Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Of gardens and storms

Squash blossom
Things have been going along well here.  Both of us have been enjoying the overcast weather.  Yesterday, we dug potatoes from the garden, harvesting a 5 gallon bucket full. We talked about what to make with so many potatoes: soup, home fries,  mashers--all things that we rarely eat. I suspect that friends will be getting baskets of potatoes for a while.

The garden is verdant with more vegetables ripening.  The flower beds are filled with color.  The smell of gardenias, roses and the Confederate jessamine is heady.  I took some photos this morning of the gardens.
A profusion of gardenias blooming

Blueberries on the bush
Many tomato plants staked
One of several flower beds
The deck with roses and hibiscus
Flower bed with coleus, yarrow, cleomes,  and many other plants
Walkway to the front door
Basil rows
Confederate jessamine on an old oak tree. 
We went to my mother-in-laws birthday party on Monday.  She is 90 years old.  The care givers had gotten balloons, cupcakes, and flowers.  We brought a couple of salads and pizza.  The neighbors came over, and everyone, including the MIL, had a nice time.

She enjoyed all her gifts and made a lot of funny quips.  Her humor hasn't left her, even though she often gets confused.  For her birthday, she seemed fairly sharp which was good.  By 2 PM, she was exhausted and had to be helped to bed for a nap.

Today, I'm visiting my father-in-law.  He is holding his own but can no longer walk much so he moves along with the wheel chair.  His mind is still sharp.  I think that he is resigned to being at the nursing home now.  We see him three to four days a week.  I think that he really only wants to see his wife who often doesn't know who he is.  She thinks that I am her husband at times which either makes my wife laugh or cry depending on her mood.

More thunderstorms are expected this afternoon.  I think that I'll go sit on the boat later and watch the storms come in.  There is nothing like a southern thunderstorm.

"During the summer it rains almost every afternoon........ From my gallery, around three o’clock, you could watch the clouds build as high and dark as mountains......, then within minutes the barometer would drop, the air would suddenly turn cool and smell like ozone and gunmetal and fish spawning, the wind would begin to blow out of the south and straighten the moss on the dead cypress trees in the marsh, bend the cattails......, and swell and ruffle the pecan trees in my front yard; then a sheet of grey rain would move out of the marsh…and ring as loud on my gallery as marbles bouncing on corrugated tin.” ~James Lee Burke


  1. With this post I see you are also a Master Gardener. Very impressive and peaceful Good job Syd.

  2. What a beautiful place - amazing! Love the photo's again and it intrigues me that where I come from we JUST planted our garden last weekend and won't be harvesting potatoes until August and we won't see blueberries until September!! How opposite from where you are. Fascinating. Glad to hear the MIL had a good birthday and we could only be thankful to reach such a milestone.

  3. Love the J.L. Burke quote. That's why I love him.
    Your garden is just gorgeous, Syd! Way to go.
    Now, may I suggest potatoes with pesto! Look at all that basil! Pesto freezes very well.

  4. nice...enjoy watching the storms...and so cool being surrounded by all that new life in your garden man...i def want some blue berries...smiles....

  5. Your garden is breathtaking. One of my dreams is to grow veggies.

    Its good that your FIL still has his mind - that's what matters most.

  6. I so miss living close to the shore to watch those thunderstorms roll in...Mother Nature in all her majesty.

    What a beautiful garden - wish I was your neighbor!


  7. Your garden is stunning. We are watching the rain today in FL and it is good. I've been down here at this time of the year and been exposed to fires so often. I'm glad the parents were in good spirits. Bless you and C. :)

  8. I'm impressed, I know how much work has gone into those areas of garden . . . And then the boat, the house. A busy retirement.

  9. I enjoyed the Burke reminds me of the south, and rain, and the peacefulness of it. I'm glad all is well. Happy Birthday MIL! Thank you for the pics, my favorite.

  10. When I see gardens I always think how much time and care they must take, but I suppose like everything else, you must invest heavily in something at first to establish a good root system, soil, foundation, then once you have the foundation laid it's about continual maintenance.

    90 Wow your MIL must have so much wisdom and so many stories!

    Love southern rainstorms!

  11. The garden looks wonderful Syd, so much thought and a feel for design. All those brilliant colours and foliage plants like cleomes and coleus, salvias, pelargoniums, roses, yarrows with their wide umbellifers. Magic. I hope you post more images at the height of summer.

    I must find some James Lee Burke to read.

  12. I used to laugh hard and cry hard over what I saw at my father's nursing home, not just his funny and sad moments but those of the other residents too. Sometimes the laughter turned unexpectedly to tears. It's said they are very close to the same thing. I wish you and your wife comfort in this journey.

  13. Hi Syd: I'm sure you know that James Lee Burke is an alcoholic and makes no secret of it ... he often brings AA into his books.
    Your pictures are wonderful but what a lot you have to care for !!

  14. Syd, you are a gentleman (and a scholar). I have learned a lot about staying the course, and steering away from the rocks from you.

    I thank you for that.

  15. Your garden is beautiful!!! Thank you so very much for sharing the photos. You are an inspiration! That is a lot of work and I can see the love and care you and C put into your flower and vegetable gardens. Gorgeous!

    Happy Birthday to your Mother-in-law - I see we both have recently been to a 90th bday party.

    After reading the quote, I felt like I was there living that storm... amazing.


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