Friday, September 14, 2012

Surprises In & Out of The Garden


I walked outside to get the mail last week and was greeted by a naked lady ... also known as Surprise Lily.  I had no idea that Otahal had included Lycoris radiata amongst the plants he gave me last year ... thus far I've only been surprised once, so maybe he has no idea he did either.  The common name of Naked Lady stems from the plant's habit of blooming on a foliage-less stem.  The climate in my part of Texas is not conducive to growing Kniphofia but I hear tell that gardeners who can grow Red Hot Pokers find it amusing to do so in tandem with naked ladies. The Head Gardener is attempting to put on her poker face and pretend that she is not amused by such a juxtaposition.


During my travels to and from the Garden Bloggers' Fling in Asheville, North Carolina, I was fortunate to spend some time at Fairegarden in Tennessee.  Frances, Gail of Clay and Limestone and I took a little road trip over to Frances' favorite local nursery, Mouse Creek.  As usual, I was unable to resist temptation and came home with quite a few plants that were new to me.  I've grown Ironweed, Vernonia lettermannii, for several years now but a different variety caught my eye and then jumped on the cart.  It refused to be dissuaded from coming home with me and I am so delighted that it did!  It started blooming recently and I am just wild about it.  Now if only I could remember the species and/or cultivar.  


My Meyer Lemon tree is loaded with fat green lemons ... I've had to prune the Persian Vitex growing nearby so I can use that plant as a support for the branches of the lemon tree.  I have no clue why ONE lemon chose to ripen ahead of all the others.  It has now been harvested and juiced and I have only to decide what kind of cocktail I should make with it!


A box arrived at my gate last week ... knowing that I hadn't ordered anything recently, I suspected my sister was responsible for this delivery.  Yep, once again I have been blessed by the largesse of the inimitable Dr. Laura (not Schlessinger and for that I am truly thankful).  Chickens everywhere are doubtless crowing and clucking over this addition to the funk art gallery that adorns the driveway fence.

There was one unhappy surprise ... congestion in my head and a tickle in my chest turned into a nasty attack of sinusitis and bronchitis last weekend.  I battled it on my own for several days before conceding the need for medical intervention.  A visit to the urgent care center netted me a cortisone shot, antibiotics and an inhaler.    You know I'm really sick when a cool front arrives and I spend my days inside!  I'm recovering more slowly than I'd like but I expect to be in good shape by the time the next cool front arrives.

11 comments:

Fairegarden said...

Lovely surprises, Cindy, and the idea of the poker and the lady sounds perfect for your sense of humor, like the chickens without fear. Your sister is a gem, and so are you! I hope you are feeling better soon, to be able to take advantage of cooler gardening weather. Thanks for the linkage, my friend! I don't know which variety of ironweed you got from Mouse Creek, but if it grows to be 12 ft tall, it is V. gigantea!

Frances

Alison said...

Getting sick when you are itching to get outside is a situation I have known well. That scratchy throat that you know means an oncoming cold just sinks my spirits. What a sweet sister you have to send you treasures like that chicken picture. Chuckling over naked ladies and red hot pokers. That would so appeal to my husband's bawdy sense of humor.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Poor baby. I love the signs. Could your ironweed be Vernonia noveboracensis? That's one I grow, and yours looks like mine. I hope you're feeling much better.~~Dee

Layanee said...

Surprises are usually welcome...not the sinusitis though. Love that Naked Lady.

Layanee said...

Surprises are usually welcome...not the sinusitis though. Love that Naked Lady.

Gail said...

Love your surprises~The sign is so cool and the lycoris is such an intense treat on a hot summer day!~ So sorry you were feeling poorly and hope you're on the mend. xo PS we did have fun on that trip!

Carol said...

I love naked ladies too. They were my mom's favorite. I was surprised last year to have some bloom in the woods right next door. Cindy, I am a gardener that loves the outdoors and is allergic to everything that grows. Missed a day of work today because I was up all night sneezing and snorting. Hope you feel better soon. Have a great weekend! Hugs, Carol

Kathy said...

Love the chicken sign!!

Lancashire rose said...

Hope you are feeling better. No doubt there will be some more surprises waiting for you when you venture outside again. I also was surprised by my naked ladies blooming this week. Such perfect timing.

Rebecca said...

I do believe YOUR "naked ladies" and ours wear different colors!

(And your post reminds me to scout around after church today to find me some photos of the Asheville Walk! Can't wait.)

Rose said...

Lisa, Beckie, and I also visited Mouse Creek when we were in Tennessee! I only bought a few things, since trunk capacity was limited, but we certainly enjoyed our visit there. Did you get to meet the owner? A very interesting lady.

Love those red naked ladies! Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well, Cindy. This has been a tough summer for you. Hope you're on the mend soon.