Thursday, July 10, 2008


Yesterday, my next door neighbor materialized at the back door & asked (asked!) if I would mind (mind!) if she mowed our back pasture. The reason: last year when she did it at the end of summer, parts were hard going & she thinks if she "gets started early" it won't be so bad this year.

I don't pay her to do this. I never have. I would never ask her to do it. I know that it helps her keep her weeds down if our common border is mowed but that is all that is in it for her. I would take back what I said earlier about southern hospitality being a myth except she is transplant, like us. Her husband is southern. Floridian, even. & he has been away for most of the past two years building a house in the Smokey Mountains. Or running guns. Or whatever. When she says he is expected back on such&such a date, I make clear to her that we know she killed him ages ago & is just waiting to have him declared dead. Again to her credit, she thinks this is funny. When he is around, he is so reclusive he could pass for a person from Connecticut.

As a thank you, I dug up all the mature gladiolas (I like them, right up until they need to be staked. Then I cannot be bothered), some coral vine & the remaining oxalis (the chickens are quite fond of oxalis & by this time of year between the heat & the pecking, it gets thin, but it will rebound in October).

When I walked them over, I saw the hedge of what had been my amaryllis (again, I like it until it gets just too big) had grown nice & tall against her old tobacco barn, now used to store equipment in the loft & shade a water trough below. Last year's soap aloe lines her long driveway (they get so abundant, they creep across our walkway & A likes clean edges, I don't know why).

In short my former plants look like show-pieces at her house. She takes better care of my things than I do!

The only good thing I can say about my garden (& it isn't a small good thing), is that it is thriving. Despite the overflow I forget I hand around every year, there are no blank spots. If anything it is too dense. I think this is what comes of not caring too much what it looks like, just about whether or not it is healthy.

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