Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Week Just Past

May weather has been capricious during the past week.  A frost warning for last Sunday night sent us hurrying to the garden to drape tarps and old blankets around the peach trees with their burden of tiny fuzzy fruits. A long tarp was pulled over the blackberry brambles and weighted in place.
We woke on Monday morning to find that the frost had missed us by only a few degrees—last time we hoped for the best we lost the peaches and berries.
J. decided there was a sufficient slot of fine weather coming to mow hay. I gathered up the boy cats and shut them in the house.  They have been very intrigued with hunting mice through the tall grass.
I took an hour to walk across to the creek, swollen from recent rains.
Sunlight dappled the water and a few swallowtail butterflies hovered at the water’s edge.
They were not obliging about photos!
Locust trees along the creek bank are in bloom adding to the sweet warm scent of the air.
Locusts are blossoming in the woods behind a neighboring barn.
The plainest shabby things are scenic in the fresh shimmer of an early summer morning.
I have been drawn over and again to the flowers in my garden. Even a few hours changes the look of the iris and peonies.
I am still very much in the learning curve of my camera’s capabilities for close up work. I have experimented with a setting which is meant to bring the subject into sharp focus while ‘softening’ the background.  These shots have lacked definition. Reading the camera manual seems to suggest that when using this setting instead of moving closer to the object, one needs to back away and use the zoom lens. I’ll try that soon.
I took these shots of the big soft blooms of Roseraie de l’Hay on Friday morning under an overcast sky. The air was heavy with impending rain and the scent of roses and pinks filled the side yard.
The rain on Friday night shattered the blossoms and the ground beneath the bush is layered in fading petals.
Jens Munk
Hawkeye Belle
Therese Bugnet
A hardy little shrub rose whose name tag went missing.
Double-Red Knock-Out—impervious to drought, rain, wind or Japanese beetles!
Blanc Double-de Coubert
First poppy of the season.
I salvaged only one clump of foxglove from last spring’s seed-started plants.
A strange thickened flower stalk on the foxglove.
This is in the newest flower strip near the clothesline.  I’ve spent many hours this week working around the outside of this garden, cutting in the edge and removing sod and weeds. This is where I planted the two yellow peonies last fall.  One disappeared over the winter.  The second one has made a feeble appearance and I’ve been hovering over it, coaxing it along.  I went out on Friday to discover that deer have been around the garden and have nibbled at the peony.  I think only a small miracle will save it. So much for pricey rare things!
Edited two hours later to report that while potting up the begonias I began thinking about that pathetic and pricey peony.
I dis-interred it from the garden, noting that in a year's time it had managed to produce a tuber about the size of my little finger.
I put the pathetic thing in a pot amd brought it around to spend the summer on the porch.
I'd love to think that by September it might become a sturdy plant which could be trusted to winter over in the ground.
I’ve labored devotedly over my gardens this week, mostly in my flowers but also replanting the corn and beans which succumbed to earlier cold wet weather.
After hours on my knees I tottered inside to a hot shower and clean clothes, then, having done the most minimal of household tasks, I retreated to the bench on the porch with a glass of iced tea.
The porch is lined with the house plants brought up from the table in the basement where they spent the winter under a florescent strip light.
Grandson D. has brought me hanging plants from the FFA greenhouse at school and dark-leaved begonias which need to be potted on.  I bought another big sack of potting soil and some inexpensive and colorful plastic pots.  The plants await my attention.
I wish I could slow the season, have a few days longer to cherish each flower in its prime.
This morning the peonies were heavy with rain, many stems bowed to the ground.  I cut an armful and brought them inside.
Already the blossoms are at peak.  By morning there will be a fall of petals on the tablecloth.
The last of clematis Nelly Moser.
Seed heads of the lovely white clematis.
I’ll leave you with a few more photos from Sunday.
Knock-Out Rose
A sweet-scented bouquet in a tiny charity shop jug.
A Luna moth posing against the north side of the garage.


  1. t is so true when you say The plainest shabby things are scenic in the fresh shimmer of an early summer morning. I really felt as if I was there, looking at your lovely photos.
    I adore that Luna moth! and I know Leanne will too.

    1. Kath; The Luna spent all day on the garage siding [an effective background!] but is gone this morning. I spend so much time admiring the rather shabby splendor of the dooryard that I get little done!

  2. So many beautiful pictures, especially the one in your header.

    1. Lillian; My flowers are worth the aches and uncertainties of tending them! They inpsire me.

  3. Oh my goodness, your place is oh so lovely. I love it all, and can imagine all the work that goes into making your place what it is.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  4. Lorraine; The needs [and weeds!] of the garden get way beyond my energy and time to keep them truly tidy--yet I can't imagine abandoning them until I literally cannot crawl around to tend them! Flowers are such marvels of creation.

  5. What a beautiful garden - yours is further along than mine, and mine has some very obvious gaps in it from recent harder winters. I wonder whether to just pop in annuals or just divide what perennials I have . . . we are still HOPING we will move.

    I don't do well with roses here - only ramblers do well, but I do have a Roserie d'lHay like yours and she thrives (but not flowering yet). My garden is very abandoned, due to first the talk and then the Pleurisy, and I can do perhaps 10 minutes a day to bring it back, before I have to rest again. Sigh. In previous years it would have been 6 or 8 hours a day out there . . .

  6. Jennie; I too am behind in my garden work--and having to woefully admit that when I do several hours of grubbing and digging I must pay for it with several days of creaking exhaustion.
    I am using both divided plants and seed-sown varieties of both annuals and perennials to fill in gaps. Som things multiply out of bounds--seldom the most desirable plants--others languish or completely disappear. I think a garden is never really 'done.'