Sunday, May 28, 2023

Gentle Rain

Raindrops spatter on the last blooms of Lauren's Grape poppies.

I woke early to the kind of green darkness that accompanies a rainy morning on the edge of summer. 
A chilly breeze stirred the curtains at my open bedroom window bringing in the cool scent of damp earth.
We have needed this rain as it has been a dry month. Several brisk T-storms have occurred with the brief deluge that hammers against the ground, then quickly steams and dries; there have been overcast mornings that gave us hope of rain, but it has 'gone around' us.

The rain today has been slow and gentle. We could almost see the garden growing.
I started a fire in the wood stove and we've kept it smoldering all day to ward off the chill of temperatures that stayed just below 60 F.
The cats abandoned their favorite rocking chairs  on the screened porch, preferring the cozy comfort of quilt-covered beds.
The rain slowed to mist as evening approached. The sun made a five minute appearance just before disappearing into the western edge of the ravine.

The rain, although gentle, has bruised the petals of clematis, caused roses to hang their heads with the weight of moisture. 
This season of bloom and growth moves along too quickly.


Tuesday, May 2, 2023


Three days of gusty and chilly winds--or is it four days? Five days?
It was cool this morning, 47 F. at 7:30, but the sun was up and the sky blue with billows of white clouds.
Standing at my bedroom window to assess the weather I watched as an opossum lumbered around the corner of the house and trundled off to disappear in the south ravine.
A female by the look of the bulging pouch.  Another generation of possums to pillage the garden, scuttle onto the front porch to snatch at cat kibble.
I find nothing appealing about the creatures!

During breakfast I dared to remark that the wind had subsided. 
A hummingbird appeared at the feeder, reassuring after days when I haven't seen them. Still no females have arrived. 
I sipped the half cup of coffee I allow myself, glanced at news headlines. [Reading the news is not a cheery start to the day.]

Outside with my tattered down vest snapped close over a flannel shirt, to tend the small daily chores: dumping cat litter, taking out the container of eggshells and grapefruit rinds.
Into the greenhouse with Willis-cat strutting at my heels, meowing for attention.

Two seedlings of lavender vera have poked up, a few of the pinks sown last week have emerged.
Nothing else. Careful stirring of soil exposes pelleted seeds of thyme, of other tiny seeds there is no trace. This is strange. None of the nasturtium seeds poked into several large pots both outside and in the greenhouse have sprouted. 
Weather? Soil? 
I'm at a loss!

I wasn't inspired to set out my nursery plants with a cold wind tugging at my hair, sending chills down my neck.
By noon the early blue of the sky was overlaid with pewter colored banks of cloud and the prevailing wind was once again blasting in from the west.

I spent several hours searching online for printable music, plonked out a few hymns on the piano.

I bestirred myself to try yet another recipe for Lemon Sugar Cookies, trying to duplicate the ones Dawn used to bring from the Publix bakery in Tennessee.
This batch came closest in taste and texture, although I was annoyed that they spread out of shape in the baking process.
J. with his mouth full of cookie declared that the shape of a cookie doesn't matter!

Out in the windy twilight to record the day's blossoms.
Otherwise, a rather desultory day which has left me mildly out of sorts.

Duchess of Edinburgh coming into bloom. This clematis was the most damaged by the March frosts, but has revived with a judicious pruning.

The last flowers of Candida have been rain-spattered and wind-blown. 
Fluffy seed heads have formed.

A tiny bell-like bloom on the newest low-growing clematis.

Samaritan Jo is in lush bloom. The lavender shading on the flowers seems pale in contrast to other years.

Dr. Ruppel in extravagant full bloom.

Jackmanii put its early energies into climbing. It is spreading across the top of the sturdy arched trellis, a gift several seasons ago from Matt and Gina. Long tendrils were swaying in the wind, so I used garden twine to tether them gently to the arch.
Last week I wove twine between the middle bars of the trellis; already the vines have clambered and clung to the string, nearly obscuring it. 
Jackmani is a late bloomer, its deep purple flowers appearing as the other clematis take a summer break.

Pink carnations, the only survivor of three plants purchased in 2019. 
The dainty perennial pinks were grown from seed and are joyfully spreading into a welcome mat of brilliant color.

A flowering thyme in the edge of the front raised bed. My seed-grown thymes planted along the raised bed in the west garden didn't survive their first winter. 
I can't remember if this sturdy plant came from the nursery or from the division of an older plant.
A much twisted and branching thyme near the front steps died in the severe Christmas weather.

Gardens change from season to season, perhaps echoing the subtle changes in our own lives.

One of the pots of pansies and smaller violas near the front steps. these have flourished in the chilly weather, revived by alternating rain and sunshine.
Tomorrow is another day--perhaps the wind will subside and I can garden!