Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Walking on a Wet Morning

Rain overnight brought us a damp morning--not cold, but heavy with moisture and stillness.
Jim had errands, I had checks/bill payments which needed to be posted.
I ate the last slice of pineapple up-side-down cake, pulled on my boots, put my camera over my shoulder and crunched down the lane.
I poked envelopes into the mailbox, noting with resignation that the bane of tiny ants are in residence again. They are impervious to dousings with either bleach or insect spray!

When I reached the creek I was surprised to see that it is not in full spate.

This shrub grows along the creek bank--one whose identity I don't know.

The blossoms cling to the branches in a manner similar to redbud--cheerful on a cloudy day.

We've been noticing that the redbuds are coming into bloom.  They are brittle scraggly trees clinging to the edges of the woods, unremarkable except during their colorful spring moment of glory.
These are also called 'Judas Tree.'

There are several redbuds fringing the edges of the steep hillside which rises behind the retaining wall by the front drive.

A few tulips circle a cedar tree at the edge of the lower drive--legacy of former owners.

Deep purple violets run rampant in the short grass of the front lawn, grow in the verges of the lane and in clumps along the creek bank.
Yellow violets are not as prevalent, seeming to like the moist woods beyond the stable.

I need to look up flower names yet again--although some of them slip out of memory nearly as quickly as I identify them!

Another plant in need of identification--the fern-y leaves do not belong to the flowers.
I also need to experiment with other settings on my camera--using the 'auto' feature doesn't give clear definition to close-up shots.

I fortified myself with tuna salad on a slice of homemade multi-grain bread, then tackled such garden chores as could be conducted without badly disturbing damp soil.
My heirloom clematis, Candida, now in its second season since transplant, has survived frosty nights and more buds have appeared.

The nameless rose came into full leaf before the cold weather and didn't fare well, although several others show little or no frost damage. 
I cut it back which may delay bloom, but makes for a tidier shrub. 
Willis, of course, supervised.
I climbed over the wall to trim some of the stems and found that in trying not to be scratched by thorns [or tread on Willis] I had put my foot squarely on an emerging plump lily bud, breaking it off.

I didn't prune away the fall bloom from the butterfly bush which has grown quite tall. 
It has a messy habit of clinging to last season's dried leaves, even as new leaves are appearing.
I clambered about, snipping, pulling branches down to eye level, feeling tiny bits of dried leaves and florets pelting into my hair and into the neck of my shirt. 

Several weeks ago when the pink tips of peonies were barely breaking through the soil, I weeded and scratched at this portion of the raised bed.
The weeds are unstoppable.
The mulch which I applied to the L-shaped perennial strips last summer did nothing to deter the variety of intruding weeds which remained evergreen through the mild winter.
I am disheartened by the disheveled and weedy mess--and by the unwelcome realization that I'm unlikely to find a workable solution.
 I stomped inside to brush twigs and leaves from my hair, made a hasty supper and cleared up.

I have sneezed throughout the evening--no surprise as Jim has been nursing a head cold.
I'm labeling it 'the church cold'--church services the past two weeks have been punctuated with sneezes and nose-blowings on every side.
Hardly a serious thing, but most annoying!  


  1. I'm constantly fighting against weeds as well. I've taken drastic action this year and moved my good plants so that I can soak my flower bed with weed killer. I wouldn't normally do this but it's infected with bindweed which I just can't get rid of!!!
    Your pictures of the walk are lovely :D

  2. Yarrow; We have in the past taken drastic action with weed killer--mostly against such invaders as poison ivy. I'm reluctant to use it widely as the outdoor cats follow when I work in the garden--don't want them to step in the residue and lick their paws.
    Walking is great physical--and mental--therapy!

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  4. The white flower (near the ferny leaves) looks like what I call Windflowers (Anemone nemorosa). I suppose it could be the American equivalent.

    I don't use poison, ever, but DO have bindweed (a pest) and at this time of year LOTS of Celendines in the flower beds, but they die back and disappear so I forgive them.

  5. What a wonderful walk - how lovely to have wild redbud blooming. I am thinking the yellow flowering tree might be witchhazel, but I am not sure. I love that you found a yellow violet :) I have the same problem with weeds - you turn the soil or even disturb it a tiny bit, and millions of dormant weeds pop up. I refuse to use poison and so I have learned to love my weeds. To some they are weeds, to me they are wildflowers:) I do have to be vigilant about certain weeds like bindweed. I use fall leaves for mulch around my shrubs to keep the weeds back and it works. I plant in big drifts and that helps to crowd out the weeds. I also use lots of groundcover. It's a never-ending battle. xx Karen

  6. Karen; One of the most prevalent weeds here is an invasive form of lamium--locally called 'henbit.' Why do weeds thrive on any kind of weather while our cherished perennials give up and die if its too wet or too dry?