Color in my Garden

The bright fuschia color of a rambling bouganvilla greets me each time I glance out the window over my bed. The bright fuschia color of a rambling bouganvilla greets me each time I glance out the window over my bed.

Spring has slipped away into summer here at Cedar Hill! We have dealt with multiple flooding events and more rain for early summer than we could have imagined. The county has not fixed the road washed out by the flooding except to reinforce the stone and mud damn we and our neighbors put together months ago. Driving in and out to the highway is still hazardous. All this is part of my lack of posts, but here I am. In the past several months I have regained much of the use of my right arm–we have even been able to take out our kayaks to explore Lincoln Lake once again.

All the rain and my limited use of my arm has resulted in an overwhelming supply of weeds in all our gardens and in the nursery of Ozark Native Plants!!! Several friends have come and helped us weed–thank you, you know who you are. I was quite discouraged every time I walked outside. Our lush plantings were now overgrown with undesired additions.

Then I decided to treat the situation like a quilter–I would do a little bit every day. I’d think of it as a block project that would add up to a finished quilt top. Deciding to start weeding on the areas I most often saw or visited was also part of my strategy. I started on my Rusty, Rustic shade garden where you saw the bright fuschia flowers above. This garden is my shady retreat located outside my bedroom window. That tropical bouganvilla plant reminds me of my girlhood growing up in south Florida. This plant lives inside with me all winter in order to brighten my shade garden in the summer.

With all the shades of green I depend on the bright white clusters of hydrangea to brighten the back edge. The accents of blue ceramic planters provide an unexpected note. The small glass topped table doesn’t demand much visual attention, but offers a place to read or snack or visit.

Cleome plants love it hot and dry. These plants volunteered outside the 4' x 9' window on the south side of our house.

Cleome plants love it hot and dry. These plants volunteered outside the 4′ x 9′ window on the south side of our house.

Next I shifted my attention to the area outside the front window and near our front door. This area, too, is quite shady, but these cleome plants self seeded here this year and now grace the area with tall stalks and fountain of flowers ranging in color from white to pink to purple. Without our hardwood mulch I would not be able to keep the weeds in check once I have cleared a section.

Last evening I was weeding out front at dusk even though this can be risky because dusk is when the copperhead snakes appear in the cooler air to hunt for their dinner. I was working near another clump of cleome and first heard, then saw, the fluttering bodies of several hummingbird moths. Each is equipped with a long beak to explore the beckoning cleome flowers. I stopped focusing of weed removal and stared at these amazing creatures seeking their own nourishment. These small brown moths bring their own excitement to my garden. Not colorful, but full of life energy. The lust for life flows through nature including ourselves. Color adds to our pleasure, but is only one segment of our enjoyment of our surroundings.

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3 Responses to Color in my Garden

  1. Carla Gay says:

    Your gardens are beautiful, Paula! Thank you for posting about them. Also so happy to hear about regained use of your arm.

  2. Martha Payne says:

    A summary of thoughts after visiting the many entries of your blog.
    Indeed your gardens are beautiful and require careful attention like you do with all you care for.
    Your gardens, your quilts, all that words you express always clearly articulate and portray an essential part of you.
    Your pictures and your words are immediately captivating and sort of like the style of Virginia Woolf, every picture, every sentence has great substance.
    Cannot wait to fix the cod soup!!. This weekend.
    You are such a gifted, talented artist.
    And I have to say, in your blog you start a piece by saying you have a thing about doors. I immediately laughed thinking of all the old beautiful doors you hauled out of that dirty dingy basement beneath a (guessing here) 1920s apartment building. The building had to install fire doors. But you saved those wonderful old doors.
    Anyway, I love your blog!!.
    Thank you for the time, energy and physical effort to create and maintain such a nice place to visit. Sorry it took me so long.
    Martha

    • Paula says:

      Martha,
      Thank you for reminding me of that covert rescue operation of those fine doors with beveled glass that we took from that basement. We have two in use still on our homestead! Visiting you and your standard poodle Sophie when you lived in that delightful 1920s brick apartment building was not the same when Sophie could not peer out the glass door to greet us.
      I appreciate your taking the time to read a variety of posts and send me your comments. I don’t expect you to read this like a novel–just check it out once in awhile as if in chapters. Often when I’m choosing photos, I am thinking of which ones you would like best. Paula

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