Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gardening May Be The Death Of Me...!

Last night wasn't restful.  Jim anticipated some pain from his tooth extraction, but amazingly, considering what he described as the dentist hacking and digging
to remove it in pieces,
he seemed to feel only relief in having it gone.
A cat fight erupted in the hallway a bit after midnight--we bolted from bed to sort the participants--Mrs. B. making faces at Willow and/or Wilbur who responded with high-pitched wails and thumps down the basement stairs; had barely resettled ourselves when they did it again.
J. muttered dire threats.
I resigned myself to sitting up with cats and a book for a bit.
Morning came with overcast skies and heavy humid air.
I had coffee, a cookie [!] and a yoghurt, then delved into gardening.
I claimed a strip in the lower garden for annuals--simply for color and for cutting.
"Don't you have more than you can handle already?" was J.'s skeptical view of my project.
'These will take care of themselves,' I assured him.  'If you want to run the tiller between the two rows, you, may, but they don't need the attention of the veggies or the perennials.'

I have enough zinnia seed to plant a quarter of an acre--saved from that first Kentucky garden in 2010.
I planted a long row of zinnias, then struggled to line out a second row .
Gardeners who lay out their planting area with stakes and string would be horrified by my
slightly wavering trenches.
G. appeared as I wrestled with the hoe and announced she was ready to go to the FFA greenhouse.
This is a project undertaken at the high school by the ag students--I didn't know about it until D.
mentioned it.
[I'm quite taken aback by the fact that the students raise tobacco plants in two poly-tunnels, set them out, tend and harvest a crop of tobacco!]
While the greenhouse didn't have a huge selection, the plants were all of the nicest quality I've seen anywhere--including the commercial greenhouses we've frequented in Casey County.
Bedding plants such as fibrous-rooted begonias, coleus, marigolds were $1 per plant, or 12 for $10 if one wanted to mix and match a whole tray.
Of course I did!
We stopped at Wal Mart for sacks of potting soil--and discovered that all the packaged daylilies, gladiolas, cannas, etc were being presented in wheelbarrow displays for half price.
I haven' planted glads in years, so chose two packages--one in mixed pastels, the other in a regal looking purple and white.
I also bought a pkg of daylilies to fill in the strip in front of the porch.

Clouds made a low grey ceiling, thunder rumbled occasionally in the distance as I worked through the late afternoon--picking a colander full of strawberries, planting the glads, finishing out the long row with a variety of flowers--cosmos, larkspur, sweet william, calendula, marigolds.
As dusk gathered I went at the weeds in the lower perennial strip hammer and tongs--really with my favorite triangular-headed hoe.
Lord-luv-us---didn't I spend days just recently grubbing out grass and nameless intruders?

The blooms on the mid-season vintage peony are a deep pink, sometimes stripped with cerise.

One of the white peonies.
I was bedraggled, sweaty, beyond tired, but gloating happily over each blossom. making the rounds before calling it quits.

The last light of the day fell suddenly golden along the Big Creek Valley.

A touch of pale blue sky to end the day.
I sat on the porch, Sally-cat sharing the wicker loveseat.
Darkness fell and the fireflies tiny lanterns sparkled through the grass of the front meadow.
The whip-poor-will began its melancholy nocturnal serenade.
Eyes closed, the better to appreciate every sound--the mockingbird still trilling from the maple at the edge of the drive; croakings and creakings of frogs and insects.
I took inventory of aching muscles, thought of the stamina and dedication needed to maintain a garden.
I remembered my old friend Esther Jane who once fiercely declared, 'I will garden as long as I am able--even if it means crawling along the rows!'
She did--and I hope I do also!


  1. This was a nice 'read' just before calling it a day. Hugs, Deb

  2. Flowers are just so addicting! I love to sit and listen to the birds and look at all of the hard work that has been done.
    I love seeing your views, just gorgeous.
    I have such fond memories of Esther Jane.


  3. If you have crooked rows you can get more plants in! Enjoyed the read.

  4. You HAVE been busy. Your garden is well ahead of mine, as we are still struggling with temperatures barely above that of mid winter. STRAWBERRIES? You lucky devil. I have only just had the first flower!

    Your paeonies are beautiful - I thought the pink one was a rose (German name, very closed cup).

    I'm off to the Antiques fair for the entire weekend, away this morning, so will e-mail you when I get back.

    Don't work too hard!

  5. You certainly still seem to have plenty of stamina! I finally did an hour or two yesterday afternoon, it's been so wet here that gardening hasn't been an option for the last few weeks. You earned your rest on the porch - it sounds idyllic.

  6. I loved the way you described the sounds, it brought to mind a song I loved when I was a girl, I think it started something like "The buzzing of the bees in the sycamore trees" was it called "Mockingbird hill"?

    I had to smile at the cats, I never gear cats fighting in the day time, but they seem to love wailing and spitting in th emiddle of the night and my 2 dogs are desperate to run outside and "sort it out" LOL

  7. First, I have to say the header picture of the barn and horse is just gorgeous.

    Really nice post. You reminded me of how much I love zinnias. I have a very small yard, but I'm going to plant some this year.

  8. Oh, I know exactly what you mean! I have more plants than I can deal with and yet I get more. I don't plant in rows any more just swerves.

  9. That was a day very well spent! Sometimes those new plant purchases just spur us along to really get a lot done, and you sure have. How lovely to sit on the porch with feline company afterward, too.

  10. Lovely, LOVELY post---love your style of writing. :)