Saturday, June 11, 2011
I swear it is not an exaggeration when I say the man is suffering from separation
anxiety for his tractor. He goes out and stares at the empty space in the garage.
Then too there is the issue of his new patch up by the row of holly trees.
That grass has come in fine but it is absolutely awash in every kind of weed you never want to see on your property. At first Blowfish thought the weeds were being carried by run off. But run off from what? Now he thinks the birds have doe it .... I think the weeds came in the expensive bags of seed. I have tried to go hand pull them all but by the time I get to one end of the patch they are growing anew on the other end.
Blowfish is an even tempered fellow but these difficulties are about to wear him to a nub. He's a man that wants to feel proud when he comes down the drive and he's a long way from that these days. Just the other night he walked up and looked at this sorry patch and I could swear he was thinking about fetching a flame thrower. The droop in his shoulders as he turned away made me think about the same thing.
Before we started turning into the dust bowl of 2011 we had a early and wetish Spring. So when all the new Spring growth started coming up out in the Courtyard garden we were anticipating a bountiful, colorful, green spring. What we got was the plague. Some horrid soil based fungi got revved up and as new shoots on the annuals started making their appearance the leaves unfurled and promptly turned black. That same horror
The first time didn't work. All new growth came up, turned splotchy, then black and curling.
More leaf by leaf removal and more poison was required.
That was before none of the Moonflowers and dern few of the Caladiums came out. But I did notice in one of the pots we seemed to have some giant species of dahlia volunteering. We do have a whole section planted in pretty little pink "Patio Dahlias" from Parks Seed Company. I thought maybe the wind did a little transplanting but as the shaft started looking as big as Jack's stalk and, setting largish bud,s I accepted the reality it was not going to be anything expected. There in the midst of my pink , white and blue garden is this huge, deeply
I took comfort in the thought the Hydrangeas were setting up for a big show this year. Some editing of the early growth had been required because of the fungi. Our Hydrangeas are under a giant Oak so they set later than ones that get more sun. I thought this was a good thing as the chemicals had been put out before most of the new growth had appeared. I am sure you all know Hydrangeas are the litmus paper of the garden, showing out in either pink or blue depending on the soil PH.
Some years we put out amendments to make sure the blooms will be true blue, not a hint of lavender or Heaven forbid purple.
That can happen if your PH is balanced.
Which is unacceptable.
Just a bit to the left of the begining of the blue Hydrangeas is the final resting place of my mother's beloved Scottish Terrier. They were here when he died so he stayed in the garden with us. I will always remember my mother's angst over leaving him "behind". Not taking him back to Florida with her was a painful decision. Necessary though. She had stood in the driveway by her car making me promise if I ever moved away from the Pond I would bring Angus with me and not leave him with strangers. He has a St. Francis marker out there and is planted over in Lemon Balm. He, like many terrier breeds, had skin allergies so he was not always the best smelling dog. I have over the years fondly thought of him being scratch free and enjoying the crisp lemony scents. Not this year. Either the fungi, the fungicide, the drought or the combination has resulted in peaked looking, fragrance free Lemon Balm.
I shrugged off the worries about this and tried to keep focused on how bountiful the Hydrangeas were looking. When the blooms first start they are a lime green. Then they start showing color along the perimeter before filling in with a uniform blue. This year they started filling in purple. It is out of the question for there to be purple in my garden. Especially not adjacent to the resting place of my mothers dog.
There has never been on this Earth a human with a deeper seated loathing of the color purple than my mother.
Think of it as a violent allergy. No purple allowed is a rule all of us kids honor and respect.
I consulted with the extension people and yes the fungicide can change the soil PH and usually any amendments for bloom color must happen early in the season and blah-blah. I tried what they recommended and kept an eye out for changes. We got them . Dark purple instead of red grape purple.
Most mornings I start my day in the garden with a cup of tea. I wander around, listening to the birds singing their morning songs and enjoy the garden. Lately I walk outside and think "I'm so sorry Mom". Today
Then I went to lay in my broken hammock which Blowfish " fixed " for me.
I can swing in my hammock and just about ignore
the unplanted ferns around the Chinese Fringe Tree
Unplanted because the ground is baked into a brick
and I cannot did holes deep enough to plant the ferns.
So I must wait for Blowfish to come to my aid
with the gas powered auger.
Pray the hammock will not break with me aboard !