First thing every morning upon waking, we schlep into the kitchen to prepare coffee. Really, my eyes and brain cannot function until the caffeine hits the gullet. Standing over the sink, filling the one quart glass Pyrex container with water, looking through the window we see the beginning of daylight peeking up through the neighbor’s trees. It is red, hot and angry looking. Scary, actually.
Going outdoors to take a long, thirsty look at the garden after being away from it for several days, it is noted that the ambient temperature outside is already much warmer than inside the house. That is unusual for this time of year, and somewhat alarming. Scary, actually. Rather than a quick peruse, it seems best to go back and get the camera, now. Already our body must be used to provide enough shade to capture the pulsing buds of the Eryngium yuccifolium as it climbs skyward. The light is too bright, even at the crack of dawn.
Just to the right is the shed bed, situated in such a way as to not allow for body shadow photographic trickiness. The self sown mix of Eryngium alpinums are also budding up, being helped to stand upright by a group of small metal container trellises. In previous years, bamboo and metal stakes were used to help the floppy steel blue stars of the summer garden. These black metal bits are much more attractive and easier to use around the garden whenever someone needs a lift. They were more of an investment, but will last long and do look more elegant. More are needed, naturally, but more were spied at the big box store yesterday, a good supply. Actually.
As we begin to feel a little dewy, perspiration causing our eyeglasses to start slipping downward as knees and head are bent to inspect this and that flower and bud, it seems best to quicken the pace. Heading back towards the house from the top of the property where the knot garden and shed reside, we take the less steep path that goes by the Heather Bed. This garden used to be mostly filled with various heaths and heathers but was given a redo a couple of years ago. The name remains the same. Astilbe chinensis ‘Pink Visions’ has been spread thickly and is coming into frothy flower. This is an example of how a closely planted mass of a single cultivar can make an impact. No shock collar needed for this planting to remind us to plant in such a way. For a change.
Over on the Eastern edge of our property, marked by the arbor, it appears steam is rising as the sunlight is turning into an Easy-Bake Oven. We had better put it into high gear here. Across the path from the Heather Bed is the Yellow/White bed, home to a few other colors for good measure. The gigantic glaucous leaves of Rudbeckia maxima are like flags on the stems, reaching nearly to the top of the old metal clothesline post that was inherited with the house next door that was torn down to build the garage. There are buds, poorly circled for better viewing. I had gotten fairly adept at the pen feature in my photo program on my other laptop, before it croaked. This new one has a different touch and we are still on the learning curve with it. My new Mother’s Day sculpture in the right background never fails to bring a smile. It is entitled Let It Rain. Quite appropriate, wouldn’t you agree?
Have I mentioned the temperature that greeted us upon our return from an enjoyable trip to Canada, one where the wool felted coat bought in England last year was worn every day? Mid nineties to upper nineties, a new record high every day, to continue for the foreseeable future with a very small chance of pop up showers. The poor garden, and gardener. Planting new purchases, dividing existing plantings must be put on hold with water, water, water on the to do chores list instead. These Hydrangeas, H. quercifolia ‘Alison’, H. macrophylla ‘Dooley’ and H. ‘Lady In Red’ look good in the early hours of the day, but are hanging their heads come afternoon. A consolation is that they bloom early in the season, before the brutal heat of a Southern summer hits us full on, usually.
Enough with the whining already. All is not doom and gloom here, not by a long shot. Following the path downward from the hydrangea area of rarified soil that was enriched by the fallen leaves and then rotting carcass of the large maple tree Ferngully, RIP, past the Black Garden on the left, finds the special spot delegated to grow on the daylily seedlings from crosses made two years ago. To read that story, click here. Some of the babies are budded nicely on stout stems, and one is blooming, number fifteen. The name for now is Faire Magic. They will all be given names with Faire in the wording. This is not a commercial endeavor, but is a fun, learning experience. Daylilies love the heat, the hotter the better for them, so this angry red orb is not a worry in their cultivation at all.
One step down from the compost laden daylily nursery is the raised box planter. It might be said that it has gone to seed and then some. The Cilantro is a tumbled mass of flowers, stems and seeds, forgotten lettuce is soaring to new heights, Borage is flopping over the edge of the box, the Eremurus is spent and the Swiss Chard planted at the front of the box a year ago last spring has bolted. The color of the stem is incredible, if inedible. Young plants will feed us, while these over the hill folk will give pleasure to the eyes.
Along the wall behind the main house is a gravel path filled with various containers. Some of these are permanent plantings, designed to survive winter’s chill and summer’s heat with minimal upkeep from a traveling gardener. Some are planted seasonally, like this standing wire planter, now sporting Calibrachoa, Coleus, Alternathera and self sown grass from last year, annual Panicum elegans ‘Frosted Explosion’. Seeing the baby grass plants in the planter was cause for joy. Perhaps they will continue to seed about for years to come, making for a happy tightwad and lazy gardener.
Due to excessive dawdling, lollygagging and lip flapping, it is now hot as blazes as the heat heavy sun hangs languidly above. Kitty says it is time to go inside. I agree. Can I interest you in a cool beverage?