Muhly in the Morning

Some things are so crazy beautiful that one must pause to take it in. My Muhly Grass in the morning sun does this to me.

Sometimes it glistens with dew.

It has a lovely form and texture and color.

I am happy that it is happy on this slop in a featured spot in my garden.

The morning sun lights it up. The evening sun does, too. I love my Muhly.

Crazy beautiful!

FLOW

Signs of a Saddleback

I was inspecting my three hibiscus plants when I spotted some signs of a visitor on the red one.

First, I noticed some eaten leaves.

Then some frass/poop scattered on the lower leaves. I even found a shed skin that the muncher left behind after molting.

I knew from the spikes on the skin that my favorite caterpillar was on the underside of a leaf.

I had to search carefully. Its sting is painful.

Saddleback Caterpillar/ Sibine stimulea

Here it is. The Saddleback caterpillar/ Sibine stimulea. Still snacking.

Its rear end looks like it has eyes, but the poop is evidence that this is not its face.

I love these spiky, mean, green things!

FLOW

Neglected Green Babies

I have tried to explain to people that a plant acquistition is an adoption with responsibilities. I am serious about this. Plants know things and communicate in their own way with posture and color just like humans, only more subtle.

My neglected dahlias are falling over with heavy blooms.

I let Mr. Flower use their tomato cages for his garden, thinking I would get more later. The Dahlia row looks like a junk yard of fences, sticks and stakes that I have haphazardly added to the unsupported bloomers. Bless them!

My beautiful, messy life!

This mess is a visual representation of my present life. A gorgeous ghetto of growing problems, half-ass solutions and sincere love. I would prefer neat and tidy. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that.

Thomas A. Edison dahlia

I will go out into the garden in my pajamas and enjoy my floppy Dahlias this morning before I take off again to take care of needs elsewhere.

Cafe’ au Lait dahlia

My apologies to my flowers and friends. Family comes first.

FLOWER

September Sedum Show

I really admire the sedums for holding up to the August heat and then blooming afterwards.

I only water my small sedums in pots and troughs. The big plants in the yard are on their own.

I have three types with known hybrid names. The rest have been passed along or given to me without identification. These three are hard-working bloomers.

The hot pink one is aptly named ‘Brilliant’ because it really is showy.

‘Brilliant’ sedum

The more muted salmon, darker hybrid is ‘Matrona.’

‘Matrona’ sedum

The one I have had for several decades is ‘Autumn Joy.’

This plant is two-toned because the deer ate half of the shoots earlier in the summer. It recovered nicely.

‘Autumn Joy’ sedum

These three are covered with bees, wasps and butterflies all day long.

Their flowers are important to pollinators who still need food after most flowers have faded.

FLOW

During My Absence

I am beginning to question my choice of hobby. I cannot take a break, even when one is desperately needed. I actually feel punished by my plants when they are neglected. The insects seem to take advantage of my absence also.

I have not walked the gardens in over a week. I finally made a quick circle this evening with scissors, watering can and camera. Some changes had occurred.

The first thing that caught my eye was a naked Tomatillo plant.

A Hornworm had stripped it of all but a few small leaves. I hope he was ready to pupate, because there was nothing left to devour and no other Tomatillos nearby.

The Garlic Chives have finished blooming. I must quickly cut off the seed heads or I will have hundreds of Garlic Chives everywhere next spring.

Garlic Chive seed heads

The Hibiscus Trio is still blooming despite my messing up its watering and feeding schedule.

I am very happy to see one of my Writing Spider friends at the usual gutter down spout. Its eggs sac was close-by.

I hastily picked some tomatoes and peppers for an appetizer. Supper will be late again.

There was one constant. The Blue Crown passion vine was still covered in blooms. It has bloomed ALL SUMMER LONG. It was love at first sight and I still adore this plant in its seventh year here.

This gardening is hard work and I am tired of weeding, but nothing bring me more joy than the plants and animals in my garden. I guess I will keep watering, trimming, feeding, weeding… Anything is more fun than housework. Who wants to read a blog about that?

FLOW

The Old, the New and a Big Red Shoe

Lynchburg is one of those historic cities that have old buildings neighboring new ones. Renovation and restoration exist side-by-side with new construction. I believe this effort is worth the extra time it takes to make progress.

Downtown has just the right amount of energy. It is walker friendly, but very hilly.

There is a new feature named Art Alley that adds vibrant color and art to a street that is blocked to traffic.

I was impressed with the use of natural vegetation on slopes instead of struggling to artificially landscape them. Hills are hell to manage, so letting nature do it is wise. I love vines!

The city is divided into Historic Districts which can be easily navigated on foot. If the hills are too much for you, there is a walkway and park along the river and railroad tracks.

This is my second stay at the beautiful Craddock Terry Hotel which was originally a shoe factory. They have an excellent restaurant, The Shoemaker. The big windows and high, wooden ceilings make it charming.

I enjoyed wandering the streets again this visit. There is so much to pause and ponder on. I always wish I had more time there.

I was happy to be taken by car to the Diamond Hill District. I was not looking forward to hauling my Covid pounds up to that altitude. My new friends Jennifer and Mary were kindly patient during my forays out of the car to take photos. (Thanks ladies)

Cary DeVall Langhorne House

Lynchburg is doing a great job of moving forward without mowing down its history. I like that balance of respect and practicality. Careful progress is slower, but better in the long run.

I am a fan of Lynchburg. I do recommend comfortable shoes and a water bottle. Hauling around a big camera is worth the effort. There are interesting sights everywhere.

FLOW on the GO

Same Scene: Wiser Eyes

I felt compelled to return to that mysterious Langhorne House in Lynchburg during my visit last week.

https://wordpress.com/post/floweralley.org/13332

I was hoping to see signs of improvement, but instead found evidence of further weathering and decay.

I could proceed to chastise the present owners for neglect, but I empathize with them instead.

I know what it is like to inherit property with more deficits than assets.

It takes real money, time and effort to bring an old place up to present standards.

This house on the hill calls for restoration. It has a public history that seems to demand it. But where is the money?

The private owner must not be motivated to paint and renovate.

Not enough love, loyalty and funds? Bad memories? Family disputes? No matter! There must be a lack of motivation and/or inspiration.

The lights were on. That is a sign that the wires still work and heat is a possibility.

Two empty trailers were parked out back. At least someone is using the place.

It still feels lonely. It still seems empty. It is a sad remnant of a grand past.

Sometimes the weight of the past is too heavy to heave into the present.

I get that now. The haunting emptiness, the unpleasant memories, the emotional avoidance. Those burdens are real.

I hope that someday the Cary DeVall Langhorne house will be given new life and a face lift.

The historic neighborhood is quite lovely and well-maintained. There were busy workmen and scaffolding on almost every street.

What we do with our history is up to those in the present.

Maybe four years from now I will see a fresh coat of paint and repaired steps on this lovely, historic site.

FLOW

A Fire Bowl from the Farm

I was involved in a major production yesterday. Mr. Flower and I moved a giant iron cauldron from the farm to our fire pit area. It took a tractor with forks, a broom, a truck, a lawn mower, Crowbar, long iron bar, ropes and straps. I sent videos to both kids. They love this sort of entertainment provided by their father.

This cauldron is huge. A person could take a bath in it. I wanted to make it a fish pond, but I am pretty sure the fish would boil in the sun.

We are not sure why Papaw had this monster or if he ever used it. He did try to cook molasses once. He grew the cane himself. No one remembers much about that adventure except that Nana rode a lawn mower around in a circle to grind it since they did not have a mule.

The bowl was made by Stuart and Peterson Co. of Burlington, NJ.

There are no holes in it, but we will see what happens.

I plan on wearing a pointed hat for the occasion. Now that I have a cauldron, I might as well embrace my witchiness.

FLOW

My Flickr Photostream

I have picked the best of my thousands of photos to put on Flickr. It’s like my blog on steroids. I have tried to name each flower in the description.

This is a work in progress. This old dog is trying a new trick.

I hope this link works. Somebody let me know. ENJOY!

FLOW

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