long it takes too much energy. I know I set aside some seed heads for you last year. They just never got to you. We'll try again this year.

lh said...

Well, at least the thief didn’t tromp on the other rows. It always hurts when something other than weather steals from the garden. Small consolation, I suppose, but maybe -- in the exuberant growth of sunflowers -- it was not a great loss? I certainly hope so. Up here in urban central Ohio, closeby a woods, the vandals are raccoons, groundhogs, and deer. They are so sneaky that they leave no footprints to betray their identity. The clues are more elusive.
Lois, Zone 5

Christopher C. NC said...

Lois it took a very keen eye to even notice the loss of the sunflowers. Now I don't always see tracks, but the raccoons strawberry and sweet corn tax is always apparent.