The Cathedral Bell vine in the chair during the hail

There’s something so elemental about thunderstorms – the way the sky darkens, the air stills and then the distant rumbles of thunder turn to sharp cracks overhead.

Yesterday morning we had a magnificent storm complete with little hailstones. The garden seemed to perk up instantaneously with the first drops of rain.

The hail left the garden intact and provided much amusement for us, especially Lytton, the big, brown dog. I took a picture of the hail landing on the front porch.

And for those of you who read my post about my Cathedral Bell vine of last year, I figured it would be fun to show it as it is now.

It is still possible to sit in the chair without squishing the vines… on the freshly-painted chair from earlier this summer. I love Cathedral Bell vines. So far, there are no blooms though they will come. The flowers open up like big bells with a little saucer underneath (or over top of) their bloom. They are a lovely purple colour and, unlike Morning glories, they last for several days.

And much to my amazement, the Poppy Anemones bulbs I stored in the fridge over the winter and planted earlier this summer have begun blooming. This isn’t the greatest of pictures but it conveys the beautiful colours of the flower. These are my favourite Anemones. Planting them outdoors in fall for spring blooming is not an option here, so I think I’ve found my solution.

With the thunderstorm yesterday, I went in search of one of my Laurie Colwin novels, A Big Storm Knocked It Over. This was the last novel she wrote before her death in 1992. That was a sad time. I felt as if I’d lost a best friend. No more of her books to look forward to or her wonderful characters to get to know, like Jane Louise …

In back of the house behind a stone wall Eleanor grew beans on poles and English peas. Her tomatoes ran up an arched trellis. She grew garlic, onions, chard, and celery. Along the stone wall in back of the garden was the blackberry and raspberry path, now green, fuzzy, and full of ferns. Her rhubarb was forty years old.

Jane Louise went out barefoot. The coolness and softness of the lawn gave slightly beneath her feet, and from the misty earth rose up the smell of grass, air and the deep, rich smell of soil.

She shook the bags of human hair Eleanor hung on the fence post to keep the deer away, and she scattered fresh mothballs under the lilies. The deer loved Eleanor’s lilies and especially liked to nibble the young buds. She emptied the dead slugs from their saucers of beer into the compost heap and put fresh saucers out. Then, before the sun broke through the mist, she did a little hoeing and went inside to make coffee, thinking about her husband and this house.

And now I’m off to my own garden … there are some oriental lilies soon to burst into bloom.

15 thoughts on “The Cathedral Bell vine in the chair during the hail

  1. Kate congrats on the Anemones-I love them but they just won’t grow for me in my garden.Nice to see them blooming for someone else though.

  2. The anemones are lovely, Kate – you do seem to have found the trick of growing them in your area. Mine were planted in winter to bloom in spring – no refrigerator involved.I’m sorry to say that I’ve never read Laurie Colwin, but intend to remedy that in the near future. Your excerpt convinced me to find this book.Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. Gorgeous anemone Kate! Love the colours–I can see how they are a favourite. I haven’t tried these in years, because of less than great success with them. I’ll just enjoy yours!

  4. I love the cathedral bell vine – and the chair! Your anemones are beautiful. I planted some snowdrop anemone last winter and was quite surprised they survived and bloomed this spring. I also have the fall blooming anemone – which has buds already! I just love the way the blooms nod in the wind.

  5. Hi Kate, anemones are among my favorite spring flowers. I have got lots of them and they multiply well. Thanks for excerpt of your favorite novel writer. Have a great week, Andrea

  6. Never heard of the cathedral bell vine, but it sounds intriguing. Love the way it crawls through the chair too. your photos are superb 🙂

  7. Thunderstorms and deers in the garden… oh, my! Thanks for swinging by my blog, I’m off to explore your green, green world.take care, gracia

  8. kate – reading your post about the hail storm made me realize that, while I use to only worry about my car in this kind of weather, I think I’d be running around worrying myself silly about my plants, now. It looks like yours held up just fine.

  9. We witnessed a thunderstorm whilst riding on our motorbike over the yorkshire moors…awesome and soooooooo atmospheric!…oh and wet! LOL!

  10. Kate: I also loved that passage from the Laurie Colwin book. Have to find it! We haven’t had a good thunderstorm in a while now that you have mentioned it!

  11. hailstones! at least they were small. that book sounds fascinating, I’ll look out for it.

  12. You seem to have great luck with vines, or maybe it is your weather? Glad to hear about your thunderstorm. I grew up in Oklahoma, and we got some howlers out there. I loved to smell the storm coming, and watch the light show.

  13. Your anemones are lovely. I love the passage from A Big Storm Knocked It Over. It reminds me of my little old twin neighbors next door. They are always trying home remedies to keep the deer away.

  14. It’s funny you mentioned Laurie Colwin. Hers was the column I always turned to first in the old Gourmet magazine. I remember how shocked I was when I read than she had died. She was on my mind last week when I made gingerbread – one of her favorite things – and I thought about doing a post on my food blog about her. I have a couple of books which are collections of her Gourmet columns, but I’ve never read any of her novels. After reading that excerpt, I’m putting them on my list. And I’m going to write that post about gingerbread.

  15. Oh, I love thunderstorms, too, especially at night as I am trying to sleep. The sound of the rain, the quick light across the skies and across the walls of my bedroom, the rumble of the thunder…sigh! I’ll have to look for a chathedral bell vine next year. I had morningglories on my balconey one summer and loved how they looked. I like the idea of the cathedral bell vine flowers lasting longer. Your chair looks so pretty covered in those vines.And rhubarb can be forty years old??! Wow!

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