Yo, look up! Manny Mantid here. I sure hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas ever. I know I did. We have had a change of address, you see. (There’s that royal we again, it is contagious or something). While we have been hanging around the Fairegarden in three different locations, northeast Tennessee, Texas and now southeast Tennessee, it is only this year that we were anointed as Guardian Of The Garden by the ruling monarch, we all know who Her Weness is. We always were on guard against…. well anything bad that might happen, but being placed on this perch atop the blue bottle tree made it official. I even got my own guest post, feel free to read it by clicking here-Guessing Game-A Guest Post.
Enough history. The important thing is that our copper piping poles were uprooted, glass bottles removed first of course and the whole shebang reassembled at the corner of the shed, the highest point in the entire garden! Good thing I have no fear of heights, as opposed to others around here who will not be named. There were several reasons for this move, besides a better vantage point for constant scanning.
Here is my old home, at the end of the veggie bed between the Gold Mops Chamaecyparis and the Arborvitae hedges. I liked it there, but there was a small, teensy tinsy problem with that spot. A small fig tree had originally been planted in the rock walled circle. The tree was given up for dead when it did not leaf out this spring and my bottle tree outpost was planted right in the same spot as the deceased tree. I guess it was just resting because soon after my copper home went in the fig decided to come back to life. I would have been glad to share the space and even give extra protection from frosty winds and chewing critters to the little tree. That would have worked out well for all concerned. But there was another issue with that piece of land. It was on a slope and the weight of the poles and bottles wanted to move my home forward and sideways. The winds would blow me towards the west and Her Weness had tried many ways to keep me straight, to no avail. I am now secured to the shed and even get to have my feet resting on the roof for better stability. It was hard to be on the lookout while swinging in the air. The above image is my attempt at artsy endeavors to show the wire cage filled with leaves surrounding the fig tree in hopes of helping him last through the winter weather. I really think that my skill with the computer pen thingey is far superior to the copycatter Jackson Pollack work of Her. And taking into consideration that my hands are forever in the praying position, well, I am proud of the work, blue to match my bottles with some decorative touches. The pink arrows show the path to my new home, in case any of you wish to visit. The welcome mat is out, 24/7.
Here is the long view. I am pleased to see the copper rain chain we won from Dee’s at Red Dirt Ramblings on the other end of the shed, a good tie in with my own coppery self and the copper poles, screen and wires. Now someone needs to paint the rest of that window frame blue on the inside. Ahem. Someone needs to get off the lazyboy and stop fooling around on the laptop. Someone….
Thank you very much, Manny. That will be all for now. Your suggestions will be taken under advisement. Besides moving the bottle tree, the state of the knot garden has been given some extra study. The tripods in each quadrant put in for some vertical interest and to support the tall Chinese trumpet lilies planted in each center will be getting more permanent metal rebar poles with terracotta toppers that are on order. More will be written about them when that project is completed. In addition, while perusing books, magazines and blogs for inspiration, it has been decided that more Asian influences need to be added to the zen garden at the end of the knot garden. Evergreens cloud pruned, bonsai, mossy rock paths, serenity now are on the agenda for the coming year. The small zen garden was made last summer, read that story here-Rock My World-A Zen Garden. It needs some more work. Do you see the foo dog smiling at us from between the boxwood hedge? Maybe he will strike up a friendship with Manny, for he too is a guardian, of the white tree peony. The water in the granite koi bowl is frozen solid right now, not so good for the meditative experience. The bonsai blue container with the Goldcrest Cypress might need to be moved to warmer quarters, for the coldest days are still ahead. But the dream of a more zenful zen garden will keep the brain waves warm with a smile of what could be.
While the countdown to spring continues, thoughts about gardening turn indoors, to the greenhouse/sunroom where another of the beloved Paph orchids has opened. This is Paphiopedilum Holdenii x P. Almenii.
There were three buds on this plant, the most at the same time to ever develop. Many of the orchids were left outside to suffer a near cryogenic suspension of life when the weather turned cold. The Paphs and Catts were the only lucky ones to come inside the greenhouse. Room inside the greenhouse is at a premium and only the favorite orchids are allowed. The addiction to orchids has been lessening over the years as our attention turns to yet another type of gardening, at present it is seed starting under grow lights. The paphs are small plants with attractive leaves and very easy to rebloom. Those blooms are other wordly and long lasting, several months in the rarefied conditions of the greenhouse. Three more plants are sporting flower buds while two plants are blooming outright. That should keep us happy until the first bulbs bloom outdoors.
When the sun shines, the siren call of the garden brings us out of doors. There are tasks that need doing before those bulbs are up enough to be damaged by muck booted tootsies tromping around the beds while cutting down grasses and spent perennial stalks. The muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris is still standing though it is more champagne than pink now. Soon it will be buzzed to the ground to allow the bulbs interplanted there to see the sun. A new beginning for a new year.
We thank Santa Monica, the garden faerie for the idea of Mish Mash Mondays.