A Matter of Time

This must be winter’s last gasp.  After a windy downpour last night, temps are falling to below freezing by tonight.  It’s almost too cold to garden or take pictures, but I caught a few signs that spring is definitely settling in.  The redbud trees are starting to bloom, as are some perennials.  My peas are seriously up.  Even the lowly hosta shoots can’t be held back.  It’s just a matter of time.


“Poor” injured Misu has been convalescing (i.e. luxuriating in the literal lap of luxury) for a few days.  Here she is demonstrating how to get more comfortable and watch birds at the same time.  Maybe she’ll forget all about being an outdoor cat (?).

It was strange not having my son over for erev, but I know he’s eating well and being taken care of in St. Louis.  I just hope he’ll want to drop in and visit between trips!

This is one of those interim periods on the planting calendar.  Everything is in a holding pattern until last danger of frost, then it’s a frenzy of activity again, sowing, transplanting, transferring cold stratified wildflower seeds to warm germination mode, etc.  You’re anxious to proceed, but know it’s safer to wait.  No worries; there’s always work to be done.

Case in point: today may reach 75°, but tomorrow night may fall to 29°!  Horticulture is all about patience and working with nature.  Whereas nature just barrels on ahead, waiting for no one.  It’s ever-changing and unpredictable.  This year, masses of multi-colored violets have taken over the whole property.  It’s like a wildflower kaleidoscope, the most delightful kind of art.

Hort Therapy

Poor Misu seems to have injured her arm, so she’s staying indoors to recover.  🙁

Meanwhile, I moved more veg seedlings outdoors, continued to amend soil, planted more herb plants in the garden, transplanted more wildflower plants to the meadow, did some cleanup, and watered stuff.  It was kind of lonely without Misu supervising, although “Joey” loves to follow me around, so eventually I ran out of steam.  There’s always plenty more tomorrow.

Here are more perennials blooming, and herbs growing on the windowsill.

Web Collaboration

Yesterday I was even busier gardening, while Misu was busier lounging for the both of us.  She seems a bit lethargic lately, so we’re keeping an eye on her.

I started planting my new herb garden with perennial and annual/biennial herbs.  I’ll add to it as plants become mature indoors.

I’m working my way down the fence veg bed, transplanting perennials out as I go, then amending the soil to prep it for seeding.  I moved masses of spring bulb flowers, wildflowers, and perennial flowering plants to their respective locations.  Eventually the fence bed will contain all the large summer/fall veggies and sunflowers.

Gardening is an ongoing, never-ending process, so it keeps me productive and out of trouble.  It’s my creative outlet, using nature’s vast, ever-changing palette to beautify our surroundings and improve the quality of our environment, rather than trying to restrict and control it unnaturally.  After all, nature will outlast us all, if we work with it, not against it.

Plus I get to share the excess of food and flowers with other humans, as well as with birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife.  You can’t lose, knowing your place as collaborator, not dominator, in the natural web.

Speaking of which, back out I go.  Work to be done.  Weeds to be photographed.


Natural Transformations

Yesterday I was happily too busy gardening to post.  This is when I’m in my element, transplanting, preparing beds, etc.  I’ve begun the transformation of the weedy field to a TN native meadow/grassland/savannah area.  Eventually we hope to reduce the lawn to narrow paths through flowery tree groves.  Maybe not in my lifetime, but that’s the plan, anyway!

Here is Misu defending her domain from behind her comfortable window throne, and “Joey” ignoring her out on the deck.  Eventually her majesty came out to survey her kingdom from down under.

These are some very good Italian flatbreads and tomato sauce that E made.

Here are my orchids being photogenic.

Violets and other beautiful “weeds” have invaded the land, which is fine by me.  A field of flowers trumps a boring lawn any day.  I’m thankful I live in a location where neighbors don’t dictate manicured conformity.  They may not be friendly, but they mostly keep to themselves.  The hordes of drug traffickers are still next door, unfortunately, but hopefully that won’t be a sustainable lifestyle for long.  The same can be said for that depraved criminal hogging the presidency.

[Only I could go from violets to criminal activity in one paragraph.  There’s no accounting for brains.]

My son will be away on business/personal trips from now through most of April.  It gives me mixed feelings.  I’ve gotten spoiled having him around a lot, so I miss him when he’s gone, but I’m glad he’s recovering and rebuilding his life.  Not many people get to start over and get it right while they’re still young.

And now back to gardening.


Furled Peas

You may groan, but it’s just an apt description of my first peas coming up in the rain today.

Also, this flower bloomed in my sun perennial bed.

Millions of violets in shades from deep purple to veined lavender and white are covering the yard and field, which makes me happy.

Many trees are coming up around the edges of the property, a good sign.  It turns out many of the tree saplings I planted last year are coming back, as are most of the perennial plants I thought I had lost.

I started propagating a couple of tree and bush cuttings just for laughs, something I haven’t done in way too long.  I was The Propagatrix ©™, after all.




Misu’s favorite rain activity is sleeping with her pal Skully.  Mine is watching plants come up.  Call me a hort geek, I’ve been called worse.


First Mowing and First Showing

Today I mowed around the trees and edges of the yard for the first time this spring. It was nice to get out there and get stuff done.  E worked on things in the shed.  Also, my first veg seedlings are coming up in the garden–broccoli, collards, and spinach!  Misu slept through all the noisy machinery in her carrier on the porch.  I guess she was exhausted from the big bunny she killed and dragged onto the porch!  She’s a serious hunter now.


It was nine years ago today that my father died, not long after I had returned to NJ to caregive for my aging parents.  He had extreme Alzheimer’s and heart failure, and didn’t even recognize us anymore.  He would become very agitated and delusional, but in the end he just faded out of existence.

Witnessing his dramatic decline, and then my mother’s own dementia and leukemia which lingers on still, I hope that in my case I won’t have to be maintained indefinitely (and expensively) long after my life ceases to have any quality or meaning.  It’s not the way I want to be remembered by those I care about.  Not to be all morbid, it’s just how I strongly feel.

I prefer to remember my father as someone who was a big proponent of literature, language, and education in all forms, who exposed us to many world cultures and opportunities, and who was part of the inspiration for my love of botanical pursuits.  In later years, he was so proud to docent at the New York Botanical Gardens, and take us on many pleasant tours.  I don’t have many fond personal memories of him and me, but to this day I think of him at 5PM (drink o’clock) each day, when we used to drink a scotch or gin and tonic together.

Here are my orchids doing their annual thing, in memory.



Avdi and friend Janelle were here for our erev meal, work, and hanging out, which was quite pleasant.  I love being able to share our home and hospitality with my son and friends.  I gave them the customary five-minute tour of the future arboretum i.e. weed-flower field and photo-opp.  I assured Avdi one can never take too many identical flower pictures.  I do it every day.