The Gardens - In the Beginning

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Ant under the Leaf

His world can turn upside
down so easily.  It happened
again yesterday when a 
human hand lifted the mat
of dried ash and crocus leaves
covering his home, clearing
the small area for a young
penstemon plant.

Swarming, they were
allowed to relocate
with their newborn under
the leaf debris a little further
away, as no mist drifted down
from the heavens freezing them
into withering curled up corpses.
He was lucky.

Of course, he doesn't perceive
it that way.  He was exposed
and defied the odds of death
over life one more day.
Night comes and passes, and
the empty patch of ground lays bare, 
as he hides seven ash leaves over
in his new home.

The sun moves low in the afternoon sky,
then hands dig a hole where he had
lived the day before, and fill it
with life of a different sort.  
Magical rain falls only upon the plant,
then all is quiet.  Tomorrow in the 
noon day sun, after the dew drops have
vaporized, he will investigate.


Dancing to a different song

Gone with the old - in with the new

Gardens Re-Invented

Heaven on Earth



Monday, June 8, 2015



Bearded iris...what's not to love about them?  I do nothing except cut down the flower stalks when blooming has finished.  Yard is on maximum biodiversity mode which prevents thrips becoming a problem, and the tubers lay across the top of the ground as the babies spread across the arid landscape ruling out rot as an issue.

I never cut down leaves or clean up dead leaves like all the instructions command one to do for a perfect bearded iris environment, and they multiply and multiply and multiply everything else right out of existence by creating a tight web of tubers covering all exposed ground fairly solidly.  If ignored, they become detrimental to the yards diversity.

It appears I ignored them maybe just one measly year too long :(

Pick ax, shovel, and my handy dandy extra-large screw driver weed extractor in hand, I melted away in above 90 degree humidity to fill up six bags with weedy trash and chopped up bearded iris parts.  Saved nine baby plants to start all over again, thought about it for a few seconds, and then popped them into the trash bag also.  I've zoned out on bearded iris this year.  A small patch still exists skirting the blueberry bed, but I can just yank them out of that healthy soil super easy, and yank I did to shrink the colony to one-third its previous size.

Their covering capability was exploited to the max in the back yard corner garden bed to hopefully prevent further migration of those fragrant weedy greens from the neighbor's quarter acre that looked so sweet the first year and morphed into a pop-up everywhere nightmare the second year forever more.

Bearded iris, Round-Up and Weed-B-Gone keep me happy with my neighbor's fence line that has become a no-mow zone thanks to their relentless appetite for junk, junk, and more junk piled along that area. They haven't owned a working lawn mower for years.  It's just weed whacker mama out there once in a blue moon, and nowhere-in-sight daddy nowhere in sight.


...not for the faint of heart, and my heart appears to be sliding to the fainting side at 150 MPH this summer.  Hard to get rid of, I'm told...very, very hard to get rid of.  Husband digs new ones out every year and they laugh in his face popping back up in two weeks flat.  I'm calculating how much destruction will totally wipe them out while leaving the healthy environment still in tack.

Pardon me
while I consult
 my fellow
Master Gardeners

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Did someone say it was Tuesday?

Wouldn't it be luxurious to not know what day of the week it was?  To not have preset places to WORK!  Rise and shine whenever; a cup of hot coffee laced with cream, and a good book opened to page 231 as you munch on that warm croissant dripping a bit of butter down your chin? One can at least dream, can't they?  I'm going to hold onto that thought just a moment longer.

In the realm of garden tales; mine seems to always be on page one.  Each winter the bare bones of this yard cry out for a bit more adornment and each spring I add and add and add.  My brain keeps hoping this will be the year I feel that inner glow of magazine picture perfect perfection.  As a staff of one I'm beginning to have my doubts, but I haven't given up quite yet.  The wrought iron table with umbrella unfurled sits abandoned as the white ash tree drops her extra seeds like a soft green snowfall.  I know I'll be seated there next weekend, or the weekend after or the weekend after the weekend after, if I ever pull up that last darn weed.

Life has a way of layering itself upon me until I find myself at the bottom of the heap.  Work has been two jobs and the madness can only be escaped by jumping into my little red Camry at lunch break and leaving dust in my wake.  If I'm not physically out-to-lunch, people won't let me be.  They think they're more important than me because the entity that pays my check agrees they're more important than me.  It's so easy to say I'll just quit, but so hard living without perks.

I seem to be subconsciously plotting against myself.  A never-ending path of internet searches to create the perfection between yard, house, pets and me I desperately crave; finds me cleaning the six (yes...I said six) cat litter pans in the wee hours of morning two hours after I needed to already be in bed.  I wake up like rotten peaches and soured cream, a stale mind in search of caffeine.  I'm not a lover of feline toilet detail.  I can think of eight thousand two hundred and fifty-one other things I'd rather be doing that scooping up pee and poo.  Can't you?

A knock at the door last night sent Dustin into his usual barking frenzy. It was one of the young neighbors from across the street.  His friend told him I like cats.  Yah...right...I like MY cats.  He wants to get rid of his Maine Coon.  Maine Coon???  A Maine Coon is the perfect totally laid back they're like a gift from the gods if you happen to be owned by one.  His new apartment will be too small for a cat pan.  Oh...come on...I've lived in tiny apartments when I was young and the cat pan went in the closet, bathroom, or by the front door...they come in all sizes...make it work!

He was one excuse after another, so obviously he didn't wish to deal with life a little more complicated.  Told him I added three cats to my already two and found four others homes, so it was a total no go.  I was pooped out and poor this year.  And besides...I have six cat pans, remember? What's wrong with that kid?  Only one cat pan would be heaven on earth. I squashed his plans in one minute flat, but I now know he's going to dump his poor cat and I'm so tired of all that negativity people unload into my head.

I'm reminded of a far away trip long ago in this galaxy before the commercializing of pet products we can't live without that we used to live without all the time.  On one of several trips to see my great grandmother's sisters; that trip to Los Angeles seemed like we were heading for another planet when dad packed the baby crib mattress onto the back seat of his Ford something-a-rather and we all piled in for the long trip in that playpen on wheels...way before seat belts were ever thought up.  Ooops!  Wrong story.  Fast forward a few years and we're all piled into that Ford again without the mattress, and still before seat know, ancient times.

It was after that unfortunate time when dad thought his only answer to multi-cat propagating purgatory was to box them all up and blast their little lives to smithereens, messing up my little life forevermore.  Mom and Dad's heaven on earth of just one cat became my hell on earth of knowing where all the others went.  We had the one cat left - Amy...Mom's cat, and we took her with us to Los a bird cage. I kid you not.  The bird-less bird cage became our cat carrier.  Now Amy wasn't too keen on the idea of being stuffed into that tiny space sitting on my lap in the back seat of that Ford.  I wasn't too keen on holding that cage stuffed full of cat for most of the day either, but that's the way it was. Feel free to create the ending ;)

Life was a little blue today.

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