Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On Our Way to the Mountains!

A new season of mountain air!
Will visit with you soon, friends...

For The Love of Irises

Good morning friends! I'm sorry I have been absent for awhile, but we finally got the yard sale out from under us, selling a lot and donating what was left. In our county there is a place that sells items with all proceeds going to help battered women, so we donate pretty much everything we ever get rid of to them. Its a win-win for everyone. We now have a clean(er!) attic and garage, and others can benefit from relatively good items that we no longer need.

So, now it's time for us to sit back and enjoy the fruit of our labors in the garden, as most of the tall bearded irises are now in bloom. I took a few photos shortly after the sun came up this morning as the yard gets too sunny in the afternoon to take worthwhile pictures.If you hate irises and gardens, stop right here and wait for my next post!  Just joking ;~)

 Our shady fountain garden at the base of our deck
is looking pretty good now.
The hostas and ferns are popping,
and the hellebores are still in bloom.
It doesn't get much better than this!

These are the irises at the back border.
You may recall that this garden is less than
two years old,
and is mostly composed of irises and daylilies
that I had dug out when they weren't doing well
in other areas.
This is looking towards the left of the yard...

...and this is to the right of the yard...

Here are some of my prized beauties up close!
You can tell that the sprinkler system had come on
a few hours before these photos were taken.
Almost as pretty as dewdrops I think...

This is an example of how large one plant got
after I moved it.
It was originally just one sad little blade
sticking out of the pine straw...

While most of granny's irises were purple,
they are now being bred for more unusual

...and extraordinary color combinations...

...which are the ones I go for...

These two-tone plants are stunning...

...but I also love this solid-colored one with
its ruffles.
Such a gorgeous shade of blue-lavender...

This one has a contrasting beard
which you can see down near the throat...

When this show is over,
the interplanted daylilies will take over,
and there will be a totally different look to the garden,
seen here with the garden shed to the back...

The other daylily and iris garden is seen in front,
with the rest of the yard seen in back of it...

More plants previously started
sit on the deck's table,
and are not quite ready to be planted...

After all, a gal's gotta have something new to look
forward to after the tall bearded iris have gone by!

What makes a real gardener?
I think that I may possibly be one.
We were supposed to leave for the mountains today to open up the getaway place,
but my last order of daylilies is supposed to be delivered today,
and since they arrive as bare-root,
I couldn't bear to have them sit around till whenever we got back home.
I dug the holes yesterday so that most of the work would be done.
I didn't think that Mr. Perch would go for it,
but, amazingly he did!
He would deny his love for the gardens if you asked him about them.
But I see him walking around the yard looking at them.
He even took a video of the yard the other day and sent it to me.
Who can figure?!
How are you spending your time these days?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Immortality: Standing Proud and Strong

"In every flower that blooms around,
Some pleasing emblem we may trace:
Young love is in the myrtle found,
And memory in the pansy's grace
Peace in the olive brance we see,
Hope in the half-shut IRIS glows,
In the bright laurel victory,
And lovely woman in the rose."

Published by Cassell and Company, Limited
London, Paris & Melbourne
Prior to 1891


Standing straight and tall,
proud and strong,
and visible from across our yard
is a beautiful white iris...

She set her buds and was ready to bloom
right before a surprise early spring
hard freeze hit.
She was not daunted by the freeze.
She was not daunted by the wind.
Shortly thereafter a second,
and more fierce,
freeze hit.
By this time her buds were ready to open,
so I feared that we would lose them all.
But she was not daunted by Mother Nature,
and she continued to bloom...

...pure white with yellow beards...

...and the slightest pale lavender at her throat...

I have divided and shared her many times.
She is now in several spots in our gardens.
She was one of the least expensive
 and most common
bearded iris that I have ever purchased,
but her beautiful fragrance abounds
and she perserveres as one of the
earliest bloomers in the garden.

Her name is Immortality.


Today I am linking with Wen's Simply Neutrals Tuesday,
and you can join the fun here.

Thanks, Wen!!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Just think...

At the end of 2015 I purchased an inexpensive 2016 calendar. The company that printed it is "DaySpring", and the tag line under the company name is "Your heart. God's love". The cardboard that supported the calendar was not just a plain piece of cardboard; on it was printed the most beautiful sentiment which was credited to Roy Lessin, the DaySpring co-founder. This has been sitting on my desk ever since, and I read these words of inspiration every time at sit down to post to this blog. Here I would like to share it with you.

"Just think,
you're here not by chance,
but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you 
and made you 
the person you are.
He compares you to no one else--
you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing
that His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation."

Underneath this sentiment was also printed the following,
a verse which we have all seen before
and one of my personal favorites:

To every thing there is a season, 
and a time to every purpose under the heaven.


I thought I'd share the photo of the baby in the pram.
I haven't shared a photo with friends in a while,
and wanted you to have this beauty.
Right click and save to your computer.
I wonder what God's purpose was for her?
For me?
For any of us?

I guess that time will tell.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Husband and a Garden

Hello friends. Do you remember me? I'm sorry that I have been away, but we had no longer spent a bunch of time working in the yard and gardens, when a week of stress descended upon us. My husband found out the week before Easter that his brother had suddenly passed away, and as soon as he found out when the services were to be held (in Massachusetts), he set about making plane reservations on Good Friday to leave the next Tuesday. I was outside working, came in to fix us some lunch, and Bob started having some strange symptoms, including nausea, high fever, the chills, and odd breathing. I called 911 and they transported him to the hospital where he spent the first couple of days in ICU and was then moved to a regular room. After five days of testing just to rule out possibilities, it turned out to be nothing too serious, but it was a scare nevertheless. Needless to say, he did not make his brother's service and that caused him additional upset. The medical staff said that stress likely played a hand in it all, and I do believe it probably did. He came home last Wednesday, and is doing pretty good now. Whew! Of course he started doing things around the house the other day as he is getting antsy and said that he can only spend so much time lazing around watching TV. 

He desired a return to reality on Monday, so he mowed the lawn and I planted some new daylilies that I had previously ordered, and were delivered while he was in the hospital. I also transplanted some old things that were doing poorly in their original spots. A few weeks ago Bob had doubled the size of one of my gardens, shown on this post (the first photo of the kidney-shaped space). So that opened some space for me to add new plants this spring and summer.

Here is the garden right after Bob 
dug out the lawn,
which wasn't growing very well anyway.
The garden shed is in the background,
and beautiful purchased garden soil in
the wheelbarrow.
Is there something wrong with me in that I get more excited
about good dirt than I do about a new pair of shoes?...

This is the second order of daylilies; the first order was planted
a couple of weeks ago.
I mainly only order them from daylily farms,
and this particular batch came from Oakes Daylilies.
They are in Tennessee, and send out the most beautifully
healthy, large, freshly-dug clumps,
and at fair prices too!...

Here is a different view of the same space...

Trust me when I say, we have terrible soil 
in this area. 
If I threw a clump of it at your head,
it would be akin to being hit by
a piece of concrete
(not that I would do this to anyone!)
For every hole I dig, I have to throw that
soil into the woods away from the yard, 
and then fill the hole with good composted
soil. It takes about three years of doing 
this to finally have a garden that is friendly
to plants.
And it takes about three weeks for
my back to recover from a day of doing this.
While I was digging holes,
I decided to also transplant some older daylilies
and irises that were not doing to well in other
sections of the yard.
Behind them you see the older plants that
we put into this garden two years ago,
and they are very happy!...

In the front of this photo, you can see what the soil
naturally looks like here.
Do you see how grey and clumpy it looks?...

And here I go with the plant identifiers,
made out of cheap cut-up mini blinds.
I have mentioned before that No. 2 pencil
lasts the longest, and I only have to refresh 
them every two or three years.
As soon as I order my plants,
I make up the tags so that when my plants
arrive I can quickly get them in the ground...

So here is one now planted.
This year I also used drinking straws to 
identify which daylily farm I ordered them from.
I ordered from four different farms,
so am going to watch which ones do the best.
The straws will also tell me which ones I will
water a bit more this summer...

So now the garden looks a little funny,
with the plants and soil in place,
getting ready to mulch...

I initially mulched only around the new plants,
because more are coming and
I'm not yet sure where I will put them...

In our back garden there are some pretty 
daffodils and tulips
growing at the front border.
I bought some bulbs last fall and planted half
at The Wren's Nest and half here.
These white beauties are Thalia daffodils...

...and these others came from a Walmart bag of
mixed tulip bulbs called "Dual Fancy".
Tulip bulbs here often get consumed by voles,
so I was amazed at how well these did...

The following photos are not very good due to the shade,
but you can see the daffodils and tulips mixed in
with more irises and daylilies. 
By the time the aforementioned start to die back,
the latter will take over.
Irises first and then the daylilies,
each taking its turn in the garden,
and camouflaging the plants that have gone by...

I thank you for staying with me on this
photo-heavy post.
One of these days maybe I'll even have time 
for some artwork!

I hope that you are having a wonderful week.