Monday, July 07, 2008

Morning Discoveries

I'm no morning glory. It takes only the first glimmer of morning sun on the horizon to get them to unfurl their petals and turn to golden glow in the east. For me, it really takes at least one cup of coffee...and this morning, it wasn't really anywhere near dawn, thanks to the cat curled comfortably on my feet and the cool morning air coming in the bedroom window.

After a few slugs of coffee and a one-eyed squint at the online weather forecast to see if there was any chance of rain(none, a cloudy morning followed by sunshine), I stumbled out into the yard, cup in hand, to get the soaker hose connected and turned on.

That done, I wandered out around the fence in search of the morning's new offerings.

There were more of those blue morning glories quietly blossomed in the lush leaves of the vines on the first post. I was admiring those when I heard something down by my feet.

Mine was sort of a delayed reaction and I suppose my sleepiness may have contributed to his mediocre reaction. Generally, the bunnies are just wary enough to not let you get all that close. This little guy, however, is apparently too young to know that yet.

I'd spotted him last evening, as Em and I were finishing our walk. She, as usual, was oblivious, despite my circling her around for another look at him, over the fence in Sophie's yard across the street. The Little One didn't move, nor did he seem particularly frozen with fear.

This morning, I think I nearly stepped on him and that only caused him to hop away a foot or so, before finding a fresh patch of plantain and clover to nibble on. He's the only one of a new generation I've seen so far.

He's got a lot to look out for in this little world of his. I've heard that feral cats in the neighborhood killed an entire litter of rabbit kits earlier this spring and the hawk was big news amongst the birds just a few nights ago. Practical Gardener wants to make a little noise, scare him off, to make him a little more wary of people. They aren't all like me, after all, and he ought to know the difference.

But Practical Gardener comes into conflict with Poet Gardener, who's actually already wondering about what his little life entails. Is he part of a larger family group? Is he off on his own, already, looking for a territory to claim, and where will he meet a doe? And of course, he's already wondering if "Clover" or "Hazel" would be a good name for this little guy.

Naming wild creatures is always a bad idea, says Practical Gardener. It would be hard enough to find his little carcass without it having a name. But Poet Gardener isn't even listening anymore. He thinks this bunny looks more like a "Henry" somehow.

As you can see, those two lilies which began blooming yesterday really are nestled pretty deeply in clouds of allyssum, which are concealing even more fully a drift of yellow and orange marigolds in the distance. Also, anyone who worries about not having time for weeding may embiggen this to take note of the witch grass and wild oxalis I'm turning a blind eye toward in this part of the garden.

Meanwhile, the tiny thistle seedling I dug out of the edge of the CSX Railroad right-of -way in Austerlitz NY a few years back has become a rather large and happy plant in this new location.

It straddles the line between good dirt and the clay soil in that last section of the garden bed, where I've planted more wild things.

Recently, it's branches had grown so large that they were laying down across other things in the garden, like the purple allyssum at the feet of red rose Mister Lincoln (seen here in the lower left)and falling out the front of the garden onto the grass.

Last evening, I wove a pair of bamboo stakes around the sturdy stems of the thistle, raising them back up in the air again, to give the understory plants a chance to thrive. I'm kind of excited by how hard to spot the stakes are now, and just look at the shape of that "little" thistle plant now. Just wait 'til it starts blooming.

I've noticed that these yellow rudbeckia flowers are starting to develop a little of that darker color at the insides of their petals. I wonder if this coloration is a product of soil nutrients, as the color of hydrangeas is often dependent on the amount of aluminum in the ground. Still, they have a long way to go to catch up with the orange and brown flower on the far side of the plant.

Speaking of hydran geas, the one under my bedroom window turns out to be one of those lace-cap varieties. As you can see, it's developing a lovely shade of blue.

I believe there is another hydrangea plant nearby, though to be honest all the plants against the front of the house are seriously bound up with bindweed, which I will have to address shortly.

That other hydrangea is a bit crowded between the azalea and evergreen on either side of it, and really deserves to be dug up and given some space to do its thing unfettered somewhere with a little elbow room.

Hanging from the eves of the porch is the little fuschia plant I bought last week. The variety is called Winston Churchill.

No cigars or speeches from this pretty little plant, though. Interestingly (considering its namesake), its white skirts change to purple as the blossom ages (perhaps J. Edgar Hoover might've been more appropriate), creating some nice variety on just one small plant.

There's a little traffic down at the bottom of this sky shot. Not at all the focus here, as it was moving briskly and no troubles to speak of. No, it was the clouds that caught my eye here, as I headed off to work this morning.

There was plenty to hold my attention in the office this afternoon, with a few new events popping unexpectedly onto the horizon, while details for other upcoming parties began to fall into place.

At day's end, though, I was happy to detour down to the beach parking lot for a look at how some people were whiling away their afternoons. Really, I just wanted to see the sunshine on the water for a few minutes before turning to head home.


Mias said...

very beautiful sunflower.:)
followed your link from citygarden, like your blogspot immediately coz it is almost like mine..hehheeh

Greg said...

Hi Mias, thanks for visiting the garden!! Welcome to the blogosphere!

Jenn Thorson said...

He does look like a Henry-- though Clover could be nicely non-gender specific. :)

Your fuschia is beautiful, I've never had luck with those.

And now you've got me dreaming of sandy beaches. Maybe if I pretend really really hard... :)

Anonymous said...

Henry is a great name for the bunny, but how do you know it shouldn't be Henrietta? ;-) The garden definitely has established a lot of height to it in recent days. It's like coming to a fireworks display every day.

country girl said...

Our bunnies have very long ears. Love your music.

NIcola said...

Wow, bunnies in the garden and a beach on your doorstep - I'm seriously tempted to move...

Greg said...

Afod, perhaps we'll stick to Hen until we know more definitively.

Country girl, glad you're enjoying the tunes. A big collection of old friends there; they never fail to make me feel better about the day, much the way the garden itself does.

Nicola, it's pretty sweet some days, there's no denying that!

Greg said...

Jenn, I missed you first time around. I'm just having luck with the fuschia short-term, since I added it to the fold just a week or so ago. We'll see what happens.

I was excited to see them as single plants at the nursery, and not part of some larger (and much pricier) hanging basket of four or five plants crowded together. They are so pretty, how could I resist giving it a try?

Butch said...

Those wee bunnies look like they are at home in your garden. And what a garden it is. You can see how much love you have put into it. Those flowers are rewarding you back for the care you've given them.

My Word Verification sounds like a skin exfoliative.

Greg said...

The bunnies are certainly players on the garden stage, as much as the birds or the lilies, that's for sure, and generally fun to watch.

This morning I spied one nibbling on an aster plant at the far side of the veggie patch. I don't mind that so much, since they bloom so late in the year, all he's really done is prune it back so it will be lower and bushier...which I rather like the look of. (Sshh, I've tricked them into working for me now...)

It certainly is the time of efforts rewarded and faith renewed out there, Butch. So many flowers now coming on, as those many seedlings continue to reach blooming size!

I'll need a bigger memory card for all the photos!

Java said...

I'm more poet than practical, evidently, as I think this little fella should have a name. Hen is a female chicken. Nope. Clover is much better, especially since he/she likes to eat it so much. IMHO.

I love hydrangeas, especially the blue hues. I planted a hydrangea a couple of years ago, but a guy we hired to cut the grass mowed it down. Haven't replaced it.

Greg said...

Java, he does seem to be just a little fonder of the plantain than the clover...but I suppose that's just splitting hares.

Splitting hares...(oh, stop me from glancing off into Bugs Bunny territory...)

Anyway, perhaps we'll leave the name thing a topic of discussion for a bit. He...or she...will let us know its name when it is time to know.

Are the roots of that hydrangea there? Do they try to come up? It might not be a totally lost cause. Or is it dead as Marley? That mower guy ought to have replaced it for you!!

Robin Easton said...

Oh gawd, this is such a great blog, I could keep reading and reading and I have a ton of work to do. LOL LOL BUT I was scrolling down and I had to stop here when I saw the beach and the sea and oooooh darn,,,lucky you!!
LOL It is SO beautiful! I go swimming even tho it is freezing! Well, at least it is in Maine. You may be a bit warmer there. Just remember to always say "hi" to the ocean for me!!! I miss it!!! :):)

Greg said...

Hi Robin! You'd be disappointed with how little I actually go swimming (it IS pretty chilly,, sharks and stuff)...but it's always fun to stop by the beach and look at the water for a few minutes!