Could the whole world fit onto the flower head of a red onion? Sometimes it's hard not to think so. My vegetable bed is now filled with the flowers of red, white, and yellow onions - glorious heads of white - with most of them (except for this odd exception) filled with insecta visitors of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I need to start harvesting the onions - I mean, isn't that the point? (But I'd rather wait until the flowers are finished doing their thing).
My one large nandina is in flower - a passalong from my mother and a cooler, slightly less hospitable climate. Here in South Carolina, they are considered invasive, and this weekend I realized why: I found at least 12 nandinas (at least a 1' or more tall) scattered around my garden - in shade, in sun - it didn't seem to care where it's seeds landed. I think I do need to remove them from my garden (and the spiderwort) - although plants associated with my mom are difficult to part with, since our family is still negotiating these first months without her.
My brother and father have been in town this weekend - the first time we have all been together since my mother passed away. My mother's absence was the proverbial elephant in the room, except this elephant seemed as large as a small moon circulating a much larger planet. On Friday evening we went out to dinner - and we almost made it through the meal before the first tears were shed, when my father glanced at the 4th (empty) chair at our table, and said that she should be there. The emptiness of that chair screamed at us throughout our meal - wood-grilled burgers, marinated fish - and silent screams. It is hard not to reflect on grief, and how each of us are manuevering this new experience in our own way, struggling in our way, trying to be strong in our own way. I've been told, and have watched - families torn apart by grief. We are having our own struggles, as we try to figure out this new world with one less moon revolving around our lives - all orbits trying not to collide, but doing so, nonetheless.
My brother helped me for most of Saturday and early Sunday on some 'projects' in my garden in preparation for the demolition of my home. An issue that we often have in the south is just one of simple biomass overload - in otherwords, if we get rain, things really grow. And it's an equal opportunity sort of thing -- EVERYTHING grows - the virginia creeper, the poison ivy - it's craziness. One thing my brother helped me do - with what he referred to as my 'woman saw' - (honestly now, I love this little chainsaw) - was to prune the lower branches of my southern magnolia and the three bald cypresses. One can now walk under the trees - and it feels like being in a very small forest, with ~10 years of bald cypress leaf mulch covering the ground. Being an obsessive planter-of-things, I immediately think 'what can I plant there', but I think I will wait for awhile, and just enjoy the shady open space that the removal of these branches has created. (And yes, that is my brother, using my 'woman saw' and even, on ocassion, getting up on my 'woman ladder' to reach a branch or two). We also got the larger branches mostly cut up into small pieces of wood for my outdoor fireplace - you know, to use on all of those cold nights next winter when the thought of spending the evening in an Airstream seems just a bit too..nutty.
Another big accomplishment of the weekend was transplanting an ~15' crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica 'Queen's Lace') to the side garden. This tree has been struggling for along while, as it has been out-everything'ed by the heirloom rose, Silver Moon. The tree was located in front of my current place, and needed to be rescued prior to the demolition. Hopefully it will make it - I need to mulch it later today, and I'll keep it watered for awhile. I'm optimistic. It is probably out there, as I type this, celebrating that it is out in the open, in full sun and free of that insane rose. A former neighbor across the street, Lara, used to say that the myrtle needs to be 'free', and I swear she was about to start a 'free the myrtle campaign' just before she moved. Of course I've emailed her to let her know that the myrtle is indeed free.
Another accomplishment: my beautiful Climbing Cecile Brunner - pruned back last November to about 8-10' - was finally transplanted from the front of my home to the side garden, next to a trellis anchoring Mermaid to this hemisphere. My plan is to use wood from the deck pilings to make another large trellis for this newly transplanted climber - which should work perfectly. I have two smaller, abused roses - that have suffered from the increased shade over the past few years because of the southern magnolia and the bald cypresses - Perle des Jardins (a yellow rose) and Old Blush (a pink rose) - that need to be relocated yet (but their relocation isn't connected to the demolition. Perhaps I can accomplish this later this afternoon. Or perhaps I'll sit in the sun, or perhaps the shade - you know, just sit. I'm feeling a bit tired, and sad - and sitting might be just the thing for me to do.