As you can see by the size of the ferns, this has been a season of overwhelming growth in the Pacific Northwest. The sword ferns normally are dwarfed by the hosta (on the left), but this year, they dwarf all but the firethorn (trunks in the background), which thinks it’s really a tree.
But Jer continues his battles with excess foliage. First he took out the moss-covered bricks in the garden room and replaced them with gravel. Since then, he’s done some sweet things with the gravel (adding small black stones for a Japonisme look) and pots with plants. Thus far we don’t see these as “foliage,” although the ferns, in spite of being crushed by the bathroom construction, came back in good states.
Out front, he’s cleared a way through the debris of a spreading (campanula?) plant that makes nice blue flowers and then dies in unsightly heaps. He’s replaced the campanula (at least for this year — it tends to come back) with a set of pots that make us almost look civilized:
He’s not finished with the pots yet — the two in front need a few more color spots (I’m rooting for more marigolds) to finish them out. But they are definitely a sign that the gardener has emerged and is taking charge.
Finally, the Great Mattress Replacement: 33 years ago we found a wonderful bedstead at a divorce sale in Emporia Kansas. The owners called it “Missouri Baroque” and mumbled things about it being in the family for a long time, hand-made, stuff that owners who are moving out-of-town will say. We always loved the bed frame, but discovered quickly that it was too short for conventional mattress size (which tended to confirm some of the mumbles). My memory said that at the time (circa 1977) it was about 1/4 of an inch too short, but when we measured it recently, the frame length was 71 inches, four inches short of a standard mattress and five inches short of what one needs for comfortable bed making.
We had a special mattress and box springs made for that bed, in 1977, and in 2010, about two weeks ago, Jer said that he thought maybe the mattress should be replaced. I had been lobbying for a year or so to have this done. We had both resisted the idea because we knew that the frame was short and the hassle of replacement was going to be long. But, having Neighbor Jim the woodworker at hand, and because the springs were starting to poke out the sides of the mattress (we won’t speak of sagging and swooning), we decided to have the frame reworked. And so, by next week sometime, we hope to be sleeping on a new structure in an old frame. Jim also saw a crack in the panel at the top of the bed and allowed as how not only could he fix it but he could perhaps also make it so it wouldn’t crack again.
Glory be — major upgrades in the Underwood household. New hips, refurbished beds, flowers in the garden. The next thing you know the firethorn will be tamed. Although I’m wishing that we could find some young hungry arborist to take care of that particular nuisance. –June