Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Great Expectations

Summer is underway here in northeastern Kentucky.  There is much to be done and yet, it seems that the garden(s) and flowers consume most of my time.  The big garden has cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cantaloupe, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash, beans, and corn.  The raised bed has...2 surviving lettuce plants and a few spindly radishes...damn it!!  It’s a very long story, but my theory is that the soil is tired.  Late last week, I dug up 80% of it and mixed in a bag of 10-10-10...and replanted.  We will see. 

I’m delighted to report that a few weeks ago, in in the late evening after an unseasonably hot day, I was able to smell the blossoms of my Carolina Allspice bush.  At last!!!  After all these years of impatient waiting and disappointment, the bush has finally matured enough to distinguish itself...if only a tiny bit.  My great grandparents had one of these bushes at the far edge of their giant yard in the country.  They called it a sweet shrub; my goodness, it was sweet!  In the evenings, the scent was heavenly and so strong that it even drowned out the honey suckle.  I had hoped that my bush could someday smell at least half as wonderful.  What my bush smells like is not what I remembered.  My bush smells a bit like warm wine with a subtle hint of licorice.  Not unpleasant because you have to be close to smell it at all; however, It does not meet expectations (yet).

Carolina Allspice (sweet shrub) - taking over our backyard

I dug up and planted a new flowerbed.  It has a Mr. Lincoln rose planted in it (a gift from Sarah), coreopsis, irises, dahlias, marigolds, and ageratums.  It has a new birdbath in it as well, with a solar-powered fountain.  It’s a work in progress.  I want to enlarge it and buy a peony for it.  Today, I started some lupines and lavender seeds...if I get any plants from this attempt, they will also go into the new bed.

lupines and lavender underway (I hope)
In other exciting news, I have three lemon trees!!!  I planted lemon seeds in a pot...only because I had seeds from lemons where I made a lemon meringue pie from scratch when we first had the Covid breakout, and because I had a pot of good soil that something had died in.  “Why not plant these seeds and see what happens?” I asked myself.  It’s been like a month ago, and I have been watering the pot whenever I water my other plants on the porch (once a week??).  No special TLC or prayers...just let it be, and I am rewarded. 

Three lemon trees emerged after about a month of neglect
On the smaller back porch, I have beautiful annuals in a variety of old pots.  These get regular fertilizer and daily watering.  I LOVE THEM!!  They need a lot of work to stay alive – excellent soil, fertilizer scheduled, watering once and sometimes twice a day, bug spray sometimes, deadhead the spent flowers, etc.  The other day, I was walking around the shady side of the house and what would you NEVER expect to see??  A petunia that grew up (volunteer, as my grandmother would say) through the dank clay and bloomed!!  God makes His miracles happen where ever he wants. Blessed be the fruit.   

By God's hand, is this possible