When the thyme is in flower, this unfinished masterpiece demands attention. We began here very early in the day to avoid what for us has become oppressive heat. Once the sun reaches here the Bees and Butterflies take over. Eighteen years ago the house was placed here. We have yet to finish bringing the soil up to grade. Deeply placed small stone is intended to keep the weeds away from the foundation and give us a place to walk to tend the plants that will someday be placed between the house and the lawn. We have a Carolina Rose, the State flower, in a pot waiting for the perfect place for it to grow. Inside of the right angle where the stone trench turns is being considered as the perfect place for this rose. It is native and scented. What more is needed to earn a place near the back door?
This view of the long north side of the house clearly shows that more stone needs to be placed near the house. We wanted to lower the level of the lawn but that is a huge job that will remain unfinished. Becky planted Red Creeping Thyme in the cracks between carefully placed field stones. This has not worked out as expected. I wanted my artfully placed stones to show with the thyme growing only in the narrow spaces between stones. Mother of Thyme grows wild here claiming large pieces of the lawn. It self planted itself between the stones and there is little doubt that it will displace the Red Creeping. We think that the tall weed is Swamp Milkweed that also planted itself between the stones. There is no way that this plant will be weeded out. The tiny parachute on its seed dropped it in a very poor location, but its roots go deep.
Darker Red Creeping Thyme is growing to the left of the Mother of Thyme. This corner photo was included to show just how small the cracks are between the top stones. Another reason why the patio is surrounded by ditch is the amount of stonework that will disappear from view when the trench is filled to the appropriate height. It would have made more sense to fill the area with loose stone and gravel and then build the patio. Hindsight is sometimes 20/20. but I did enjoy placing these stones. The upper surface remains solidly level and that is something important to me.
When we were removing tall grass in preparation for pictures that would speak well of us, we dislodged this female American Nursery spider and her egg cluster. This insect is identified as poison bearing. Neither one of us show any signs of a spider bite but she may have placed her egg cluster as more important than attacking us. This is another species that extracts a high price from the male partner. When he has completed his reproductive business she eats him. Her values are in many ways admirable since all that she did during our attack on her home was to hold on to the developing egg mass. As we work in the area, we will remain on the lookout for newly hatched spiders. Then she may see the need to drive us away.