Friday, May 31, 2019

On A Late Evening Stroll

There is not much time left between dark and bedtime or many brain cells left either. That is causing an accumulating pile of draft posts that never get published because I run out of steam.

Yes, this is what I had in mind all those years ago when I planted a Kousa Dogwood stick off the south facing front porch.

There was way too much on my mind while attempting to meld a garden into the Lush. The results are often sublime.

The Great Lawn keeps pulling me down. It is always the cool spot on a hot day.

I've been spending a lot of time up top along the scenic byway. People are starting to wave at me.

Fresh mulch plus water makes the earthworms rise which equals some damn varmint trying to dig up and eat every last one of them in the freshly planted roadside vegetable garden. Damn varmints! No matter. There will be some fine produce.

A select few plants were saved and two kind purple/blue fall blooming asters were planted in bulk.

The newly mulched, near unheard of in these parts, roadside flower bed is just meant to give the asters a good running start. I know full well the feral will return all too soon.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Turd Blossomed

And the waters abruptly stopped.

It has not rained a drop in about two weeks. Hot and dry. Hot. Well drained soils are the norm here and I have a freshly planted wedding cake that needs water to properly rise.

That dry lead to me investigating the gurgling wet spot emanating from Turd Blossom Lake. I'll just go with water coming from the top of the effluent side of the tank and no visible outflow through the peephole/vent is not a good thing. And the screw top lid is stuck.


It was a day of plumbing problems on my one day off of a three day holiday weekend. The turd blossoming was just the worst of them. The plumbing problems would just have to wait.

I had other chores planned. I did not have plumbing chores planned. I planned to finish Uncle Ernie's new do for the holiday rattlers.

I planned to plant tomatoes. Peppers have been planted since. Cucurbits, melons and squash have been seeded into starting trays.

It was the beginning of a freshly planted roadside vegetable garden. But there was no water. That was one of the plumbing problems.

The ground was hard and dry. The waters stopped weeks ago when I started planting things hither and yon. It was Hot. Uncle Ernie had to wait until he was covered by the shadow of the mountain near eight o'clock before I could finish his makeover.

The waters will flow again.

I imagined the tool that would be needed to unscrew a stuck lid and it opened after a bruising confrontation. The clogged drain line was cleaned. The waters flowed and Turd Blossom Lake began to recede. The lesson here is it is time to get the tank pumped. Doh!

But when will it rain? Just because I have water in the roadside vegetable garden now does not mean I want to have to water it. Floods and droughts, which will it be?

Trinkets will help.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Let Them Eat Fine Produce

I promised myself I would reclaim the roadside vegetable garden from its feral status this year. I went ahead and redid the front bed too.

I nuked it twice with that evil weed killer. I dug a lot of ironweed. It does not transplant well at all.

Turning the soil would only invite the feral to return.

I'm repainting Uncle Ernie. It's time.

There will be mulch. No turning. No plowing.

Then I will plant things. Some fine produce will happen.

It's a big refresh of my whole roadside. It was time.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Let Them Eat Cake

I am personally very fond of cake.

I think everybody should have some cake.

So when these old stone walls were finally unburied at The Inn at Tranquility Farm. a wedding event venue,
Of course I saw a cake.

The Wedding Cake garden is 90% complete.

To get to the cake you have to cross the Almighty Falls.

A good cake is worth some effort.

The new plantings on the house side slope of the Almighty falls is in its second spring. A huge Black Walnut tree was rolled over it the first spring. So help me God.

From the rhododendron

To the far side of a wedding cake

With the Almighty Falls between
Is an entirely new landscape that also includes the grounds around the Inn and the dancehall that were planted by me. Not a bad garden to inhabit towards the end of a long time peasant gardener's career.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

After Mowing

The birds nesting in the rafters of the front porch roof think this metal flower by the front steps is a perfect lookout and landing station. It's somebody new this year. I had wrens in the rafters the two years before this.

The garden is bursting with life these days and the time for the first garden defining meadow mowing had arrived.

I don't have a lawn mower.

I have a weed whacker.

I don't whack the weeds though. I whack a path through them.

The shrinking Great Lawn is the biggest open space.

It was time. The Rider on the Lawn was about to disappear.

The first mowing completely changes the character of the garden.

The plants have changed too.

The first mowing is the official end of spring.

The 80 degree temps we have been having this week hinted that as well.

I wander freshly mowed paths.

Seeing that color blue I imagined a decade ago.

Oh yes, I remember the Goldenrod reduction plan. Time to edit.

I wander ever so slowly at the end of the day. Pulling. My entire walking apparatus is exhausted after climbing mountains all day.

I wander in, pulled by a garden in a brand new character. I edit. I sit. I ponder an aging walking apparatus.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Things Grow

I lived in a small house at the bottom of the drive for the last sixteen years that I lived in Maui. I have lived here in Hale Mana now for eight. It took four years both times to settle down to the bottom of the drive. Miss Collar is eleven years old. Button is seven. Miss Collar is pretty much a twenty four hour house cat that was born in the wild. Button still kills varmints.

Things grow. Small saplings and tiny seedlings grow into trees.

Vines cover a trellis.

And you wonder, has this honeysuckle ever bloomed this profusely?

The rhododendron bloomed two weeks early and The Lush seems mighty tall for this time of the year.

Profuse bloom is not a given. There are on and off years. I am convinced a great many iris specie are not as bloom hardy as they are plant hardy. Off years always seem to coincide with a hurtful spring freeze after they have begun to stir.

Which isn't really a problem because something is always having a big time On year.

The Lush will not be stopped in any case.

The Solomon's Plume is more reliable. I think it is an elevation adaptation thing.

That is just one factor that makes knowing what plants will truly thrive up here unknowable.

There have been some odd poor performers. Baptisia refuses to thrive here no matter where I put it. I think it is a competition thing.

No matter, things grow and the time for the first mowing of the Great Lawn was here.