Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Today I'm working on this:

More pruning, some clearing, a thorough washdown of the bench, clearing and planting of the pot with some red,white and blue petunias, and later in the season, when we have some of the tea parties we have planned, I'd like to festoon all the small cut limbs with ribbons holding a cascade of pretty teacups.

And see the little bistro set hidden in the background?

It started out set just slightly inside the ivy, but over several years, the encroaching spread had made it impossible to go sit with a cup of tea without bruising the beautiful green with your feet. So the little set (rusted and hazy when I bought it at a yard sale) has become weather-worn and grubby. It was a pretty little vignette as you drove into the drive, and now Caro has suggested that we bring it out right onto the pavement a bit, for easier use, and added a pedestal with a graceful pot for more of the petunias.
She's also going to put a pretty little lantern-shaped white "chandelier" on one of the shorn tree-limbs right above the table.
It's so uplifting to see everyone's gardens, the progress and the blooms and the care and work and tending which show in every bed, every shrub, every plot and place and vignette and area and room and space which has been made into something beautiful.
I love those glimpses into the handiwork of others, their way with plants and rocks and water and statuary and small arrangements of pretties which brighten the landscapes.
And I wish I had the touch for that---and the inclination, I suppose. I have absolutely NONE of the generations of genes which have coaxed fruit and vegetables and glorious bloom from the deep richness of Mississippi soil. Anything I touch (or neglect) turns to one of two extremes: Arid and dead, or jungle. There's no middle ground. I pot, they perish. I leave things alone, and you get swallowed up in the green.

I DO love the rich luxuriant growth of the grapevine across the garages; the spread of the shining ivy from eight little slips a few years ago has reached lawn proportions, creeping tendrils out and out, until the carpet gleams way out into what used to be grass.
The kudzu-tendencies of all the vines on the fence, the honeysuckle trees which shade more and more of the lawn each Spring, needing ruthless pruning to keep them under control, and the constant force which through the green fuse drives the flower---those are rampant and raging their way up onto the patio and into the potting shed.

I DO love the shaggy overgrowth, to see the lush swell of the buds and the leaves, to watch a rusted fenceline entwine with green velvet, then disappear into the shady cloak. I'd probably leave everything to kudzu itself into a landscape of blobby shapes-of-trees and house and cars, had I not the wise and guiding hand of Caro to keep things in check.

Angel seems happy to be sitting amongst all the overfill; all she needs is a little cleaning, a little fresh water for the chipmunks in the cup of her skirt, and all will be well.

PS This morning also included weeding the hosta bed, and using Sweetpea's tee-ninecy little yellow yard broom to get up all the maple spinners. At last.


The Quintessential Magpie said...

"I pot, they perish. I leave things alone, and you get swallowed up in the green."

Oh, do I ever understand this comment!!! LOL! I am living it now because our yard man didn't like to touch vines. That is not in his vocabulary. He told me there might be hornets in there. It's a yard. There are creepy crawlers and things with wings. You are a yardman. This does not compute!

We inherited him from his deceased father who was our yard man for many, many happy years, and we finally had enough when not only the vines were overtaking the camelias and everything else they could overtake, but when he didn't appear for three weeks. Now, we have a new yard man, but the vines? They are still merrily twining their arms in and around their nearest neighbors, no matter who that may be, and it could well be me next if I stand still long enough! ;-)



racheld said...

Oh, Sheila!! We're kindred spirits!

I'm in process this minute of finding a landscape or yard person, probably one of the "name" ones, to see what they can do with the poison ivy all in the REAL ivy.

I see it everywhere, just teensy little trefoils, and want it out before all the GrandChildren come in a few weeks.

And I know the dogs will romp in it and get it on everybody---that always happens.

Off to the yellow pages!!

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Well I have to say, I have really enjoyed being my own lawn person this year, pulling, cutting digging spraying..and I am so proud of how it finally looks, my hands and nails not to proud of, but they will love the ivy, I am trying to get mine to grow without much luck.

Chesapeake said...

Did my disposable gloves under the long-armed garden gloves to attack the poison ivy this evening. So many of the seeds are apparently spread by our beloved birds, and I have to get it out before it gets me! Had help coming indoors so I wouldn't touch anything, wash the garden gloves in alcohol, then soap, then out to dry. Usually works--oh and the pot with the tiny ivy plants goes directly in the trash.

Jeanne said...

Hi Rachel, I love your last two posts. I know when the plants grow too much it is a problem but just getting outside and doing something in the yard is very satisfying. I really enjoyed the lush growth and the little statue peaking out. The bistro set is charming as well. I truly enjoyed all the photos of the different areas in your yard.

I must tell you our black poodle, now gone, loved romping in the lush growth on the forest side of our driveway. She gave me the worst case of poison ivy when we first moved here. I hugged her and put my cheek on her fur. BIG mistake. Two different prescriptions and two trips to the doctor followed. There IS lots of poison on the sides of our property. In fact I have it right now on my arm. Please don't let the pets near that stuff.

Thank you so much for your visits and sweet comments. I appreciate it so much. Thinking about Cuba!!! Smile!Hugs, Jeanne

Southern Lady said...

Your yard is like a sanctuary, Rachel ... so pretty and cool looking. I love your little patio set, and hope you will share pictures with us when you finish "decorating" its little corner. Love the bench, too ... and your idea about hanging teacups on the branches for your tea parties is delightful.

parTea lady said...

Your yard looks lovely. I hope you will post about your garden tea parties. The sitting areas are charming with the bench and bistro set, etc.

Thanks for visiting me at Tea and Talk.