Monday, June 28, 2010

Tuesday's Child Is Full Of Grace, Or At Least His Mother Is

Red rose leaves, red shirt and a mop of red hair.... adorable! (Norfolk Botanical Garden)
(Click picture to enlarge)
Posted by Picasa

"Of course, part of the problem with redheads is that there aren't enough of them. They make up just two percent of the population. So they're pretty extraordinary. Redheads are too numerous to be ignored, too rare to be accepted."
~ Grant McCracken (anthropologist)
It was a beautiful spring day, not too cold, not too hot and with a breeze off the bay that was perfect. Norfolk Botanical Garden is situated right on the bay and next to the airport. This little fellow was exploring the rose garden. It was April and while the rose bushes have sprouted their growth of new stems and leaves, the buds won't begin forming until early May and the blooms will break forth in late May to early June. This part of the garden is perfect for weddings... a little babbling fountain in one area, steps leading up a stone wall structure to an elevated patio where a stringed quartet can play soft music. Climbing roses cover the wall in June. But in April, only the red leaves and promises of flowers to come are here. Still, this young fellow runs down the open isles between the bushes and splashes his hands in the small bubbling fountain and has his mom chasing him all over the place. He is a blur... a redhead in motion, caught only by a fast shutter speed in the bright sunlight. He is running. He is laughing out loud. He is enjoying life to the fullest.

And later, his mom will put this tired, sleepy little redhead to bed and sigh happily.

It's another Ruby Tuesday.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Light From Within

A glow from within. Yellow Christmas cactus.
(Click picture to enlarge)

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within." ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Last fall, Mom and Dad made one of their "all day go to the doctor then eat out and go to Sam's" excursions and came home with the usual mass quantities of paper towels and toilet paper and huge jars of condiments that will take longer than the shelf life for us to use. She also brought in a wimpy looking Christmas cactus with one or two blooms and said, "This is supposed to be a yellow Christmas cactus." It was hard to tell from the blooms present at the time. So we put it out in the sunroom next to the tray of orchids and the small regular "red" Christmas cactus and we waited. Just after the first of the year, both started putting out small buds and in a few weeks, both were blooming; in fact they bloomed almost continuously through Easter and on into May. Sure enough, her Sam's special is yellow... a pale creamy yellow and when the early morning sun from the eastern exposure hits a bloom just right it seems to glow from within.

I know people like this... those that glow from within. They are able to meet tragedy with equal grace as they do triumph and they wear the joy and peace of God on their faces. An elderly lady in our church recently lost her husband of many years but she still has that quiet assurance that she will be with him again someday and she not only "carries on" but loves life. She glows from within.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

SPH: Columbuine And Crocus

Purple columbine..... (Click pictures to enlarge)

"Often a purple patch or two is tacked on to a serious work of high promise, to give an effect of colour." ~ Horace (Ancient Roman Poet, 65 BC- 8 BC)

My crocus were disappointing this year and this was the only really good blossom. This comes from my late planting I'm sure and perhaps they will surprise me next spring. The columbine were a different story. Last spring a friend gave me three columbine plants from her shade garden when she had to remove the large tree that provided that shade. I put them in my new shade garden space and here they stumbled along through the hot summer and braved the heat and my attempts at amending the soil and adding the mulch. Their leaves stayed almost intact all winter, even through the unusual snowfall that is a rarity here on the coast of Virginia. As with all the items in the shade garden, I added small stakes to mark their position before putting down the heavy mulching in January (typically our coldest month). In late February, the columbine started growing..... and growing and growing.. until they were lovely mounds of scalloped leaves about 14 to 16" in diameter. In March the middle upright stems began to form and each plant had thirty to forty flower heads form. They started blooming in April and bloomed on through the month and the month of May and finally finished the second week in June. I have clipped off the remaining seed pods and recovered hundreds of the little black seeds. So far, my research gives many different ideas about starting these from seed.... I hope at least one of them is correct because I would love to put these out behind our fence in the preserve to grow wild... along with the wild yellow and red forms already there.

Purple crocus...... Posted by Picasa

I have been absent from the Saturday Photo Hunt for some time... so many flower beds to create and so little time and energy...(the knees and body does not recover from hard labor like it used to). Glad to be back for this loveliest of themes... "purple".

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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Caterpillar Chronicles: Part 2 ~ And He Has Just Settled Down For A Long Summer's Nap

Black swallowtail caterpillar, a fennel eating machine.
(Click pictures to enlarge)

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." ~ Maya Angelou
See Part One: What A Difference A Day Makes

For the purposes of this post the caterpillar will be considered a "he" although I really haven't mastered the fine art of determining the sex of caterpillars, nor will I likely ever do so. Also, after my first post on the subject received no comments, I wonder if there isn't an underlying aversion to these creatures in most of the readers here. I know that many of these caterpillars are not the most beautiful things, some are hairy and spiny; even the beautiful tiger swallowtail butterfly has a caterpillar that looks like a big green monster with big black eyes. But we must remember that they have a purpose and a dedication to that purpose that most of us could afford to emulate at times.

An eating and pooping machine

So, here he is all tucked safely in his new home. I might as well not have had the screen mesh around the box, he had no interest in anything but eating. Many of us could only hope to have children that eat their vegetables as well as this fellow does. He left nothing behind and worked his way through the delicate thread-like leaves from bottom to top and then from top to bottom. In addition to his favorite fennel, I put in parsley, but he never strayed from the fennel. The caterpillar grew exponentially, almost a half centimeter a day. I really don't know how many times he shed his outer skin... the book says that they shed, then consume it... so he must have done so at night when we weren't watching.

The beginning of the pupal phase... choosing a sleeping place.

Of course, consuming so much food means only one thing.... poop. Tiny little black circlets of odorless black poop. They almost look like little seed beads with the tiny round hole in the middle of each one. These caterpillars have two yellow knobs that will protrude from their heads if they are disturbed... I disturbed him, accidentally. They say these give off a bad odor, but I couldn't smell it if they did (an advantage of formalin fried olfactory receptors). I wasn't prepared for this event and didn't get a picture. I say all this to disclose that I really don't know if the poop smells or not... the book says it doesn't... but hey... I have to have my nose buried deep in a gardenia to smell what my mom can smell standing six feet away from the bush, so what do I know.

Anyway, last week he ate and pooped and grew.. and grew... and grew.. until he did make the required 4 to 4.5 cm length and almost a centimeter in diameter. On Saturday, the 19th, I noticed a large quarter sized round patch of a more liquid (to put it as delicate as possible) poop. He looked drawn and smaller and I quickly ran to the computer to see if he was dying... and in a sense, he was. When it is time to enter the pupal phase the caterpillar choses a place to form the chrysalis, quits eating and empties the contents of his digestive tract completely. I had sticks available, but even at this time he could not think of leaving his fennel behind.

First he attached himself with a sticky substance to the fennel stalk at the hind end.... I noticed the small space between his body and the fennel and watched until I could see the single attachment. I have since, propped up the fennel and hopefully it will remain strong enough for the duration.

The final skin shedding to reveal.......

Monday morning, I saw a split in the upper part of his skin and for the first time in two days he was moving... not the slow motion of eating, but a wriggling, writhing motion. So I got my camera and it was a good thing I acted as this big change took only five minutes from start to finish. As he wriggled, the skin split and wrinkled up and slid towards the attachment point. There it bunched in a wad and fell to the bottom of the box. This revealed......

The chrysalis... Posted by Picasa

.....the chrysalis. Apparently, if he chooses to attach to a brown twig or limb, then the chrysalis will be brown. If the attachment is a green stem, then the chrysalis is green. Isn't it alien looking? I think you can make out the outline of rudimentary wings and the long antennae folded down. As soon as the final shedding finished, he rested... completely still, no motion and to the eye, so far, no real change. In nine to twelve days we should have a beautiful black swallowtail butterfly trying to emerge.... until then... we wait.

(end of post)

Friday's Ark

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Sign Language

Sign on old smokehouse, Franklin County, VA.
(Click pictures to enlarge)

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man." ~ Mark Twain
  1. Daisy doesn't bark. Yes, she can bark and she has barked, but only once every nine months or so and when she does bark, it is a half-hearted little "woof" and usually only one. Most of the time she is silent.
  2. Daisy is afraid of her shadow, or so it seems at times. Even a light brush against your leg when she isn't expecting it will make her jump and run. Perhaps this is a result of someone hurting her in the past or of her hard time when she was lost or had been turned out by her previous owners.
  3. Daisy bathes easily. She isn't thrilled, but she stands still and lets you pour the water over her whole body and is so patient while you rub the soap in and rinse and again. She just looks at you and perhaps gently licks your nose.
  4. Daisy is also perfectly quiet and still when her nails are clipped and when she has a hair cut. She is even still when her nails are filed with a dremel tool. The groomers continue to comment on this... very unusual for a cocker spaniel.
  5. Daisy has never met a dog she doesn't like. OK, so she is a bit intimidated and scared of Nyssa's dog Zoey; but only because Zoey is a bit bossy and likes to be the alpha dog and is younger and better designed for running. Zoey runs... over Daisy... this scares Daisy.
  6. Daisy never met a cat she doesn't like. She loves to romp with Mr. Rhett and he is tolerant of her. Miss Willow, the big ragdoll, is not friendly and she hisses at Daisy.... so, Daisy is afraid of her. At Christmas, Daisy was in heaven. Nyssa's cat Fatness, a long haired marmalade and white fellow, decided that Daisy was his special friend. He walked right up to her and started rubbing his head under her chin and his body on her side, winding round and round as cats do. Daisy was rendered ... well, she seemed stunned. No cat had wanted her company like this.
  7. Daisy never met a child she didn't like. Whenever a child comes toward her, she simply sits... remains quiet and lets them stroke her head or her ears. Her little stubby tail wags. She doesn't lick or overwhelm them and when they are finished she simply gets up and walks away.
  8. The squirrels aren't afraid of Daisy. At least this new crew of squirrels isn't. When we first rescued her, she did love to chase the squirrels and this activity was the primary time she barked. Then she slowly figured out that she would never catch them, so she simply stopped chasing squirrels. Now, they have grown to know this... at least some of them. This week, I let her out and two squirrels were at the bird feeder. One ran... she ignored him. The other, just sat there under the feeder chomping on some dropped sunflower seed. Daisy was nosing around and getting closer to the squirrel all the time. Finally, when only three feet away, she saw him... and that tiny spark of excitement returned and she gave chase. The squirrel was caught off guard and dashed across the yard to safety, but not by much. Daisy looked invigorated for a few minutes but quickly found a place for a nap.
  9. Daisy doesn't jump up on people. She does stand up and put her head in my mom's lap at suppertime... but this is only because Mom has surreptitiously fed her from her plate and Daisy is always looking for something besides dog food.
  10. Daisy loves older people. She is calm and will sit next to them and put her head on their shoulder and lean her warm body into theirs. When Mom was in the nursing rehab facility after her last hip replacement, Daisy went to see her. They allowed dogs to visit and she sat quietly on the bed and gave Mom her full attention. On the way in we met a lady in a wheel chair and Daisy saw her reach her hand out to pet her, so she sat down next to her. She seems to know when an elderly person needs her company. My brother thinks she must have been the companion to an elderly lady with a cat.
  11. Daisy loves to cuddle. She takes up over half of a queen size bed when she wants to, but in the morning she puts her head on my arm and snuggles in close. Who could resist such affection?
  12. Daisy has NEVER growled or bared her teeth.... EVER. She is definitely NOT a watch dog.
  13. Daisy is a rescue dog... saved from a gassing shelter in South Carolina thirty minutes before being killed... transported to Richmond, Virginia because the cocker rescue in South Carolina was full... found to have barbed wire embedded in her fur when first groomed...she has EVERY reason to be mistrustful, aggressive and hard to handle. But she is quiet and loving and only asks for a little food, a cool place to rest and the pleasure of your company. Who could resist those eyes?

Beware of dog? No, not with these eyes! (Note the long eyelashes!) Posted by Picasa

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View More Thursday Thirteen Participants
Carmi's Theme: Signs of the Time
Friday's Ark

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Everyone Needs A Cool Drink On A Hot Day.....

Even the bluejay. (Click to enlarge) Posted by Picasa

"You can never appreciate the shade of a tree unless you sweat in the sun." ~ Author Unknown
All the birds are taking advantage of the in-ground and pedestal birdbaths today. It is hot. Although my little meter on the side reports 89℉, my little weather station set up says 93℉ with 75% humidity. It isn't the heat so much as the humidity. Walk outside for five minutes and your shirt and slacks and every other piece of clothing is plastered to your body and damp... instant frizz of the hair, even with pre-treatment with a de-frizzing shampoo, conditioner, gel and hair spray. This is a day that makes a room temperature of 76℉ feel like an air conditioned dream. Even the birds are flying around with mouths open and not just to gather bugs.

My little in-ground bath next to the preserve is in full use... the black birds had five or six in their swimming party a few minutes ago. And the bluejay, finch and thrashers are taking a dip and a drink as well in this bath. I hope we can have a third birdbath out soon, perhaps with a solar powered recirculating fountain and a mister attachment... I've heard that the birds really love this. At least this picture looks cool even though it really isn't. Today is a day for inside work.... no gardening for me! I'll leave the heat to the birds.

Watery Wednesday, June 23rd.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sunshine, Freedom And A Little Flower

Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, enjoying the coneflowers.
(Click to enlarge)

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~ Hans Christian Anderson
The butterflies are flitting from flower to flower in our new beds. They enjoy the coneflowers and butterfly bush daily and a lot of new varieties have shown themselves, many we haven't seen in our yard before. As I watch them twirl and flit and generally take twice as long to get from point A to point B as they could if they traversed the space in a straight line, I wonder... why call them "butterflies"? Bees fly, birds fly, but butterflies wander and roam and seem to have no sense of time or space or any clear direction to go. They are a lot like most men watching television with a remote control.. they land on one flower then on to the next and back to the first and then to a third... never stopping to really drink from a bloom long enough to actually get a full draw of the nectar. Seriously, sometimes the erratic flight patterns make me a bit sea sick. Such nervous little creatures.

So, why call them "butterflies"? True, sulfurs are yellow, like butter... but this is where any comparison ends. They aren't all yellow, they are not greasy and I assume they aren't really buttery tasting, though this is just a guess since I have never tasted nor would ever taste one. So, I prefer to call them "flutter-by's". It is what they do best. They simply flutter by, here and there, to and fro, all around the yard... tip-toeing through the flowers, then up to the roof and back to the tree and then to the flowers yet again.

Red Admiral... attention!!! Posted by Picasa

The Red Admiral is a new visitor to the yard. This is the first year I have seen them here, but then this is the first year we have had flowers to attract them. I think this might be the "Twilight" coneflower... one of six different varieties we have grouped together with the Black-eyed Susan. I love the contrasting red and black on the upper wings and how the underwings look so different... like swirling dark marble. Personally, I think he enjoys being the center of attention... perhaps he's showing off for Ruby Tuesday.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

I've Got The Mustard. So, Who's Bringing The Hot Dog?

One of my favorite roses.... Honey Dijon. Posted by Picasa

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." ~ Abraham Lincoln
Honey Dijon, yes, really... this creamy rose looks like a swirl of honey mustard whipped up into a perfect parfait. Yes, this is it's real name and yes, it really is this color. As it opens and ages the edges begin to tinge a light coral, but for most of its days the rose is the definition of honey mustard. Now, if it only had the fragrance of honey mustard... wouldn't that be a shock and a delight!

So for my Mellow Yellow Monday, here is the Honey Dijon... now, who's bringing the hot dogs?

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Colorful Geometrics

Geometry in motion... and in color. (Chesapeake, VA mall)
(Click picture to enlarge)
Posted by Picasa

"The human heart likes a little disorder in its geometry." ~ Louis de Bernieres

When I was in 10th grade I took Geometry and while I really loved Algebra and even liked Trigonometry, I adored Geometry. It wasn't all about the practical numbers and the rush to "get an answer"; Geometry was the answer to the "why". Perhaps that is what drew me to the course. How often in life do we ask "why?" and how often do we really get a legitimate answer? In medicine we can answer the "why" only partially... "why does she have a sore throat and fever? Streptococcal infection."... but, why does one person develop cancer or diabetes and another does not? Well, we aren't so definite on those points... and the answers we have to many of the "why" questions change through the years as we learn and discover more. So it is nice to have those proofs for the triangles and circles and rectangles.

Here there is a bit of disorder injected. Letters wanting to be geometric shapes, lines wanting to be circles, and every one of them wanting to capture the attention of the passing carload of kids.... "Look MOM.... a carnival!!" Oh, the power of geometry when infused with a splash of color.

Carmi's theme this week is "geometric"... and I thought this was a perfectly colorful carnival for "Color Carnival".

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Still Waters

Still waters cool on a hot summer day.... (even if it is still a week until summer)
Norfolk Botanical Gardens (Click pictures to enlarge)
Posted by Picasa

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters...
He restores my soul."
~ Psalm 23:1-3
The weather people at the Weather Channel that predict our local forecast have been way off on the temperatures. Always, Chesapeake is predicted at ten degrees higher than Suffolk or Virginia Beach. Several days they have said we would have temps between 103 and 105 and yet none have been above 100. Not that they haven't felt like 110. It hasn't so much been the temperatures, but the humidity. A temp of 95 with 40% humidity and a little breeze is easy to work in outside in the shade of the trees, but a temperature of 82 with 93% humidity feels like being a stalk of broccoli in a steamer.... five minutes and you are wilted. The mosquitoes love this weather and so do the Japanese beetles but few other creatures.

Oh to be at the botanical gardens.... Norfolk always has lower temperatures as well and the shade of the trees and the coolness of the green all around really calms that heat wave. Their "Enchanted Forest" has a new display this year, small playhouses designed and built by various architects and companies and each based on a different children's fairy tale or poem. I am looking forward to seeing the Old Lady and her shoe. Also, the butterfly house will soon be open.

Speaking of butterfly house... our own caterpillar has taken to his/her new habitat and is munching contentedly on the fennel. I must try and take another picture as he/she is now over 3 centimeters in length... just a bit more and it will be time to spin that cocoon. Oh, yes... I think our bluebird babies have hatched, the dad seems to be showing up more often at the actual nest.

Water lilies floating on invisible water....

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What A Difference A Day Makes

What is this eating on my fennel? June 11th.

"The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity" ~ George Carlin

The new flowerbeds are filling up with plants to attract birds and bees and butterflies. So far, I haven't found any of the small yellow eggs on the butterfly weed that say the Monarchs are here. But a wide variety of tiny blues, painted lady's, zebra swallowtails and yellow sulfurs have been visiting. Then I saw this tiny creature on my fennel. The books say that this should be a black swallowtail... but it doesn't look like the picture. So more searching on Google and life cycles of butterflies and finally a picture.... an unlabeled picture.... then, even more searching. This fellow, or gal... (how DO you tell the male from the female caterpillar???)... was about one centimeter long with the tiny tufts of hair that were almost non-existent; black with a white belt and small orange nubby dots. Finally, I found a site that showed me the changes butterfly larvae make even before they morph into the butterfly. Sure enough... this IS a black swallowtail caterpillar that has graced our new garden!!

Then, I went out the next morning to check on our resident and was I ever glad to have already taken a picture of this fellow... because......

What a difference a day makes! June 12th.
Black swallowtail caterpillar. Papilio polyxenes
Posted by Picasa

The caterpillar had certainly changed his stripes... and color... and size. He grew, overnight, to two centimeters and now looked like the typical black swallowtail larvae. They love the fennel and parsley... but, I began to worry about the birds. The cardinals would surely have their eyes on this creature soon... after all, he is supposed to get to four centimeters in length before he builds his cocoon. So I took a big box, cut out the sides and covered it in a bit of screen mesh I had. I have a jar with water and holes punched in the lid in which I put cuttings of the fennel and parsley. I also stuck in a bare branch with small limbs for him to attach to. And I have moved him inside the sunroom. It is the 15th and he is almost three centimeters long. I expect it will be one more week before it is time for him to build his chrysalis and then another two weeks before he emerges. Isn't nature wonderful?

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

See How A Shade Garden Grows

See how her shade garden has grown.....

"Growth is a greater mystery than death. All of us can understand failure, we all contain failure and death within us, but not even the successful man can begin to describe the impalpable elations and apprehensions of growth." ~ Norman Mailer

The idea of me trying to do a Wordless Wednesday is ridiculous... impossible... not likely. There are just too many thoughts that pop into my head and have to get out. Take this shade garden. Since the house is so new, the trees that are actually IN our yard are still small, though growing and now around 10' tall. So the only real "shade" area is a recess by the front porch and between the porch and the outside wall of the master bathroom. It gets morning sun but by noon is in shade and even a little sooner, now that the calla have grown up again. Last year I planted two fern able to withstand cold weather, several hosta and columbine starter plants from my friend Marcia, two astilbe and then in the fall a puny looking hydrangea (Cityline Rio). The plants did OK but nothing really special and then they died back. I had to cut the remaining yellow leaves and stems back to the ground and I put bamboo sticks into the ground to mark the plants for mulching. All winter the area was a sea of brown mulch with stupid little white sticks protruding. I only wish I had taken a picture of the space back in early March... now, these pictures would be even more dramatic.

In late March the little sprouts started coming up. First the fern in the foreground and then the hosta and astilbe. For a long while, I thought the fern in the far back left of the space was dead... then tiny little curly cue brown worms started sticking heads through the mulch. I have added a white bleeding heart and a heleobore and two more different varieties of columbine this year.

Onward and upward Posted by Picasa

Everything has done well this year... the hosta have already bloomed once and have doubled in size. One of the astilbe (white) has doubled in size and the other exploded, mounding up to five times its size last year. Both ferns are great and the hydrangea is blooming. The only thing is that I was confused about the hydrangea. I thought it would be purple with green in the center if I made the soil more alkaline so a bit of lime and egg shells... and then a bit more. But I now find out that I should have tried to keep the soil more acidic; thus the pink. I have dosed it with the first of many coffee grounds... and we will see what happens.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Variations On A Theme

Delicate petals with wild outrageous color. Hybrid Tea Rose - Sedona Posted by Picasa

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." ~ Abraham Lincoln

Last year's construction included a 15' x 6' garden plot in the middle of the patio. We did not think this through with regard to our soil composition and drainage and with the rain and the misplaced "thoughtfulness" of the guy who took up the old grass (and put it in the flowerbed), we had a swampy, muddy mess. It was the kind of mess that kids would love, but not adults. Drilling holes and putting in rock did not help... only made it worse. I finally put on some oversize knee wading boots and started in to remove the sod from the bed. It was cleverly hidden by the muddy ooze and when it did come up in big pieces with that attached green plastic netting sod usually has, it made this deep slurpy sucking sound. Unfortunately, my boots also got stuck in the middle of the bed and when I pulled the grass up with its slurpy sucking sound, I lost my balance and sat down in the gooey, oozy, mud. I had more mud on my person than I had ever managed to get on me when I was a little girl in Roanoke making mudpies under the carport next to our house. Not only that but I WAS STUCK... literally. I finally had to climb out of the boots and retrieve them by hand from the side. After much more angst, and a bit of gratitude that my folks have no idea how to use a digital camera... I extracted myself and eight wheelbarrow loads of nastiness from the "swamp", as it was affectionately being called at that time.

Not willing to be outwitted by a hole in the ground, I mentioned the problem to the sprinkler system guy when he was there. Immense joy filled my heart to find that he also did drainage and he thought a large dry well would do the trick. It did. So I hauled in bags and bags of top soil, amended top soil and compost and a tiny bit of coarse sand and started planting. Now there are 19 or so rose bushes growing and even thought it is the first year, we have roses. I have learned a lot... bareroot are better than plants, most white and yellow roses are not as fragrant as red and pink ones, aphids really do run from ladybugs and we have beavers in our neighborhood.

So here is one example of my roses... two blooms from the same bush in variations of red... this bush produces blooms that range from bright coral to rich red to peachy pink and everywhere in between. It has finished its first bloom, I have pruned and now it grows again... hopefully to bloom while Stephen is here.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday: Here Come The Calla

It's June... time for the calla lily to bloom.

"Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decypher even fragments of their meaning." ~ Lydia M. Child, Letters from New York, 1843

I have not had time to write with all the gardening. I am trying to get our new flowerbeds looking, well.. right. No, I am not a professional and while I really wanted to have an organized plan for the space... it hasn't turned out that way. You see, there are just too many really great plants and shrubs and flowers and way too little space! So the well organized, sterile and formal garden space is not what we have. Ours is what I would call casual chaos with color mix; plants to attract birds and butterflies and hummingbirds. Of course, if you have butterflies you will have more birds because some birds eat butterflies... I didn't really consider that last part. Hopefully, the birds will prefer all the little bugs that have shown up for the flowers.

The calla lily are in the front, more formal flowerbeds. These were my mom's idea. She likes the calla. I thought they would die, but each April they start coming back up and they are NOT the most considerate plants. Little calla come up all over the place and have to be pulled out to keep them in check. These are the yellow and we also have a dark pinkish purple variety, though they are not this robust.

I have so many pictures of the garden this year and so little time to post them. Someone should keep prodding me along.....right? Oh... My brother will be here the second week in July and I hope to have things more squared away then. We will be tree shopping for the fall.

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