Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tender heart

I walked the yard tonight--the first time since getting back from Maine. This weekend I'll be playing "catch-up"--getting back on top of what one week's neglect can do.
My herb garden that I had been so proud of restoring this spring, is now overgrown with phlox. At least it's pretty--even with bindweed lacing the tall strands together. And hiding underneath a very unruly mint-like creature is the re-emerging poison ivy I was sure I was finished with. The ivy, apparently, disagrees.
The weeks of summer sun have toughened the tender, green sprigs into leathery, stubborn ropes. I'm not looking forward to wrestling with it, but if I turn away--all of this spring's efforts will have been wasted. A garden demands an attentive keeper.
My new delphinium has started to blossom--icy colors on delicate, wispy petals that seem as if they'd fry in the late summer sun. There they stand. Trying not to be swallowed by their pushy neighbors.

Tenderness is rare in a late summer garden.

And in the field, although the milkweed has become old and toughened, a tiny caterpillar cruises along in search of a tender meal.

He seems to know that new, green leaf is meant just for him.
He's looked it over carefully--front, back and top.

But where do you take the first bite?

Stumble Upon Toolbar


KGMom said...

Isn't it wonderful to stroll through your garden after you've been away. Even if there is much work to do, just seeing loved plants is part of the joy of returning home.

LauraO said...

Coming home is always the best part of any vacation. Enjoyed your post, and your blog.

Q said...

dear Nina,
The garden always gets away from me too. I will gone three weeks soon and I know when I get back it will be frost before I get everything taken care of.
I love your little caterpiller!
Monarchs are so beautiful, their cats are great!

RuthieJ said...

As Dorothy said, "there's no place like home." It's great you have such a nice garden to spend your at-home time in.

Cathy said...

Beautiful. You brought back my gardening days - the way the green and fragrant and fecund pull you along the over-grown paths.

How do you wrestle with poison ivy? I've used newspaper between me and those stubborn stems. Worked well. Good luck.

(I examined at least 20 milk weed today. No caterpillars contemplating tenderness :0(

nina said...

Cathy--I use a suede gardening glove for ivy pulling-- a pair I use for only that, so I don't touch rake handles or trowels by accident and spread the oil everywhere.
Then into the trash they (vines) go. We have camp fires from time to time, so I don't take the chance of tossing it on a brush pile.
The stems are fairly dry this time of year. But, in the spring when the ground is moist and gloves may wet thru, I wear a latex glove inside the suede.
And of course, long pants, long sleeves,...ain't it great!