Traveling is great fun. But enjoying our own yard, or garden as our British friends call it, is a great joy too. Right now a mockingbird is trilling through an amazing repertoire of all kinds of sounds and songs. Day lilies are fading, have more spent blooms than buds, but are still beautiful. Hydrangeas, both blue and oak, are blooming nicely after some severe trimming and replanting. Pink blossoms are appearing on the crepe myrtle, the yellow lantana are well started on their summer show, and a little wren has built a cozy nest in the Green Barn.
We’re picking enough blueberries from our three-year-old bushes to enjoy on our cereal every morning. They’re all rabbit eye blueberry bushes but are different varieties, some ripening slower than others. We’re hoping for a long blueberry season, though this year it looks as if there won’t be enough for a pie. Charles has worked diligently and patiently on these bushes and we have high hopes.
The knockout roses are so pretty along the front porch with its iron railing and also around the flagpole where the American and Georgia flags are furled. Also, two hibiscus bushes by the front steps are putting forth new blossoms every day, some yellow, some red.
Thomas Tree Service came last week to take down the big pine tree in front of the house, the tree whose whole top was wrenched off by the recent tornado. Already there were several open spaces left in the last two years by big trees lost to hurricanes, lightning, and beetles.
The magnolia trees are blooming. Their huge elegant white blossoms shine out from the glossy green foliage and scent the air with a nutty spicy sweetness.
We’re not sure that many of the citrus trees are going to be fruitful this year. Their foliage is healthy and pretty but right now only the kumquats are blooming. We remind ourselves, though, that the satsumas, oranges, and lemons can be very slow and then surprise us.
The bamboo is a thick guard around a good portion of our boundary. We love the way the whole line of them sways in a breeze reminding us of ocean waves. One big clump was bent over in one of the storms but it helps form a cave behind the Green Barn where wee beasties can hide. And, yes, the bamboo needs cutting back often but it shields us from the noise of Highway 84 and makes a nice buffer so we and our neighbors have privacy.
Hummingbirds are back but still scarce at our feeders. The songbirds and chippers are abundant–cardinals, titmouse, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, blue jays, and an occasional bright flicker. The mourning doves, too, come to eat and, especially, to splash in the bird baths at the front and the back. Bluebirds and brown thrashers enjoy a cool bath, too.
Along the wooden side fence the two-year-old red top shrubs have settled in, claiming their place. We miss the big oak trees we had to take down but the openness they left behind is really nice. Thanks to Charles’ sprigging, the grass has filled in the bare places and there’s more room on the lawn–the children’s outdoor stage–for playing ball, doing tricks, and just running.
There’s an openness, too, inside the sweep of circular driveway. Charles and Ulysses cut the azaleas back severely. Now we can see the children as they round the curve on their bikes.
Sitting on our back porch listening to songs of birds, the rattle of dry brittle magnolia leaves whisking across the driveway, and, in the evening, watching the fireflies come out–that’s all so good!
Thank You, Lord, for home, sweet home!