Monday, August 29, 2929

"A Year In My Garden" book available

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Monday, August 15, 2929

"The Art Of The Comfort Room" book

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Monday, August 8, 2929


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Flower for the Day Hesperis 4-30-16

This purple flower has burst out in my gardens and along country roads. It is Hesperis (Hesperis matronalis).
It has many names including dames rocket, damask violet. dames violet, dames wort, dames gilliflower, night-scented
gilliflower queen's gilliflower, rogue gilliflower, summer lilac, sweet rocket, and mother of the evening.
For years I thought this was phlox. They are different in that hesperis has altertnately arranged leaves and four petals per flower 
while phlox has alternate laves and five petals.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Flower for the Day Spanish Blue Bells 4-27-16

Blue bells bring a feeling of peace. These are Spanish Blue Bells (Hyacinthoides hispanica). In comparison to common blue bells
they are a paler blue and have no scent.

The Bluebell

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

By Anne Bronte

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Flower for the Day In the last two Days 4-26-16

I had to take these under the duress of on oncoming hail storm. They have all bloomed in the last 2 days.
Spring has sprung. Enjoy.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Flower for the Day Tulip 4-23

The tulips are winding down and what should appear but this TULIP.  Honest, it has tulip leaves and a tulip stalk.

        Has this happened to you? I showed someone this tulip, that I    had never seen before and they said, "Oh, that's a double tulip.
We have them all the time." 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Don's Blog Family Breakfast 4-23-16

I was having breakfast at a Bob Evans Restaurant and was amazed at the animated loving discussion at the table nearby.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fwd: Flower for the Day Indian Paintbrush 4-22

Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja), also called prairie fire, is a rare visitor to my gardens.

Its red color is intense. Its seeds can remain dormant for years and following biologic activity can begin to grow.
Because it is hemiparasitic it is placed in the broomrape family. It has modified roots (haustoria) which grow until
they come in contact with a host (grass or forb)and penetrate the host extracting water and nutrients.

  This poem is dedicated to GB.

Indian Paintbrush

She tells me that she likes Indian paintbrush
and if she could she says she would have
an entire garden full swaying in the noon breeze
on sunny Summer afternoons.

I smile at the old woman I have known
since I was a little boy.
Helga had a spirit about her.
a blue eyed  mule of a woman.

She still talks about the time I misbehaved
and she paddled me good.
I acted as if my entire world fell apart.
She smiles "I am glad I don't have to spank you now."
A slight trace of German accent still whispers through.

She tells me about the days in Nazi Germany
before and after the war. Days of eating
Frozen potatoes and  nights shivering
in a bomb shelter.
How she met the young soldier
learning of his kindness and love.

They raised eight strong children together
Four boys and four girls
Through long where house hours
and picking crops on the weekends
they all went to college.

Now she looks across her yard
at her perfect tulips
and her daffodils.
She wishes she had
Indian paintbrushes.

I think to myself yes
Isn't freedom wonderful? 

Flower for the Day Azalea 4-21

Azaleas are flowering shrubs in the genus Rhododendron. So all azaleas are rhododendrons.
My azaleas are over 30 years old and are beginning to show it. Some have died off and have      
 been replaced. I have two kinds: Herbert  has a 'single' flower and blooms first, and Karen has a 
'double' flower and blooms several weeks later.

Below is Herbert with a 'single' bloom (one row of petals).

Below is Karen with a 'double 'row of petals. This is called hose in hose.