It has been a while! I’ve been a little under the weather, but on the mend, and finally ready to share Chauncey and Earl’s recent road trip, to a very special garden.
The little stuffies went to visit “Unka Mike!”
Oh, weren’t they excited! They’d heard all about my gardening mentor, but hadn’t met him. So, in a seedling swap, a Gold Bar Melon seedling for Mike, and a yearling banana tree for me, the boys got to take a ride in the car, meet “Unka Mike,” and visit his delightful garden. They got to meet his garden buddies, too! Even “Ahm-pee Memmie” came along, and helped take their pictures!
As soon as we got there, they wanted OUT of their travel box. We sat them on the front steps of the house, so they could take a gander at the neighborhood.
Unable to contain themselves, they jumped right into a rousing game of “Tuja Commando,” which they enjoyed immensely. The trees are really BIG! Like a whole forest!
They did admit, however, that the Tujas, while awesomely rad, weren’t as awesomely rad as their Reggie. And now they want to know if Reggie can come with them next time. Tough to explain to them that, with Reggie now almost three feet tall and flowering, he should stay home. The car is not a good place for a very pregnant parsley.
They went from the Tujas to a beautiful ornamental grass that Mike has growing, that he says is from California. It looks like it’s from California! It’s soft and wild, almost sun-blond, and the mulch he has around it made my buddies look like they were relaxing on a remote beach cove somewhere in Laguna.
I think I leave the TV on too much for background noise. They pick things up, these guys. Chauncey hollered out, in his usual bold stance, “Dude! We’re Cali- Dreamin’!” I could swear I heard Earl humming a few bars of “Little Deuce Coupe.”
Next, they checked out a Deep Place. A well? I’ll have to ask Mike. They really, really wanted to find out what was down there…
“Wat down there???”
They changed their minds about actually exploring the Deep Place when they couldn’t find the bottom.
“Can you see where it goes?”
“Wanna go look?”
“Maybe next time we come, we’ll bungee jump it!”
Yeah…kid fears don’t last long with these two.
Around the back of the house, the first thing they spotted was Mike’s Magic Stick Tree. What a marvelous, mystical topiary! Its origins are shrouded in rainbow mists, kept secret by generations of fairies and garden gnomes, its hue an eye-popping, Happy-Hippie yellow. The “Kids” went for a swing in its branches.
Uncle Mike showed them a great plant, an Elephant Ear Sting Ray. It’s a tropical plant that I know will thrive in his garden, despite being in Connecticut.
Once the still-potted “Steeng-Raaaay” was put aside, they were able to see, and marvel at, the stone garden cat. Chauncey tried to get the kitty to rub him, like our Brenda does, but the cat was elusive, totally into being a cat. She is a beauty!
“Dees a kitty like Bren-Dah?”
Uncle Mike also has a magic flamingo in his garden. I know, it seems like just another St. Petersburg special, but…this one moves. You never know where the flamingo will be, from day to day! There’s a day care/ pre-school just around the corner from Mike’s magic garden, and the children there walk around the block once a week or so, just to see where the flamingo is on that particular day. Waldo has nothing on this handsome pink Phoenicopterus. The boys, of course, had to go for a ride.
A little tuckered out from their tree swinging and bird riding, they took a break in another soft ornamental grass, loving the feel of the blades against their yarns.
And the, break over, they took off, energized, looking for their next exploration. They met a hedgehog!
They have no clue of what a hedgehog is, they just thought it was cool.
Then, the found an egg.
“Is this a hejjog eggie? I know wat a eggie is! I saw it on the TV! Wat happens if we sit on it? Do we get a hejjog? If we do, can we KEEP it?”
Sadly, no hedgehog hatched from the egg…but you never know, in Mike’s garden!
Having quickly discovered that there would be no hedgehog hatch-ling, they scampered off the investigate “The Slabs.” Now, to the untrained eye, these are slabs of rock, neatly piled and waiting for something else to do.
But…I told ya, this botanical genius that is Mike can make rocks grow….
Be it sculpture or phenomenon, The Slabs are seriously cool, and the boys loved sitting atop them.
After sunning themselves among The Slabs, Chauncey and Earl found another Deep Place. This time, they could see the bottom, and didn’t wait for the safety (huh?) of their bungee cord to jump right in.
But then, they couldn’t get out.
I was appalled at the trepidation that skittered across poor Chauncey’s face. He’s fearless! Then again, none of us is truly fearless, and Chauncey seems to have a small issue with Deep Places. So, we snapped their picture, and got them right out of there.
Next time we visit, we’ll bring the bungee.
“We can get out now.”
Safely removed from the Deep Place, Chauncey quickly recovered. Earl wasn’t worried. He knew his big brother would protect him! We wrapped up our visit to Uncle Mike’s garden just sitting and relaxing at the table, enjoying some heat and sun. We had chairs. They had a tool to sit on. They pretended it was a couch.
It was a wonderful day, filled with surprises! Aaaaand, “Unka Mike” said he would like to take them on other adventures, to other gardens, later in the summer! I’ll get him for that. They’re still chattering about it, asking, “When? When? Wheeeeeen????”