Friday, June 30, 2023


There was a timid spurt of energy that started last weekend. I wandered out in the garden to do whatever got done. I wasn't sure what was actually possible.

The first day went well, an hours long, slow walk with some light editing. On the second day I picked up the weed eater.

There was a mowing. The timid spurt of energy was used up. It hasn't helped that I have been to the dentist twice to have two sharp bone spurs that were piercing my gums polished off my lower jaw. They were starting an infection that was noted early in all of the blood that has been sucked out of me. The garden looks better.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Flowers Draw Me In

I can see them from a distance. A lush green meadow sprinkled with ever more flowers as summertime begins. White and yellow are the dominant colors for now.

The Persicaria polymorpha has reached blooming height. The Stewartia pseudocamellia is having its most flowers ever. Many springs the latent flower buds get frozen. I should go have a closer look. All the flowers don't show up as well in pictures taken from afar.

Iris ensata, the Japanese iris is the last iris to bloom. That makes it a more reliable bloomer in a high elevation garden.

Clyde Redmond, the Louisiana iris hangs in there. I think they need more elbow room to be happy than I have been able to give them. Still, the Louisiana iris are the second best iris blooming in my garden. Clyde liked Maui better.

Out in the sunshine of the roadside vegetable garden, the feral parsnips are in bloom.

Parsnips will self-sow in abundance if you let them. So will a lot of other weed flowers. The vegetable garden is on light duty this year, so all the flowers can be let be.

The sky blue of chicory heralds a change of the seasons and adds to a growing floral abundance.

I am hoping the Baptisia alba will set seed. I want to plant more.

Hydrangea arborescens 'Haas Halo' gets ready to bloom high on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top. The flowers draw me outside.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Bring Me The Voodoo

I was determined to get the water turned on in the roadside vegetable garden last week. I just had to convince myself I had the necessary energy to do it. It is a struggle. Things are getting fuzzy in my absence.

While I was getting a waterline back up and running, the six pots of voodoo lilies landed in my truck. Why shouldn't they spend the summer with me? It could be the last. I made sure they were out of winter storage and on the deck at the house next door before the sickness grabbed hold. That made getting them in the truck easier to imagine.

Voodoo Lilies are a summer, June, bulbs. On the first day of summer, they have yet to awaken, a touch late by habit. I didn't miss a thing. That is how cool it has been the last three months on the mountain top. Heat changes everything in the garden. I'm still waiting. I have tomato, peppers and voodoo to grow.

I have collected plants and shiny trinkets to display all my life. Talismans of people and places. Doors to other worlds. The Curio Cabinet of life in a biological world.

Summer is here. I have two more chemo treatments in this first round of treatment. Then it will be time to assess and decide what is next.

What is next? The forces are stirring. It is going to take some voodoo to get me out of this mess. The maintenance gardener would be happy with some light summer mowing. A touch of order is always nice. A bountiful blooming meadow grows on and draws me in no matter.

Bring me the voodoo. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2023


The maintenance gardener has been very forgiving of wild meadows set completely free to compete. So far. It helps that nature puts on an excellent show with or without a mowed element of order. Baby steps back into the garden have begun as my breathing returns.

The matching rose on the other side of the driveway suffered major winter kill from the Christmas time polar freeze. The Fargesia clumping bamboo, cotoneaster and camellia all suffered major die back as well. Life on the mountain top is tested.

And it is tested by abundance and competition for survival, in exuberant chaos.

I planted this seed grown Baptisia alba about five years ago. This is the biggest it has ever gotten, the showiest bloom I have yet to see. 


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Welcome To The Lush

I have truly enjoyed watching the garden grow into the green Lush of being in the view from above on my front porch. So much of what I have planted over the years has grown in size and substance to be identifiable from a distance. That enjoyment will have to help soothe the maintenance gardener who is itching to spend time in the garden.

My breathing is a touch better which means I am sleeping less and moving more. It will take some time to regain some strength and balance to where I could wander out there and pull a few weeds.

The time for the Great Lawn and path mowing is also here. That is another matter entirely for the maintenance gardener. It is currently not possible.

As it should, the garden blooms on without me. 

In the land where the Black Iris blooms.