Monday, August 31, 2015

Some Needed Rain

It was getting a bit dry out there. A few random asters had turned quite crispy. It may have been from lack of water or it may have been from bugs or varmints. In abundance losses are tolerated. I don't have to know exactly what happened.

It rained gently and steadily for several hours last night. It was most welcome.

I'm sure it was even more welcome by all the new plants I have tucked into the meadow of late. I'm not always good about watering things. I have been spoiled by regular and mostly dependable rain.

A dry spell towards the end of summer seems to be a normal event. I have come to expect it. The gardens take it in stride.

It's the precursor to the change. I already feel the change in shorter days and moist cool mornings. It's last call. Bloom now while there is still that last sliver of time.

Along The Scenic Byway

If I remember my original intent correctly, it was to have more flowers and less grass. Time has given me more grass and less flowers.

I had some notion that the Miscanthus 'Morning Light' was a bit more petite than it has proven to be. The last two years I have removed whole clumps and cut others in half. I still have more grass and less flowers.

At least I have grass and flowers as I intended. The quantities are just reversed. I can live with that. It works just fine. The garden and the gardener have moved on to new ground since this was planted many years ago.

The gardener has more interest in changing the hedgerow of goldenrod that separates the roadside vegetable garden from the scenic byway into a planting with a much more extended bloom cycle. There have been a couple of half hearted attempts at that. I need to get ruthless.

The new helenium is looking good. If it has half the vigor of the wild kind, it should compete with the Lush just fine and make a nice addition out along the scenic byway.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Interactive Visible Art Piece

I don't always know exactly what is going to happen in the garden. The best way to find out many times is to just do it. If it's not set in concrete it won't be hard to undo. If it is in concrete, and a concrete notion has been running through my head for years, then it will just be a little harder to undo.

I brought home a dingy grey, tiled table top, spray painted it gold and planted it in the garden. I liked it. On its very first morning in the garden the sun began to play with it.

I had no idea this would happen when I decided where to place it. I like it. This will change with the seasons of course. That is all part of the charm. What will it do the rest of the year?

I never know exactly what is going to happen in the wild cultivated gardens. There are too many variables and too many things that like to wander about.

The only semblance of control I maintain are the mowed paths and open space. Even there I don't get to decide what covers the ground and how wide they will be over the course of the time of vegetation. The vegetation has a mind of its own.

I lurk in there absorbing clues. Can I, should I, attempt to push this item in another trajectory. I can only push.

My partner in this dance has to be willing to bend towards a new flow.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Interactive Invisible Art

Can you see it? I woke up this morning and the new invisible art piece was interacting.

Now can you see it? Frost is even more interesting.


Then at work today the whims of the art gods intervened in my concerns for the birds. A collapsed and busted table I had been avoiding, it's not my job, was still sitting exactly where it fell apart weeks ago. Fine, I will move it out of the way.

The moment I touched it, it had a purpose. Invisible art is made visible.

I also acquired a companion for the interactive invisible art piece.

This was a dingy grey tiled table top. A little gold spray paint and it was ready to go.

The Great Lawn is becoming a real entertainment destination. S'mores anyone?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Big Bugs

It was big and slow in a humming mass of activity. Well that is the biggest bumblebee I have ever seen. I should have known better. I looked it up and it is a carpenter bee. Damn bug. I have a forest full of untreated dead wood and they are drilling holes in the main beams of the front porch.

If you ever move to NC do not, I repeat, do not build a log cabin. That is prime carpenter bee habitat. Cement siding is the way to go.

Plant it, edit for wild flowers and they will come. It is interesting that there are times of a tumultuous vibration of a myriad of creatures and at other times there is almost complete silence when nobody's there.

I walk through a meadow and bugs fall off the plants and crawl on me. Seeds attach themselves. All kinds of fluff sticks and clings. I have to brush myself off when I enter an open space. There is nothing new about that. I am a gardener by trade. This time of year it just seems so many things are looking to hitch a ride.

Wider paths would solve that little problem if I managed to stay on them, but in some places there is no room for that.

This time of year all that activity is at shoulder level and above. I lean in to pull a weed and come back out with burrs in my hair.

I'm good with all that. The trade off in beauty is worth it. My red line is thorns. Gardy will not be scratched and maimed in his own garden.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Coffee in hand, I went for a slow walk this morning to see where I might plant my half dozen new Red Yuccas.

I had envisioned the winter under garden and had a good notion where they would fit in, have full sun and super well drained soil.

It just took me a while to get there.

Can you see it?

I knew if I was patient she would eventually part with it. We all know what happens to stuff that is to good to throw away and ends up stored under the house because you might need it one day. It gets forgotten until one day you decide to clean up and throw out all the junk under the house.

The first time I asked was at least two years ago. This time the answer was yes. Now there are two invisible art pieces.

I'll need to watch it cause the birds. If they have troubles I will try to find a way to etch or paint an image on the glass. The other invisible art piece has been fine with the birds since it is placed next to the grasses and is only fully exposed about a month out of the year.

I didn't want to wait until November when the under garden would start to reappear. It would be much better for the Red Yuccas, Hesperaloe parviflora 'Perpa' to have more time to gets some roots in the ground before winter sets in.

I set them in the ground this afternoon after the invisible art piece was placed. I'm kind of excited to see the under garden this year. I have planted quite a bit to improve it since last winter.

But that will have to wait.

The Tall Flower Meadow is not anywhere near done.

Now I wait for the asters, particularly the Blue Wood Aster.

I don't want to leave home in the morning. It will be many years before that is a viable option at this time of year.

Monday, August 24, 2015


The grasses will bloom and add their stature to the Tall Flower Meadow when it is their time.

There is enough to keep me occupied until then.

One small section of the meadow is probably at peak bloom now.

The middle is gaining more color by the day

There is much yet to come as the bloom sweeps north across the meadow. I am more patient with it now that the big end of season show is well under way.

I knew if I was patient they would eventually end up on the discard rack. No one in North Carolina was going to buy those ugly spiky cactus looking things. I would. I waited. Today they were marked down from $15 to $5. I bought six.

Now where will I plant these Hesperaloe parviflora 'Perpa'? The Monrovia tag says zone 5. The internet is disagreeing and saying zone 7 to zone 5. I'm willing to find out just how hardy they are because they should be evergreen and become part of the winter under garden of a low mounding tapestry of texture and color. Plus they have tall bloom spikes of red in the summer that the hummingbirds should enjoy.

It's hard to plant things in the Lush when it is nearing full bloom. These new plants may need to sit in their pots for a spell while I ponder just where to put them. It would help if I could see the under garden. That won't be until November.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I did it.

A little rain helped.

A nap was involved.

Strolling happened.

Less than a half dozen weeds were pulled.

What could be better than having nothing to do in a garden.