Thursday, June 26, 2014

Soaking in the Slow

I did not set my alarm Monday. I did not get up early and spend the day telling 110 twelve year olds to tie their shoes, put their name on their paper, or sit up straight. I did not attend conferences or meetings and didn't take home a single paper to grade. I may have gone mad if I had. Instead, I did nothing. I slept late, puttered in my pajamas, sipped my coffee. I spent the morning in the garden and just soaked in the slow.


Annual ammi majus with drumstick alliums and yellow yarrow


Determination!


The 'Rocky Top' coneflowers to the left only grow facing east.


Lucy at the gate behind a sea of flowers


I love frogs, despite having kissed a few. 


Pots up the patio steps and a hidden birdhouse

I grew the gomphrena from seed and they were supposed to be a variety of bright colors. Instead they bloomed mostly white. White flowers against beige siding is pretty boring. I'm hoping the next batch is a bit sassier.


This was supposed to be purple but I like the red, too.


One of my students gave me two Eastern Box turtles her father rescued from the middle of the road. I named them Shaggy and Scooby.


So curious...


Shaggy didn't appreciate being drooled on and went back into the garden. 


Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink) grows alongside 'Moonshine' pulmonaria and stained glass in the shade garden.


This southeastern native thrives in moist but well drained soil in light shade.

73 comments:

  1. Hi Tammy, You're "soaking in the slow." How cool is that? I love it. This time of year I always regret that I didn't get a job at a school because I would so love to have the summer off. Soaking in the slow sounds fabulous.

    I've looked for 'Rocky Top Hybrids' forever to no avail. It is my favorite Echinacea. I'm not terribly crazy about all the new ones coming out. Yours look wonderful.

    Adorable turtles. And your doggy is cute too.

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    1. Lazy S's Farm Nursery has them. :) They need light, well draining soil. Most of the new hybrids are duds that are very short lived. My plan over the summer is to do nothing. :o) It makes up for the frenetic pace I operate at during the school year.

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    2. my great-niece (also a teacher) is revelling in school holidays - for her tea, good books and friends.

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  2. Lucky you to have Shaggy and Scooby. I would love to have a turtle. I have brought a few painted turtles I found on the road over the years but have stop bringing them in as they do not stay. I hope yours like your garden and settle in it.

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    1. I had to turtle proof the garden gates when I found Shaggy in the front shrubs. They were given to me about a month ago and this is the first turtle sighting I've had in a few weeks. They have too many hiding spots! I'm hoping they'll bring me a female so I'll hopefully end up with baby turtles. I was surprised at how fast these little guys can move!

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    2. I think we have the Eastern Box but they are rare. I have never see one. We have a lot of snapping and painted turtles and some map turtles. Just now they are laying their eggs in the gravel along roads - a very dangerous business.

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  3. I love that you soaked in the show and passed it on. What a show it is.

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    1. Thanks! Ammi majus is my new favorite annual. :o) The pollinators love it.

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  4. Given all the challenges that face teachers these days, I'm glad you at least still have those summer vacations to regroup. It seems you're making the best of yours. Like your coneflowers, my Coreopsis and sunflowers insist on facing east as well - that's something I need to pay attention to in the future when I decide where to place them - turning their backs to me to face the hedge is unacceptable!

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    1. My annual rudbeckia hirta follow the sun and move throughout the day. But the Rocky Tops are the only plants I have that only grow in one direction. It's cool but odd. I've never seen coreopsis do it! Teaching is an exhausting, stressful job. I couldn't do it if I didn't have time to rest in the summer.

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  5. Welcome to summer! I like how you spent your first Monday in a slow, easy ramble in the garden. You made me happy with the Indian Pinks, of course. I can only visit yours here online until the day I finally figure out how to grow them in my garden. So far no success, but I hate to give up on such a sweet, pretty native. Enjoy your long slow summer with Shaggy and Scooby!

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    1. Maybe yours need more sun? I've seen them in full sun here, too, although they look better with shade. But since you're farther north, they should take less shade. They like well drained but moist soil. I do a whole lotta nothing in the summer. It's wonderful!

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  6. Yep....you soak it in...you deserve it! I am so happy for you that you have these days as I know how hard teachers work! Your 3rd shot down with your bed of coneflowers is magnificent! I love all of your stunning blooms there friend! You are just so inspirational in all that you do and grow in your garden! And the turtles!!!!! I am sooo showing my son this post! We found a toad in the side garden and I made him release him at the end of the day because I was really concerned about the poor toad after a full day of hugs and kisses! He wants a turtle so bad! Do you keep them in the garden?!?!? Enjoy the slow friend! Good stuff! Nicole xoxo

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  7. Thanks!! I can imagine a little toad being held hostage by a toddler who just loved him so much! Shaggy was walking in the middle of the road when my student's dad found him and took him home. My rabbit-proofing is keeping him in the garden. Most of the time I can't find him or Scooby. I'm sure they see me more than I see them.

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  8. "Soaking in the slow".....wow, what a great line that is. I won't forget that one. And just think, you have master teachers of the slow in your midst!

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    1. The turtle is my reminder to do nothing, not that I need one. I need to take more advice from my dogs: naps are always a good thing. :o)

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  9. You have a really lovely garden, I really like the colour combinations and plant associations. Its good to have recuperation time just to sit and stare.

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    1. Thanks! I do a lot of that in the summer! It's how I recharge my batteries for the school year. :o)

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  10. Your garden looks amazing at the moment -- the perfect time to be home to enjoy it.

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    1. Thanks! It's a summer garden, designed to be interesting when I need it the most. :o)

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  11. Hi Tammy, that sounds like my ideal morning, I wish I could do it more often but there's no rest for the wicked! Your garden look tremendously full of flowers and exuberance, it's beautiful. I love the arty touches such as the decorated pots, bird house and stained glass.

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    1. Thanks, Sunil! I've always loved gardens with a funky, artsy vibe and have managed to add several artsy things to mine. It makes it feel more uniquely mine. :o)

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  12. Your gardens are looking lovely right now. The turtles are an interesting addition. :) Kind of think my dogs would be a little pestier with the little guys though.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. My dogs are pretty mellow. My little beagle mix spent quite a bit of time trying to find the turtles when they first arrived, but soon gave up. There are too many squirrels to chase! :o)

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  13. Your wildly colourful flowers are as lovely as ever. In the midst this riot of colours I love the tranquil picture of the succulents around a cool looking frog. Your pots on the stone steps are lovely too.

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    1. Thanks! I think the frog looks like it's popping out of a pond full of plants.

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  15. My first comment disappeared.
    Your garden is gorgeous and with two new turtles added to the mix, it is even better. Welcome to Shaggy and Scooby.
    110 kids to teach....I am still trying to wrap my head around that (even though I know that they are not in one class)...I admire you and all the other teachers out there....you all do a great job.
    A day off to relax.....much needed....glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. My first comment disappeared and then reappeared, so I deleted it....how I love Blogger.

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    2. I've been having problems with Blogger lately, too. It's definitely not the most cooperative site! I teach 4 classes in the morning. My biggest classes hold 35 kids. It's challenging but I love it.

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  16. Enjoy the summer in your garden.
    I love those drumstick alliums, must get more to replace the eaten ones. More expensive mouse food, maybe they'll leave me some this time huh?

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    1. Maybe you need a few more cats or dogs to hunt out the mice! My dog Lucy is an excellent hunter although she seems pretty confused by the turtle. I had voles kill several plants until Lucy killed the voles. She thinks she'll catch a squirrel, but I doubt it!

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  17. What a lovely slow morning! Drumstick alliums got my attention right away. There can be too many of them! I love your containers! The dogie is precious...

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    1. I agree! I stuff them in everywhere :o)

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  18. I would say a very well-earned soaking! 110 12 y/os? How have you stayed sane so long? It must be the magic in your gardens. I love turtles - they must think they are in paradise.

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    1. 110 is an easier load than the year I taught 165 kids in 6 classes. I seriously thought I was going to lose it several times. The work load was crushing because my class is very hands on/project oriented. I refuse to assign meaningless fill-in-the-blank book work. What a stoopid waste of time. All I did that year was grade/plan and hide in the garden. The garden didn't argue, whine, or lose its work and ask for an extension.

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  19. Your garden looks great.
    I love the plumonaria. I need to check that out, for my shade garden.
    Enjoy your summer. Sounds like you earned it.

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    1. Thanks! Pulmonaria do well in dry shade and are great for brightening up dark spots. 'Moonshine' does well with heat and humidity.

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  20. Beautiful flowers! I'm glad you had a day to enjoy them and relax. Thanks for sharing! -Beth

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  21. How lovely that you can enjoy your garden in peace for a while. It is a lovely place to relax in.. I expect you won' t be relaxing for long though, I bet you are dreaming up your next project already. One that needs a vast amount of earth moving and hard work.
    I love Ammi too, it is great for picking and lasts for ages in a vase.

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    1. This is my first year growing ammi and I am just in love with it. I actually don't have any major projects lined up for the future, just small ones. It will be pretty weird not to spend my fall weekends tearing out grass and expanding the garden.

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  22. I can't imagine huge turtles in the road. We have possums mostly, not good for bringing home. I love the image of your cute dog checking out the turtle--must be hard with that shell. I've heard that hedgehogs can make themselves into a prickly roll and that frustrates dogs too. Your garden is awesome, all blooming at once it seems. Happy summer!

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    1. I will occasionally see huge snapping turtles in the road but I leave them alone! Their bite can break an arm. My turtles are pretty small. Lucy beats up possums so we don't get too many of those. The word is out! The garden is very frothy and flowery right now. Just the way I like it!

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  23. Gosh your garden is looking wonderful! Summer is a season best enjoyed slowly. Enjoy your break from the routine.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I like slow, easy summers. They make up for the frantic pace of the rest of the year.

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  24. Good for you! You deserve it after working so hard during the rest of the year. The garden's looking great! I especially like the pots lining the stairway--nice touch!

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    1. Thanks, Beth! I'm convinced there's always one more spot for a pot... :o)

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  25. Well done for winding down. I am besotted with Shaggy and Scooby - they are gorgeous. Your garden looks wonderful - here's to relaxing summer days in the garden!

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    1. Shaggy made another appearance today and was treated to a feast of nectarine and blueberries. Smart turtle to come to my garden! :o)

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  26. Oh, I remember that first day out of school! I always felt so relaxed as the whole summer seemed stretched out in front of me. Your garden is gorgeous! Love the little frog in the sedum, and your Indian Pink looks so pretty. I just planted two seedlings this spring, and I hope one day they turn into the masses of blooms you have. Enjoy your summer!

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    1. Thanks! This whole past week was just heaven. :o) My spigelia doesn't self-seed so that clump has about 10 plants in it that I've added over the past few years. Some nurseries will take your order over the summer but wait to ship the plants in the fall.

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  27. Have a GREAT summer .... first day of the summer holiday is the best day of the year! Love the turtles and the garden looks wonderful.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. It's so wonderful to think I don't need to set an alarm. It makes up for having to get up so early the rest of the year. :o)

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  28. Gorgeous echinacea...slow is why I love retirement...I soak it up everyday so enjoy every second of yours....love your box turtles...how cool are they!

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    1. Sept - mid-June is a mad race so slow rules the day during the summer. :o)

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  29. I'm very happy because the Indian Pinks I planted last year made it through the winter after all, or at least most of them did. One of them is blooming. I like your turtles, I had a box turtle as a kid, but it ran away from home. Really.

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    1. Shaggy went on a walkabout in the front shrubs but I brought him back and turtle-proofed my gates. Now that he's discovered the magic of nectarines and other fruit, I think he's here to stay.

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  30. How lovely to just wander around your garden with you! I am happy to hear you have some time off and are having lie-ins and pottering around your fab garden in your jim jams!!!
    I loved the plant growing through the allium....wow!
    The turtles are wonderful, how lovely to have them pottering around the garden, the pic of Lucy? checking the turtle out had me smiling! A lovely, lovely post.xxx

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  31. The plant in the allium is ammi majus, my new favorite annual. I grew it from seed. It was super easy. Lucy isn't sure what to think about the turtles but since they're not small rodents, that's a good thing! She's a basset/beagle/Labrador retriever mix and is an excellent hunter. Thanks to her nose, I don't have any voles/moles. but the chipmunks and squirrels always outsmart her.

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  32. We all need days to soak in the slow and to take time for turtles and cute frogs and Indian Pinks. I don't have any Indian Pinks, so they are now definitely on my wish list. Do Shaggy an Scooby have free range of the garden, or are they in a confined area?

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    1. They are free to roam as they choose. Scooby is smaller than Shaggy but not by much. I haven't discovered any damage to the garden at all and only occasionally provide supplemental food, such as fruit. I think they eat bugs. Spigelia is a southeastern native that likes filtered shade so they should do very well for you.

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  33. Me too! This is my first summer (in the last twelve years) that I didn't have to teach summer school. I feel like I've been released from Alcatraz! (Maybe that was too harsh)
    Seriously, I wish we had a 'time brake' that we could step on to slow down these summer days. Sounds like you're doing just that.
    P.S. Are you keeping the turtle forever or just for the summer?
    David/:0)

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    1. Summer school is such torture! Enjoy your Get Out of Jail Free pass! The turtles are mine to keep. Yay! :o)

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  34. How wonderful to sleep in and enjoy all that summer has to offer. I'm sure you've earned it. Have the turtles found your pond yet? It must feel like turtle heaven to them having that beautiful garden to themselves.

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    1. The little frog pond became a mosquito farm so I turned it into a bog garden, which is full of water. Scooby was pretty small when he arrived but I saw him yesterday and he had doubled in size. Whatever he's eating must be just right because he was so much bigger! Shaggy makes daily appearances and loves to munch on fruit. He lives in the shady garden under the Rose of Sharon. Scooby is more of a traveler. :o)

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  35. We should all have a day like that, just to take it all in and enjoy it. It will all have gone in the blink of an eye and it will be November again ! Oh dear, that sounds so pessimistic and I didn't mean to be. Enjoy the moment !

    Your Ammi all look fabulous, mine sulked, shrivelled and died ! In that order !

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  36. I love that you are the kind of teacher to whom kids can give turtles. Now I'm on my five acre patch the summer labour has come as a bit of a shock. Winter is starting to look attractive.

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  37. Completely agree with Susan's comment above...what an awesome teacher you are! Love that phrase of soaking in the slow. I'm gonna have to pinch that one :) Happy summer, friend!

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  38. Here in Indiana it is against the law to take wild turtles out of the wild. When a person sees one on the road and it is safe to stop and help them...take it to the side of the road where they were heading. Since you are a teacher it would be wonderful if you could educate your students and their parents as to what to do. Turtles need a varied diet which they get from the wild. If they aren't in their own territory they will find it difficult to find what they need. I hope box turtles aren't threatened in your area. They don't do well in captivity. Best of luck.

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