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Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category

Fewer flowers, more design

For several months, I’ve been using flowers less and branches/dried pods/seeds more. Partly the seasons, of course, but I’ve gotten so I like a simple, natural display. Maybe I’m regressing. When I was first married, my house was clear contemporary style. My houseplants were bonsai and succulents.

Do most young people feel this way, wanting a home environment that’s likely very different from their parents and grandparents? I’m not sure when I changed styles but it’s partly because I like to shake things up quite often; I’m always changing hair color, clothing, etc. It’s party because people give you stuff or you inherit. When my mom died, I incorporated some of her possessions by giving them prime display honor.

Maybe it’s just because I’m getting old, some of my high school classmates and friends my age have already died, and I think you like life simpler at this stage, go for the essentials, go for God-given, natural graces. Oh well, it’s only flowers, right?

Redbud, dried leaves on Fiesta platter, lily stalks, Dogwood seeds right before the leaves darken and curl up to fall on the ground, Nandina, and various late summer foliage in old jars found under my house when we did work years ago. Previous owners just used it as a burial site for waste jars, my husband tossed many others and hauled them off before I rescued these. Mostly mustard, Listerine and mayo jars. The leaves on the platter are on an old Western-themed blanket that’s seen better days but I love it as a tablecloth.

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I spent much of last week working in the yards, flower gardens and vegetable garden. Finally talked hubby into using raised beds for the garden so we’re reading and shopping for that. Then I got allergic reactions to the mold, dried leaves, budding greens, and dusty equipment so I’ve been fighting the development of allergy/sinus infection into full-blown bronchitis. That’s just the way it is.

More and more crocus are blooming, seemingly by the minute. My husband will come in the house and say one wasn’t in bloom when he left the yard but is blooming when he returns. That’s spring for you. Flowers come on quick and go just as quickly. They’re gorgeous but short-lived.

Here’s some pics with a quick status check, probably very similar to yours. No wisteria, it’s sadly boring on that side of the porch.

Most of my daffodils are now blooming but look how much they’ve grown since my pic of the 12th. My first lovely earthworm of the spring, hidden under some leaves. Yipes, lots of wild onions. First bug of the spring, a beetle. Lastly, a tiny bud on an Oriental lily.

Wonderful spring, the start of another growing season. I can’t wait.

daffodils March 12thworm Marchwildonions march

beetleclose marchLilybudclose march

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King of the Weeds, update

Heh https://pullmychain.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/king-of-the-weeds-dies/  Not so fast, says our wisteria aka King of the Weeds. It’s gonna take toxic chemicals

wisteria reborn

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More flower bang for the buck

Sometime in January of this year I bought a package of 20 tulip bulbs for a couple of bucks at Lowe’s. The ground was too hard to plant, but at around 10 cents a bulb I couldn’t pass up the bargain so I waited until March and planted them in shallow soil in the ground and pots. Not sure they will make it through a hot summer and cold winter with such shallow roots but I’m going to feed and water them through the summer then shelter them a little on the porch or basement this winter and keep my fingers crossed.

No matter what, I got my $2 worth. They’re just lovely right now with the pansies, other tulips,  dogwood and remaining daffodils.

tulips

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King of the weeds…. dies?

We had a little problem with a pantry that was added to our house sometime in the 1950’s. It has a rather shaky foundation so we had an architect look it over. We then proceeded to throw several thousand dollars into the ground. The older a house gets the more problems you have and the more expensive those problems get.

As part of the pantry foundation problem, the company told us the wisteria aka  King of the Weeds and all other plants surrounding the house on the front had to go. Among those plants were some lovely double-ruffled irises given to us by a friend who has since died and lily of the valley pips of the latter direct descendants of my husband’s grandparents’ farm. Old and lovely but they had to go. I confess I was shocked by how matted the pips were below the ground. Believe it or not, I have divided – admittedly irregularly – these plants several times. This time they had to completely go, though.

The architectural company told us to absolutely kill the wisteria by chopping it down and poisoning the roots, to stop growth and prevent future damage to the foundation. My husband chopped it off but says we don’t need to put anything on the roots. Frankly, I think hubby has underestimated the power of wisteria. Shh, I looked at those roots the other day and saw a sprout of green, so who knows?

pips  wisteria root

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Why I hate cats and deer

At least for  today.

Last month a nest of robins successfully went from pretty blue eggs atop my porch column to lovely birds in the trees last month. A second nest on another column also hatched and the babies were growing and chirping until we went outside this morning to see the nest thrown down into the yard, the mother nowhere in sight and the daddy robin loudly chirping  over a mauled baby trying to stay alive, a seemingly unharmed baby, and a dead baby.

This is all courtesy of a big fluffy yellow cat that lives somewhere on a nearby street. This is what I hate about cats, they kill just for the sport, and they kill an incredible number of songbirds in America every year. The best-fed, best-pampered, best-loved cat will nearly always kill not for protection or food but just to kill. It’s not our cat. Someone simply opens their door and their cat wanders all over the neighborhood, using the bathroom in front yards or flower pots and killing squirrels, rabbits and birds.

Yeh I know, that’s life. I’ve had 3 cats, one of which lived to nearly 20 years but having spent much of today watching for the return of the cat which would kill the survivor bird and watching the other mauled bird desperately chirp and try to move, I’m not feeling philosophical.

As for the deer, I’m tired of them eating all my hydrangeas on all my plants, all my numerous hostas my Sweet William and some of my roses and lilies. We need a bow hunt for deer in Ashland but try to suggest that and a vocal minority goes wild. Are small towns expected to accept any size of recent deer herds?

I expect to get up Thursday morning and find the healthy surviving bird and the mauled bird both dead, and I expect to lose what’s left of my hydrangeas.

I’ll cheer up but I’m not feeling in sync with nature today. Here’s a pic I took of my porch floor; I’m not sure you can tell what those little spots are but they’re baby birds.  The other pic is one of my hydrangea plant. I’m in mourning for both. I wanna whine.

dead baby robins

photo hydrangea

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Your best autumn $ deal

Surely everyone loves pansies. We love the old-fashioned pansies with faces, although the new hybrid faceless colors get more beautiful every year. I love the dark purple and yellow ones but I usually wait until the late autumn and buy whatever’s on sale. If you plant them in the late fall, they give you autumn color and typically live through the winter here in Eastern Kentucky, flowering very early in the spring. My pansies are typically the first bloomers in the spring, beating even crocus and snow drops.

The closer it gets to Thanksgiving, the more anxious retailers are to trash everything except Christmas plants and decorations. I’ve gotten an entire flat of pansies from Lowe’s for 50¢. Heck if only half the plants survive to bloom in the spring, it’s still a great bargain. When February staggers around, those pansies are the most beautiful sight in my yard. I took the pics a couple of months ago; they were throw-away bargains too. Worth scouting out this fall.

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