Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bright Warm Days and Moonlit Nights

The first rosebud opening on Thursday--never mind that it is one of the invasive rugosas!

Fully open in Friday's sunshine.  By Saturday afternoon the petals lay scattered on the walkway.

More pottering in the garden with ever-faithful Willis as attendant.

There are six of the youngest kids in this pen--nearly impossible to capture them all in one photo.

The baby goats are growing so fast!
Soon they will be too big to pick up--they won't want to cuddle or be held, although they will still enjoy attention.
I played with them Friday evening in their grassy pen as twilight deepened.
The small black doe fell asleep in my arms, sighing and relaxing into a boneless slumber--for about 10 minutes.
I put her on the ground when she woke and turned to another who was clamoring to be noticed.
I sat on the grass and was mobbed by nuzzling faces, poked at with small hooves, leaned against; my hair and my ears were nibbled as were the cuffs of my old jacket. 
When B. appeared with their milk bucket all attention was turned in that direction.

I climbed out of the pen and scuffed slowly up the lane, joined part way along by Willis who, predictably, popped out of the hedgerow where he had waited for me.
A three-quarter moon shed soft pale light on the grey crushed rock which surfaces the lane; branches were clearly etched against the night sky.
I walked through the coolness that always hangs over the slight bend in the track, where a small brook rushes through a culvert and into the pasture on the other side.

Our neighbor on the other side of the road keeps geese, guineas, ducks.
These three adults trundle across to the pond near our lower farmhouse--although they do have their own pond.
There are four goslings, the other two hidden in the already tall grass of the pasture.
This was a zoom shot--it doesn't do to aggravate geese, particularly those with offspring.

Mum-cat is shy--a barn cat, well cared for, but not a 'pet.'
I was not sure she would stay with her kittens when I hovered over their nest.
She was nervous, but I spoke softly to her, snapped my photo and moved quietly away.

On Friday I drove to the Mennonite community for the usual errands--a stop to see what was 'in' at the discount food store, then farther up the winding road to the whole foods market, a stop at the mercantile, the produce market--and then--the treat of wandering through one of the several greenhouse/nurseries in the area.

I've not seen gloxinias on offer before and was sorely tempted to bring one home.
I paused twice by the display bench as I pondered my selections, but concluded--with regret--that my funds and efforts need to focus on outdoor plants just now.

Years ago, in both Vermont and Massachusetts, I was a seasonal greenhouse worker, transplanting thousands of seedlings--tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, petunias [I developed a lack of admiration for petunias!]
Near Memorial Day I made up my quota of 'mixed planters' similar to these.

A decent selection of common herbs, but the only rosemary offered is the variety 'Arp'--a fairly recent hybrid. Arp was the last of my ill-fated rosemarys to succumb last fall to whatever ailed them--but it isn't one of my favorites and I didn't bring one home with me.
I did choose a clematis, Duchess of Edinburgh.

Web photo: Windy Ridge Garden Centre
The plant which came home with me is in a nursery pot and trained onto a slender wooden hoop.
I need to buy a metal trellis to match the two installed last autumn. 
I would like to find the heirloom variety clematis 'Candida'--my research suggested that was the one growing vigorously against the chimney wall at our Gradyville home.
I've not found it at any local nurseries, although 'Nellie Moser' the stripy pink/rose variety is available.
The two grew together at our former home and 'Nellie' had reached out to clamber 
up a nearby nandina shrub.

Each place I have lived and gardened has presented its rewards and its challenges.
Our present location has stony soil and fewer open sunny spots to situate gardens.
I crave flowering plants and shrubs as some women might covet jewels or fine clothes!
Frugal funding, dwindling reserves of stamina, as well as the need to haul in better 'dirt' will perhaps serve to keep me in check.

Today I have contented myself with pruning the over-wintered begonias, moving them out to the side porch. I topped up the soil in two large angel-wing begonias and lugged the pots from the basement laundry area to the back porch. 
I tidied up a clutter of plastic pots, swept away a winter's accumulation of dried leaves and 
wood pile debris. 
I transplanted two very feeble rosemary seedlings--all that germinated from a sowing of seed two months ago.
I tweaked weeds from the edges of the gravel-mulched herb bed, admired the first spicy blooms on the dianthus. 

At nightfall I walked into the edge of the woods behind the stable, trailing cats: Willis, Charlie, the tortie sisters.
My intent was to nab Nellie and bring him in for the night.
Nellie had other ideas and eluded me for half an hour, darting away whenever I reached for him.
Eventually he indulged in a happy roll-about and I swooped him up.

I lugged him home through the soft moonlight.
The air held the cool sweet scent of lively earth, of spring flowers.
The first fireflies danced among nearly bare branches of sweet gum and oak.

Inside I tipped Nellie onto the kitchen floor, switched on the kettle for a mug of tea.
I laid the makings of a morning fire--crumpled newspaper and dry twigs, for it will be chilly when I come downstairs. 
It is that time of year when we wish we could 'pause' the advance of spring--just long enough to savor it a while longer! 


  1. What a fantastic post filled with so much imagery in words and in your photos as well.

    I too *crave flowering plants and shrubs as some women might covet jewels or fine clothes!*

    Happy living one day at a time.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; There is so much joy to be had in a garden. So many more plants I would like to try to grow! I think I could become a collector of plants!

  2. I loved reading about your garden tour. I, too crave flowers over jewels!! My peonies are bent to the ground right now with this passing cold and snow but I expect them to be upright again later today.

    Happy gardening!!


    1. Shanon; You will recall the April and even May snowstorms in Vermont--heavy wet stuff that fell on the lilacs. I never have known a season--anywhere--that rain didn't pound the peonies into the mud when they were in full gorgeous bloom. But we go on gardening because sometime we might have the perfect spring!

  3. Enjoyed reading. .. can almost feel like I was there!
    I love spring and if I were rich I'd have flowers, shrubs, flowering trees EVERYWHERE!

    1. Linnea; Although you visited in the fall I think you can imagine the countryside in springtime.
      If we were rich we'd have all you mentioned--and a gardener with a strong back to do our bidding!

  4. A lovely wandering blog, sleeping goats, cats that greet you, and the promise of spring everywhere, a truly beautiful time of year.

  5. Thelma; I notice that most of my days have a distinctly 'wandering' element! I do wish springtime could be prolonged before we hurtle into full-blown hot summer weather.

  6. I love the redbud trees in your header.

    1. Lillian; Your comment popped up as I was replacing my header photo! Our redbuds have faded, followed by the flowering of the dogwood. If we have the predicted rain, those too will likely be gone. Such a brief season1

  7. Your Rosa rugosa is such a stunning colour. A cheerful beginning to a new season of roses!

    I did enjoy reading about your day and the constant look-out for new plants. The barn cat does look well. I wonder if any of her kittens will be tame enough to find their way into your home?

    1. DW; I'm realizing I haven't made clear that the cat with kittens belongs to our renters at the lower place--they have the goats, three Great Pyrenees guard dogs, and their own barn cats. I must NOT BE TEMPTED by more kittens/cats no matter how charming!