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Gnomes and Fairies

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ever get something as a gift that you never knew you wanted? Example: I never thought I was the kind of person who would wear socks with dogs on them. But I do, I do. I've gone through four pairs of Wheelhouse socks with Boston terriers on them. Yep. Just got a fifth pair for my birthday. Looking forward to wearing the heels out on them, too.
When a box appeared via UPS from my sister Barbara in Massachusetts, I was intrigued. It was big--two feet long. There was Styrofoam. Inside, there was a gnome. Definitely in the category of something I never realized I wanted until I got it.Lovely delphiniums...but what's that poking up through the vegetation?

I liked him immediately because Barb sent him, but also because he wasn't particularly cute. He's pushing a wheelbarrow that fits loosely into his permanently clenched hands, and he looks kind of ticked off. Like somebody filled his wheelbarrow with rocks and he's stuck moving them all the way across the bed to the delphiniums. I often look pretty cross when I'm gardening, but it's because I'm transferring my frustrations to the weeds I'm pulling or rooting out.

" My good hoe, as it bites the ground, revenges my wrongs, and I have less lust to bite my enemies. In smoothing the rough hillocks, I smooth my temper." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pull them out, shake the dirt off the roots, toss them in a pile. Would that it were so easy to do away with one's negative thoughts. No wonder I love gardening.Malva fastigiata and Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed). That's one Asclepias plant. When they're happy, they do well.

Gnomes, and fairies. My garden is buzzing with fairies. There are so many hummingbirds this summer, and I revel in the thrum and hum of their wings and the staccato arguments they seem to keep going all day long.

It's a delphinium and rose summer. I've salted all the shady beds with delphiniums and all the sunny ones with roses. I'm a freak for true blue flowers. There are a lot of lavender and purple flowers out there being called blue, but when I want blue, I want sky blue. And delphiniums are one of the few flowers that deliver. They like rich, moist soil, cooler temperatures, and they don't like to bake in the sun. I have one bed, on the north exposure, that gives them what they need. They come in white, too.So much for the old adage that you need red or orange flowers to attract hummingbirds.

This is the "Connecticut Yankee" series, an airy, wiry variety with deeply cut leaves and good winter survival skills. Love them, love them. And I love my gnome. Thanks, Barbie!
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