So I walked outside a while ago, thinking I'd sit and enjoy the cool breeze as the last of the light faded. That plan was scotched by the mystifying absence of the umbrella pictured above. I realize a garden bed may seem an odd place for it, but there's a method to my madness. This is the spot where the Persian Vitex once resided, shading the toad lilies below. Now that I've cut down the PV, the toad lilies are getting full sun for up to 6 hours a day. I'm trying to decide on what kind of tree I can plant that will grow quickly but not aggressively, but I need to do something in the meantime to protect the plants. This 7 foot market umbrella in my signature aqua color was purchased just this morning from Pier One, together with a sturdy umbrella stand. I brought them home and set them up, situated them to provide the toad lilies with the necessary protection from the sun, and then went off to do other things around the garden. I was back and forth between the front and back most of the afternoon and admired the looks of the umbrella each time.
So it was more than a little disturbing to walk out into the garden and NOT see the umbrella. I must have looked like a classic sitcom character in my perplexity. Yes, it's been windy today but windy enough to lift the umbrella off the pole and send it sailing all the way across my neighbor's yard and onto his driveway? That I did not see coming. It was the most logical explanation but my mind boggled at the possibility and I was briefly convinced someone had sneaked into the back and stolen it. But when I walked outside the gate and looked down the alley, there it was on the neighbor's driveway. I retrieved it, none the worse for its journey, and reinstalled it on its pole. I left it closed in case the wind picks up again. Maybe I should name it Dorothy.