The calendar states that today is May 7th. The view outside is of gray sky and fog. FOG? In May? Looks like October! Well, the plant life does not state "fall" but the air... I honestly had to go outside to make sure that a neighbor's house wasn't on fire! Fog. In May. My goodness.
It is overcast and quite warm this morning. The past few days have been quite humid and, I imagine (having never been there) very Georgia-like. I don't "do" humidity well. Must take the big mower out for a spin tomorrow. The grasses and the spent chasmanthe are tall and in dire need of removal. Still haven't seriously looked into hiring someone with riding mower to tend to the orchard but believe I will. I have no urge to defy elderhood by doing it myself again this year.
The sweet peas were a bit of a disappointment this year. Perhaps there just wasn't enough sun for them. Pretty colors, tall vines, VERY short stems on few flowers. The feral sweet peas in the Not-So-Secret Garden were much nicer until the deer discovered them last week. Years ago, before the deer moved in, I had a tipi of sweetpeas in the Not-So-Secret Garden which nearly became a traffic hazard. People would slow down and/or stop to look. I suppose the feral peas that bloom down there are the offspring from that early tipi. Its all but impossible to find a sunny enough spot for flowers that isn't accessable to the deer on this place. Phoebe's yard is one of the safe havens for flowers and the Dear Doggie doesn't seem to mind that half of her yard has been turned into flower and veggie beds.
The Not-So-Secret Garden has lots of new plantings of "deer resistant, drought tolerant, California natives" this year and when those "take hold" the area might just become another traffic stopper. Not that traffic needs to be stopped. Slowed down to the posted 30 MPH would be nice though. My goal is to not only have a pretty front yard with "proper plantings" but to make folks reconsider big front lawns that require lots of water and mowing. (The lady across the road could fence her lawn in and raise at least a half dozen happy sheep on it.) and speaking of front gardens, I was totally taken aback a few mornings ago when a fellow walking his dog smiled as he allowed the dog to jump the ditch and pee on my flowers. He then crossed the road to walk up the short dead-end across from me, and allowed his dog to enter every home's front yard to "mark it". WTF?
Over the years I have collected a LOT of stuff to plant things in. I think this old coffee pot-with-bullet-holes was a relic found in Eastern Oregon. the asparigus fern is quite happy in it. Its hanging on the make-do deer fence in the back yard. Funky but functional fencing. Also inexpensive.
A dear friend, Star, gave me a start of this beautiful bronze iris a few years ago and it has finally really taken off. She thinks the name is "Play With Fire". I'm not a huge fan of iris but this one is such a beautiful bronze color what's not to like?
The deer have not discovered the clematis vines...yet...The big pink one is Ernest Markham. Blooms are 6" across. It shares an arbor with a honeysuckle and a jasmine. I haven't located the tag for the dark purple, much smaller one yet..no photo this post. Both are absolutely loaded with tender buds. Shhhh. Do not tell DOEreen or her son.
Should head back outside and listen for the baby white-breasted nuthatches. They may have fledged yesterday. When I peeked into the box on Monday, a fully feathered youngster peeked back. I think that there are at least two babies in there.
The American Goldfinches have thinned out considerably but the usual herd of Lesser Goldfinch is munching thistle as usual. The Bewick's wrens are buzzing about in the yard. They raised at least two broods last year. At least one of the nests was in a brush pile that I wanted to get rid of. Dang. Maybe this fall. I want to have brush piles but these two have gotten so huge that I worry about the fire hazard. I have yet to spy a Black-headed Grosbeak in this yard this spring but many customers at work have reported them at their feeders. Which reminds me! This is the week when the Western Tanagers show up in the back 40. Its time to hit "post", grab the binos and take a walk.