Tag Archives: Garden

Plants

plantsThis time of year always provokes an intense longing for spring in me.  It’s about now that I turn my attention to my otherwise neglected houseplants. This is especially true as this is the time when the amaryllis bloom.

hyacinthThis year, I bought hyacinth bulbs and forced them into bloom.  I brought them pre-chilled so  didn’t need to do anything but put them in the spiffy hyacinth forcing vases and wait.  They didn’t disappoint.  The scent is almost overpowering.  I think I will make this an annual event.  I had to buy  8 lbs., so I can do another round or two.  Or maybe I should plant the remainder outside.

peace-lilyI’ve managed to keep alive the peace lily that was given to me for my dad’s funeral.  It’s a beautiful plant, big and lush although it doesn’t bloom much.  I’m hoping it just needs warmer weather to begin blooming again.  I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to fertilize it.

I’m trying to start a plumeria but it’s being cantankerous.  It may rot before it sprouts leaves.  I’m hopeful as my dad had a big plumeria he nursed for years before it succumbed to an early frost one year after it got so big they couldn’t move it any longer.

amaryllisThe amaryllis were given to me years ago as a Christmas gift.  I can’t remember from whom.  They’ve divided and grown to where I have several of them now.  A few years ago, I bought a pink and white one and it now blooms every year.  They’re overcrowded and I’ll need to separate them this year, but they do make my heart sing.

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Filed under February 2017

Sucker Punched

tuckered emmylouA few weeks ago, I fell for no good reason and landed on my knees.  The impact was such that I’m quite sure I left an impression in the concrete sidewalk.  One knee was torn up and developed a horrendous scab; the other swelled to the size of a softball.  Both of them astonished me with their cries of pain.

The pain took my breath.  For a good four days, I couldn’t stand or sit or walk or lie down without pain so intense I was reminded of labor.  The pain wasn’t baby-producing intense, but it did provoke the same sort of awe.

This week, I got news that sucker-punched me.  No.  Nobody died.  My relationships are all intact except maybe for the relationship I have with myself.  For several days, my self-esteem has been crying out with the same level of pain as did my knees.

I have decided to get over it.

Today, I spent my time in the much neglected garden doing triage.  I didn’t get as far as I had hoped due to the electric lawnmower dying, but I accomplished much in getting my equilibrium (and self-esteem) back.  The puppies frolicked in the warm spring air and I tended to tender plants while guiltlessly executing weeds and banishing leaves.

Gardening season is upon me.  I much prefer the awe of an Appalachian spring over the awe of surprise pain.

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Filed under May 2015

Finally!

crocusThe sweet little, white crocuses that I planted a couple of years ago are finally blooming.  They’ll be spectacular in a few years.

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Filed under March 2015

This lawn chair is mighty comfortable, y’all.

I have waxed rhapsodic about an Appalachian spring many times.  I won’t bore us by doing it again.  However, suffice it to say that I’m glorying in today’s weather and trying to create order in what passes for my yard.

daffodilskyLast year was the Great Garden Palooza of 2013.  HMOKeefe was mighty sick and I took off work to be here with him.  He slept a lot and during his naps I started two big garden projects:  leveling the back yard and creating a kitchen door garden.  He worsened and died before either project was finished, but he was excited about what I was doing.  He would sit on the daybed by the bay window and watch me move retaining blocks, dirt and mulch.

There was no need to go to the gym last year.  I moved enough wheelbarrow loads of stuff to surpass any gym workout.  Unfortunately, I need to move as many as I did last year plus a few dozen more.  I’m finding it hard to motivate.  Instead, I sit in the lawn chair with the warm sun on my face and fantasize about how great the yard is going to look when I’m done with it.

I have a plaque that looks like a rock with the words it takes a long time to grow an old friend engraved on it.  It’s really going to take a long time if I don’t get out of this lawn chair and get moving.  Never mind that the house is also a mess and my to-do list is in volumes. . .

While I won’t wax rhapsodic about spring, let me just say that after the polar vortex, record cold and snow, and a generally sucky winter, I need this spring.  I need this warm sun on my face and I need the soft, new grass curling around my bare feet.  I need it all so much that in addition to finishing last year’s projects, I’m committed to restoring the front garden to its former glory.  Yes, I’ve said this before.  Yes, yes, I know.  . . but really, I’m going to do it.  Just as soon as I get out of this lawn chair.

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Filed under April 2014

There’s a dragon in my garden.

dragon 001

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December 10, 2013 7:54 am · 7:54 am

DragonMan

bonemanWhen I wasn’t calling him by his real name of Doug, I called him either HMO’Keefe or Dragonman (sometimes shortened to DMan.) The former was a nickname of his choosing based on an historical character. The latter, and the subject of this blather, is my nickname for him. Once in a great while, I called him Boneman which was his online moniker when he wasn’t using HMO’Keefe.

I don’t really remember how it got started.

We met on an anthropology listserv (a kind of online forum.) I was the middle-aged undergraduate student with no fear and he was the gentle scientist. As is my wont, I blasted into the group with questions and commentary. He was one of the first to respond. In his gentle manner, he told me I might want to tone it down a bit. I said, and I’m pretty sure this is exact at least in meaning, “Ah hell, y’all are hollering ‘fresh meat’ and loving every second of my nonsense.” He laughed. The group gave me a hard time, but they gave everyone a hard time. They also seemed to like me. I’m kind of likeable on some days. Doug became my academic mentor.

columbus in the springWith respect to the listserv, I think, he said something along the lines of “I’ll help slay the dragons.”

I said, “You are the dragon! And, besides, I’ll slay my own dragons, thank you very much.”

We were friends a good while before we were lovers. During that friend phase, he was the Dragon in the Computer. It wasn’t until later when we both left our marriages that we became a couple. I don’t know when it was that we went from platonic to romantic, but I do know when, where and how it was consummated. Most of our time together was spent 800 miles apart. I remember our 3D meetings in vivid color.

Boston in the snowI think the nickname tickled him. He adopted Dman. I have mixed CDs he put together for me labeled A Dman Compilation. I called him DragonMan. I had no interest in slaying the dragon, but I may have tried to tame him. He had a stubborn streak particularly with respect to his leukemia and the ensuing chaos. There was friction. Oddly enough, I was the fire breathing one.

For Mother’s Day this year he gave me a gift certificate to a gardening catalog. After much fretting and carrying on, I chose the lawn dragon. I didn’t tell him what I ordered. I wanted him to be surprised. At the time, I was sure it was priced too high and would be too small. I was wrong. It’s quite substantial, just the right size, and a fitting memorial. It was delivered a few days after his death.

The eye of the dragonI put it out Monday, finally, just before the first snowfall of the year. I set it amidst a bed of white stones. The stones are temporary. This spring I will plant the area with Irish Moss.

I bought one small clump of the moss this year and plopped it in the yard to see if it would thrive, just survive, or plain old die. It has thrived and is remarkably beautiful. I was loathe to buy more than one as it was expensive and I need about 20 of them, but since it’s doing so well I’ll get what I need or maybe more. I’ll probably have to take out a mortgage to fund this, but it will be spectacular.

snow dragon in the gardenI enjoyed seeing the dragon frosted with snow this morning. As much as DragonMan bitched about it, I think he liked snow. I don’t think he could have done 30 years in Boston otherwise.

I miss him, but the dragon makes me smile much the same way he did.

—————–

I typed the draft of this post on a Neo2. The Neo is a nifty little keyboard with a small screen. It can hold 8 small files. Allegedly it’s all the rage with writers, although designed for classrooms. It weighs next to nothing, is cheap, uploads to word processing programs easily, and nobody would be interested in stealing it unless you’re in a room full of writers. My dad showed me his and I drooled all over it, so he gave me one for my birthday.

It’s great for dragging out to the garden, or the auto shop waiting room, or any place that a laptop might take a beating. It runs on AA batteries and is just a little gem. If it breaks, or is lost or is stolen, you haven’t lost your whole life. It’s a nifty little tool and I’m quite impressed with it. It reminds me of my misspent youth when I worked in a law office on IBM’s first electronic typewriters. They too had a tiny memory, but were tremendously useful for storing paragraphs or legal descriptions used over and over in a case. I think I love this little thing.

http://www.renlearn.com/neo2/default.aspx  (Aw damn, like they’re discontinuing you them in the states.)

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Filed under November 2013

Snow Day/Sick Day

Snow Day/Sick Day

There’s a dragon in my garden.

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November 12, 2013 10:19 am · 10:19 am