Friday, August 3, 2007

Friday Conversation

Come on out on the deck; it's cooled off a good bit with that thunderstorm...that missed us. Somebody got some rain out of it, though. I'll pull up a chair--here, you can sit on the glider--and we'll talk gardening.

All those plants in pots over there? Stuff I bought or people gave me earlier this summer. Been too dry to plant anything, so I keep them all over there by the water spigot (we say "spicket" down here) so I can water them when I fill up the birdbath. What we need is a little hurricane to fill up the lakes and soak the ground.

Thanks. That bed does look good, doesn't it? The best-looking part of the garden this time of year and I can't take a bit of credit for it. Teresa did that. I told her she was planting the marigolds too close together, but now I don't think so. They love the heat. I remember when I was little we had a place at the beach, just a little trailer, and we had marigolds growing in a little bed there. Man, that was the life, to be eight years old, out of school, and at the beach.

Here come the cardinals to the bird feeder. They eat late. You'll see them out here just about dark, long after the other birds have gone to roost for the night. Let me go get some sunflower seed and refill that feeder...for the second time today! If I didn't get free birdseed where I work I don't know what I'd do. Even with that I had to buy 20 pounds of sunflower last week. You want a glass of tea while I'm up?

There's a bunch of feathers down there around the feeder. Looks like something got caught. No, I don't think Andy did it. Anything he catches, he brings to the door. I've learned to look before I take that first step out the back door, ever since I almost stepped on the remains of a freshly killed rabbit. He hasn't caught anything lately though. Those look like dove feathers on the ground; since there's no corpse, I'm going to guess that the hawk caught a meal. A Cooper's Hawk has been hanging out here lately, beautiful bird.

How much rain have we gotten? Well, around an inch and a half fell this past week, but before that, we probably got no more than an inch for all of June and July. You know how Southerners are about snow..everybody runs to the window to look at it, and you call your friends on the phone to see how much they got? Well, people act like that about rain now. Except that we don't rush to the grocery store for milk and bread like we do for snow.

This fall? I've got lots of plans. Teresa wants to make a "Charleston Garden" over next to the driveway. She calls it that because it'll be real narrow, like the gardens of those old homes along the Battery. I gave her a wrought iron fence for her birthday, and we're going to put it up there on the property line and plant some cleomes, foxgloves, clematis, beardtongue...I forget what all she wants to put in. The hardest part is going to be breaking up that dirt. Yeah, it's hard-packed clay, but that's not the worst of it; it's got a bunch of gravel, I guess from where they built the driveway. That'll be fun. It's going to be a "skinny garden," all right, if I can borrow that term from Gina.

Other than that, I'll probably add some plants to the Bottomlands over there. I'm focusing on plants with berries to attract birds; I've got a chokecherry and some arrowwood viburnums already; some wax myrtle might be good also, and maybe another pyracantha. (That "Mojave" in the corner has been fantastic; it's grown six feet in 2 years.)

I'm letting the vinca minor go wild in that bed. (I can't afford to mulch the whole place!) Vinca's a cool groundcover. People used to plant it over graves in their family cemeteries. I think it's pretty, old weathered gravestones sticking up out of that soft green foliage. Those quartz rocks are gravestones---animals that Andy has killed. Mostly rats, but unfortunately a few birds and the rabbit I told you about earlier. Some gardener decades from now is going to think we were conducting animal sacrifices back here. I think everything ought to have a decent grave--even the rat.

Slap! Mosquitoes bothering you? Me too. I reckon I need to go on inside. I want to read some more of Doug Marlette's novel, Magic Time. I hated to hear that he's gone. Funny guy, and a good, good writer. Check him out next time you're looking for something to read.

Nice talking with you. I'll take that glass in if you're finished. All right, well, come back again anytime. If you see something you want in the garden, let me know. I'll divide or move a lot of this stuff in the fall, and you're more than welcome to anything you see. Bye now.


Carol said...

Hey, I enjoyed our talk this evening, that flower bed does look quite nice.

Carolyn gail said...

I wish I was sitting on that deck down in North Carolina with that cool air.

You got an inch and a half of rain last week ? That's good, but sorry to hear you had very little in the previous months. We are overdue for rain here in Chicago.

Thanks for sharing your garden with us.

Marion in Savannah said...

Thanks for the tea and the lovely chat. We finally had a long, soaking rain the other day. I hope you got yours too. I'm so jealous of your free birdseed I could scream! Keeping our feeders filled is about to bankrupt me... But we get so much pleasure watching them that it's worth it.

LCShores said...

There's nothing like a nice garden chat with a cat wandering around (and I envy you your cat-filled and bird-oriented workplace!). We've gotten 3/4 of an inch today here in Chicago, which was a nice test of the rain garden that a neighbor and I started yesterday.

David in Greensboro NC said...

Thanks, Carol. I'll tell Teresa you like her bed!

Anytime, Carolyn Gail. The cool air was short-lived though. Back to 96 today.

Marion, come back again sometime for a refill. And remember, birdseed is cheaper than therapy.

lcshores, I really enjoy working at the bird store. I'm lucky to have two rewarding jobs. Glad you got some rain--nothing like a rain garden with no rain!

Thanks everyone, and come back again and we'll chat some more!