The May Garden

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Today I had as my goals for the outside to water my newly planted annuals.  The idea that I need to be watering at the beginning of May almost fries my brain.  Ordinarily we're begging for an end to the rain at this time of year.  Nevertheless, the pots are looking and feeling dry, and so it seemed like a good reason to get out and enjoy the sunshine.  Also, I was hoping to get little Smitty down into the woods for a walk.  I tried to coax Gracie outside too, but she refused.  (And she absolutely hates the woods.)  

First, I filled the bird feeders.  I tried sitting for a while trying to get a picture of the blue jays stealing peanuts from the peanut feeder, but they seemed too shy to come around while I was sitting there.  They were all around in the tree tops, and I could see them.  Still, they would not approach the feeder.  Only this little brown bird was brave enough.  He wasn't very cooperative with having this picture taken.

Still it was nice sitting in the shade of the fir trees, and I could see a nice view of Mt. St. Helens.

Smitty was following me around, and I decided that was as good a time as any to try taking him for a walk in the woods.  I tried the other day, but I couldn't find him.  Today, he was very enthusiastic and went hard charging down the hill with the hair on his back standing on end.  I can never decide if that's fear or excitement.

When one ventures into the woods, one must first find a good spider stick.  My arm wasn't long enough to hold this any farther away from my body and still snap my picture.  (Go Gadget Arms!  Tell me you know who Inspector Gadget is.)  Anyway, this stick is about three feet long, which is the perfect length for a spider stick.  The spider stick is to hold in front of oneself so as to avoid being spider webbed.  Obviously, being spider webbed is deadly.  (Consider this a safety tip.)

The spider stick also works well to clear the winter's droppings from the chairs that are placed at various spots down in the woods.  When I used to walk in the woods with George, I was always wanting to sit down and enjoy the sound of the wind and the quiet.  Rather than sit on the ground, we put two chairs at three different locations along the path.  They collect a lot of dead stuff during the winter.

Putting my trusty spider stick to good use, I cleared off the mess.  It's still dirty.  The woods are not a good place to wear white.

Despite Smitty's initial enthusiasm for venturing into the woods, his first move was to climb part way up a tree.  I warned him not to go too high, and then he vanished.  Not up the tree...but somewhere.  I decided not to go any farther, and instead walked back toward the house.  After a few minutes, he came crashing out of the brush making his "distress meow".  He has a distinct sound that he makes when he's lonely, frustrated, seemingly sad, or fearful.  At least those are the times I've noticed he does it.  Clearly, he is nervous about venturing into the woods.  He was happy to go back to the house and kept glancing nervously back in the direction of the trees.

Toward the end of his life, George refused to go walking in the woods with me, and I always thought it was because he'd become less able to run without pain.  Now that I think about it, he stopped going with me around the time that the bobcat starting showing up.  The bobcat comes up from the woods, and we've also seen him going in that direction.  It could be that he's marked the territory down there, and the cats are nervous about it.  (On the other hand, it doesn't seem to bother Uno.)  Still, when it comes to this sort of thing, I always trust kitty instincts.  Smitty seemed very glad to be walking in the opposite direction.

We decided to walk around the garden instead.  The rhodies are starting to open now.  We have them in all colors.  Apricot:


Lavender.  This one is just starting to open.  When they are completely open, they look almost like orchids.

There are some others, but their buds are still closed up tight.

Also, the lilac is starting to bloom.  This one came home with us one Mother's Day.  We met up with the kids for breakfast on Mother's Day and some women were selling these in the parking lot of the restaurant.  Ours was dead, and so we replaced it with this one.  This is the first year it's had some size to it, and I think I might get a good number of flowers for the first time.

Also our sad little dogwood is finally starting to give us a bit of a show.  It's still a small tree, and these apparently are very slow growing.  It's taken this one forever to get any size at all.

It has a surprisingly dark pink flower.

This azalea is in full bloom now.  It is the deepest shade of fuchsia.

The previous one is in full sun most of the day.  The next one is in the shade about half of the day.  It is a little slower to bloom, but it is beginning to open.

Here it is close up.

And this pinkley-purp one (that is a Stanbroism) is in the shade most of the day.  It's flowers are just now starting to open.

The iris are heading up.  This is when I start rooting for them to bloom while it's dry.  They are gorgeous if they can bloom between rainy periods.  If not, the buds fill up with rain water and rot.  (Sad face.)

Oh and here's one more lonely tulip that the squirrels forgot to eat last year.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The wisteria above the front door is in full bloom now.  So pretty.

When we planted this, we didn't realize that wisteria can grow into veritable trees.  Hopefully, we won't have to chop this one down to keep it from moving the house off its foundation.

So far, so good.

I moved my "Garden of Weeden" sign over to the herb garden.  Usually it lives in the vegetable garden.  I'm thumbing my nose at the vegetable garden this year in repayment for its past two seasons of failure.  I got this sign at a recycled garden art show quite a few years ago.  Last year, I repainted the lettering.  The garden decided to take on the label as its personal code of conduct.

Speaking of the herb garden, look at my chive blossoms.  They are days away from bursting into bloom.

I'm seeing chive blossom vinegar in my future.

So that's our walk for today.  After moving the sign, I came back inside to write this post.  Now I'm going to sew.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Loretta said...

Barbara what a tour!! Everything is so beautiful...love the purple, I thing, blooms! Smitty is getting to be a mancat for sure...he is sooo handsome! Have a great weekend!
Loretta x

Teresa in Music City said...

Thanks for the lovely walk! Our things are beginning to bloom out here but not as profusely as yours. What color and joy! So glad Smitty seems to have a good sense about when to go out in those woods and when not to. He's a smart boy :*)

Sherry said...

What a lovely walk through your garden. I did a little walking and weeding and had a very similar view, though I don't see the same mountains, I see the Olympics and Mount Rainier, not from my house but when I drive around the area. Your wisteria is beautiful, ours has not bloomed, maybe this year.

Brown Family said...

Who knows what disturbed Smitty. he is smart enough to come back to you when scared! THank you for sharing your beautiful garden!


Cath said...

I love to walk through your garden, see what you see....it is like visiting you while still sitting in my armchair at home. Love the photos of Smitty. Smart fellow for not venturing too far into the woods!
Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

Kate said...

Love, love, love your flowers! I'm envious of your sunshine and warmer temps. It hit almost freezing here Thursday night, we even had snow!

Lyndsey said...

Thank you for another lovely walk around your garden. Your plants are looking fabulous. Smitty is a sensible cat if he didn't want to go to the woods there would be a good reason. It's good he is now mature enough to make those decisions.

Dar said...

You have a beautiful garden of flowers blooming all around you. Walk a lovely place for a walk! I do not have so many flowers because for some reason I forget to water them in the summer and they dry up. (Bery bad of me) I help the garden centers each year with more purchases. I do, however have a chive planted in a big pot near my back door. It too has blossoms on it. I usually pinch them off -- is this not what you are supposed to do? Tell me about your vinegar you make from them. Sounds yummy.

Diane Wild said...

Your garden walk and woods walk was wonderful. Still cold-cold here but promises of temps in the 70s next week. Our flowers are weeks away, I fear.

quiltzyx said...

Beautiful, gorgeous, lovely! Thanks for the walk in the garden today. :D

It's good to know that Smitty seems to be smart enough to be a scaredy cat when he should be!

c said...

I planted one red azala in a big pot with some fern this year, my first of its kind, and I have a wisteria that rarely blooms at all, and I keep pinching off the shoots. Wish it was a tree-now a wide bush-LOL. and and rose bushes only one knockout is doing well, one miniture is over 28 yrs old, and the lady jane is doing well, but the 2 regulars are barely moving. LOL, I do NOT have a green thumb

Lisa in Port Hope said...

Thanks for sharing your garden walk with us. I have several tomato plants to repot and move into the greenhouse before it gets dark tonight.

Lynne said...

Thank you for the tour of your garden, it looks lovely all dressed up for spring. I just took a walk through ours (down to the clothesline at the bottom of the yard) -- it's overgrown with weeds and some plants are dying for lack of care! Ah the joys of spending every available moment caring for someone' else's house! I had to promise the garden that we would get to it before the end of the month!

Sarah said...

Gorgeous - garden envy! What a beautiful environment you live in. Just quietly, we'd love to have your rainfall and dry spell here in South Australia any time. We just have dry compared to you!