Meg Tilley Anderson BLOG

      "We've gotta laugh. We swapped immortality for accessories."
      -- meg tilley anderson

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our soil garden and a Meggyver

How to grow soil. 
1. Live in south GA where farmers till their  fields when it's breezy and where trees grow big, fast. 
2. Have a foot deep wading pool that doesn't hold water, in the middle of the patio. 
 3. Throw in twigs and sticks that fall from the sky. 
4. Add small limbs from shrubs you've pruned. 
5. Add some weeds you didn't pull before they went to seed. 
6. Set fire to it and enjoy the flames (stand by with rake and hose, just in case.)
7. Spread the ashes and repeat 3 &4. Also rake and blow in leaves and that south GA topsoil that lands on the patio.  
8. Remove wood for the stove as needed. 
9. In Spring, before weeds go to seed and you need a place to burn those, 
push sticks aside or pile them nearby. 
Meggyver the soil up by scooping it into a dustpan on a stick. Transfer into trash can to transport it. 
Three good sized piles!
10. Replace sticks and start over. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sometimes gardeners have to say "uncle!"

You'd think folks with the perseverance to pull dozens of wisteria like these out of the ground 
could transplant one old flowering quince. 
Friday after lunch.
Wendell, "let's take out the wisteria, smilax and cherry laurel bushes around the magnolia tree as far as the camellia."
Meg, when we got to the quince, "looks to me like it'd be easier to transplant the flowering quince than to pull out all the wisteria that's growin IN the shrub. Besides, the magnolia is shading it. See how it's growing into the tree to get light?"
So we trimmed the top, pulled and dug (puller bear, mattock, shovel). We sawed off four inch wide roots. 
Our reward- we split off two quince. We quit for the day; two hours was enough at this when we could start again Saturday morning. We filled the hole in so the roots wouldn't freeze. 
I woke up with a back ache so I was relegated to watching, cheering and walking the scraps to the burn pile. 
This time Wendell brought a small pointed hand spade and an iron pole his father had  used to find plumbing pipes in the ground. He continued digging for another two hours until he was down to the orange clay subsoil.  Still the quince wouldn't even rock back and forth. In the thirty odd years the tree had grown next to the ancient quince, magnolia roots had grown through the quince roots which grew down, around and under. 

Saturday afternoon.
Meg, "Remember when we started this I said it'd be easier to dig up the quince? I've been proven wrong. Its more like we'd have to dig up the magnolia to move the quince. And since the original goal was taking out wisteria, which you did, its time to say,'uncle!' and fill in the hole. "
Wendell, "After I do that I'm going to dig up some more wisteria and smilax just so I can quit and feel like I've actually done something. But at least we've learned how to tell flowering quince roots; they're as red as the flowers."
And he was right. 

Potting Mix Moments

Discovering that YOU didn't make all the holes in the potting mix bag that's been stored in the solarium for a year. 
Where did Mrs Mousie get the dryer lint for this nest?
And realizing, no matter what you do, short of fencing Birt out, he will tag this new herb pot. Happily, I have another pot to use as a pedestal and Birt is a short dog. 

I anchored the center tube with a weight on the ground, set the big empty pot over that and smaller one on top to tie the two together. Looking forward to nasturtium and Swiss chard if the seeds sprout, and transplanting lemon grass into the center when the warm weather settles in. 
Success! Only the herb pot can be 'tagged'.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


The narcissus around our birdbath haven't bloomed well for years; in part because its in shade and then they haven't  been divided in a long time. Really it's best to take them all out and put some back.
Last week I got a huge clump out only to discover the ajuga ground cover both sheltered and over shaded by the next clump of narcissus. 
Steady she goes! Better wait a bit to dig the rest out so as not to sunburn OR freeze burn the ajuga. 
After a week I needed to do something with the dug-up bulbs; If they were to survive I couldn't just leave them in a garbage bag. As my left arm still isn't functioning 100%, preparing and planting narcissus in a flower bed was out of the question. I could've washed and then dried them to plant later but I already have too many projects on the back burner and probably would wind up just throwing them away. And then I remembered where I got them, in the field where the family mansion burned down. Grandmama told me, when she got married (before WWI) she'd gone home to Rome GA and dug up narcissus, daffodils and butter'n eggs bulbs from her grandmother's garden to plant around her new home.  They'd survived the fire.  Later when neighbors grew corn on the land, the plows spread the bulbs over the vacant lot. 
I planted my narcissus in the sunniest spot i could find, the orchard. With any luck they'll be there for another generation or two. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Up cycle Michael Kors cashmere

1. To honor the lambs, rabbits and goats who gave their wool and fur so we can be stylishly warm and 2. To snatch
victory from the moths who ate holes in these sweaters - I pushed the navy blue sweater into the left arm of the white sweater and that one into the right arm. Voila! Fabulous cat cushion. 

But I must admit, I'll be using this as a hat if it ever gets as cold down here as it did last month!