All In the Family, or, September Garden

Butterfly Ginger Lily

Butterfly Ginger Lily with Black Eyed Susans and Blue Mist flowers

Friends and followers might have noticed that my posts have been few and far between recently.

I’ve not been a faithful visitor to friends’ blogs, and it has taken a bit longer than usual to answer comments.  Even my local friends haven’t gotten much love lately!  I intend to soon do better.

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September 14, 2015 garden 031~

Lately, there has been a lot on my plate, and most of it good, actually. 

But it hasn’t left much uncommitted time for me in the garden, with the camera, or at the computer.  And it hasn’t left much time for my treasured friends.   All of us who blog for more than a few weeks find ourselves with stretches when our time is committed elsewhere.

But then things slow down, and we find ourselves with enough time to  visit and to construct our usual posts again.

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And then there is the story of my ‘Mother Board.’ 

A seemingly minor computer problem led us to The Geek Squad early in the summer.  They suggested a new Mother Board to solve the problem….    I ordered the part they specified, and let it sit…

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Echinacea

Echinacea with Catmint

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I was afraid to take my computer back to them for repair after the major problems I had re-configuring everything last time they worked on it.  It took me a day to realize they hadn’t re-set the correct date and time, and that is why websites wouldn’t load….  The computer was telling websites it was still stuck back in 2008…..

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Begonia

Begonia

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I assume that if you are reading this, you understand the trauma involved.  I use my computer for many hours each day, for many different applications.

Having to recover ALL of the settings, passwords, configurations and files is a tremendous task.  Especially when all of those things were set up bit by bit over the last many years!

I don’t like buying new technology.  Rather, I’d rather keep my comfortable and familiar set up going as long as it fills my needs.

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Moonflowers

Moonflowers

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And so when I finally brought a few key projects to a close, I decided it was time to hold my breath and let my trusted brother, who has been building and re-configuring computers since he was about 10, install the new Mother Board.

Let’s just say we have been spending a lot of quality time together these last few days.  As of late Saturday evening, when he finally closed everything back up and left, things looked pretty grim.  My camera couldn’t talk to my hard drive.  The printer was a lost waif.  No sound was uttered by the speakers.  And the USB ports were all dead.

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But, the internet worked…. slowly.  And so we limped along until everything crashed yesterday while ‘essential updates’ loaded.

But I was away for the day and not here to even push the button to power off.  My partner was left with that grim task.

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But my beloved brother returned today with his laptop, restoration disks, spare memory chips, tool kit, I Phone and confidence that he wouldn’t leave until my computer was restored.

We tore everything back down to the Mother Board again, reconnected it all; and then began building up again from a new operating system right through all of the little drivers, settings, software downloads and back-ups to get me operational again.

He is simply amazing.  And I learned so much just watching him work.

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Hardy Begonia

Hardy Begonia

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And that is why my post tonight is about technology and not gardening.

Sure, I’m sharing garden photos with you that I’ve been taking since Saturday.  We couldn’t download them until late this afternoon.

But there has been no ‘Vase’ today, no ‘Sunday Dinner’ posted while I was traveling yesterday.  And truthfully, there hasn’t been much gardening going on these last few days here, either.

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Pokeweed

Pokeweed

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But we’ve had cool nights and delicious rain.  Our weather has shifted to feel like the beginning of autumn.

I hope that blogging life will soon come back on schedule, and that I’ll soon be a faithful visitor once again.  At least I was finally able to log back onto WordPress and write a post.

And so for tonight, I’ll hope you enjoy these few photos of our garden after the rain.    All is well in my world, and tomorrow is another day….

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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Above Our Heads

August 7, 2015 ground 008

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The roses have grown into a topic of some conflict, believe it or not.  Perhaps because they’re now ten to twelve feet high, reaching ever higher, in the round bed in the middle of our front lawn…

I want to let them grow until each cane bursts into a spray of flowers.  Partner, who likes things neat, has urged me to prune these tall canes.  A rosarian likely would agree with him.

I’ve offered a compromise:  To trim the canes back once each buds, blooms, and drops its petals.  But of course, as the buds open, each tall cane lets gravity slowly guide it back towards the Earth.

Some combination of rain, heat, compost, and love has our garden growing at a prodigious rate this month.

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August 7, 2015 ground 006

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One of us tends this Moonflower vine, tucking the tendrils back into the trellis, only to find wild growth reaching out towards the house again hours later.  If the leaves are this huge, what will the flowers be?  And this from a rogue seed self-planted during clean up last autumn!

The algorithm behind this growth remains above our heads.  But we trust that those who choreograph it enjoy it at least as much as we  delight in its unfolding.

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August 7, 2015 ground 003

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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July 31, 2015 sunset 008

One Word Photo Challenge: Cream

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Sunlight through Caladium leaves

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Bumblebee, heavy with pollen, working  the Garlic chives

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Moonflower, fading in the mid-day sun.

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August 26, 2014 garden 009

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The caligraphy of a garden spider;

All aglow with the pearlescent beauty of cream.

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August 24, 2014  beach 015

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Cream glows in sun and shadow;

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August 21, 2014 garden 013

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Moonlight and midnight.

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August 22, 2014 Parkway 056

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Soft, serene and clean,

We love the lustre of cream.

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Words and photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

With appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her

One Word Photo Challenge:  Cream

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August 26, 2014 garden 083

Anticipation

July 16, 2014 pots 013

 

Walking around the garden one last time, as the sun was setting, I found a bumblebee clutching the first Moonflower of the season, anticipating its opening.

 

Motionless, he patiently waits for the flower to unfurl. 

Perhaps he can smell its sweetness.  Perhaps some special memory urges him to wait, anticipating good things to come.

 

Oh to have the focus, the faith, and the patience of this little one. 

What treasures might wait for us, also?

 

 

July 16, 2014 pots 015

Photo by Woodland Gnome 2014

Moonflowers, Another Pass Along Plant

Moonflower, Ipomoea alba

Moonflower, Ipomoea alba

If only the internet allowed us to post a fragrance as easily as we post a photo…Sept 18, 2013 Moonflowers 014

Ginger Lilies in mid-September.

Ginger Lilies in mid-September.

Moonflowers, like Gingerlily, fill the garden with an intriguing fragrance.  If you enjoy the fragrance of Easter Lily, your memory might lead you to the fragrance of the Moonflower.

Sept 18, 2013 Moonflowers 010My Moonflowers bloomed last night under the full Harvest Moon. 

A perennial in their native northern South America  and Central America, we must replant them each year in Virginia.  Impomoea alba is very sensitive to cold, and will wither when touched by the first heavy frost of Autumn.  That is why I save their seed each year, and replant each spring.

Sept 18, 2013 Moonflowers 013They got off to a slow start this season, and I planted them again in June.  Moonflowers do best after the summer solstice, when the nights begin getting longer.  We enjoyed our first blossoms of the year this week.  The buds stay tightly wound until after sunset.  The flowers open fully by late evening, and feed moths all night long.  To enjoy them you must be out at night with them, or get up very early before the sun touches them fully.  The blossoms wither by late morning, their one night of beauty gone forever.Sept 18, 2013 Moonflowers 009

I’ve never seen Moonflower vines for sale in a nursery.  They are considered night blooming morning glories, and are usually started from seed.  Their seeds are large and hard like a chick pea.  To speed them along, lay them in the folds of a paper towel, moisten the towel, and zip them into a plastic bag.   Keep the bag of seeds in a warm place.   After several days the seeds will wake up and eventually sprout.  Once the seed coat has opened and a sprout appeared, plant the Moonflower seed in a large pot or prepared bed, an inch or so deep, where you want them to grow for the season.  Water and provide a sturdy support.  These vines grow very quickly, branch prolifically, and can grow 20′ or more in a single season.  In their native tropical home, they will grow to 30′ or more.

The large seeds dry in the pod left from each flower.  Once dry, I harvest the seeds to save for next year and share with friends.  This is an easy plant to pass along, and such a joy to grow.

Sept 18, 2013 Moonflowers 011

Photos by Woodland Gnome

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