The Heat is Gone

I hope this cool Monday morning is a sign of things to come.

There seems to be a collective sigh from the garden.

Water hyacinth blooming among parrot feather and water lettuce in the pond

This summer has been a struggle.

I have constantly pruned and watered in an effort keep things alive.

The stress has shown in yellowed  leaves,  fragile stems and smaller and fewer flowers.

‘Picotee Blue ‘morning glory single bloom

The tide seems to have turned this morning.

A light rain has plumped up the plants and made them glisten.

Pink Muhly Grass/ Muhlenbergia capillaris

My favorite dahlia, Thomas A. Edison has decided to stand up and bloom at last.

Thomas A Edison dinnerplate dahlia

Let’s hope that we all can thrive for a bit in this cool.

Except for the weeds. They will be killed as usual.


Forced to have Fun

It’s hard for me to leave tasks unfinished.

Since I am never finished, I rarely voluntarily stop working.

Sometimes a family intervention is needed.

This weekend I was forced to stop weeding, washing and writing

to travel up river by boat with the kayaks piled onto the front.

We have been wanting to do this for years.

There are side channels of the river that can only be reached by canoes and kayaks.

We anchored the boat and paddled under bridges


and through leaning trees to explore two of these protected areas.

I was pleased to see that nesting boxes and platforms had been erected for bird habitats.


The turtles, fish and snake I saw seemed undisturbed by my floating by.


I felt this was not only a haven for them, but also for me.

Maybe it’s time for FLOWER to get back to biology?

I returned home wet, tired and hungry…but with a new attitude.

Let’s call it water therapy.

That’s my kayak, but I don’t recognize that old lady in it. Ha!







Fall Evaluations

It is a bit early for the usual fall preparations, but this has not been a usual fall.

In preparing for Hurricane Florence, many potted plants had to be moved for protection.

Vines on trellises had to be trimmed and tied.

Limbs and leaves of the tropical trees had to be preened off to lessen wind resistance.

Now that Florence has passed, I find myself dragging plants in big clay pots back out

just about the time they should be prepared to be moved in for winter.

So this fall, the transition has been complicated.

As the clay pots come out of the shop after Florence, their plants are being popped into a plastic pot of similar size.

Some late acquisitions are being put in the ground.

This is the first fall ever that I have considered tossing my FLOWER status.

It has been one calamity after another in my garden this spring and summer.

I have never worked harder nor had this many failures.

I am carefully considering the future of each plant and my position as their gardener.

Florence brought in the winds of change.

Where will the FLOWER blow off to?


Time Flies while Watching Ferns

This post is a follow-up to to a post from November of 2016.

I am shocked that it has been almost two years!

That fall I reported on a disappearing fern.

One of my favorite babies was disappearing.

Further inspection showed that caterpillar was eating my coveted

Dragon’s tail fern, Aspleniaceae x Ebenoides.

After attempts to save what was left of the little fern,

I decided my best hope for a future for the fern was for future offspring.

I placed the remaining fronds face down on sterile seed-starting mix in a sealed glass jar.

Green slowly appeared months later. This tiny green growth was the gametophyte stage of the fern.

This week, while trapped inside during Hurricane Florence, I notice the first tiny frond.

A fern is born!  In only two short years!

If you are into gardening for the long game, try starting ferns.

It will make watching grass grow seem fast-paced and exciting.


Safe and Soggy

Florence has left us.

I feel such gratefulness that we ourselves were spared

the devastation experienced by so many others.

The sunshine is a welcome sight after days of darkness.

I must admit, I did not stay inside during the deluge.

This should not come as a surprise to my readers.

Over and over again I strode into the storm to check plants and ditches,

necessary for my sanity if for no other reason.

I am happy to report

the banana forest is still upright


the vines are still clinging


and way up in a tree

a certain nest is still intact.


Way to go Mama Squirrel!


Mama Squirrel moves Babies before Florence Hits

I have been watching in amazement this morning as

a mama squirrel has been relocating her babies to a different tree

BEFORE the storm hits.

Mama on second branch to the left of the trunk.

How does she know?

I have watched her carry three little ones high up into a new tree.

She has taken the same route each time, across the gravel, down the steps,

through the fern garden, across the lawn and up to the top of the tree.

Mama headed up the trunk at height of orange bird house.

What has told her that her home was not safe?

Was it a crick-cracking sound during the wind gusts?

Why this morning? Not much is going on here.

What does she know that I do not?

We shall see.  If a tree falls during the storm,

I bet it will have an empty squirrel’s nest among its branches.

Nature knows.



My Head is a Barometer

I refuse to watch the news.

The hype is exasperating.

I am quietly praying for those in harm’s way.

It is gusty here.

The chimes are singing.  The trees are dancing.

My head knows something is coming.

I know not whether it is inner ear or cerebrospinal fluid.

The tide in my head is shifting.

I wait outside in the wind.

Whatever comes will come.

No technology needed.

I feel it.


My New Weed

There has been a new invader into my all ready weedy habitat.

Its scientific name is Phyllanthus urinaria.


Common names include chamber bitter, gripe weed, leaf flower and little mimosa.

I suspect it arrived hidden in a bale of pine needles.  Sneaky little weed.

It looks like tiny mimosa trees. Its little leaflets close when touched.

It has seed pods on the underside of the stems.


I have been manually removing it until my fingers cramp.

This is what I have been doing instead of watching the constant updates

on hurricane Florence.

I am an ostrich. I can only take so many models and forecasts.

According to the MAN, Florence is tremendously big and tremendously wet.  Hmmmm?

I will wait in the weeds, bitter and griping.




Where’s the Pot?

I thought I would like this trellis up here on the library deck.


I wanted to be able to see the bright red blooms from my desk.


I might have to put a “dummy pot” on the stand under it.

Where is the real pot?


Way down below at the base of the column.

This vine stretches out its springy tendrils and grows like crazy.

My Red Passion vine is one of my favorites.