The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

August Observations: “Order Please”


Firstly, or “thirstly”, my previous month’s (July) observations : “Hot, whew, too hot to type anything, s-s-sticky. [Fanning, gulp, sip.] Whew, on fire, too hot to go out in garden. [Gulp, sip.] Sure as hell – am I in hell? – not digging a pond this year…”

This month’s observations: “May I please have some sense of order?” My garden has become the wild kingdom! FLOCKS of birds (large audible SWOOSH into the bushes they scare), HERDS of rabbits, bats IN THE HOUSE, and yesterday the rump of a mouse stuck in a tiny air hole of my bird food garbage can storage device – trying to dive in – when I went to restock the bird feeders, again. Poor little guy. Knight-of-shining-armor husband to the rescue in scary, orange gloves. We had to “pop” him out the other way. Way to scuttlebutt, spread the word those holes are too small even for a mouse. (Again, I remind myself this is what I have been planting for, wildlife.)

Did I mention jungles upon jungles of plants? The Joe Pye is growing through the Forsythia. The Black-eyed Susans are shushing the Bee Balm and Husker’s Red. The Marigolds are overshadowing the peppers. “Off with your heads!” All I could manage when it was so hot, so very hot. I even now need my machete to walk through what was once generously wide pathways in the Potager. The tomatillos have become invasive alien pods – body snatchers. The Cutleaf Coneflower is rudely groping me. The horse radish is well, the size of a horse! The strawberries are growing over the lawn – hey, that’s okay.

Native plant sale here! Black-eyed Susan Special!

Black Eyed Susan Gang Takeover

The Black Eyed Susans organizing a gang takeover. Where is the “heron sculpture?”

Potager Jungle

This is supposed to be a pathway through the Potager. Notice the Tomatillo Body Snatcher?

And friends, who now know I am a plant addict, keep dropping off more! I have a truckload of houseplants – thank you so much Dennis. A large clump of False Sunflower – gold – thank you so much dearest Angie. And a few minutes ago, a native Turk’s Cap Lily! – thank you for remembering me Trina. Where to plant in orderly fashion? What pots do I have left?

My new pond is going to be a perfectly round, ordered circle surrounded by perfectly large, ordered, impenetrable stones. I need some order please. Paths are going in. Pruning will be harsh. Division is my vision.

Woodland Edge Path

Newly started path in the Woodland Edge – grapevine patrol and control. I have a very young Hydrangea vine I want to train along this section so I will need to be diligent.

“Oh, hi Chip. [As in munk.] Back to work on emptying that feeder, huh?” I’m worried where I’m going to find that stash of seeds … hopefully not in the shed, or especially not in the basement.

Hack, hack, hack. Did I just see seven dwarfs? Fantastic, if you’re a conifer and I can SEE you. Dig, dig, dig. Hey, I’m whistling while I work!


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

4 thoughts on “August Observations: “Order Please”

  1. What a joy to read his post, it made me realize I am not alone in the world! I noticed a mouse that was sitting in front of 3 o my cats and thought, won’t you guys do something! LOL.It is wonderful all the bees are humming, but it is just too darn hot out there to do anything. Heat index will be 100, who wants to work in that..oh how I could relate to this post…it is a jungle out there!

  2. our garden is a jungle, but the brick-edged paths say, this is a garden. Metre by metre the paths claim me, this bit you must cut back next, can no longer walk without dodging gorilla arms.

  3. Its a jungle down here too…hot, humid and dry after all that rain has made a wild kingdom here too…

  4. Love how you so eloquently wrote about the over whelming feeling in your garden. August is typically the season we need to get all our spring planting ambition under control, isn’t it? It is so hot here too I mostly watch everything that is overgrown from my window. Can’t wait to get out there and tackle the beast. 🙂

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