Friday, May 30, 2014

My Noisy Oasis

Since Memorial Day we have had a hot humid day in the 80s, a cold overcast gloomy day well below 60 degrees, and some pleasant sparkling sun. How's that for changeable weather?

This morning is pleasant and I like nothing better than a cup of coffee in the early morning in my garden. It's cool, the sun is warm and everything looks so nice.

But the noise!

We live in a suburban development of 60+ homes. There are lawns. They need to be mowed. The landscapers come with their giant machines and they roar.  The weedwhackers and blowers have a high whine that drones.

I truly cannot sit out in the garden while this goes on.

(This is not passing any judgement on lawns . . . a fraught topic . . . Jim mows our lawn and that makes noise too, although nothing like the roar of the commercial behemoths.)

Add to the lawnmower noise the busy road behind us, with school buses, garbage trucks, cars on the way to work, landscaping trailers, delivery trucks.

It's a narrow country road, twisty and hilly, but it carries a lot of neighborhood traffic and a lot of through traffic going to other neighborhoods. I had no idea when we moved in it would be so busy.

My reforestation plan to screen the back of our property with trees has worked really well, and now, going on 10 years later, when the leaves are out I can't see the road. But I hear it.

I really love the green, enclosed oasis of my garden. Although we are in a neighborhood, our house is situated so we don't have houses directly to either side, and with the trees becoming forest behind us, we have no houses in back.

But the noise!

A few updates:
> no strawberries yet. Last year at this time I was bringing in bowls of them. This cold spring they are late. There are lots of white berries ripening, none ready yet.

> the red peony has opened, the white Henryi clematis has a big bloom (and puckered leaves, not good), and the morning glory vine has a couple flowers although it is still small. The flowers are pink! Pink morning glories --- I wanted clear blue, but oh well.

> the new styrax looks terrible. Limp leaves, bare branches. I am despairing.

> in contrast with the styrax, the Forest Pansy redbud looks okay after my initial despair. It leafed out and there is some branch dieback but nothing too bad.

> planted mixed jewel color nasturtium seeds in some empty spots around the garden on Memorial Day. Not sure the ones I planted around the gravel garden are going to play well with pink morning glories.

> the lettuce in the herb bowl is not doing much. It's a cool weather crop, but doesn't seem to like so much cold. It's fine, just not bulking up at all. One plant keeled over, roots in the air, but the rest of the lettuce is just sitting there not growing much.

> amsonias are blooming, and the flowering dwarf deautzias are the prettiest ever.

> and the Kintzley's Ghost honeysuckle is blooming. What an interesting one this is. Later the round bracts will turn silver. A little focus trouble, but these blooms were down at the bottom, on the ground and hard to see, much less photograph.

> the Orange Dream Japanese maple has never stayed this bright orange this far into the season. The color has stayed intense with the cold nights all spring.

So much is happening, this is only a partial update of things I observe as I cruise the garden in the morning, coffee cup in hand, cursing the noise all around me.

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