Dear Friends and Gardeners August 30, 2010

Diervilla lonicera
Dear Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,

In 48 hours, give or take, August will be over and it is on to September. Here in Indianapolis, we will remember this as a record setting August – the driest ever with just .37 inches of rain. This beats the record set in 1897 when they measured .47 inches of rain.

This is a far different summer than I thought we would have back in June, which was the third wettest June in Indianapolis history. That whole month, one of my nephews and my nephew-in-law worked in the garden weeding, mulching, stacking patio bricks, and cutting a nice edge around the new planting borders. They often had to quit early because of the rain or carry on through the mud but did a great job and saved me a lot of time and money in the process.

I saw both of them yesterday at an early birthday party we had for my mom who will be 81 on Thursday. They wondered why I hadn’t written more about them on my blog so they could become celebrities, at least in the garden blogging world.

I had no idea they wanted to be in the limelight like that, though admittedly my blog casts just a faint limelight.

We discussed whether I should refer to them as garden fairies when I wrote about them, if I wrote about them. They both nixed that idea, preferring instead to be thought of as gnomes. I didn’t care for that and they didn’t like the idea of trolls, which they said had a bad reputation. In the end, they thought being called sprites might be okay, or perhaps we just left it that I would refer to them as garden sprites.


Once upon a time, there were two garden sprites named Jared and Ross who came to my garden each morning to weed, mulch, dig, tote and carry while I was at work. Everyday when I got home, I would rush to the garden to see what the garden sprites had done and delight in the beautifully stacked patio bricks, removed one a time over the course of two days or squeal with glee to see where they had weeded. I measured their progress in reducing the 18 cubic feet of mulch in the driveway to a mere pile of dust for me to sweep away. And they often did their work under the threat of rain or working through mud, because they did it all in June, the third rainiest June in Indianapolis history. After watching them work, I concluded that garden sprites, in general, are much harder working than garden fairies, at least in my garden.

The End.

Now, what they do with their fame and the fortune they made working in my garden, and this rather faint limelight illuminating them for an Internet micro second, is totally up to them. But next summer, if they find themselves at loose ends once again, I’d welcome them back because there is always something to do in a garden, especially for two hard working garden sprites like Jared and Ross.

Carpe hortus,


P.S. The picture above is of a Diervilla lonicera bloom, one of the new shrubs planted this spring, one that I am making sure stays watered through this dry August.

P.S.S. This past week, I also ordered gobs of bulbs to plant this fall. I want a nice display for next Easter, which is rather late next spring -April 24, 2011. A lot of flowers and spring bulbs should be in bloom by then. Did I mention that the garden sprites and all their cousins love the egg hunt at my house and never outgrow it?


  1. All hail the garden sprites! I will spread word of their great deeds far and wide. Their fame shall know no garden blog circles. Seriously, what nice guys to do all that sprite stuff.

  2. I am sure having those Sprites in your garden is fun whether they are pulling weeds or sucking up lemonade on the new patio.

  3. that is a most wonderful story. you are well and truly blessed.

  4. Oh my, I've got to find myself some of those garden sprites! Too bad we live far away from family, because the chances are pretty slim that they would drive 3 or 4 hours to work in my yard each day. The funny thing is, my nephew-in-laws are landscapers and gardeners, and really would come help me if they lived near by. I just love talking gardening with them, as boring old aunts usually don't have much in common with strapping young men.

  5. I could use some garden sprites, but mine have gone back to college. This summer has been such a difficult one - too much rain, not enough rain. Let's hope next year will be easier on the garden.

  6. I'd gladly hire those garden sprites! Too bad they live just a wee bit too far away for me to do so.

  7. Oh, for a garden sprite such as yours. They are so useful and quite rare, always keep intouch to gaurantee their return each spring.

  8. Lovely color on that Diervilla Cool Splash. The last few days, my nephew garden sprite has been weeding and mulching for me, He's also to hang two trellises on my garage. I've only had the trellises for five years. Yeah!

  9. Tell them their fame has even spread to a land far far away - Australia. The whole world loves garden sprites.

  10. I wish some garden sprites would visit my garden!! Lovely story.

    Thank you so much for your kind comments on my post about my mom. I've replied to your question there. Pam x


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