musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the tag “gardening”

little beauties

Apologies for pause in posting while I’ve been writing and summering.

Today is brutally hot here in Virginia again. I guess I’ll grow accustomed to the oppressive heat eventually. I maintain, I’d rather be housebound due to a proper snowstorm than due to heat. The sunshine is such a tease.

Wandering the yard with the hose, I ran into a lovely little blue tailed lizard.

He was too fast for me to capture a picture. If you click on this one, you will learn a bit about him from the source website of this pic. He was so skinkin’ cute! (I had to)

The following are my own pictures of little beauties I grew:

I want to eat this morning glory, it is so delicate and beautiful.

Slowly, a vining begins to establish itself.

I have been trying to grow this Japanese maple for years. My father gave me a sapling from my childhood home in Connecticut.

Can’t remember the name of this decorative grass flowering thing. A friend had too much in her yard and shared about four or five of them with me.

Crepe Myrtles are busting out everywhere here. They smell like cinnamon Necco Wafers. I have some saplings of purple from the same friend who gave me the grasses above, I can’t wait until they bloom. In the meantime, the whites of my established trees are really gorgeous, too.

Thanks for stopping by in my little corner of the world.


It’s hot out. That’s right, I am mentioning it again. I went outside to water this morning and accidentally sprayed this fledgling out of the camellias.

Are you looking at me?


I tried to help him over the fence, he wouldn’t let me near enough to do so.


One balcony garden I had at a condo in Massachussetts days of old, I grew a ton of morning glories. When I moved to a new one without a balcony, they began to die, so I gave them to my mother in Connecticut, and they still grow up the corner of the house at my parents’ patio.

I have tried to grow them here in Virginia every year….the voles always eat the roots, or the sun fries them in the droughts. I finally got one to take this year in a pot on the fence. I hope she lasts, because she is gorgeous.

Look at me, please…

I planted my gardens late this year. Here are my first tomatoes saying


Speaking of fledglings, look how this one stays cool in the heat.


This is the first time I have tried to grow begonias.

I had heard legends of how temperamental and sensitive they are to grow. How they must be coaxed to grow, coddled, and reverenced to bloom.

Begonia growers I have known are selfish beasts who wish to keep this kind of beauty all to themselves, apparently.

There are begonias blooming under my begonias. I water them when I remember to do so, haphazardly.


Photo: begonias are blooming under the begonias!


They are as showy and layered as peonies and roses, but not nearly so delicate. Their petals are tough and waxy, solid, stolid, even.

They are Stevie Nicks, Imogen Heap.

No they are the Joan Jett of phanerogams. They are gorgeous, would ride a Harley, wear no perfume.

Begonias. Ah!


on writing life

1 – Sometimes I need to recognize when to leave well enough alone, hence taking a two week or so break from THE MANUSCRIPT.

2- Sometimes, like spring, I need to concentrate on yard work, which is my giant canvas, instead.

3 – Sometimes, I have to let the kids lead, and stop telling them to stop while I just take care of whatever it is that I am putting before them for the time being. For instance, at this moment, Toots is hitting the brim of my hat with her lip gloss to get my attention while I am typing this.

4 – Sometimes, I just have to take them to the community pool, because it is open, and festivals between here and the beach are causing prohibitive beach bound traffic and it’s too far to travel this late, after the dump run and the yardwork, anyway.

of friends, berries, ferries, and gulls

For Mother’s Day, a bunch of friends’ families went strawberry picking and rode a ferry home. Admittedly the ferry is the long way, but it was fun adventure and free!

It was a beautiful day, and yes, I got a wee sunburnt, but loved it.

College Run Farms has season crops for public picking throughout the growing season, and right now is strawberries.  And the best fresh ice cream in the world.

Nothing more heavenly in this world than the scent of sun-warm berries and tasting them in the rows. Toots took off running, throwing strawberrycaps in her wake, Captain Comic was overdressed, regardless of the pleas and orders to change, and Mr. Cynic roasted his scalp under his black straw fedora, but fun was had by all, even if Captain Comic kept tugging on my arm, “Can we go now?”

Here is a smattering of the pics of our adventure:

A long unusual moment occurred between Mr. Cynic and a laughing gull who rode the back draft of the ferry. Either the laughing gull was trying to commune with him, or wanted to peck his eye out. I prefer the former option…

I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day, too!


Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. ~ Rilke

King’s Ransom Rose


Knock Out Rose


Dwarf  Tea Rose

Chive Blossoms

Star Jasmine, Oh the perfume!

and from Iris Murdoch, one of my favorite lines of all time: 

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.

freddie the froggie

Freddie the Froggie is a preschool buddy that Toots and her classmates take turns bringing home and journaling adventures together.

Thankfully, yesterday, I had off from work. I have been intending to start gardening for a while, but between weather and time, I didn’t get going til Freddie came home with us. So we set out to plant seed trays of lettuce and spinach with him. Of course, I apparently cleaned out any seed trays I had lying around last year, so we had to take a trip to the garden center, and first, we had a nacho lunch picnic.

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Yes, I have a lot of work to do in the garden beds before I can plant this year.

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