Archive for the 'Plants' Category

Poppin’ fresh

Readers of a certain age will remember Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy. Likewise, readers of all ages, and especially those who have lived in or visited southwest Missouri, will be pleased to know that, much like a tube of crescent rolls wanged on a kitchen counter, the local dogwoods officially “popped forth” suddenly on Sunday, April 3, 2016, their eruption following by approximately two weeks that of their their redbud cousins. This redbud/dogwood combo makes any drive through the Ozarks just about achingly lovely.

Our own dogwood, never one to get in a hurry when it’s not absolutely necessary, is currently in the process of popping; his glory should be fully revealed within the next day or two.

I love spring!

They’re in the ground!

This past Saturday, April 13, just two days before our whopping tax bill was due, I planted my seedlings.

I now have four tomato plants in the side yard barrels (all four are “Big Beef”), six tomato plants in pots on the front walk (one more “Big Beef” and five “Early Girls”) and six red pepper plants also in pots on the front walk.  All of those were started from seed in the attic.  In addition, I have one “salsa pot” that houses three cilantro plants and one jalapeno pepper plant that I bought at Wal Mart.  I still have about half a dozen tomatoes in peat pots on the porch, because I didn’t have enough pots for all of them.  I’m saving them for now, in case any of the others go puny and need to be replaced.

I also bought eighteen assorted marigolds and planted them in various places in the big flower bed and the mailbox bed.

This morning, I resumed my morning watering habit, but I can see that I will need to get up earlier on watering days.  It’s growing season!

Title comes to life

It’s gotten cooler here lately.  Actually, it was a lot cooler for several days (lows in mid-30s, highs in upper 50s), but now we’re back to lows in the 50s and highs in the 80s.  Heavenly temps if you ask me.  What it all means is that the trees are just beginning to turn.  Some of them have that “sun-kissed” orangey-pink glow just around the upper edges, and the paper birch outside our bedroom window now sports a lot of bright yellow leaves among the green ones.

It’s the season when it’s harder than usual to keep the porch looking decent, what with all the little seedy, polleny, leafy stuff being blown all over it all the time, and the cooler temps have caused another annual event – walnuts on my windshield.  Yes, we’re back to spatters of tree sap (or is it walnut juice?) all over the van, and one very chilly 35-degree morning this week – let’s see. . . I think it would have been October 6 – there was a nice green walnut (with its associated foliage) perched on the driver’s side of the van’s windshield, right on top of the wiper.  I did take a picture, just before Andrew and I headed into town, and the walnut it did stay wedged there for almost a mile before finally tumbling off.  He pulled he leaves out from under the wiper when we got to our piano teacher’s house.

Ah, walnuts on my windshield.  Life is good.

In the pink

Tonight, Andrew brought me a very special flower.  It’s a Queen Anne’s Lace, but instead of being white, as they usually are, this one is pink. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I see a LOT of that woman’s lace every morning when I walk.

Wild geranium

This morning, Andrew rode his bike down toward Blansit Road to pray, and he came home with a truly lovely collection of wildflowers – for me!  At breakfast, he proudly showed them to me, and I was pretty sure I recognized the pink ones.  They reminded me of wild geraniums, about which I had just a few days ago read an article in The Missouri Conservationist magazine.  I ran upstairs to get the article (neatly filed under “B, R” for bathroom reading) and sure enough, they’re wild geranium!

I then had the nifty idea to put a link in this post to the Conservationist website, so that readers could go to the archives and hopefully see a picture of wild geranium in the May 2010. but right now their current issue June 2010, and their archives only go up through April 2010.   = (  Maybe I should take a picture of the ones on the table, download the picture to my computer, upload it to Flickr and insert a link to it that way.  Well, maybe after I finish cleaning the bathroom, laundering the shower curtain, planning Andrew’s academics and printing his checklists, practicing piano, and husking supper’s corn-on-the-cob.

Iris are blooming!

I think I have failed to mention that our iris have begun to bloom!  This is very exciting news, because last year they did not produce so much as even one blossom.  Of course, the transplanting may have had something to do with that.  Last spring, Scott (with minor assistance me) transplanted some 30 to 40 iris from various points around our property into our front and back flower beds.  It was a lot of work, and we had high hopes for two lovely beds of iris, but that was not to be in 2009.

As of last week, we now have several violet iris blooming in the back bed, and the front bed has both violet and pale yellow.  So far, so good.  Each plant is producing about four blossoms, and there are LOTS of plants that don’t have any buds – yet.  We are expecting all of them to get with the program soon.


I think common sense has finally prevailed.  A couple days ago, I mentioned to Scott that it seemed we had positioned our front dogwood in a lovely but completely impractical spot.  He agreed, and “we” (that would be Josiah digging the new hole, Scott moving the dogwood, and me saying how nice it looked while adding mulch) transplanted it to a shady spot on the far side of the driveway near the ditch.

We think the little puppy will be quite content in its new woodsy location.

Blooming and baking

Early this morning, our lone tulip showed the bare beginnings of two buds. Three hours later, those buds had formed, opened, and absolutely flown past the elegant shapely stage to that splayed-petal, wild-eyed frazzled look that tulips get when they go past their prime.  (That’s the same look I have when life around me shifts from fast to frantic.)  It was a quick show – the tulip, that is – and I’m a little miffed that I missed the main event.

Meanwhile, we still have a few remaining daffodils along the less trodden side of the front walk, but the most impressive display (also historically very short-lived) is the two plum trees along Coffee Road.  Yesterday they began blooming, but today they were in full glory.  They have such beautiful, delicate clusters of flowers, and they smell wonderful.  Unlike the Bradford pear, which also looks stellar, but whose blossoms stink to high heaven!  We only have the one pear tree (ornamental), but the foul stench makes me wonder how people who have them planted in long rows along driveways and sidewalks and such endure these couple weeks.  Actually, maybe Bradford pears would actually produce fruit if the bees could stand to get close enough to them to do the pollinating.  As it is, I’m sure any self-respecting bee avoids a Bradford Pear like the plague.

The plum trees are typically in bloom for only a day or two, and indeed, mid-morning today Jessica told me, “It’s raining plum blossoms!”  The wind has been terrific today, and it’s about 80 degrees now (4:30 PM).

In other news, Scott is leading a 6:00 AM Wednesday men’s meeting with some guys in our home group, and last week he took some of the pear muffins I had made.  Those went over pretty well – so I hear – and he’s wanting to have something yummy for the guys each week.  I made raisin bran muffins a few days ago, but muffins go so fast around here that I told him he’d better label and hide a stash of them, or they won’t exist by Wednesday morning.

That meeting has put me on the lookout for good muffin recipes, and today I whipped out a double batch of Hawaiian Banana Muffins.  We now have 46  muffins and one mini loaf, but I don’t know whether they are any good or not.  Although Scott taste-tested one, I haven’t yet heard the verdict.  Since it’s Tuesday evening, there should be some for him to take tomorrow and plenty left for us to enjoy – at least for a few days.

Still learning disabled

I think last spring I mentioned our dumb daffodils.  Well, they haven’t gotten any smarter with the passage of time.  Today the whole scrawny row of them bloomed, and I will say that that was pretty exciting.  I just love a bloomin’ daffodil!  Right now it’s a Friday afternoon and it’s almost 70 degrees.  The weather is truly lovely, and I enjoyed some relaxing reading on the porch swing in the sun.

BUT the forecast for tonight is lows in the 40s, with rain likely after 1:00 AM.  Then on Saturday, temps are expected to fall from the 40s, and there’s a winter weather advisory for Saturday evening through Sunday evening with “rain, sleet, and snow likely!”

Our daffodils may have stood a chance had they waited a mere three days to bloom.  Life lesson to learn:  Timing is everything.

To make me smile

It’s been a unique Christmas season around here, and I hope to soon blog about some of it, but today I had yet another very sweet reminder of how much God must love me.

This morning, Scott left in the van, (driving for the first time in three weeks, following his ski accident) to take Katie to the airport and go on to work.  It’s always challenging when Katie leaves, but this time I was able to see her off without crying – a major accomplishment!  Then, given all the various oddities of recent weeks, I was big-time blessed to walk back into the house and see that my red verbena is BLOOMING!  In January!!!

It had hung on the porch for most of the summer, blooming every few weeks.  When the weather turned cold, I brought it in and plunked it on top of the plant stand in the living room, not knowing if it was even possible to keep it alive indoors over winter.  It has gotten very leggy, with some stems about a foot long, and today there are a bunch of lovely red flowers at the end of one of the stems!

I’d better go take a picture.  = )

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