Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Days Before The Rain

Achillea in bud. This one has classic grey/green foliage and golden blooms.

Every season is different.  Last year by this time we were drowning in almost daily rainfall.
This has been a dry spring.
I spent much of Tuesday attempting to pry weeds from dry crumbly soil. My sturdy garden fork and my sharply pointed trowel were of little help. 
The weather was warm and breezy, warm enough to bring out some annoying deer flies.
I cleared weeds around the only surviving blueberry bush, and dug holes for planting three more.
I spent the evening chopping and tugging at weeds in the raised bed which is sheltered by the shop roof overhang. The best I could do was to clear the area so that sunlight and air could reach the peonies and iris there.  It will take another session to remove unwanted roots before I can layer on mulch.  It was easier to pull small weeds from the perennial strip that was mulched last fall.

Garden sage blossoming in the herb bed with the border of 'pinks' following the slope of side lawn.

The pinks are divisions from my Gradyville garden--moved to the Cane Valley house, divided yet again and planted here.
Their spicy sweet scent permeates the porch and side yard, especially in the warmth of mid-day.

My camera doesn't do justice to the intricate shading of the iris.
A few of these came from over-grown clumps at the Cane Valley property--others were salvaged from the area around a sagging barn next door to our daughter's home.

Pale and frilly.

Lavender silk!

Today the iris have been hammered by torrents of rain--moisture badly needed, but I begrudge the battering of my beautiful flowers.

Rugosa by the side porch.

Charlie putters about companionably while I admire the billow of a lavender which edges the walkway.

I can marvel endlessly over the intricacies of color and shape in flowers.
Looking at the iris buds I see the possible inspiration for the melting swirls of color in batik fabric.

Fleabane along the lane and at the edge of the corn ground.

Fresh crinkled leaves on a sycamore at the edge of the creek.

A few blackberry brambles have blossomed.

Willis has found a sunny spot against the concrete foundation of the house.
He enjoys this corner sheltering him on two sides from any wind.

We had a 'vacation' from the internet for several days.
I was frustrated last week with error messages, the inability to post comments on my favorite blogs, the length of time to connect with a website. 
My PC is more than due for servicing, so I blamed it for the various malfunctions.
By Sunday we had lost  connection to the internet.
I fiddled with all the plugs, reset the router, pulled my desk away from the wall to better check the power strip.
Of course I discovered dust and cat hair behind the desk which needed to be hoovered up.
With the feeling that I might as well be thorough, I sorted the tipple of papers, notes and projects that littered my desktop, gave everything a good dusting. 
Renewed attempts to get online produced a 'set up' wizard.
Belatedly I though to inquire of my neighbors if they had internet.
They did not, nor did my daughter and son-in-law's home at the other side of the county!
The internet provider's set up gave a help line number.  When reached, a recorded message informed of an area wide outage, expected to be repaired within 24 hours.
I attempted again next morning to work through the set-up.
After an irritating 20 minutes of being 'on-hold' with dreadful 'music' assaulting my eardrums, I was connected with a 'real' person who supplied the codes and passwords I didn't have.
With the internet restored, I am realizing afresh how much time we spend online! 
Odd that a technology we couldn't imagine a few decades ago, now holds a prominent place in our contacts with family and friends near and far, has revolutionized how we shop and sell, how we read and acquire news and information.
I am relieved to be re-connected, but must admit that I finished a number of tasks more efficiently without the temptation to 'take a break' and 'check in' with the rest of the world.


  1. You have some lovely subtle flowers in your garden; mine are all very bold and jolly at this season. The internet can be frustrating but I find it difficult to manage without it these days - but must they have irritating music everywhere!

    1. John; with all the recorded music available it seems that better choices could be made for 'on hold' situations.
      I am trying to think of 'bold and jolly' spring flowers I may have grown in other places--I tend to associate blooms in red/orange/yellow as high summer, with softer colors as the first ones to emerge.

  2. Ah yes, the spell of the internet - it holds us in thrall! . . . and how much we achieve when we don't have it working to distract us! I couldn't be without it now though.

    Your garden is looking beautiful - I especially like the beautiful colours of your Irises. Keith and I changed round some fencing in the garden yesterday and the screener looks SO much better (and more functional) at the end of the garden, between us and the yard) and I am busy planting stuff that climbs along the new roll of netting along the top of the wall.

    Many thanks for your letter which I shall attempt to answer soon . . .

    1. Jennie; You may have guessed that I take photos of selected areas of the yard and garden--my plantings are still rather rough, although the strip which received the most of my attention last year is looking promising. If only there was a mulch guaranteed to really suppress weeds!

  3. Agree entirely on how the internet takes our time away. Here in Yorkshire the internet breaks off sporadically, which means turning off the computer. My debit card swiped this morning was declined because the internet between the agricultural shed and the bank had timed out.
    Love the flowers coming into bloom you are way ahead of us in that respect.

    1. Thelma, I scold myself for checking too frequently online--surely the world won't end if I don't see a Face Book post or a news item the moment it pops up.
      I interested that your spring flowers lag behind us--I hope I'm correct in recalling that you are now living in a more northerly part of England.
      Where ever we reside it seems that spring can be a very capricious season.

  4. Nice to read your post and see what is going on there at your place. As always I'm inspired.

    Glad your internet connection was restored.

    Have a great day dear Sharon ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; Our brief stay in south Florida last June for our son's wedding gave me a change to appreciate the climate in which you maintain your lovely garden. Your plants and crafts are always an inspiration.

  5. When we can't get online I panic. My tv could go out, my phone, I don't care. But I want my internet.
    We're having a very dry spring too.

    1. Janet; I find I'm doing a lot of reading via the internet, and always something for which I want a quick answer.
      I 'visit' with our children when they call, but nearly all of my communicating is online.

  6. Here in southwestern Vermont it's a dry as a bone. The Red Maple flowers along with those of the Sargent Crabapple are toast due to the frigid temps in early April. Even the hardy Shadblow have many fewer blossoms this year.
    May I suggest a Korean hand weeder for hacking up weeds in hard dry soil. I've had mine for years and find it is my 'go to' garden tool.

  7. Mundi; A rather belated 'thank you' for reminding me of the Shadblow. It flourished in the hedgerows where I grew up in Vermont--fading into the 'brush' of barberry and other small saplings that lined dirt roads. Sometime in the 1990's our roadside hedges where chomped down by a brutal tree chipping service--nothing left but broken stumps. It wasn't a landscaping improvement.