The Country Life


PHC Farm

Most of my family and friends know that I can usually be found out in the garden. I read a quote recently that said, “If you own a house in the county it actually owns you!”  That is so true about my garden and the surrounding landscape we have been working on for the past four years. There is always something that needs to be done. It has been a very interesting summer to say the least. We have experienced weeks of rainfall with more headed to Arkansas tomorrow. The water has kept everything very green, except the rain is usually accompanied by high winds and lightening. Just as the landscape was looking good, lightening struck two pine trees right in a focal point of the garden. Pine needles attached to fallen short branches along with the distinctive stripping of tree bark was evidence of what happened. A few days later these tall electrified trees started turning brown. Call the tree guy! Rain also wrecks those big summery heads of hydrangeas. The big blossoms collect rainwater like sponges and then bend over with waterlogged weight. Along with the rain also come the critters. This late summer with all the moist ground the garden has attracted Armadillos. These little beasts can make a terrible mess by kicking mud all over and trampling plants with their heavily padded feet.  They only come out in the middle of the night, so they are tricky to catch. Add to all that a leaf eating insect infestation, a wasp attack, two new rambunctious kittens, and I swear our own personal tornado right in our front yard. I know some of you must be wondering by now, but yes, I do pray!

PHC ZinniasI have taken to wondering if there is some divine punishment going on but have concluded after some soul searching this is just part of country life in Arkansas. I stopped complaining when I came to the realization just thinking about what all farmers go through to raise a crop to put food on our tables. My trials seem so trivial.

Still I would not change any opportunity to work in the garden for anything. This is especially true right now as the Summer and Fall are fighting for my attention. The brightly colored zinnias of summertime are still vibrant and hanging on to every remaining sunny day and the early turning maples are trying to shut down the pool party with the arrival of their Autumn colors. I love seeing the wonderful and odd visual side-effects of this competition as these two seasons collide and try to steal the attention from one another. It makes for a little slice of heaven.

I guess you must go through a little hell to get to heaven.