Scenes From A Sunday Afternoon


It’s been a week since a flock of grackles descended in the trees around my home and unleashed a hailstorm of acorns.  I have since learned that acorns are one of the species’ culinary favorites, especially as the iridescent birds begin their migration south.

That being said, they aren’t very neat or efficient eaters.  In fact, I don’t think the ’80s band A Flock of Seagulls could have caused this much of a mess in their hotel room, not even during the height of their popularity.

Seven days since their arrival — that’s seven days filled with more grackles, squirrels, and wind — the driveway and path looked as if they were the end-result of some slapstick comedy routine — you know, the one where an innocent passerby (me, for example) slips on some casually placed marbles (or acorns, as the case may be), so that the prankster (or grackle) can have a few laughs.

Just one of the acorns piles.

Just one of the acorns piles.

It was definitely time to sweep or someone — me — was going down for the count.  Five pails later, the walking areas are acorn-free — at least, until the next gust of wind or grackle rattles a few more loose.


The five lacecaps when they were first potted.

The sweeping completed, it was time to turn my attention to the babies — five lacecap hydrangeas.  They had rooted themselves after mature branches from the mother plants touched the ground and took hold, a process known as layering.   In a previous post, I demonstrated how I carefully dug up the new plants and potted them.

After a summer in their individual pots — and one look at the root development — it was time to get them in the ground.  Today, with the autumnal equinox arriving by late afternoon, seemed like the perfect day to plant.  Warm enough to help the plants get established before the ground freezes, and cool enough to ease some of the planting stress.

Hydrangea Roots

I selected an area along the westside of the house, somewhat protected but long neglected.  In essence, it had become a storage area, since no one really walks along that side of the property.  I’m not sure, though, which came first.  Did it become a dumping ground because it was a forgotten area of the yard, or did it become forgotten because it had become a dumping ground?

Either way, it was time for a makeover.


A few hours later, this was the end result.

Hydrangea Bed After

All in all, a fun day to be outside, to say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn.

By the way, there’s still time to get in on the #giveaway of The Victorian Garden by Caroline Ikin.  Visit my interview with the author and leave a comment.  A winner will be selected on Thursday.

The Victorian Garden

16 thoughts on “Scenes From A Sunday Afternoon

  1. How many oaks do you have Kevin? Last fall our live oaks, Quercus virginiana produced a heavy crop of acorns. I know how slippery they can be when they are on concrete.

    • Hi Mary. I have one very large oak tree in my front yard, but there are oaks lining my property, thanks to my neighbors on either side and the woods behind my property. Not only are they slippery, they also hurt the bottom of your feet.

  2. That’s a great photo of the acorns! It’s so perfectly autumn.

    We have a black walnut and I love the shade in the summer, but right now the nuts are falling and they’re big ankle-busters. Instead of a rake and a broom, we use an old 5-iron.

    • Hi Ann. Those acorns are perfectly autumn — but they hurt when they hit you in the head! I’m glad I don’t have any ankle-busters. That would be disastrous for me! 🙂

  3. Our oak tree is dropping like crazy, and the squirrels are really busy with the acorns, but I have never seen anything like the bucket loads you show here! Unbelievable! And your hydrangeas are going to be so beautiful next spring! I love the rock-lined bed! You’ve been busy, Kevin!

    • Hey Debra! When I look skyward, I still see acorns in the oak branches! I’m not sure if it means it’s going to be a cold winter of if I just have a happy oak tree. And I’m certainly looking forward to my hydrangeas filling out and up! Hope you’re feeling better.

    • Hi Carol. I’m surprised they don’t do well. Too hot and dry, perhaps? You may want to try the north side of your house, or in a dappled shade location with mulch. I hope it works for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s