I got out and walked this morning, before it got too hot; ten weeks from now what feels warm – 85+ degrees – will feel chilly, portending the coming of fall. Until then, every day I can get out and about, breathing in and out comfortably, I am glad.
In our back yard, the battle with the squirrels over the domain rights to my growing collection of flower and plant pots continues. I tried applying concentrated pepper, and got talked into (dried) fox urine – sprinkling it around the edges of the pots. After a few days, the squirrels may have noticed, no fox was lurking – and perhaps, because this is Texas, the squirrels don’t mind extra pepper. Today, when I noticed one persistent critter, digging in a freshly potted hibiscus I resolutely added both pepper and urine to all the pots! Hope the plants survive.
Speaking of my garden: at least half a dozen black-eyed Susan’s are waving bravely in the sun and this mornings gentle breeze. Started from seeds last year, they did not appear until this spring; I despaired that they would bloom. Chilly weather and strong winds have knocked them about; some rains and hail pummeled them – but they were upright and boldly at attention when I took action against the squirrels – cheery reminders of the Old Line State.
Also emerging unexpectedly – for I worried the squirrels had forged the bulbs – a stargazer lily. Other shoots are tentatively appearing. Another surprise, and reappearing this year with more blooms and brighter colors, is canna lilies, planted by the former owner. The flowers are a combination of brilliant red and pure yellow against deep green foliage – Viva Mexico! Alas, the freesias are languishing. Perhaps they resent the squirrels’ incessant foraging? Or maybe pepper and fox urine discouraged them?
On another hopeful gardening note, though, the pansies have not given up. The remains of what I planted in the fall, pansies and ornamental cabbage, seem inexhaustible. Daily, as I cut them to file tiny arrangements in the house, more flowers appear. Indeed, my gardening friend told me pansies are also known as the grandmother’s flowers, for busy little hands can never wholly demolish their beds.
And speaking of grandchildren, my morning walks have become as if I have a small child in tow. This morning, just as I reached a heart-healthy pace, the magnolia trees distracted me. The blooms are lovely and profuse this year, tempting me to draw close, bend a branch down and inhale their unique fragrance. Slowing down, I had to have a stern talk with myself about not touching other people’s property. Mercifully, I didn’t have to explain why to myself.