Writings about

the many life lessons

unearthed when we dig

in the dirt . . . and pursue

a range of other interests

in the constantly evolving

garden of life.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Birds, winterspring and my eye: some updates

Writings often go down roads that stop without finishing: We tell stories that continue to develop, but we don't return to continue the telling. Here, I catch up on some of those writings. 

When I wrote about this bluebird house  built by my friend Sky, the first visitor was not a bluebird, but a Carolina chickadee. Well, it seems the chickadees have moved in; I haven't seen a bluebird lately. But I'm OK with that; I've learned that the chickadees are beautiful, fine singers and nest-builders:


Weather stories continue. Spring is here, but winter's bones linger on. Down here in Marietta, Georgia,  freezing is in tonight's forecast. We humans are used to the surprises by now. As the UPS man said today as he delivered another box of plants I'd ordered: "If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute; it'll change." We both laughed, sharing a joke that people tell just about every place I've lived. Including Ohio, Connecticut, Kansas. And Georgia.



For the plants it's been no joke. Sometimes weeks go by in spring before damaged plants give up the ghost, and I give up hope. All things considered, including the killer winter in a new garden, I've done OK. And while my recent images show a beautiful spring, I'm losing enough to mention:

Here are two images of a camellia – the plant in the ground in my Connecticut garden two years ago and the same plant after a freeze hit it here in Georgia. Yes, I should have brought it inside. Believe me, I will protect it tonight, trying to save what's left of it.











































Final update. In November I wrote about my eye surgery. Here and again here. After I realized the surgery had failed to improve my eyesight (in fact the operation left my eye with a scratchy feeling), I consulted a different eye specialist to get a neutral opinion on the current condition of my eyes – to help me decide whether it made sense to try the surgery again.



I came away knowing it did not make sense. My good left eye has good vision – 20/25 – and my bad eye will adjust and help as time goes by. I can live with the scratchy feeling, which is eased temporarily by eye drops.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling good about gardening, so good it might as well be spring. With one more last hit of winter tonight. As the cold wind blows and the temperature falls, I'm going out now to see what's what.

23 comments:

  1. I was so glad to see the title on this post as I had been concerned about your eye. The second opinion was a good idea and it's good to hear your decision to adjust.

    This has been one wild winter. We are not going to freeze this week in South Texas but too close for comfort. I have brought in the begonias and covered the basil. We had very high winds yesterday and I had to run out and take down the hanging plants.

    That poor Camellia will bloom in Georgia, eventually.

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    1. Shirley, I feel comfortable with my decision, as I gave the surgery a good while to work before giving up on it. The second opinion was persuasive.

      Amazing that the wildness continues. Your winds now are mine; they've been cold and strong, forcing plants inside that I thought were out for good.

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  2. Oh, so sad about the Camellia. But if you bring it in overnight it should be OK, right? I'm glad to hear your eye surgery will eventually yield success--sorry about the scratchy feeling. I chuckled when you talked about the "don't like the weather" phrase. I agree--people say it just about everywhere ... except maybe San Diego or most parts of Florida. ;-)

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    1. Well, I did the right thing and brought the camellia in, but that plant has a long way to go if it wants to look as good as it once did. Similarly, Georgia weather has miles to go to equal San Diego's envied perfection.

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  3. Lee, I also have been concerned about your eye, but I knew that when the time came that you would share with us, you would. You do have beautiful eyes, you know.

    At this point it doesn't seem that I got much plant damage from last night.
    My roses have been looking good, so far. I will keep my fingers crossed.

    What a fine writer and person you are. You are appreciated.

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    1. Hey, Rose Lady, I appreciate your concern and your compliments. Congratulations on your roses' survival. A quick-hitting freeze is my kind of freeze.

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  4. I'm glad to hear that the birds, the garden, and your eye are all faring relatively well. Did the chickadees put the moss in the house or was that you? It looks comfortable.

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    1. Thanks, Kathryn. Would you believe the chickadees sampled my moss patches, turning them into great insulation and decor. Fortunately, they were judicious in their takings.

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  5. Winter won't let go for you or for us up here. It snowed last night and turned the white star magnolia blooms brown. They had only been open a day. But we adapt ... our health, our garden hopes, our expectations. Glad to hear you are adapting to the eye situation, even though it isn't what it should be.

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    1. Hey, Laurrie. Staying flexible isn't just a yoga thing, is it. Being flexible when life throws curves definitely is the way. Adapt on!

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  6. Most of my camellias are toast.

    Let me rephrase -- all the camellias I planted are toast and one of the ones I inherited when I moved in here. Two of the established ones will probably survive.

    I've given up on camellias, but I'm discovering the joy of viburnums and mock orange this year.

    So yes, life is about change. And I'm glad to hear that you are coming to terms with your ocular situation. I'll always have some double vision after my own eye issues years back, but like you, I've decided it's best to just live with it rather than undergo another surgery.

    Sometimes there is beauty and value and worth in imperfections too.

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    1. Sorry to hear of your camellia deaths; ironically, while my former and ailing bonsai is virtually dead, my camellias in the ground came through just fine. You probably had more cold than I did.

      I appreciate your philosophical outlook on vision.

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  7. I didn't cover any of my plants when we hit 29 and they all came through. But I don't have any camellias, either. It's frustrating that your eye won't be improved but at least you're ok with it and wise enough to have a good attitude. :o)

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    1. Glad to know you didn't lose any. 'Preciate what you say about my eye. Seems I'm far from alone on dealing with a vision problem. See Aaron's comment above.

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  8. I hope your eyes will feel better with time, scratchy eyes doesn’t sound good at all.
    There is nothing more exciting than a box delivered labelled ‘Live Plants’, I can’t think of anything better at least. I still have one more fuchsia I am waiting for, Fuchsia boliviana 'Alba', if you Google it you will see why I am so excited about it – and anxious too, not sure if I will be able to keep it over winter, but I will give it a go as usual!
    Did you take a cutting of your camellia at your old house, is that what’s growing in the pot? Or did you dig it up and prune it down? I have never tried taking cuttings of camellias, I have heard they are difficult to root, but I’d love to have a go :-)

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    1. Thank you, Helene. I'm counting on better feeling. No, that used to be a full camellia; I dug it up from my old garden, potted and moved it. It didn't take to the move or the freezes it suffered. Let's try some cuttings.

      Meanwhile, have fun with your new shipments.

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  9. I'm glad you are ok with the chickadees and your decision about your eye. Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave things alone.

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    1. Lana, you certainly are singing my song. Cheers!

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  10. It is good to hear you have a good eye Lee. As much as you like gardening and tinkering in the garden it would be a shame to lose your eyesight totally. If that were to happen you could garden by "nose". A scented garden would be ideal. I am glad your new bird box has a resident. Chickadees are fabulous little birds.

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    1. Lisa, I love the way you think. With five senses, one would have a hard time running out of all of them.

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  11. Decisions, decisions. " Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave things alone." This never used to be my style, but now it is. I put up with more and more of those nuisances these days. But it's my choice. There are plenty of doctors who would be eager to give things a snip or a poke. No thank-you! As long as we still see the birds, wonderful!

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    1. Absolutely. My eye is a mighty fine example of how right you are. The birds have never looked better.

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  12. Decisions, decisions. " Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave things alone." This never used to be my style, but now it is. I put up with more and more of those nuisances these days. But it's my choice. There are plenty of doctors who would be eager to give things a snip or a poke. No thank-you! As long as we still see the birds, wonderful!

    ReplyDelete

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