We’re in a dry spell right now that even unpacking this gnome has not been able to reverse:
Despite our dry summer and stressed out nearby trees, we have personally benefited from the lack of rain in having almost no yard maintenance after our first pruning and mowing. David has only needed to mow the grass twice since we bought our house on May 26th, and yet, somehow things continue to flourish. I do dearly hope and intend we get some of the rain forecast for this week, but I’ve enjoyed receiving beauty someone else planted. The first of five hibiscus plants began to bloom this weekend:
From the looks of leaves and buds, we’ll soon have a variety of colors along our driveway and in front and backyard. I had planted hibiscus in Goshen last fall, but they’re still very tiny, and I never saw them bloom. It’s nice to find mature plants already established enough to weather the dry spell. Likewise, we’ve got a back and side wall full of mature, blooming hostas:
I finished distributing my last load of soil and compost, and planted a bunch of butterfly friendly and deer/groundhog resistant starts. We’ll see how those take. There’s a reason most nurseries won’t ship in the middle of summer, but I’ve had about 75% success before with the most unlikely, dried out or moldy roots. It was worth the risk to get things started before fall. You can see some of the beds and bags I filled with another 250 gallons of soil. My body says this is really enough, but it will be great to have somewhere to plant garlic, shallots and onions this fall. That 100-gallon Big Bag Bed has brown paper as “mulch,” since I don’t want it to fill with weeds before I plant it in cooler weather:
Speaking of the backyard gardens, the volunteer cat and I seem to have solved our groundhog issue, at least for now. After the handsome hog, aka “Kalamazoo Kal” got too annoyed by the cat and my nonstop communication, we got a new, young one I named “Tucker Rat Boy” due to his small size and rat-like black tail. Unlike his older, clover eating mentor, Tucker loved going into the garden and dangerously close to the hostas, my fruit bushes and all those newly planted starts. He was mighty cute, but in an “Oh, no, you’re totally ignoring all of my instructions” kind of way.
I spent one day alternately entertained and apprehensively opening and closing the window whenever Tucker got too close to anything. Then I heard him whistling while stretched on his hind legs to full height and sure enough, noticed that my own efforts were actually interfering with the cat’s. (11:11 a.m as I typed that.) “I got this,” said the cat, and he sure did. He not only irritated Tucker Rat Boy enough to send him running into a different, less annoying yard, but he apparently also created a larger buffer zone between our front yard and the known groundhog refuge across the street. No groundhog sightings or other evidence for days! This in contrast to four or five visits per day. Thanks, kitty.
In addition to creating new beds, the big theme with this second large soil delivery has been expanding the roots of existing plants. Many of my outdoor and indoor plants moved into much larger pots, which feels symbolic to David and me expanding into our new home and life together. In particular, one of my jade plants has wanted a new container for years, but our old windowsill in Goshen could only accommodate the sized pot it had. For years, this jade smooshed itself against the southern window, to such an extent that neither the jade nor its pot could accommodate any other direction. The pot would tip over unless I rested the lopsided jade against the window.
Well, no more of that! After a long search and much patience, this jade finally has a new home, too:
The roomier, heavier pot (and a strategically placed cast iron faery supporting the trunk) allows this beauty to rebalance and grow in all directions. Again, that feels so symbolic, since although I grew a lot in Goshen, that incompatibility of that location restricted the kinds of growth I could experience, instead of encouraging balanced growth in all directions. This jade now sits in the creativity area of my office, directly behind my writing desk and right next to my crystal companion “Arthur” and other, smaller crystal friends. Arthur’s experiencing a similar growth opportunity.
Through a series of miscommunications aka “meant-to-be-crystal trickery,” I found myself having been chosen as Arthur’s new guardian shortly after moving into the blue house/office in Goshen. It’s a long story, but I thought I was “babysitting” what we originally called “The Blue Lemurian” while Tania did her RV travels, only to discover that I was actually meant to purchase and keep a much, much larger crystal than I ever would have on my own. It turns out I was the one who originally picked out this crystal for Tania, though, way back in my Northern California days. With that fun tidbit thrown into consideration, ironically, Tania was perhaps “babysitting” him for me. In any case, we both agree that “The Blue Lemurian” is very powerful and super tricky. Joke’s on me!
Various tune-in’s, activations, dreams, synchronicities and eerily accurate oracle cards indicated that this record keeper would, indeed, support my writing. The only trouble in Goshen was that I didn’t have a convenient location for a crystal of this magnitude. He and his stand took up a third of my writing desk! I was always accidentally elbowing him and concerned I’d send him flying to a shattery doom. Now, with a separate, dedicated desk for writing, I can enjoy Arthur’s supportive energy without either of us feeling crowded. Again, this feels so symbolic, as I intuitively knew that despite having rented an entire house as an office with garden views in Goshen, I just wasn’t going to complete anymore books until we left the area.
Our new home and yard are “right-sized,” truly the Goldilocks effect of not too big and not too small, so everything fits just right. Careful readers might deduce where that new home is, but for just a little while longer, officially, mum’s the word.