can't you see the sunshine….

Summer Scents in the South

Gardenias. A very sweet scent that filled our back courtyard.

Magnolias in the nearby courtyard. Before the heat of the day took over that courtyard was scented too. Something to look forward to in the early summer.

We were getting rain every few days with moderate temperatures until mid-July. A week later, still in the high 90s every day with high humidity. Hit or miss thunderstorms mean I have been watering. Even Guppy thinks it is too hot to sit outside. This too will change.

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You might remember this first iris I saw in February. It is around the corner from us.

And at the corner of our courtyard are these Dutch iris. They always bloom early.

I have some bearded iris in the front that I have seperated and expanded in to the canna area. They have done very well.

They are HUGE! The stalks are at least 3′ and full of buds.

There are lots of buds. So unless hail or wind damages them they should look nice for another week or so. Duke Energy has already called to chit chat about the storm expected here late Sunday or early Monday. (You know, in case I don’t have enough to worry about….) We’ll see what happens.

Ben and I will be celebrating quietly on Sunday. Guppy was overjoyed when I brought in a ham on Thursday. She doesn’t think she’ll want a sweet potato though. Tonight I am having a some fizzy pink wine to celebrate my Father’s birthday and the end of LENT. Not that I observe it but Ben does. You know how he makes the big sacrifice of not eating meat on Fridays during Lent, so that he can eat $20 a pound seafood instead. I eat very little seafood so some Fridays I end up making two different meals. Some Fridays he gets to have just vegetables. HA! Anyway, have a safe and Happy Easter/Passover. Wear your mask and wash your hands.

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Our Early Spring

The tulip magnolias in full bloom accross the street from us. Taken 2/13/20. A drop in temperatures a few days later turned them brown while flowers closer to the ground were not effected. We live in a densely populated area. What is considered a ‘heat island.’

Fully open iris around the corner from us taken 2/18/20.

My older bed of daffodils. The newer bed is about 2 weeks behind this.

I think this might be the earliest that I have taken a ‘daffodil portrait’. Everything seems to be about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Today, 2/18 it was 60 degrees again. In two days time overnight temps will be dropping below freezing and there is some chat about the white stuff falling from the sky. I have chosen to ignore that. We’ll see….


I’m Confused

Mid-January in Raleigh, NC. Trees blooming. Daffodils opening? Is winter done?

Sadly, no. Our almost two weeks of above normal temps will be coming to an end. Ben’s bathroom plants have been luxuriating outside on the deck. Had to move them back tonight. Temps below freezing tonight and for the next week to 10 days. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

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Christmas Eve, 2019

Raleigh,NC. 60+ degrees. Sat in the sun, on the deck with the dog. Read.

Enjoyed the quiet and the birds visiting at the bird table.

Feeling very privileged to have all that we need and a comfortable, warm place to live.

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How’s the garden looking?

Well, thanks for asking. It still looks pretty good. Here, Hurricane Dorian was no worse than a thunder storm. We have had some thunderstorms this summer that caused some damage to the garden but nothing awful. And we have had some well spaced rain, but still I felt like I had to do way too much watering.

The tomatoes are still producing although the plants look rather sad.

I did finally get some green beans

The front needs some work. When the weather finally changes I will be moving some things around. I hope to plant daffodils in the new bed where the crepe myrtle is. It has done well and even managed a bloom. Next year should be a good year for it.

That’s how the front looks. Look for a later post about the deck.

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Elephant Ears, Part 3

We have been having a number of afternoon thunderstorms. During one of them I looked out to see that we had a naturally occuring water feature on our deck now.

The water collects on the cup shaped upper leaf and then rolls off to the leaf below. Pretty cool!

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How’s the yard looking?

Very well, that is so nice of you to ask… Except for a difficult 10 days of 90 degrees plus dry weather in MAY, it is been a fairly decent Spring. A good bit of rain. Sometimes too much. But more or less spread out.

The bee balm is being a little pushy, but the day lillies held their own. I’m real pleased with them and the blue salvias.

The butterfly bush has finally gotten settled in (only took two years!). It is doing well this year.

This is where the ramp from the deck ends, at the back of our condo. The hydragenas in the pots were $5 half dead ones from Lowes. They have perked up and are about to bloom again. My friend, Jim, gave me the vinca in the two pots in back.

Here’s the deck. Doesn’t it look great! It is so nice to sit out there. Guppy now sits beside me in the blue chair. I’m waiting until she starts expecting her own glass of wine….

I finally figured out something to do about the ugly telecommunications post.

I relocated some of the elephant ear forest and the flamingos… much nicer looking than the ugly box.

I am aware that we are fortunate to have this space, the time and the means to be able to indulge in something that is just pretty. It does provide me with a huge amount of enjoyment and the activity that I look forward to every year.


I have tomatoes

This is an update to my tomato experiment. The expirmental plant that I am growing, a teensy yellow, has fruit. I think the fruit appeared on 5/20 but I could not see it for all the leaves. A few more have appeared since then.

I am a little concerned because this is supposed to be a drawf plant (I thought). So far it is the tallest plant of the group.

Twenty eight inches now (5/25) full of blooms.

The gardenia also burst forth this week. There are two in our courtyard.

This one gets much more sun and was just full of blooms. The summer like heat wave that we are having sort of did them in. They are fragile flowers.

Blooms are just now opening on the other side of the courtyard. Guppy stops each morning to give these a sniff.

My “imported from Oxford” vinca arrived this week. (Thanks Jim). Those were the last plants I needed. I am finished planting for the season. Unless of course a hydragena falls in my lap.

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Things that fall from the sky

We’ve been having a lot of rain. And reliably warm temps have arrived. It is so nice to be able to walk outside without having to bundle up. I would say that spring is safely here, in Raleigh. All the rain brings a clearing of the pollen from the air and things from the recent re-roofing that was done on our building.

Oak tree tails

They’re everywhere. Coming out of the downspout

Along with roofing nails

This is the haul after the last rain. Are there any nails left on the roof doing what they are supposed to be doing? Note the pollen too. Ahhh, Carolina in the spring.

The dogwood was very pretty this year, Each rain storm more of its blooms drop.

We are still mourning the recent cutting down of our cherry tree. Right around the corner there are three planted close together. I imagine I am in Japan when Guppy and I walk through there.

So glad that spring is here. Have a lovely and safe holiday, whatever kind you celebrate at this time of year.

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