This past weekend my better half and I went on a journey to visit the out of town offspring at their respective abodes. We had missed the family gathering at Easter, due to illness on my part. There was no family gathering of our clan, in fact, although in law visitations occurred. The journey’s trail forms the magic triangle, Knoxville, Asheville, Kingsport and back. Each home and garden is unique and offers wonders that only they can provide. We start out at Brokenbeat’s in Asheville, where the spirits are strong. They speak to us in the way of wine residue at the bottom of glasses. We are not sure of the exact interpretation of this message, but believe it to be, ‘Good Wishes for All’.
On the agenda in Asheville was the purchase of a tree to celebrate their three married years together. Lots of lovely living things were ogled, and this coral bark Japanese maple , Acer Palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’, was found sitting dejectedly by itself leaning against a pole. Upon questioning about the price, it was found to be offered for half price. “We’ll take it!”, we nearly shouted. Promptly planted with daffodils at its feet, it looks to be happy in its new home.
Next stop, Chickenpoet’s place in upper east Tennessee, somewhat of a menagerie. She is a chicken farmer, and poet, extraordinaire. This is Duke, the rooster of her brood, and he keeps the hens happy. Handsome chap, isn’t he?
While we were stomping around the wire and netting covered home of the chickens in our boots, it had rained and it was on the mucky side in there, Macy was chattering at us incessantly. A tiny thing, she wanted special attention and was making quite a fuss about it. She will ride around on your shoulder to help survey the area.
Hermoine was doing her self appointed duty of sitting on any and all eggs that get laid in this cat carrier/ nesting box. She is fluffy and can spread herself quite wide to cover the eggs, moving them under her feathers with her beak. She sort of didn’t quite get this one all the way under.
Also in the chicken coop, the nursery holding thirty one chicks with a heat light and lots of companionship. Notice the one in the cinder block peeking out.
Wrapping up the tour at the closest home to ours is offspring Semi, in Knoxville. She had gotten the flu from me and was too sick to make the triangle tour. Missed but not forgotten, she will join us another time. Her flower bloom time is similar to ours at home, she is an hour north of us and her daffs were showing off. She is a member of bulbs anonymous with me, we place our orders in combination oftentimes. I am a better record keeper about the names than she, so we find a lot of unknowns and no ideas in her flower beds.
She has the greenest of thumbs and has luck where I have failures lots of the time. Her garden has more flat areas and she has a pick up truck to haul the precious mushroom compost from the local mushroom grower not far from her home back to the beds. The truck can back up right to the planting areas and be shoveled into place, haphazardly by my standards, but the plants don’t seem to mind the variations in depth of mulch and grow happily for her.
Her climbing rose, Moonlight, has been home each year to multiple nestings, usually robins, one time a mockingbird. But this year Mrs. Mourning Dove thought the rotting trellis made of old privet branches along with the rose canes and some clematis would make a happy and safe home for her babies. The eggs are laid and she sits patiently while there is chaotic gardening going on around her. Flu stops some things but a little gardening can always be done. Her hatchlings will be greeted by a garden of random delights, a product of the Semi School of Gardening. We do not question this method anymore, for the results are proof of its power and rightness.