Friday, September 24, 2010

Fertilizer Friday, September 24

Ok, so I have the posts about our vacation out of my system; thank you to everyone for tolerating my rambling.  Now it's time to start rambling about what I usually ramble about, stuff here at home.  (Many of you are probably thinking, "Oh, great.")   Now, now, be nice.

But, hey!  It's time for Fertilizer Friday again.  You can click on the logo on the right and be off to visit gorgeous gardens after you trudge through this one!  

I really don't have a lot of new things to post for Fertilizer Friday today, just aging flowers; but the foliage on the trees and grasses are definitely starting to turn.  We had an amazing 3" of rain again last night and today; the creek was up almost to the road out by the Pachyberm and I didn't even bother to snap a picture of it because you've all seen the flood pictures from the last three times it's happened this year anyway.  No damage was done to anything, just high water, again.
Zinnia 'Zahara Rose', 'Victoria' Salvia and an unknown coleus.

 These were taken on Wednesday evening, just before sunset and the western sky looked awful then already, dark and menacing.  There was a beautiful, kinda eerie light though, that lent a pink tint to everything, so of course I had to take a bunch of pictures.

The lowly marigolds, love 'em or hate 'em, keep blooming like champions right up til the hard frost.  These are 'Inca' marigolds, a very dependable bedding plant for me and one I plant somewhere around here every year.

I was really happy these impatiens did so well, since they are planted in such a shallow container.  This time of year all of my planters contain more roots than soil.  I guess the heavy rain we've been getting is good for something. 

The purple aster in the middle of the picture above is blooming even though it flopped all over the rocks, but it looks like it's 'supposed' to be that way, so I won't say anything more about it, er, after this....moving on....
 Once that little mum down in the left hand corner of this picture starts to open, then we'll have some mixed-up color happening in this area.  I was happy to see the mum overwintered, especially since I didn't plant them in the ground last fall til nearly November.  And yes, I agree, I have a strange sense of color choices, don't I?

Below: the Quarry Garden (but it's getting rather dark)

 I took this picture from a perch up on the Escarpment Bed.
 The fish keep muddying the water in the pond, but the waterlilies still look great!


 Sunset behind the Swiss Stone Pine on the Pachyberm.

The view of the corn field in the distance reminds me of my father.

I never know what I'm going to write about until I get started sometimes and the cornfield above got me started down a not-so-dusty memory lane again......

September 24th is a special day for me.  Or, I should say, for my late father; today was the day my Dad got to 'pick' for his birthday.

See, when he was born here on the farm (no hospitals back then) his parents already had a family of five kids, so one more mouth to feed arriving on this earth was hardly a reason to celebrate.   No one bothered to even write it on the calendar.  His mother had a midwife to attend the birth and a doctor did stop at the farm at some point, but I guess the doctor was a bit of a tippler and somehow or other the birth certificate was filled out incorrectly and no date was ever penned in the box marked 'Date of Birth'.

Dad was A Man Without a Birthday.

He used to talk about it a little bit if I asked him, but mostly he said the question of when his birthday really was always started an argument between his folks and his brothers who were old enough to sort of remember the day.  They thought it was before the full moon, but after the first frost, but no, it couldn't have been, because the corn wasn't harvested yet, so it must have been the week before.  Or was it three days after the big rainstorm?  (The next time someone forgets your birthday, you'll know how Dad felt every year!)  Finally, his family narrowed it down to somewhere between September 20 to September 27.

The year they were sure of.

1913.

So, September 20-27 was the week we used to celebrate Dad's birthday.  He usually picked whatever day held the least amount of work to be done, not that there was ever a day on the farm when there wasn't work to be done.   It was kind of nice actually, to be able to schedule your birthday whenever it is most convenient for you, though.

My father was a gruff, difficult man; no surprise there, coming up in a family that can't remember when you were born, exactly........but he did feel a little sentimental about his birthday presents and the special supper my mother would make for him.  Not that it showed all that much, but there were times I saw a lone tear trickle down his weathered face after blowing out his candles on the cake. 

   
When Dad was in his 60's, he needed a birth certificate for something or other, probably Social Security, and he had to apply for a new one to prove he existed.    I can remember his indecision when it came to filling out his replacement birth certificate when it came to the date he was born.

"I don't know what to put down," he grumbled.  "Why does it matter after all of these years?"

But for some reason, known only to him, he finally filled in the blank box marked 'Date of Birth' with 9-24-13.  He shrugged, shook his head and said he guessed the 24th was as good as any other day. 

We have a winner!  September 24th it was!  And every year when this week rolls around, I think of Dad more than ever.  He passed away in October of 2001 at the age of 88.

Happy Birthday, Dad, You would have been 97 today.  (Or sometime this week....I can still see you shaking your head over that.)

I love you.

Karen














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15 comments:

Chris said...

Hello Karen, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comment. I have read your post and found it very moving. I can just imagine the emotion your father felt when you mum made him a special supper and a cake. My FIL is 96 and had a tough life when he was young. It was trully a different age!
I love the pics of your garden, my goodness, it is massive! It must take an enormous amount of work to keep in such good order. Best wishes to you.

Bernie said...

Your garden is quite stunning ... it's my first visit to your blog and I'm amazed! Your photos are wonderful ... I love those garden and sky shots! The colours are fantastic.
Amazing story about your Dad's birthday ... and a little sad. It must have been awful knowing your family couldn't remember exactly which day you were born. At least he got to celebrate 88 birthdays ... never mind which day it was!

Darla said...

Your gardens are still holding on Karen! I have containers that seem to be full of roots this time of the year too. I just keep saturating them with water since we haven't had rain in over 3 weeks! I love your Dad's Birthday Story..Happy Birthday to him..

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Your garden is looking lovely. Love the grasses. Your Dad had a rocky start but I am sure he felt the love of his own family. His memory lives on in you.

Meg said...

Karen,
Your gardens are the kind of places I could spend a lifetime adoring!!!! I think that unknown coleus is Peter Wonder, one of my favorites, of course mine have already been moved to the greenhouse since they are so cold sensitive. Love the story of your Dad and his birthday September 24th is my daughter's birthday and very special indeed!!! Have a wonderful weekend! Meg

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen, I love that mix of color and the colors of the grasses. My asters are not blooming very quickly, maybe when it cools off.

My dad wasn't sure about his birthday either He had two one in September and one in February.

Eileen

Beth said...

Karen, What a lovely post - both the gardens and your tender vignette about your father. I really did enjoy seeing the pink sky in a few of your photographs. You still have a lot of beauty in your gardens. I always enjoy my visits to Quarry Garden Stained Glass, and I am so glad we had the chance to briefly meet you this summer. If you ever get down our way, please come see us! Hope you are feeling well and have ample energy for the fall gardening tasks ahead!
God bless, Beth

RainGardener said...

Your gardens are breathtaking. The first picture just pops of color.
What a wonderful tribute to your Father. I enjoyed reading it. I just reposted one to mark a year since my Father passed away. It's nice to be able to go and look at the old pictures.

Karen said...

Hello Chris, thank you! Oh, your FIL is 96! What an amazing age, and you're right, times were different then.
I am really enjoying following your pond progress. Water gardening is such a challenge for me. I'll be back.

Bernie, welcome to you, too! I love your blog, and can't wait to explore there more. Yes, my Dad had an unbelievably rough childhood, but he was a survivor.

Darla...do your containers ever get so light that you end up chasing them down the driveway every time the wind blows? I swear they dry out no matter what I do to them and right now we are having 40mph winds so two of 'em are probably rolling like tumbleweeds down the road. OH, well.....hope they don't cause an accident. (I live on a road with one car every three hours, no worries!)

Thank you, Gardening in a Sandbox, the grasses are some of my favorite plants, though it took me a long time to see the light--couldn't understand at first why anyone would deliberately plant grass in a garden!

My father was a force to be reckoned with, and I hope he's found peace at last; he was much loved and still is.

Thank you, Meg, I always enjoy every visit to your garden, too! Now that you mention the coleus name, I think you're right, it sounds familiar. I'm so bad about losing plant tags. Happy Birthday to your dear daughter, too!!

Eileen, thank you, and yes, the asters are slow to do something this year, at least for me, but that's not unusual....I seem to have a goofy garden at best. Your dad had two birthdays? Wow, double the cake and fun! It sure was a different place in time, back then, wasn't it? Can you imagine modern day parents not knowing when their children were born??

Thank you, Beth, I really am glad we met this summer and I would love to visit your garden! If you ever come back to Wisconsin, you are more than welcome here, too, we'd love to see you again! I'm so happy we can stay in touch through our blogs, too. I hope I can get some answers as to why I feel like a zombie whenever I'm on my feet...crossing my fingers for Tuesday's doc visit, but not holding my breath, as I'm already dizzy enough. (You know my history with doctors...)

RainGardener, thank you and my sympathy on the loss of your father a year ago; I'm still wiping tears from my eyes after reading your loving tribute to him. You were blessed to have him. (And I want to tell you, I think we have a lot in common when it comes to losing plants, but I keep trying!)

Shirley said...

Karen, your garden is absolutely beautiful. You had a lot of garden to show and I'm glad you did!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I looked for your wrought iron glider but, alas, didn't see it (the twin of mine). Oh well, another time. Have a great day!

Sandy said...

Happy Birthday to your dad!
So many people did not keep records of the day they were born, maybe they wrote the day in the family bible..
The way we have record keeping today is a bit much.. all the paper work we go through.
Thanks so much for making me smile today.. I'd love to come help you with your house.. you commented on my ugly chair.. we all have them! Get to yours, but you must stay in the house to do it.. your spending so much time out in that beautiful yard of yours! Thats why it's so beautiful!
Maybe I need to get out in mine now.. would look like yours if I did...lol
Thanks for your visit and happy gardening!
Sandy

Greenearth said...

Your garden is such a joy to visit and I loved the story of your father's birthday. What a different world it was then. What strong people they must have been and so closely connected to nature and their land.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Your garden is so gorgeous! And so neat! Love it!

Loved the story about your Dad. Things were so different back then. a whole different world. I just lost my Dad this past Jan. and my Mom back in '01. It amazing how you see something...could be anything..and it sparks a memory of them. It's nice though, kind of comforting for me anyway.
Have a great weekend!
*hugs*deb

Karen said...

Hello Shirley, thank you! My glider is on the front porch, that's why you didn't see it, it's my most comfortable perch!

Sandy, you keep me inspired with your projects and your garden! I could keep you busy for days working on my ugly chairs and you're right, I need to spend more time in the house!

Thank you, Greenearth, yes, times were much more difficult then and yet simpler, too.

Deb, I'm sorry to hear of your losses, too. Thank goodness for memories for keeping them alive in our hearts.

Tootsie said...

your gardens are absolutely gorgeous...I am so jealous...and dreaming of next year...I wish I could walk your spaces in person


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