Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The March Garden…..

Warm days, cold days, buds popping and snow flurries, migrating visitors and birds coming home for the summer – that is March. Gardeners hurry out to get ahead of the season’s crop of weeds, to prepare a place for their seedlings or to start their seeds in their houses.
The early morning is filled with the sounds of the birds of spring, visitors planning the day’s travel or complaining about the night before. The new arrivals loudly proclaim their territory as they start to put on their breeding plumage. Some of them are downright funny or pathetic to see. A baldheaded blue jay is not a pretty picture! (Not that I could get close enough to take one!)
It seems the wind chimes will never stop. I have several long deep sounding chimes that I dearly love, but every once in a while they get on my nerves. I am glad I don’t live close to neighbors – I am sure I would get complaints. My best chimes are in the furnace room out of the 30 mph winds. I can usually tell which way the wind is blowing and even roughly how fast by which chimes are clanging and in what pattern.
This is the time of year when the old lawn mowers are sputtering back to life mostly to mow up weeds, grind up old leaves, or blow the gum balls off into the woods.
The hedge cutters are busily trimming back camellias that threaten to block the sidewalks, or trying to discipline the honeysuckle that would gladly take over Possum Lane if I didn’t keep after it. Well, actually it would be a contest between honeysuckle, poison ivy, Virginia Creeper and Trumpet vine. And briars – don’t forget the briars!
The late camellias are starting to show a bit of color, maybe even opening a little bloom or two. Aunt Alice is trying to bloom again after getting such an early start in January.
The daffodils are finally opening as are the crocus and forsythia. It is amazing how the crocus bulbs travel around the yard and into the woods! I have found more little clumps of crocus this year out where I never planted anything. A fun surprise!
And then there was a white thing next to a purple crocus way back in the woods… I made my way thru the bramble… there was a little possum skull with a bit of honeysuckle growing thru it.
If you peek under the cover of shatters (pine straw to you firiners) you will find the tender shoots of peonies.
The “weeping” camellia is getting ready to open as is Red Emperor.
I love pussy willows! I thought they would be damaged as they first started to open back in January.
Most of the camellias and daffodils were birthday presents from one dear friend or another. The miniature daffodils were from Sabra who also gave me several of my favorite camellias, Debutante and Yule Tide, among others. My yard, or my jungle as my neighbors call it, is a living memorial to my many friends who loved flowers as much as I and knew the joy of having them around to remind us of those who loved us and have moved on. I have a habit of speaking to them as I see the plants they have given me over the years. If you are ever in need of giving a gift to someone you love, give them a living gift, one that will always be there to remind them they are loved by you.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


CAUTION - this posting contains dirty pictures!

A Blessing
A blessing with dirty pictures?

Do you know what a blessing looks like?

Actually, I have had so many blessings in my life, I would not know where to begin if I had to list them all – or even list the top 10… or 20… or – well, you get the idea. But sometimes we get surprise blessings that most people would never believe were blessings… but I do.

Take these pictures, for example. Yesterday, this dirt was covered with that black garden cloth that has been covered it since probably November.
Before that, it was home to tomato plants, beans that didn’t survive the bean beetles, carrots that don’t seem to like it here, and a fine crop of weeds. Oh, and my cold frame that allowed me to have fresh off the vine tomatoes for Christmas. Ok, so maybe there were only 3 or 4 of them and they were tiny cherry tomatoes, but they were MINE and I got to eat them on Christmas straight from my yard. Fortunately, I am the only one who likes them, so I did not have to share.
Now I had no intentions of taking the covers off the garden today. It was in the lower 60s, but I work at a snail’s pace – or I end up in the wheel chair. I have actually learned this. (A blessing that I have learned this!)
I thought I would water the greenhouse plants since it was warm enough to open the door, (another blessing), clean the birdbath since it wasn’t frozen, maybe fill a bird feeder or two, water the new camellia and the pansies and maybe indulge myself by picking a few daffodils. That was my plan for this afternoon. I really hadn’t worried about taking the cover off the garden because I knew my body was not up to doing what comes next – turning the ground over. Sigh. I got a Mantis tiller a few years ago, but it has not ever even had gas put in it. The only dirt it has ever seen is the dust and cobwebs from sitting in my barn. So sad! A friend calls it my virgin Mantis!

Then the phone rang. It was my neighbor, behind me, thru the woods. He said he was going to till his garden today, would I like it if he dropped by and looked at my little garden spot and maybe he would till mine, too? It is smaller than his, though he did not know it at the time.
I guess I am not used to people offering to do things for me. I have gotten used to those you’d expect to help out but so seldom do that I refuse to ask for help. Tilling the garden, small as it is would probably take me at least a week, maybe two. There are cobwebs on my wheelchair, too, and I like to keep it that way, know what I mean?
Anyway, as you can see by the pictures, Frank came over and tilled the garden – all I did was pull the covers off and remove the cold frame which had become home to a thriving crop of weeds. In a half an hour, he was done! I kept thinking of the time and the pain it would take for me to do it with the hoe while I watched him effortlessly push the tiller along. Or at least it appeared to be so.
So I was doubly blessed today, blessed to have a wonderful and kind neighbor and blessed to have my garden all tilled and ready to go! How lucky can you get?

Friday, March 09, 2007


Spring, where are you??????????????

With the snow gone but temps still in the 20s in the morning, the poor little daffodils are struggling to really open. They have been sitting at half-mast all week... waiting.

Crocus are popping up here and there. That's promising...

The pansies are also making a brave effort.

The weather people are promising a real warm up... 50s this week-end, maybe even a 60 by the middle of next week. I explained all that to the plants this morning... not sure it did any good.

I won't even take any pictures of the camellias, they look so pitiful. They try to bloom and then get zapped by the cold again the next morning. Maybe next week will be better!

And maybe next week the grackles will move on to somebody else's feeders! They are consuming close to 5 pounds of seed A DAY! I decided to just let the feeders sit empty for a day or two and maybe they would go away... but the cardinals sat on the empty feeders and looked and looked. sigh. Like spoiled children they are. And, of course, I am convinced they were looking right in this window with that starved baby look asking me where the heck the food was!
We counted over 100 grackles here on Tuesday. Will someone remind me why I feed the outdoor cats? Is it not their job to do a bit of policing around here? They know who "lives" here and belongs here, and the Grackles are not among the residents on Possum Lane.
OK, OK, before any birdie-folk get their pants in a bunch - my cats do not really bother the birds, they barely even notice them anymore. I lose more birds to the resident Red-tail hawk than to the cats - and even to my windows which you would think are dirty enough the birds would never get confused and fly into them. They would never use my house for that Windex commercial! If spring ever gets here, maybe I will get my windows washed. Ya think?

NEWS FLASH! I have, I think, found a way to keep the grackles off the feeders - all I have to do is pick up a camera... or even just reach for it - and they are gone. Until I put the camera down... sigh.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


We had a bit of snow yesterday morning, but it was gone by 10 when it started to rain........

We woke up to a bit more this morning........

But, again, it was soon gone. sigh.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


The Daffodil Moon

I just decided to name my own Moon, not that I have anything against all the other names for the March Moon. Sap Rising Moon. Sap Running Moon, Worm Moon...

Last night we had a Blood Moon. "What," you say, "on earth is a Blood Moon? ... Sounds yucky!" Well, first it ain't on earth, but, make that BUT it is because of the earth that it is a Blood Moon. A Blood Moon occurs whenever there is a lunar eclipse. The shaded part of the moon turns red because of the light reflected off the earth. Go figure!

Whatever it is called, it sure was pretty.
But since a bunch of my daffodils opened today, I will stick with Daffodil Moon. Definitely not so yucky!