Head tilted back, I see half of the leaves on our Thundercloud Plum have popped off as if it had received a fright in the night.
The border of stones circling its base, a hasty attempt at an orderly appearance, have sunk into the lawn like the ruins of a city and are a hazard to unaware mowers. Not to mention that the space between the plum and one of the pink muhly grasses is too skinny for a mower to fit through, another loose end to be tied up today.
I wrench out all the stones by hand and pile them in a drift from the tree to Lenya's tiny grave near the closest muhly, carefully edge and remove superfluous soil and grass, then add random clumps of drumstick allium (Allium sphaerocephalon) bulbs.
To The Right
I walk north across grass woken up by a couple weeks of cool, rainy weather to my 3ft x 3ft 'Independence' planting bordering the sidewalk and front walkway. This is the first piece of lawn I ripped out one day last May, a mute declaration that I do have a right to be here, unmolested, outside my own house.
I dig in three groups of the alliums between frozen-in-time 'Opal Innocence' nemesia (Nemesia fruticans), flowerless Scotch heather (Calluna vulgaris 'Spring Torch'), frosted-up, melted dark angel dahlia (Dahlia hybrida 'Pretty Woman'), and woody peony and Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) stubs.
On The Other Side
Across the sidewalk is a bed that echoes the previous in form but not completely in content. A pink mum--all ground hugging greens, no blossoms--sits in place of the dahlia. There is a winter-blooming heather of full of lilac flowers. a solo 'Knight Rider' stonecrop (Hylotelephium) hangs over an open space where another nemesia died shortly after planting. Peony stubs and a 'Distant Drum' double Oriental lily stick to the plan. In go the alliums.
There’s more room in the back on this side, only occupied by a perky creeping rosemary (Rosemary officinalis 'Prostratus'). A 'Golden Jubilee' anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is next along the back, ragged at the top and pushing green gold leaves out at the bottom. It looks to be widening slightly as the days go by. The hyssop rings a hydrangea paniculata 'Fire Light' along with the skeletons of three delicious ocimum basilicum: 'Siam Queen' (O. x citriodorum), Spicy Globe Bush, and 'Sweet Dani' Lemon.
The bed extends nineteen feet more to the right. 'Aureum' golden oregano vulgare and English thyme (Thymus vulgaris) anchor the front border and are backed by a shaggy Chuck Hayes gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides). 'Tuscan Blue' Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) splits the distance between the gardenia and a gold threadleaf cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera Aurea'). A lone 'Knight Rider' stonecrop stands under the mounding cypress, an unexpectedly large catmint (Nepeta), looking happier than ever in the frosty air, sits on its right.
Read The Conclusion...Ch-Ch-Changes: Looking Down And Around