Sunday, April 29, 2007

a few things that made me smile today

Several years ago I saw an African saying translated as :
"When the elephants fight, the grass suffers."

At our house, we say it slightly differently:
When the big dogs play, the grass suffers.

Today, I was able to mow the grass for the first time. I love mowing the lawn (what little there is left of it!), so that made me smile.

This morning we took the dogs and headed out on the pontoon for a couple hours. I wish I had taken the camera - it's amazing how dogs can contort themselves in a seat and still be happy as clams. I'll remember the camera next time.

Here are a few photos of things I saw in the garden today that put a smile on my face.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

a fairy for my garden

I'm taking photos with 2 different cameras, and they have totally different numbers on the photo cards (which is actually good, but...), so I forgot to pull this one on the other post today.

So you get 2 posts today - lucky, lucky.

This is my new fairy! I bought her last fall from my favorite iron dealer. I didn't measure her but I think she stands about 4 1/2 feet tall - and is solid iron - and weighs a ton!!! Add to that, her wings and arms are quite fragile, and she is very, very fun to move around - NOT!

She sat on the patio all winter, but is now in her (maybe) permanent home under the river birch clump. She looks pretty cool.

(And that is all the posting I'll be doing today - I spent the entire afternoon washing windows and screens and putting the screens on the windows for the summer ((because it is 80 degrees out and we need the windows open, after all)) and I am pooped. We're getting takeout and maybe a boat ride and calling it a day!)

April bloomers

A tulip bouquet!!
I planted what I thought were plain yellow and plain red a couple years ago.
I made 2 planting groups - half of each color in each one.
Now I have yellow with red and red with yellow plus a couple plain red and a couple plain yellow. Very interesting! This year only one group is doing well (cold snap I think).
Isn't this pretty?
The inside of that same tulip.

This is a gorgeous red as it matures.
It may be Ile de France - I planted 2 groups of red by the gazebo.
If anyone is interested, I have all this info recorded somewhere.
The memory just isn't gelling anymore - very sad.

Here's a pretty purple planted with the 2 reds.
(Not sure what the "warts" on this one are??)

Mount Hood is turning all white - pretty don't you think?
(I think it is indeed Mount Hood - but still subject to change)

This is a new Keukenhof tulip - Sweet Lady.
She's planted in front of Sweetheart (the yellow and white).
Very pretty - but I'm having trouble getting a good photo of
Sweet Lady and of the two of them together.

And just to show you I'm being very truthful with my garden posts,
MY FIRST DANDELION of the season.
(more to come, I'm sure!)

Friday, April 27, 2007

lots more spring flowers

One of my new tulips from the Keukenhof - "Sweetheart"

Another view of "Sweetheart"

This one is called "Daydream" - it turns orange as it matures!

This is the inside of an old one by the lake - think it's "Pink Impression"

Another view of "Pink Impression" - usually very pink

One of my clematis on the gazebo - reaching for the sky

Brunnera - all of my brunnera started out with wonderful blue flowers
now 95% of them have white flowers
what's up with that???

I had to look in several gardens to find one with blue flowers this year
another photo of one of my lungworts
(the pink buds from yesterday turned into blue flowers)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

another funny post

I just checked Kitt's post for today - and it is good. She found an article about poodles - and lambs - and people - that's pretty funny. To check it out click on THE KITTALOG under "blogs I enjoy" (sorry, I haven't taken the time yet to learn how to do a link within my posts - I will - but not tonight)

I did have blooms today

When I went out to take photos today, the camera battery was really low. I just managed to get these - most that I took were totally out of focus. So I'll have to try again tomorrow. But there are so many things popping into bloom and looking more beautiful every day, I just couldn't skip sharing today!

The first photo is of Purissima - it will turn totally white as it ages. I've had these tulips forever, and I don't think the clump looks very fresh anymore. I'm not sure if that's because of age or because of the late freezes this spring - or maybe both. But I love all of my tulips - old and new - so I hate to see them not produce as well as they get older.

This is a really pretty clump of coral bells - I'm not sure anymore which it is. I'm thinking it gets white flowers when it blooms. If I would just plant something and let it sit forever in the same place, I would know the names. But I have to keep moving things around from garden to garden, and I just can't keep up with it all!

This is another shot of Toronto - what a great color this is turning out to be. I'm surprised that so many of my early tulips seem to be shades of orangey-red. In the photos I think they kind of all look like the same color. In the garden there are lovely subtle differences in color and leaf and shape.

This is Mount Hood or Thalia - I don't think I'll know for sure until I see the other one blooming. But I'm thinking Thalia is a late bloomer - so good possibility this is Mount Hood. Whatever, I think it's very pretty.

This is a species tulip that just opened today. Tried to get a shot of the clump, because very pretty with 8 or so blooming. But camera did not cooperate. This is a shot of the inside - kind of cool.

This isn't a great shot - but finally got a white anemone to go with my blue ones. They're scattered all over several gardens - and only a few even coming up and blooming. If they increase over the next few years, they'll be great. This year they just look kind of silly!

This is the first lungwort to bloom this year. I love these little guys. The foliage is so cool - and the blooms change from pink to blue or blue to pink. I think they're so fun. Hopefully, sometime while they're blooming I can get a good close-up shot of the flower. (darn camera!) I have several different kinds - and, of course, they've all been moved so many times, I don't know which is which anymore.

Here's my Delft Blue hyacinth. The garden smells so wonderful! This is a really nice hyacinth - full bloom and great color. I can't wait to see the yellow ones (if any of them even show up!).

Here is an older hyacinth - the color is kind of pretty - very bright. But it sure looks skimpy compared to Delft Blue. Still smells good though!

some decorations in my gardens

Several years ago, my parents, who live in south Texas, went into their local garden center and entered a drawing for a "free fountain." A week or two later, they received a phone call saying they had won! When they got to the garden center, they found out they had won the beautiful fountain pictured here. They kept it for one winter and then brought it back to Minnesota the next summer. It has resided in my garden since then.
The girl (Gisele, I think is her name) stands about 42" tall, and the total fountain stands 5 1/2'. It's surrounded by beautiful pink and white roses. And in a month or two, the ugly space behind it in these photos will be filled with nice green plants and vines. It sits right outside our screen porch, and provides the most wonderful background music whenever we're out there.

Here's another view that shows the base too.
I absolutely love it. When we have to cover it each fall for the winter, I have a pang - my parents really should be enjoying it in Texas all winter long instead of me covering it with a tarp. And each spring when I uncover it, I feel another little pang - my sisters and brother and their families would no doubt love it as much as I do. But then I get over it and just ENJOY! It's a truly lovely part of my summer gardens, and I am so happy to have it.

When my parents sold their home in Minnesota and became permanent residents of Texas, they gave me these two cute little wren houses. Last year the wrens built nests in both houses, and I think from the mess they left, they must have used them. We never saw the babies - but hopefully this year we will. I just put them out today, so hope I'm not too late!!
I do computer work for two guys who sell gift items to retail stores. A huge benefit of my job is that I get to buy wholesale from other dealers at the gift mart. There is one place that sells iron garden pieces. Yes, Kris has died and gone to heaven every time she has walked into that showroom!! They have a minimum order that I have managed to meet a couple times - lol - but in the fall they let you buy individual pieces at wholesale prices. The only downside is that I have to wait until the following spring to really enjoy the things I buy. So far, I've managed to keep going!
Last fall I bought this wonderful "lady trellis." I haven't decided exactly where to place her - she looks best with grass behind her instead of trees or buildings - and in our 'burban setting, that isn't easy. But I'll figure it out. Right now she has a pale yellow clematis started at the base, but we'll see... She reminded my neighbor of a Jamaican lady because of the big hat. I think of Gibson Girls because of all the curves. Whatever, I think she'll be a fun addition to this year's garden.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

a few things blooming today

The tulips by the side door - I only have 2 blooms there this year, but they are lovely.

Two views of "Toronto" - one of my new Keukenhof tulips. It has burgundy and green striped foliage. A short tulip, but very pretty.

Two photos of a new daffodil - "Thalia" or is it "Mount Hood" -whichever, it should turn all white as it ages, I think. The yellow daffodil is one I've had for several years.

And my earliest tulip down by the gazebo.