Tag Archives: flowers

Who knew they could break your heart?

 

We had a really wet, cool fall last year with a really wet, cool spring this year…. and it was rough on the landscaping. The blueberry bushes look punky, the rhododendrons are spindly and we had 2 deaths.

While garden deaths usually don’t make me cry, these did.

For those of you who don’t know, my mother died July of 2014 from Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, and it was rough. I’m an only child and lost my dad when I was 15. I never knew my grandparents.

She was my family. Pretty much all of it.

Mom hated the fuss of funerals and wanted to be cremated. Said it was up to me to decide what to do with her ashes. Since she loved spending time at our home and enjoyed our gardens, I planted a tulip tree with part of her nourishing the soil.

 

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The tree had been growing well since then, but didn’t survive the winter and spring. We had to remove it…. and I cried.

Cried.

Silly, I know. And yes, I can always plant another one, but somehow it just feels…. wrong.

Then there was the beautiful red rose our neighbor gave me to mark her passing.

 

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It was stunning, and always filled with riotous blooms.

I would walk by, think of my mother and smile.

I mean damn…

 

 

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The crazy thing would even bloom in the snow.

I figured nothing would kill it… and then we had a really cool, wet fall and a really cool, wet spring.

 

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Yeah.

The beauty that I’d been enjoying for years…. gone. Just like my mom.

And I cried.. again. I couldn’t help it.

But I decided to replace the rose.

 

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With this flashy lady.

 

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The blooms looked almost painted….

 

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Which made sense when I removed the tag.

 

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I’ve always loved impressionist paintings, so that felt right.

 

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Fingers are crossed this one does well.

I think my mother would have approved.

 

If there’s any better smell….

 

I don’t know what it is.

 

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Freshly cut lilacs.

 

 

Okay, I totally want a pair of crab scissors now.

 

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These two huge lilac bushes live on the side of our house.

 

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(That’s my vase on the ground to the right of them for scale.)

When we moved here 17 years ago there wasn’t much in the way of landscaping , but thankfully there were lilacs.

 

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One white…

 

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One dark purple.

Naturally, my favorite was always the paler shade…. but beggars can’t be choosers.

My girlfriend gave me a pale one 3 years ago, but it’s got a long way to go to catch up to it’s siblings.

 

 

Come on little fella, you can do it.

 

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Of course, from the pace of growth…

I’ll probably be dead before it blooms.

 

 

Good thing the white one is prolific.

 

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Ah….

Lilacs!

Babies!

 

Remember the dandelion eating woodchuck I posted about a while back?

We’ve discovered she lives under our barn.

And yes, she’s a she because…

 

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She has babies!

Baby chuckers… can I get an awwwww?

 

 

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They’re just too cute.

Four in total …but I rarely see them together long enough to get a photograph.

Three is the most I’ve captured so far.

 

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Sweetness!

 

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Here’s one trying to hide under my iron garden bird.

 

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Well, not quite.

More like…

 

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This little one seems to like our back deck.

 

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You can hear him scurrying for cover under the grill… then catch him checking to see if the coast is clear.

 

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This looked like trouble…

 

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But after a few nibbles, he decided he didn’t like geraniums…which was good news for me.

 

 

 

I hate to tell you, but this probably won’t be the last of the baby chucker pics.

You’ve been warned.

 

When I die….

 

My epitaph shall read:

Here lies River

She was swallowed by a quince bush.

 

 

 

This is the bush from Hell that lives and multiplies like a rabbit on our property.

 

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Every fall we wack it down to a manageable level, and every spring it comes back with a vengeance.

 

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Yes, the blooms are lovely.

 

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And yes, the bumblebees enjoy it.

 

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Pardon the bee butt shots. Apparently they’re camera shy.

 

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But damn.

It’s only June and the pink spawn of Satan is already reaching the roof line.

 

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So if I should disappear this summer?

Grab a machete and come get me….

 

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It’s already got three window exits blocked.

 

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I fear the doors are next.

 

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Because I’m a very technical gardener.

 

My back is breaking, but the annual planting of annuals is done.

(See what I did there? Word play. I live for that shit.)

 

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A nice combination of pink and white for the stone wall bed.

 

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There’s this pretty daisy-ish one…

 

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And the pink tinged green leafy thingies.

 

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(See what I mean by technical?

Please try to keep up with the detailed scientific plant descriptions.

There may be a quiz.)

 

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I liked this purple violet thingamabob…

 

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So I planted 3 with a couple of petunias.

 

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A few coleus for the only little plot of shade we have.

 

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It will be a miracle if I can keep the slugs off them this year.

I plant, they eat. Slimy little bastards…

Note to self – buy more salt.

 

 

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Orange lilies…

 

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Spikey purple whatchamacallit, an impatient and two soft fuzzy green mounds.

 

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I don’t think the fuzzies bloom…

 

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But they’re silky, delicate and sweet, so I don’t care.

 

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Every year the husband says he’s going to tear down our rotting shed, and every year he doesn’t, so I plant yellow and orange stuff in front of it.

Like this whozit which has both.

 

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If you can recite all the Latin names for those plants?

Bravo.

I tend to read them on the tags at the nursery and then forget them as soon as I get home.

 

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That won’t work.

I don’t know enough rappers.

 

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That’s better.

I do love me some Cleese.

 

 

 

 

 

A modern fairy tale.

 

Once upon a time there was a Princess.

We shall call her….

River.

 

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(River has been called a lot of things in her day, but never a Princess.

So if you’re calling?

Make it loud.)

 

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Princess River loves her flowers. She plants them whenever and wherever she can.

And since the Princess lives in a kingdom that’s covered by snow and ice half of the year?

 

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She takes her plantings seriously.

 

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When she first moved into her castle, she toiled long and hard until she had the biggest and most beautiful garden bed in the land.

In early summer it sprouted stunning displays of Lupine….

 

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And myriads of other riotous, colorful blooms all season long.

 

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Princess River was content.

 

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This went on for many happy years until her husband, the evil Prince, started mowing in close proximity to the bed. He also mowed in the wrong direction.

Bad Prince.

Bad!

She asked him to be more careful.

She pleaded with him to go the other way.

But month after month the dastardly toad blew grass clippings in to her carefully tended flower garden.

 

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(You do.

And I shall…)

The Princess weeded, she turned the soil, she mulched….  but to no avail.

After a year or two, the grass took over.

 

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It choked all Princess River’s lovely flowers to death.

 

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Princess River was not happy.

She had to leave the castle and hump 12 bags of mulch across the moat.

 

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She had to wack down all her blooms, rake up the dead bodies, reset the brick border, lay weed block paper, re-mulch and reset the pavers that anchored the Royal Bath of Birds.

The sky darkened. The wind blew.

It started to rain.

And she ran out of mulch.

 

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(Mathematical coverage formulas were never her strong suit.)

Princess River had to abandon her project when a deluge of biblical proportion battered her royal self.

 

 

 

She will be victorious…. someday.

Until then she will slowly plot her revenge upon the evil Prince and his heinous grass cutting machines.

She will plan carefully.

The punishment must fit the crime.

 

 

 

 

Pink sky at night….

 

Sailor’s delight.

Pink sky in morning….

Sailors take warning.

 

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Our backyard sky Sunday morning.

 

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Uh oh.

 

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Our weather has been wacky lately.

Bright sun and 55 degrees one day….

Cold, snow and bitter wind the next.

 

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Oh well..

We’ll get there eventually.

 

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But not today….

 

 

Me, shoveling Tuesday morning…..

And not really enjoying April.

Come on spring!

 

 

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Nothing blooming here but snowflakes…

But that doesn’t mean I can’t import a little now and then.

 As for the upcoming holiday?