Day 258: Friday Delights

The landscaper finally came back and has begun planting the Skip Laurels in the backyard. He also placed the French drain in the lawn.

I bought a bunch of cinnamon ferns from my egg farmer folks to plant around the deck since my lady ferns were not available. Rick, the egg guy, dropped them off and we had a delightful chat.

We had The Last Word Cocktails for our Friday cocktails.

Day 255: Putting a Slant on “Delight”, Plus Two New Stores

This morning, on my way to the garden beds to snap a photo of an iris in bloom, I twisted my ankle in a hole in the backyard. It didn’t hurt that much when I twisted it — I fell so maybe that helped. I did feel something snap, though which is worrying. While this is not a delight, I am delighted it wasn’t worse.

I took the photo of the iris, then immediately iced and elevated my ankle. I took it easy, then elevated and iced it again. I wrapped it and did some shopping. While it was tender, it never really hurt that bad. Time will tell!

For over a year I’ve been wanting to stop in at an Indian grocery store called Guru Groceries and Chaat House but never remembered it when I needed something they might sell, plus parking is not so easy at its location. We needed naan (normally these days I make it, but didn’t feel like doing so, especially after the ankle incident) so I thought I’d stop by there and buy some naan. I ended up buying the naan, a mango and some spices I was unable to find at Penzey’s.

Just around the corner is a Japanese grocery store that I’d not heard of. I stopped in there, but didn’t buy anything since we’re flush with Japanese staples.

Days 238-245: Delightful Tybee Island

We spent a delightfully relaxing week on Tybee Island, Georgia. Much of the time I felt simply happy. Happier than I remembered feeling for a very long time. Change of scenery? Nothing hanging over my head? Lovely Airbnb? Maybe all of it combined.

I’d wake up and drink my coffee on the screened porch off the bedroom. The first morning I shared the space with a female cowbird. The other mornings I shared it with various insects. A gecko came by twice, but on the other side of the screen.

I’d putz after that and then Dean and I would explore either the island, or nearby Savannah.

We either went out (ate outside) for dinner, or Dean would cook one of the Hungry Harvest meals we brought with us. Once we brought a meal back to the Airbnb.

By the end I was rested and ready to get back home.

Day 232: Bob’s Columbine

I was delighted to see my columbine blooming today. It was a mother’s day gift from Andrew and Dean via master gardener, former neighbor and friend, Bob. His front yard was full of beautiful native plants, including native columbine. One year I asked if I could dig some up and plant them in my yard. I think he was delighted, I know I was.

Also I noticed that we’ve got tiny figs on our fig tree already!

Days 184 – 193: Mostly Plants

A couple of weeks ago we met with a landscaper and his partner to discuss some plants for our backyard. It’s pretty much been an eyesore for years and I decided that I didn’t want to just add a few plants, but really re-do the yard. Pull up the ivy and vinca, plant native wildlife-attracting shrubs and perennials. We’ve been throwing ideas back and forth with the landscapers and have settled on some exciting-to-me plants:

  • Skip Laurels along the back to hide our neighbor’s driveway and guesthouse-office
  • Beautyberry bushes along the other neighbor’s fence along with some other, yet to be decided native perennials
  • Native shade-loving plants around the deck:
    • goldenrod
    • bleeding hearts
    • wood asters
    • two types of ferns
  • Woodsy plants in the deep shade such as jack-in-the-pulpit, maybe some trillium
  • I also want to plant a spicebush on the side of the house

The folks have done quite a bit of work — mostly removing invasive ivy and vinca. They also took down a wire fence between our yard and the backdoor neighbor. It looks bare now, but at some point it will be beautiful.

I really love my houseplants. When I look at them my heart soars. I thought I was a houseplant killer, but these are doing well. Of course they are pretty easy to keep alive, but still.

Other delights of the past several days:

  • Snowdrops were discovered under some ivy and pachysandra — a remnant of a fairy garden Clare and I tried to create
  • The juncos are still around and enjoying the thistle seed
  • I’ve figured out where to put the bird feeder when the garden is done
  • I didn’t kill the wintersweet (whew!)

Day 141: Wintersweet

A few weeks ago when we went to the National Arboretum we were walking through the Asian section and when we rounded a corner, we all wondered what the beautiful smell was. I assumed, because it was winter, that someone with heavy cologne had recently passed, but either Alex or Andrew noticed a flowering bush. The plant’s sign labeled it as a wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox). Andrew spied some seed pods, and the plant propagator that he is, took one. So did I.

While he was staying with us he researched the plant and how to grow a wintersweet bush. He placed them on damp paper towels on a tray and put the tray in a plastic bag. He instructed me to check the seeds often while he and Alex were in Atlanta, adding water if necessary, and taking note if they sprouted.

I checked often, and was finally rewarded a few days ago with a sprouted seed. Today I saw another.

I planted the first sprouted seed this morning. Fingers crossed that in a few years time, we’ll have a delightfully lovely scented winter flowering bush in our yard.

Day 35: A few delights at an aquatic garden

Kenilworth

I was able to truly test out my new camera today on a visit to Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens this morning. It is not an optimal time to visit the park, and part of it is closed off due to the pandemic, but there were some photographic opportunities.

The lotus flowers were all gone, leaving their trypophobia-triggering seed pods in their place. I tend to get a little squeamish when looking at the pods, but I also find them delightful.

Most of the wildflowers were gone, but there was still some color. I especially delighted in seeing the jewel weed. It’s always been a favorite of mine. I grew up calling it touch me not, but I think I like jewel weed better — it is supposed to be good for poison ivy rashes.

This pile of dirt brought back a delightful memory. When I was quite young — maybe seven or so, three homes were built on our street. For a time there were large piles of dirt on the lots as the builders dug out dirt for the foundations and basements. I remember climbing those hills with friends, and alone, and purposely falling down them to recreate my favorite scene in the film Snowfire where the main character, a girl slightly older than I was, falls down a large hill, maybe even part of a small mountain, and breaks her wrist (leg?). This is a pivotal part in the film, if I recall correctly, because her parents think the horse has harmed her and plan to kill the horse. Anyway, I fell down that pile of dirt a lot that summer and this pile of dirt made me remember that other pile of dirt in my life (although this is much smaller than mine was — I think).

The last delight of Kenilworth was this blue kazoo on a picnic bench. I was sure that it was left there by a child who’d recently been delightfully blowing on it and making squawky kazoo music.