Blooms, Boys and Ballgames

Those are three of my favorite things, and the weekend offered all. It seems a fair reward for a week focused on writing. 

While May (after a glitch or two) proved itself bonny indeed, exceptional flowers generally come with exceptional weeds. Roses are especially lush around here this spring, and so is our pesky jewel weed. It’s an easy pull, but when you’re dealing with millions–or so it seems when you’re dealing–it’s just annoying. photo 2 (3) photo 3 (3)

We have another area, mostly shady, and it thrives there. We’re nearly finished with The Project–pictures to come on completion–and this area needed serious dealing as it borders The Project. BW hit it hard Saturday morning during my workout, so since I was sweaty anyway, I waded in. I admit this is an area I often assign to him. Jewel weed can get thick and high and the wading through gives me snake willies. They like the thick and high, and I don’t like snakes. 

He’d already pulled a full wheelbarrow of the stuff, so in I went, picking through the yellow flags, lifting up spirea, yanking as I went. Easily another wheelbarrow–and four hostas uncovered. Just fyi, while jewel weed is a PITA, it’s also handy if you encounter poison ivy. Break the stem, run the liquid inside over the skin, and that usually handles that. But still. 

That kind of sweaty, monotonous, ache-in-the-back weeding isn’t the pleasure of tending beds, but it’s done. 

Our reward for what I think of as monkey work? A trip to Camden Yards for a ball game. While I have fond memories of watching games in Memorial Stadium, The Yard is a glorious place. A long haul for us, but as it happens we pull into our assigned lot right behind Jason and Kat. Excellent timing. We and several others are guests of our broker–an annual tradition. We even hit on a give-away. Score! I now have an Oriole orange Rock The Yard tee-shirt. Woo! 

photo (2)

We head up to our box, and there it is–that perfect baseball brown, green, white. And stands filling up with people and plenty of orange. The perfect lines of the infield, the green, green expanse of the outfield–and all the possibilities of the game played on it. Baseball is poetry to me. 

The O’s are having a good year, and beat Tampa Bay Friday, so we’ll soon see. While many of our group come more to socialize, the game’s the thing for me, and I get to share it with two of my favorite people. 

There’s little more fun than a ball game, a hot dog, and a couple of interesting, enthusiastic (and handsome!) boys. photo (3)I claim a seat next to our host’s sons (their mom is one of our Drunken Spa girls), and we talk baseball. Including the younger one’s Little League team, and how it compares to the O’s. The thrilling crack of the bat on a homer (unfortunately not ours), the balletic choreography of a perfectly executed double play (very fortunately ours), and conversation with boys. Doesn’t get better. 

The O’s didn’t do it for us Saturday–it seemed after the second inning they just couldn’t hit a ball out of the infield–but we had a great time. 

I figured Sunday for an easy day, but it doesn’t turn out that way. BW is doing his part on The Project–the man just has to have his hand in. But he’s, as requested, gotten me a big bucket of compost out of the compostor. That’s good, rich, heavy stuff–heavy enough I have to drag the tub rather than carry it while I side-dress about a quarter of the beds. As he’s still fiddling, I decide to wait for another bucket–shoveling it out would kill my wrist at this point. But I can weed the trouble spots I’m working on bringing back. 

Happily, everything I transplanted is holding–and I’m hoping for the promised rain so I don’t have to drag the hose. It’s been a hot week, and one good soak from the sprinklers aren’t enough for these newly relocated guys. 

My man’s still fiddling. I switch to inside, do a couple of loads of hauling up fall and winter sweatshirts and sweaters, bringing down spring and summer tanks and tees. He’s moved onto the next task on his list, which isn’t my compost, but okay. I, too, have other chores. 

photo 4 (2)My last of the day (gardening day, anyway) is pleasure. I cut and arrange a little vase of flowers. And BW and I have ourselves a drink on the patio before dinner–and before the welcome rain. 

I’m hoping The Project, and the shed refacing will be done this week. That would be a really nice way to welcome June. 

Now a question. Does anyone know the name of this perennial? photo (1)I planted it years and years ago–have divided, transplanted, given away countless clumps. It spreads beautifully, grows pretty much where I plug it, and blooms in pretty yellow every June. But I can’t remember what it is–and have failed in my searches through books and on the internet. I hate not knowing the name of what blooms in my gardens. 

Note from Laura at 12:36 pm on Monday: Sheryl provided the answer in the comments — Yellow Loosestrife.  Thank you for all the suggestions!  I always knew Nora’s readers are the most interesting, well-rounded people and you all just proved that.

And lastly, as requested, here’s Homer. photo 2 (4)


28 thoughts on “Blooms, Boys and Ballgames”

    1. St. John’s Wort is more shrubby. These are upright perennials that end up spreading into large masses.

      It’s a good guess though, as I looked hypericum up early this spring to see if it came in this sort of variety. It doesn’t seem to.

      1. Guess this is why I have enjoyed the two books I have read.. common interests and knowledge of garden, sons (lol) baseball (But it’s Yankees here-don’t hold that against me, lol) and a well written book! Read Whiskey Beach and decided to read another.. well, Blue Smoke which, I have to say, taught me a lot too. My son is a firefighter and never told me some of this..WOW!! Truly shocking! I love to learn when I read fiction! Emotional !!!!

  1. Always enjoy a peek into your life — you do such interesting things. Homer is a cutie. Thank you for the blog and for your writing. Looking forward to the next release, but rereading some of the others.

  2. Awwwe Homer is delightful. I am sorry to say that I do not know the name of the lovely plant that you asked about. I use to be a walking encyclopedia on herbs and flowers but the older that I have gotten, the less knowledge I have retained.
    I am so delighted to read your blog this morning. What a great way to start off my week. I am glad that your getting the rain that you need. Here in Texas we have been flooded by rain and rivers, North Texas had 52 tornado’s last week according to the news, and strong winds that played havoc on our trees, snapping large limbs off. Not to mention the humidity. It has been pretty awful here but we are now enjoying a week of dryness and only a small possibility of rain showers.
    Have a great week Nora! I am taking a break from the computer this week and catch up on some good old fashion reading… Hugs, Beth

    1. No, I have tons of that, too! Love it. But Monarda, or Bee Balm has those wonderful fuzzy-headed, large blooms–usually in red or purple. Wow, wouldn’t yellow Bee Balm be cool. Must check if it comes in yellow!

    1. Hey, maybe! I always thought of sundrops like primroses–same family–and didn’t realize they could get so tall, spread so thick. This may be it!!!

      Even if not, I could be very satisfied thinking of them as sundrops. And it would stop driving me crazy every spring.

  3. Love getting out for a good ballgame in the summer. Only made it to one Jays game last year. Hoping for a few more.

    I think your plant might be Lysimachia punctata also known as spotted loosestrife. If not it looks a lot like it.

    Thanks for the hours of enjoyment you’ve given me! Looking forward to a few of them this summer!

    1. There it is! I’ve said for years I knew it began with an L! But I couldn’t pull the name out for the life of me.

      Thank you–thanks everybody.

      I’ll remember spotted loosestrife, as I’ll likely lost the lysimachia again down the road.

      And now I really want some sundrops next year.

      1. Glad to help! I’ve just moved out to the country and am getting to know all of my plant names again. Some things I will have to wait for the blooms to know for sure what they are. Love being surrounded by so much beauty. Need a few more bats to deal with the mosquitoes, but that’s the price you pay. Rhubarb is just about ready for picking and the peonies are ready to pop. Love it!

  4. Nora, I love how you thread the Orioles and baseball (minor league, too) into some of your stories!

  5. Hi Nora-

    Not knowing the gardening answer myself, I asked my MD Master Gardener friends and they came up with Lysimachia punctata, commonly known as Large Yellow Loosestrife. It is a member of the primrose family. Here are 2 websites to verify:

    Does this look right?

    Thank you for sharing your gardening stories and photos! They are as much fun as your books, which bring hours of entertainment.


      1. Laura-

        I don’t know how I missed the previous comments, but I did. In any case, Nora mentions liking the idea of a yellow Monarda. There’s Monarda punctata that has some yellow in it. If she likes it and has trouble sourcing it, I could always bring some to a book signing as I have loads.

        1. I would LOVE that. I looked it up, and have absolutely nothing like it. It’s wonderful looking. I can always find a spot!

          1. Then I’ll bring some to the next signing I come to. It brings in all kinds of fascinating pollinators too.

          2. Hi Nora!

            I’m planning to attend your book signing next weekend and thought I’d bring the promised Mondara punctada if you are still gardening. Let me know and I’ll dig some up if you are. If not, I’ll bring some to a Spring signing.

  6. I’m a National League fan (Cubs and Brewers) so I’m of the opinion in the AL East that as long as it’s not the Yankees, it’s all good. It’s been a while for the Orioles so they would be good to win.

  7. Reading these homey updates is almost as much fun as reading one of your books! Thanks for the fun!

  8. Love that one of my favorite authors is an O’s fan too! There really is nothing better than Baseball, amazing kids and a good book is there? My son is going to Cooperstown to play in a special toyrnament this summer as part of the White Marsh Warriors, pretty exciting! If you are ever in the White Marsh area, we would love to have you at one of our games!

  9. Nora,

    I think is may be yellow loosestrife – lysimachia punctate . (I checked with a another Master Gardener friend as well. )
    Enjoy hearing about your “projects” . Mine is currently an extension of our white picket
    fence along the side of the house and more plantings.

    Anacortes, WA

  10. I love reading all the lovely happenings in Nora ‘s life. The lovely mystery (now no longer) plant used to fill the back of my dear old mum’s garden here in England. My neighbour had some in hers I was hoping to pinch before she moved..I am working on my lovely new neighbours who are keen gardners like me to do some swaps. I have read every book you have had published Nora but love your blogs just as much xx

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