Grit Blogs > Rosedale Garden

Cotton picking time

You know that Ray Stevens song about where do my socks go when I put them in the dryer. I kept wondering what was happening to my yard socks until I looked under my desk. When I come in from the yard, I’d sit down at my desk to check my e-mails and FB and was kicking them off.  We grew up walking around barefooted in the summer and my feet need to be free.

My doctor tells me I need to exercise. This is my typical summer off day:

 Levi drives the tractor 0908 

I went to Coldwater Books to deliver some of my prints. After leaving I drove down through Spring Park to get a few pictures.  We really need a geese roundup.   It’s nice to have them in the park, but they’ve overpopulated so that you have to do the cowboy step trying to walk around. Then I drove back up down so I could check on the status of the construction of the locomotive turntable and roundhouse.  This day they were testing the turntable to see if it would hold up a locomotive and still turn.

   turntable and roundhouse 

I went by the Colbert County Tourism office and picked up a 75th Coondog Cemetery anniversary Case knife for a neighbor and delivered it. Then on to a landscaping supply in Spring Valley, and bought a load of bagged composted manure and mulch for Mom.  At first she started out wanting one, then two, then called back and upped it to three.  I bought eight.  After I got home, she landed up with four.  I unloaded the compost on a pallet I have on the other side of the underground fence to keep the hooligans from dragging the bags all over the lower forty.  I put the tiller on my tractor and tilled part of the garden area and a meditation circle I’m working on.  It has a circle of star magnolias around the outside of the circle and a sugar maple in the center.  When the maple gets tall enough to shade the area, I plan to put a sitting area under the tree.  If you pull in my driveway, the maple is in a direct line at the other end of the property.  I’m debating whether to plant a circle of peonies or daylilies or a combination of each.  I worry that if I plant a circle of peonies and the shrubs get too large, I may have to move the peonies.  They don’t like a change of scenery.  Daylilies don’t mind a move.

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 Nelly Moser clematis 

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I spent a while walking around taking pictures of my daylilies that were in a late bloom. I bought some purple sensation allium bulbs a while back that I needed to plant in my University of North Alabama section in among some yellow daylilies called El Despardo, but, first had to find the flowers.  As I cleaned around old W21 I thought to myself, my doctor says I need to exercise.  W21 was my old favorite shovel.  I used it so much and wore it down so thin it cracked.  I took it by Leon at the Rebel Shop and he said that there was just nothing left to weld together.  So now it’s garden décor along with a broken tater fork and Mom’s shovel my cousin broke the handle.

 old faithful model  W21 

I parked my John Deere where I was working.  As I pulled up grass and weeds I threw it in the loader.  Levi one of my  hooligans, likes to drive my tractor when I’m not using it.  He had his back feet in the seat and front feet on the fender looking down at the two girls jumping up trying to grab him.  Every once in a while they are able to grab his tail or foot and drag him off and the hooligan ruckus starts.

 Earl of Essex iris 1535 

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 As I filled the loader scoop up to capacity, I smelled the distinct fall odor of cotton defoliant agent orange of the south.  Cotton picking and soybean harvest season is almost here.  Corn has been combined and wheat is being planted in its place. Be aware that slower traffic will be sharing the road with you.  You can be up on a tractor before you can sing fly in the buttermilk, shoo fly shoo (at this point you younger folks Google I Love Lucy where she tries to ship herself to Europe in a trunk).  That song never made sense to me.

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I crawled up on the tractor and dumped my load on the compost heap and ran to the house to get my camera.  Actually I trotted. Well actually it was a brisk walk.  Well….actually after crawling around on the ground pulling weeds, it was a labored crawl.  By this time this huge spray rig was working on the field in front of the house.  By huge, I mean my 32hp JD 3032E tractor would fit in one of its wheel it’s so big.

  cotton field ready for picking 

I ran back to my tractor, well …..you know, and crawled back up on the tractor and drove down the road and waited for the rig to come back in my direction.  I started taking pictures of the spray rig in the distance and it looked so little. As it got nearer it increased in size until the booms thirty feet or more in length with the chemicals spraying could be seen.  It looked like a giant dragon fly coming at me.

 cotton 

After taking my pictures, I went back to cleaning out my daylily bed and planted my alliums.  As I crawled past ole W21, I thought my doctor says I need to get some exercise.  Another trip to the compost heap; picked up a load of mulch, walking to the barn to get a pitchfork and back to the garden. Got the mulch down, back to the barn to return the fork grabbed the shovel and planted a rhododendron I had purchased on sale under the large hackberry in the back yard and a Hydrangea Delights Star Gazer in one of the beds in the front yard.  Afterwards I walked down to the garden and brought back a couple of hooligan cages to place around them.

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The cool spell we had a couple of weeks ago has really started the fall color show. It should be at its peak this weekend when I go on a barn, old churches, cemeteries and house picture taking trip out in the boonies this weekend.  The dogwoods are just loaded with more berries this year than normal.  Hope that’s not a prediction of the type of winter we are going to have.    The hooligans are enjoying the cooler weather, so much that they are coming up lame from chasing each other over and under things.   The hummingbirds have gone south to Mexico for the winter.  It seems they migrated early this year.  A frost will be coming in the next couple of weeks.  The dogwoods are just loaded with berries this year.  Are they predicting a hard winter?

   Blackie and Patches with toys 

  Levi and Blackie2343 

I went down to the compost heap to see if I could find where the yellow jacket nest was that got me a couple of weekends ago and they were still angry. Just hearing my truck set them off and Blackie and Levi were attacked even though they weren’t near the nest.  I must have hit the nest dead center when I turned the pile with the loader as the entrance of the nest is now on the side of the compost heap. I think the best course will be burning the pile to get rid of them.   I really hate wasting good compost.

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 Gulf fritillary