PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Non-sultry weather irks maters

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

How marvelous, to be described as “sultry.”
Beautiful is one thing. Sultry is darn well another.
That’s how singer-actress Lena Horne was referred to in many stories and headlines about her death this week at 92.
Sultry and 92. Amazing.
There’s nothing sultry about my garden right now. It’s either working or it isn’t.
I’m not complaining, though. Compared to spring 2009, this is a veritable Pea-picker’s Paradise.
Problem is, the cool night-time temps are confusing the heck out of several plants, especially my tomatoes. Weather gods, let’s warm this overnight stuff up just enough to keep those little yellow flowers in a fruit-making mode.
My four kinds of peppers in the lower garden also are having a very tough time, although their cucumber neighbors are flourishing. I’m trying extra nitrogen for the peppers before they go into the compost heap and I buy new ones.
I don’t pretend to be the Garden Goddess. If something isn’t working, I’m ready to pull it up and try something else.
Right now, my biggest concern is a small pecan tree limb that’s obstructing afternoon sunlight. I’ve got to get somebody over to remove it carefully so that it doesn’t come crashing down on more important things.
If it weren’t up so high, I’d do it myself. But I can hear my son in my head saying, “Mother, you have no business going up a ladder by yourself, at your age.” A few weeks ago, as I descended an extension ladder toward my roof to look at my gutters, I had to agree with him.
I recalled a long-ago moment when a rather can-do friend was doing the same, the ladder malfunctioned and she would up on the ground with two broken ankles.
It’s also time to turn some attention to the front-yard flower beds. After a good rain a few weeks ago, I got out there and did some serious weeding.
Now, I’m watching things develop and selectively thinning where some plants have gone wild.
Looks like the shasta daisies, yarrow and hydrangeas are just about ready to go. We probably just need a few more days of sunshine to nudge them along.
Right now, I’ve got two yellow-rose climbers that need supports. That may be my weekend challenge.
As I look out from my porch toward the street, there stands a big ole gnarled magnolia tree. It pretty much anchors the northwest side of the yard.
A couple of years ago, Lee Purnell Walsh told me her mother planted that tree.
Lee lost a valiant fight with cancer last week and our community lost one of its most ardent supporters. Friends will officially say their goodbyes to her during services Friday.
But immortality continues for Lee with me, whenever I look at that magnolia. She is never to be forgotten by a lot of other people.
Good wife, good Mom, good cook and great friend to many.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.