Thursday, September 30, 2010


It's still raining. About 3" total. It's been a nice slow, soaking rain. The sun is just trying to peek through the clouds. The radar shows no rain in our area, but it's been coming down for a couple hours that I know of. It was raining when I went to bed.

Fall has arrived.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Working in the rain.

I woke up this morning to find it raining again. I thought it was forecast for tonight, but the storms seem to be moving faster than I realized. We're under a flash flood watch until Friday morning. It's good to live on a hill.

The shrub island is gone. I moved some stones to the back edge of the yard, connecting the swing to the succulent bed that has struggled all summer. A very full wheelbarrow load is in the basement, promised to Carla.

I've sown fescue grass seed on the meadow and the shrub island. The annual hibiscus will be removed when the seed pods are ready. The fig has a new ring of stones.

Coreopsis "Full Moon" just keeps on keeping on. I haven't deadheaded once.

The knockouts are blooming again.

This bulbous plant (a name that ends in dietes, perhaps?) is blooming. I just moved these bulbs and long spiky foliage a few weeks ago.

The second round of squash are blooming. It might be too late for a harvest.

It's 63 degrees. More rain this evening and overnight. Tomorrow, my first day off of a mini-vacation, I'll spend some more time in the yard editing the perennial bed and dividing a few plants. Rooted cuttings of sedums and Purple Queen may be planted. The red cabbages need to go in the ground too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I like these things.

The gap in the trees where the old oak once stood. This opening changed the backyard this year. It allowed me to plant more sun loving plants.

One of those plants is this grass. I lost the tag. Bad gardener.

I just love the robust delicacy.

Pokeweed thrives.

In a shadier spot, the recent rains have brought color back to the garden.

The temperatures are decidedly fall like. It's 63 degrees. More rain from the Tropics heading this way on Wednesday night. We can use it. I won't complain. Today it was sunny and nearly 80 degrees. The dogwoods are starting to turn.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's still raining.

We've had some really strong downpours today. The majority of the rain has fallen in a slow, lazy way. That's good for the dry soil. I'd prefer that over the downpours. Quantity isn't everything. Less than 2" has fallen over the past 32 hours.

Tonight, the rain is going to continue until after midnight. By 10am, it will be sunny and struggling to reach the 70 degree mark. Fall is under way.

The helianthus is about to pop.

No sign of toppling, either. I'm gonna have to take a clump of this with me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's raining.

Started about noon. One heavy downpour that lasted about 5 minutes. Since then, it's been a mostly slow, steady rain that's wetting the ground in preparation for what's coming.

The yellow blob is headed right for us. Good sleeping weather.

It's not raining.

There's not a cloud in the sky.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One more day.

Of course, the tallest plants in the yard will collapse under the weight of the rain, but you won't hear me complain.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 31.

93 degrees. No rain.

This has been the longest summer I can remember. It started in early April when the mercury rose to 94 degrees the first week. It's been miserable for those of us that work outside. I'm surprised that anything is still alive in the garden. Somehow, Salvia elegans is about to bloom. The plants are smaller this year. They wilt every afternoon. The hummingbirds will need to hover closer to the ground.

Starting Sunday, the forecast calls for cooler weather and more importantly, rain. I've got my toes crossed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can you guess?

The forecast calls for 95 degrees. No rain.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The First Day of Autumn.

The forecast calls for 93 degrees. No rain.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last day of summer.

The forecast calls for 91 degrees. No rain.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Neighborhood is abuzz this morning.

First, there are bees everywhere. Yellow Jackets too. They seem to be looking for moisture wherever it can be found. I spent an hour dragging the hose to the most severe cases in the yard. I don't know if I should bother given the 10 day forecast. It's horrid for this time of year. Upper 80s and low 90s, no rain, not even clouds. The oaks are losing their leaves in a hurry. On the highways, the Sweet gums are beginning to darken. It's going to be a spectacular show in a few weeks.

A few plants are not only thriving, but just coming into bloom. The Helianthus augustifola is performing wonderfully. Near the street where it gets the most sun, it's easily over 10' tall. I was told to cut it back in May. I didn't. I wanted to see what it could do.

It's huge.

For old time's sake, here's the "Sunday Ritual" photo from the normal spot. It's taken over this corner. I think it even killed off the Mountain bluet that was preparing to swarm the area. Bee balm and Black & Blue salvia on each side might help contain it a bit, but I doubt it.

On the other side of the Helianthus, there's a couple nice clumps of Purple Queen. It's got tiny pink blooms. I took cuttings a week ago. I want to add more to other areas. In between, there are large clumps of Rudbeckia triloba. The one plant I had last year turned into dozens. I've begun weeding them like crabgrass.

Brugmansia. The first of the year. I had to water this plant a lot in the past weeks to get a bloom. The buds were drying up and falling off without assistance. I should containerize a couple for the winter. Or take cuttings. I'd like to take a yellow and a pink with me.

There's plenty going on in the yard, but the most important happening is the sign.

I've eliminated some information, this is the internet after all. The woman I call "Gramma" has been on her back porch almost the whole morning on the phone. From her perch, she can see what goes on in a few parts of the yard. The sign is very visible from her door. There'll be people who want to know why I'm selling. I have my reason. That's as far as I plan to discuss the details, in real life or on the internet. I apologize to anyone who wishes to know more.

Off from work today, there's an afternoon nap on the schedule already. It's going to be a lazy day. I'm going to move a few stones in the backyard. They don't need to be watered if transplanted. It's 82 degrees.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ginger and begonias.

Yesterday, at the store, we culled the last of the summer annuals for clearance. I was able to pick up 16 quart sized begonias. I pulled the impatiens and plopped the nursery pots into the window boxes. I don't know why this hasn't occurred to me before. It's so much easier than trying to transplant into the small plastic shoeboxes I was using previously.

Two years ago, I found some stray ginger lilies blooming in an abandoned lot here in town. I confiscated a few bulbs late that summer. I wasn't sure they would survive the move as they were blooming at the time. Planted along the back of the house, they didn't receive enough sun to bloom last summer. This past spring, as they started to emerge, I moved them to the perennial bed. One clump is finally blooming. The fragrance is intoxicating.

Yesterday, the Realtor stopped by to measure the house inside and out. She was heading back to the office around 5pm to finalize the listing. Just before 7, she called to schedule an appointment for a showing today. I didn't sleep well. I'm not sure what I'll do if the house sells this soon. I had planned on 6-8 months of spotless living where everything is in place. But it would be awesome to have an offer within a couple days of listing the house. The sign hasn't even been installed in the yard yet. The lockbox was placed on Thursday when the team of Realtors came for a visit.

This morning, it's 66 degrees. It doesn't feel cool outside. The humidity is near the 80% range. Hot and sunny again today. No rain in sight for the rest of the month. I'm continuing to drag the hose, watering only when absolutely necessary.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Two kinds of lilies.

It's 70 degrees this morning. The house did not cool down like it normally does overnight. I woke up sweating. I've turned the air on for the Realtors. It's going to be another mid 90s day. Same as tomorrow. And Saturday. And Sunday. get the picture.

In the yard, I've started collecting seeds from the Blackberry Lilies. The seed pods are what give them their name. I'll wintersow these to create a mass planting near the street.

Spider Lilies are springing up here and there. They seem to grow up and bloom in just a couple days. The foliage will come along after the blooms have faded. These were here on the property when I bought the house. A few bulbs will leave with me when I go.

No rain in the 10 day forecast. No rain in the past two weeks aside from that paltry 0.05" we received late last week. I'm dragging hoses here and there, spot watering with a small sprinkler. It's got to rain eventually, right?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This time, it's for real.

Seventh Street Cottage is now on the market as of this morning. It will show up in the county GIS system tomorrow. By the end of the weekend, it will be included in the Charlotte Metro listings as well. The Realtor seems optimistic, but that is her job.

She's as done as she'll ever be inside. I'm doing a couple touchups today in anticipation of the walk tomorrow. She'll bring a team of agents to introduce them to the house. They'll never see all the things I see. In fact, I doubt they even notice that the bedroom doesn't have a door.

I think the ficus needs a bit of a pruning. It's spent the summer on the side porch.

The dining room seems a little dark, but it's romantic.

The bathroom is clean.

The kitchen is spotless.

Everything is in place.

All the lights are on.

A few pieces here and there, some books, and a plant make the second bedroom feel more livable.

The master bedroom is masculine, yet comfortable.

At least that's how I see my house now. It's staged as best I can with what I have. The leather sofa never materialized. The new headboard and nightstands have fallen out of favor with me. A proper desk will not be in my future. A table to seat all my friends in the dining room will just have to wait. I'm not disappointed. I'm eager to let it go.

I'm under contract until April 30, 2011. Let's hope it doesn't take that long.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

No rain.

Unless 0.05" is considered rain. Another week before there's even a slight chance according to the forecast. It's 72 degrees. The ground is dry.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I'm impressed.

Golden Showers climbing rose on the trellis by the driveway. No rain in two weeks, temperatures in the upper 80s and 90s, and sorely neglected all season, it's blooming again on new wood that's grown 3' this summer.

I have one dahlia. The foliage is darker when it's hydrated.

The sedums are winners all around. Easy to propagate, quick to fill in, late blooming, and absolutely drought tolerant, these plants are quickly becoming my favorites. Even the low growing varieties are making some noise this summer. I should spend some time taking cuttings after the rain.

The beauty berry from Marty is white.

Spider Lilies.

I've watered some. Mostly, the plants I've moved or planted in the past couple of months. I even moved five large forsythia in the past two weeks. The rain hasn't come. We've had stretches of days where the sky never produces a cloud. Somehow, things have managed to continue. I'm still taking notes.

It's 72 and cloudy. We should see some rain this evening after 4pm. If the mountains don't suck all the moisture out of the storms, it could continue into the overnight hours. I'd love that. I miss listening to the rain at night.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good Morning.

I've got two days off. My plans include getting out of bed. Done, and magnificently so. I'm having coffee and will probably take a nap this afternoon. Who wouldn't prefer to stay in bed when this is your view?

The light this morning was perfect. It's overcast, but soon will be clearing.

I love the way this miscanthus glows.

In the morning shade, coreopsis keeps on blooming.

Don't wake the spiders.

It's 72 degrees. A heavy dew coats everything. Still no rain.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010


I wish I could package the air this morning. I'd carry it with me today. Around 3pm, I'd open the container and breathe deeply. It's 64 degrees. The high today is supposed to reach 97. Right now, it feels like fall.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


It's only been a week. No spinach yet. Other things are coming up nicely.

A smattering of collards. I don't really care for them except in their raw form.

Pole beans.

Bush beans.

Yellow squash.

Cabbage. These will be plucked and separated once they've gotten a little larger. I'm going to plant them among the perennials by the driveway. I will eat these. I bought 9 red cabbage plants from the Bonnie's rack at work. I'll need to pick up a pack of Brussel Sprouts soon.

It's 77 degrees. No rain in the forecast for the next 10-15 days. The temperatures will remain in the 90s the entire time. Tomorrow, 97. I'm sick of summer.