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.
[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!