Don’t trip over the magic

Just this morning my coffee cup and I wandered out in the first light, across the tall grass, the mower being broken again. I found lively growth on a recently relocated jasmine, some early lavender blooms– and millions of roses, everywhere.

I said to nobody, “Where did all these roses suddenly come from?”

Someone said, “Don’t be stupid.”

I knew it wasn’t Tillie. She is on vacation with her louche Gentleman Caller, an indiscreet plan at best and one I really don’t want to discuss today, maybe later…

No it was the dryad, leaning up against her oak tree in the sun.

old oak(The dryad won’t be photographed.)

She is often, but not always, rude. I blinked and then she was up high, on a limb, after which the wind caught the leaves or she laughed.

sky oak

“What exactly is your provenance?” I called up at her.  (She might not like being talked about like a piece of pottery.)

“What is yours?” she said.  Her voice carried without shouting which wasn’t fair.

I drank coffee and looked carelessly at the pillar roses and when I finally glanced back she was gone. It’s always like that with her, no chance for considered comebacks. But she tends the tree so I let her stay. Well that and I don’t know how to get rid of her.  (The rocks come with the farm.)

magic Sharifa asma rose

There truly are lots of rose blooms, and still some wildflowers–like the leopard lily, which I moved to the George-the-Cat Memorial Garden just last year. (George would have liked the “Leopard” part.)

leopard lily, Lilium pardalinum

This spring I bought a couple pots of the perennial Dianthus “Coconut Punch.”

Dianthus Coconut Punch

They are said to be spicy-fragrant but ever since Mr O brought home that souvenir cold virus from his trip to San Diego I haven’t been able to sense any flower fragrances at all, a horrific hindrance during rose time. Dr Google says it is temporary damage from the virus, or possibly the beginning of one of several deadly illnesses including a brain tumor. (I expect it will pass by about October when all the flowers are gone.)

So anyway I don’t know if the new dianthus is spicy or not. (I’ve tried testing the flowers on Mr O but he is notoriously fragrance-insensitive at the best of times and of course he had the evil cold too.) The coconut punchy dianthus is a compact little plant, about a foot tall. The color is white and burgundy –although you may come across some prevarication about the flowers being black.

Now here is a long view of the gardens east of my house this morning.

east gardens

In the foreground is a little boxwood hedge made of plants of various ages. I do clip them but so far I am trying to make them look like a hedge and not a duck or undulating ribbon or anything figural. At the end of the little dark hedge, at the right, is a baby oak tree. Mr O says I planted it too close to the house but I told him I would not live long enough to see the problem even if I don’t have a brain tumor because oaks grow so slowly and anyway the dryad made me do it–something about a homeless relative.

Beyond the box plants in this image is the new pine tree bed, which my shovel and I periodically increase in size. It’s a round bed at the feet of a couple pine trees and the deadly toxic yew tree. You will note that the “lawn” is rather tall but the next international croquet tournament isn’t scheduled until July and hopefully by then the mower belt will be replaced.

The next image is the picket fence. It is along the right side, behind all that jungle of shrubs and trees. (Yes I know it’s entirely hidden that’s why I told you.)

picket fence yardIt’s western Oregon you know. It’s supposed to be green.

And I expect you have for some time wondered if I ever painted the wheelbarrow. I did, and really it works a lot better now.

magic wheelbarrow

A few more of the inexplicable roses:

magic roses

Alchymist magic roseI see you rolling your eyes.  Just think of the various glitter as symbolic, like words.

I’m reading fiction by John Crowley right now, a tetralogy called Ægypt, and it doesn’t bring my feet any closer to the ground.

In an online essay, Crowley quoted Isaac Bashevis Singer:  “The things we know we call nature and what we don’t know we call supernatural.”


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in roses, stuff for your garden that isn't plants, Tillie and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Don’t trip over the magic

  1. Rachelle says:

    Oh! I particularly like pixie dust or dryad dirt in the last rose picture. I believe the pixies, nymphs, or anime of my trees and such have all been scared off by those men siding that neighbor’s garage, who trampled and broke back branches on the blackberries attempting to nip at them for property line grievances. There was a great hew and cry of the garden people at the damage to the lovely blackberries. And, in hind sight we have all come to realize how totally horrendous and nasty in appearance the neighbor’s garage had been.

    I like that the dryads enjoy yours. How are your little stick people who constantly move those scraps of leaves and twigs about? They must be reveling in the extra cover from birds the tall grass provides for their early summer escapades!

    Love the pillar rose, by the way.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Rachelle
      I know you have suffered in the Garage Siding Wars and it is my hope that it’s over and your garden perimeters will become peaceable once again. I must admit to personal ambivalence about blackberries–here they are on a mission to grow upon and over every other plant, person and structure. It is a constant battle. But at least they produce yummy fruit. The pillar rose is really just a climber (“Alchymist) I pruned too lightly. Live and learn. The real pillar roses, out by the dryad’s oak, are just coming into bloom.

  2. kininvie says:

    You don’t have any ash trees, do you? Ash dryads would appear to have a somewhat worrying background (at least for men). I envy your existence in an Arcadian landscape full of these delicate creatures. All we have here are bogles. In fact, I’ve had to give up growing potatoes, because the tattie bogle became so annoying – jumping out at me while I was trying to weed. It’s gone now, and I don’t think there’s anything else of a mythological nature lurking around. I’d expected you to paint some go-faster stripes on the wheelbarrow. They really do help. But I suppose the flowers suit your pace of life better.

    • linniew says:

      Dear Kinivie,
      Thanks for the warning about ash trees. We do have one, and it’s trouble enough with its leaves arriving last and leaving first so that mostly it looks dead. Of course for the moment it is all green and lush and is good shade but I will be alert for signs of residual Meliae. A tattie bogle sounds dreadful. Really gardening should be about more than being fiercely accosted at weeding so you are right to abandon potatoes. (If my potatoes fail I may request you mail me a tattie bogle as well.) I like the wheelbarrow art because now I can call it a daisybarrow. I can also differentiate it from Mr O’s identical one which I did not paint, but now he will surely want racing stripes as you suggest. Is there a stripe color that is faster than others? Let me know. -L

      • kininvie says:

        The colours matter not (though green and red are popular). The important thing is to use flourescent decals. This has a noticeable effect on speed (something to do with the air molecules sliding past faster). Even the homeliest wheelbarrow – such as yours – can be tweaked into better performance in this way. There is a mild impairment of load-carrying capacity, of course, but nothing to be concerned about.

        • linniew says:

          Oblique insults to my wheelbarrow fleet aside, I seem to remember that one of your garden transport devices is evolved from a baby pram–I do wonder Kininvie, with what color flourescent tape have you ornamented it to increase its road performance?

          PS: Your physics rationale is worse than the science I usually use.

  3. Alistair says:

    Hello Linnie, I must say your garden looks like a very comfortable place to spend a warm afternoon relaxing in. I cant believe that I was actually looking for the Dryad, don’t tell anyone but I am sure I can make her out. Not so sure about tattie bogles which Kininvie talks about and I am not quite sure what my mother was talking about when she would say will you wash that tattie bogies out of your lugs.

    • linniew says:

      It takes a special person to see that dryad in the images. But I agree, Kininvie’s tattie bogles sound a little iffy… As to your mother, she was just using mom-language, which is confusing but important as a means to divert children from otherwise unacceptible behaviors. So think back, Alistair. What were you doing when she said that?

      • Alistair says:

        Well, I wasn’t doing anything, it may have been a suggestion that the back of my ears were filthy and possibly also clogged with wax. (sorry about that)

    • linniew says:

      Thanks for the link Kininvie. It leads to some scary images as well as a wonderful old song. The song is called The Tattie Bogle. I only understood about every seventh word of it, but I do gather that the tattie bogle is what is also known as a scarecrow. Does this mean a scarecrow–which you constructed to frighten away foxes or something–has frightened you out of your own tattie patch?

      • kininvie says:

        It’s the other way round, really – the tattie bogle (scarecrow) is an imitation of the real tattie bogle, which is what lurks in tattie fields.

  4. Katie says:

    Miffed dryads and surprise roses. I’d say the Green Man has a little crush on you, Linnie.

  5. b-a-g says:

    I expected to find you constructing some type of flood barrier around your garden after the last post. (We have the Thames barrier which stops the whole of London being flooded by the River Thames – if you need inspiration). Instead a river of roses. I actually didn’t know what a dryad was, and initially read it as an american version of druid. Glad I checked it because “nymph of oak tree” sounds far more magical.

    • linniew says:

      I didn’t know the Thames needed such controls– but rivers are like that. I live on a hill 60+ miles from the ocean so while we have lots of rain we don’t get waves so much. (I do experience earthquake-anxiety sometimes.) I drove a long way once to observe a solar eclipse and there were lots of modern-day druids on hand for the event. (I didn’t see any dryads that time.)

  6. Greggo says:

    Your spring garden is doing well. Not a big fan of painted wheelbarrows. ha ha.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Greggo!
      I should just clarify that I’m not the sort of person who paints flowers on every last thing. I painted my wheelbarrow for two extremely justifiable reasons: to cover up the big white block letters that said TRUPER on each side of it, and to differentiate it from Mr O’s wheelbarrow (which has big block letters that say TRUPER on each side of it). Of course we do share wheelbarrows to a certain extent but deep down we each know who has priority rights over which one. So, for example, there is one which can sit full of firewood for days on end and be of no garden use while the other one (mine) must be at-the-ready to haul compost or give the dog a ride.

  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Lovely magic & gorgeous roses!

    I believe that Malathion will rid your garden of rude dryads, aphids, nymphs, weevils, fairies, gnomes, Disney characters, children and other irritating pests. If that proves ineffective, Diazinon mixed with agent orange should do the tirck.

    • linniew says:

      Thanks Peter but I need something really effective–needs to remove lesser celandine too. I’m considering using my vacuum cleaner. What do you think?

      • Peter/Outlaw says:

        Your vacuum cleaner sounds wonderful and you’ll also have the sadistic satisfaction of hearing the lesser celandine scream as it’s sucked through the beater bar!

  8. Christina says:

    Love the magic of your garden, oh! and the roses too. Christina

    • linniew says:

      Hi Christina-
      Great to have you here! I do think gardens are strange and mysterious– and I spend so much of my life out there. It’s like being in a house where the furnishings change size and color all the time and then say the couch just disappears for months on end or a lamp replicates itself without notice. As you surely know it takes tremendous mental stability just to cope.

  9. Grace says:

    This wicked virus that steals your olfactory, I’m afraid it’s not exclusive but chooses gardeners at random. My friend Annie is suffering a similar fate. Her sense of taste is also inhibited. Things she used to enjoy eating are horrifying now. She had the requisite MRI and cat scan and is assured that it’s not the brain tumor. Still, how utterly cruel to leave a gardener lacking in the smelling department, and in June no less. I hope you recover long before October.

  10. Alberto says:

    Linnie, I’ve somehow missed this post of yours! Once in a while that you show your garden and your roses and I missed it. But hey I’m sick and people can be fussy when they’re sick. I love your big big oaks with tose huge trunks and those green patches. We have something in common about not smelling our roses because of a cold, I suffered the same. And now that I can smell again all the roses are gone… I guess that it has nothing to do with brain cancer, although seeing fairies and talking to a cup of coffee… Well that is completely different.
    But your garden looks great, hat tall white flowered bush at the bottom of the lawn (prairie?) is beautiful, is it ‘my’ ocean spray?

    • linniew says:

      Hi Alberto
      You are sick so I forgive you most everything right now. (Don’t take advantage of that.) Glad you like my prairie. The white flowered bush is actually a privet which was used as root stock on a lilac I bought once. The lilac died and the privet grew into a nice little tree. The honeybees and hummingbirds like its tiny sweet flowers. I have hope of one day enjoying the scents of flowers again but right now I get mint and oregano but no rose fragrances at all.

      And don’t pretend you never talk to coffee.

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