Year of the Iris (and Poppy and Columbine and…)

One more day until we get our second Moderna doses!  Then two weeks until we’re safe (with precautions) to “come out”.  And then I’ll finally get to see my son (with his two Pfizer shots behind him) when he visits.

Speaking of which, he gave me a lovely in-depth virtual tour of his new garden, which the previous owners lovingly planted with natives and other excellent plants.  They obviously succeeded.  Garden envy!

Today, I sowed most of my herb seeds in the herb beds.  I just have a few more to go.  Then the back porch will be completely surrounded by herbs.

This is definitely the year of the bearded iris.  There are masses of them around the house, in at least a half-dozen colors.  I guess conditions were finally right (now that we’re moving).

The brilliant orange poppies continue to fill the CA rock garden and overflow.  They’re mesmerizing.  At least I got to see them in all their glory.  Likewise with the native red columbines.  I must have done something right!

Other perennials (and even veggies) are starting to bloom in rainbow colors.

Hindsight 2021

The work goes on.  The goal is to bring this place up to speed for selling, without killing ourselves (or our budget).

Sadly, I’m starting to view my landscaping in hindsight, as a buyer might see it.  Hey, I’d buy it!  (Oh wait we did.)  So more of my shots will look like real estate photos, emphasizing selling points.

Today I created my flower cutting garden, including perennials, annuals, and even flowering herbs and veggies.  It should look spectacular if it comes up.  I hope I’ll get to see it bloom.

E has been making progress on the porch project.  It looks really improved.  She’s also been packing up and storing large items in the cleaned-up shed.

As always, here are more flowers.  My peas finally started blooming–the ones the rabbits didn’t snip with their evil rabbit scissors.  My poppies continue to amaze me.

Getting Stuff Done

It’s been very industrious, here at the Almanac.

Yesterday I weeded and cleaned up the bed around the front maple tree, so it can fill in with ground covers and flowers.

Skunkbunny did his (?) part mowing the lawn.

Today E cut and installed wood latticework around the bottom of the porch, and it’s already looking more porch-like.  Here are some shots of the first stage.

Meanwhile, I weed-whacked and mowed, and then she came behind me with the rider.  Later, I brought all the rest of my plants (mostly tropicals and succulents) outside, and turned off the grow lights, probably for the last time in TN.

This seems to be the year of the irises.  I’ll miss being surrounded by them, and by the poppies, columbines, and other flowers that took so long to establish.

Home for Wayward Pets

I think my evil plan to attract wildlife is working…too well!  It seems our house has become a wayward pets shelter.

Skunkbunny and wild relations lounging companionably outside the shed or carport is strange enough.  Last night I looked out the front door and did a double take.  At first glance I thought Skunkbunny had made a new cat friend!?  Two stray cats, one black and white, one gray and white, were parked next to each other on the front porch!  They just looked at us.  I guess they were sheltering from the rain (and the fish scraps I left outside probably didn’t hurt.)

This morning, sure enough, there was Skunkbunny following a wild rabbit around near the carport, probably taking culinary lessons.  What a poser!  Then s/he returned to under the car, where it was dry.  It seems s/he lives here now.  The other rabbits must think s/he’s a freak.


In the more natural world, here’s sunrise after all the rain.  I could almost make out the mountains far in the distance, too far to get a good shot.  Speaking of which, my son was saying goodbye to his foothills home for the last time this past weekend.  (He returned to take care of some last minute business.)  Because of COVID, I never got to say my last farewells myself.  Many bittersweet, momentous changes took place in that house over the years.  Soon, the same will be true of ours.




Rabbit Gnome

This “Skunkbunny” is the weirdest rabbit I’ve ever encountered.  Here she is, just sitting side-by-side with a wild rabbit in the rain, in front of the shed where they apparently live.  She must think she’s a real rabbit!  Or a lawn ornament.  When I got too close, the wild one ducked under the shed, while Skunkbunny just sat there like a blob.  Laughing my ass off.

Here are some flowers in and out of the rain.



Greenhouse Evictions

It’s a relief to see our president joining the world in pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade, unlike the last jerk.  Let’s hope we can catch up before it’s too late for the planet.  We have no time to lose.

Here at the almanac, we had a freeze, and it’s cold out, so I’m glad I waited to transplant my veg seedlings.  Today I divided and repotted most of the tomato plants, and moved them out into sheltered partial sun to harden off a little more before they go in the ground.  I got to about half of the plants in this photo.  What was I thinking?!

The frost didn’t faze these flowers.  They just get better.  Pictured are: ranunculus, native red columbine, allium, purple columbine, comfrey, and amsonia.

Turning Corners

It’s a sad sign of the times when you half expect the outcome of a racist cop murder trial to be yet another acquittal.  It’s sadder that it takes such extreme brutality and injustice to finally reach a guilty verdict.  But at least in this case justice was achieved, if not a reduction in violent gun deaths.  Maybe a corner has been turned at last.

Closer to home, I’m taking on the daunting, almost overwhelming task of sorting through ancient papers and records as part of downsizing to move.  Inexplicably, I save everything!!  I can only take it in small bites, as it dredges up all sorts of sordid past events.  I’ve put this horror off for decades, so it’s about time.  It will be a huge weight lifted when I’m done.

In lighter news, yesterday I sowed the “three sisters” (corn, beans, and squash) in the main veg bed.  Actually four, because I included mammoth sunflowers.  It was a big job.  Next, I’ll plant my seedlings (tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant) in the veg annex.

Here are more of the latest flowers.  I keep remembering this will probably be the last time I see these flowers in TN.  I’ll especially miss my poppies, columbines, and irises.  I know they can be replaced, but they take time to establish.  Trees even more so.  Time is winding down, so these photos are all I’ll have.


Lounge Lizards and Bunnies

Rabbits are strange.  Yesterday evening at dusk we looked out front, and there in the veg garden, just lying down and lounging, was–Skunkbunny!  Not a care in the world.  Next to her was a large wild rabbit, also just sitting.  It was unnatural.

Early this morning I looked out back, and there was Skunkbunny down by the shed, where she likes to hang out.  It’s like tracking the moon in its trip across the night sky.  Maybe I should call her “Moonpie”.

I couldn’t get a closeup of Moonpie, so here’s one of a large skink basking on a warm rock.  These lizards live all around our house.

I replaced a couple of dead trees in my deciduous row with new saplings, in this case dogwoods.  I planted a row of mixed gladiolus bulbs along the side fence, and two varieties of peonies near the driveway.  Slowly but surely I’m checking off all the tasks to be done before we move, and leaving behind a beautiful flower garden.

Here are some scenes.