Sunday, August 31, 2008

September? September? September? Really?

We're entering September, and can anticipate the beginning
of one of the loveliest, showiest seasons!

Photos taken August 31, 2007
(American Pokeweed - Phytolacca americana)

This is something I found to Muse upon.
Hence, a Muse Day post.

"Simplicity in all things is the
secret of the
wilderness and one of its most
valuable lessons. It is
what we leave behind that is
important. I think the
matter of simplicity goes further
than just food,
equipment, and unnecessary
gadgets; it goes into
the matter of thoughts and
objectives as well.
When in the wilds, we must not
carry our problems
with us or the joy is lost."
---Sigurd Olson

Mark Twain was once asked if he wouldn't like to go off on holiday. He replied, "I'd be glad to, if only I didn't have to take that fella, Mark Twain, with me." Like Mark Twain, we often take "that fella" along with us when we go outdoors for recreation. our problems, worries, and other mental baggage usually tag along with us. Being so preoccupied with our internal world keeps us from feeling our unity with the natural world.

When you go out into nature, leave your everyday plans and concerns behind. Freeing yourself in this way will allow you to experience nature's cleansing and rejuvenating power.

the above was taken from Listening to Nature by Joseph Cornell

(Canada Thistle)

We are looking forward to a day with friends (tomorrow - Labor Day). I plan to take the above advice and not look ahead at the calendar until we return home. :-) For other Muse Day posts, visit Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home Chicago.

Have a fun day. Best regards. Shady G.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A little of this; A little of that!

I'll be gone, again, for a few days.
I'm leaving to visit my parents in north central Iowa (Clear Lake) from Monday through Thursday.
I won't begin tutoring again until September 2, so this is a good time to leave!

Hate to leave my garden, but I've been working pretty hard lately.

Here's "what's happening" around here, right now.

On Tuesday morning, a couple of my neighbor friends came over to make birdbaths... yes, I'm at it again! :-) Anyway, a total of five birdbaths and six stepping stones were created. This morning (Friday) was the unveiling!

This little fellow's "companion" was given away before a photo was taken. He's pretty cute... a nice smaller size.

This is a little "before" and "after."

Two of my neighbor friends created their first birdbaths.
The one on the left is "traditional," while the second one had no plastic wrap between the leaf and the sand, so the concrete that went outside the leaf had sand stuck to it. Actually, it really turned out neat! ;-)

I know IVG has found something he likes a lot better than impatiens, but how can you beat the colorful display out front??? I planted a few impatien plants, but most of these came up from seed (they reseeded, I didn't plant them!). They're getting a lot more sunlight, now that we're missing the front tree, but they're still doing well. There's Sweet Flag variegated iris to the extreme left, a sedum that I don't know, Corydalis flexuosa "Blackberry Wine" that is a new planting this year, and Stonecrop Sedum "Diamond Edge."

"Diamond Edge"
This is Tricyrtis, Toad Lily, "Blue Wonder."
Again, one of the new plantings that is blooming before the established plants.
But that's A-OK in my book! ;-)

Again, we have Monarch caterpillars taking over the Ascelpias tuberosa, "Butterfly Milkweed."
Those little orange fellows on the stems are aphids. Click to see what happened last year. (See if this link takes you to both posts.)

This is the smallest of the three. This makes me smile!

You might remember Stonecrop Sedum "Purple Emperor" from an earlier post as well. He made quite an impression on several people... here's the post where you'll catch a couple of glimpses of him. He's in full bloom right now. He makes quite the commanding statement. :-)

This is the crowned prince of the stonecrop sedum collection, I think. He's called "Pink Chablis," with variegated foliage... some even begins growing pure white. Anyway, these two flowerheads are from the same plant. Scroll down to photo three.

Of course, I really, really like Stonecrop Sedum "Matrona," also. She's the matriarch in this bed. She gets pretty tall with an strong presence. She doesn't show off quite as much as Purple Emperor (you can see him back there), but I have a feeling she runs the show! ;-)

Stonecrop Sedum "Autumn Joy" is also back there... right next to "Purple Emperor." She's not blooming quite yet. She takes her time...

These are non-hardy tuberoses that my mom gave me last Fall. They're in a good-sized pot. They are multiplying, so I hope to share a few next Spring. They're also very fragrant. :-)

Here's my platycondon "Balloon Flower" (double white) in its new home. She now resides in a raised bed. I know she'll be much happier here. :-) She still lists to the left (hopefully this will be remedied next year). You might remember when she used to call to me... check this post, about halfway down.

My new hosta, "Alligator Shoes" has taken the balloon flower's place next to the compost pile.

Last, but not least, Check It Out!! I believe we'll have our first ripe tomato tomorrow!
(We haven't had produce since we moved here!!! Except for wimpy rhubarb, parsley and chives.) I picked (probably our only) a green pepper yesterday! Fresh Salsa!!! :-)

This is definitely not shady,
but I am! ;-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just a Moment...

A Right Moment in Time

Susan spied him the moment he entered

he stood at the far eastern end.

She shyly cast glances upon him

wondering what was he was there to attend.

His expression was woefully sullen

as though he had come to ‘the end…’

She wondered and wondered about him.

Might he she entreat as a friend?

He was pitifully dressed and downtrodden;

his clothes sorely needed a mend.

She’d never used thread or a needle,

Inept, she could clearly not mend.

It was then that she fondly remembered

attire that perhaps she might wend

from a closet way down in the basement.

Would he his pride or his honor defend?

Oh, whether or not she could find them,

Oh, whether or not she might lend,

Oh, whether or not they would fit him,

On which matter would this finally depend?

She found them, she tried them, they fit.

He accepted them, they’re on the right track!

Susan’s generosity has given new meaning

to “giving the shirt off one’s back!”

Slightly silly, perhaps slightly "Shady," and we're still in the garden! ;-)
Have a nice evening!

Yes, this was written by "Yours truly." Just enjoy it. You really shouldn't copy it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Susan Scare-the-Birds

You may remember meeting my little friend,
Susan Scare-the-birds, earlier.

She's been wanting to be outdoors all summer, and it's my fault that she's been held hostage indoors. However, she's finally happily standing guard in the raised beds. It's so dry out there, however, that I had to dig a hole to sink her post. Consequently, I will have to water the ground to settle it so she doesn't fall over in the event that we should receive rain before long. ;-)

Doesn't she look happy? My most serious threat is whatever has attacked my Kopper King hibiscus. Click on the photo. If you look very closely, KK is at Susan's right... just past one tall, sad-looking (wanting for rain) purple phlox. Ooooooh, isn't that a painful sight? I hope Susan's middle name includes "Scare-the-pests!" :-)

P.S. My neighbor has trimmed bushes and cut a couple of trees, so the raised beds are getting just a bit more sunlight! Yea!!

Still Shady, but enjoying the sunlight, too.

8/21/08 - we are receiving rain today! Yea!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and Green Thumb Sunday

Have you ever tried to be in two different places at the same time?
I seem to schedule myself this way, periodically.
It never works! ;-)

I'm attempting a GBBD a bit belatedly,
and the Green Thumb Sunday, simultaneously!

I was thrilled to see, when I returned home last Tuesday,
a tiny blossom in one of my garden beds.
I'd planted 4 hardy cyclamen bulbs earlier... and look what happened!
(It's not much bigger than the tip of my index finger.)

This hosta is Diana Remembered.
I think these white blossoms are quite lovely.

Surprise lilies, anyone?
This was taken on the SW front of the house.
If you look carefully, you'll see where two trees were removed.

This is in the backyard.

And a close-up. Yes, I'd just watered.
It's very dry here!

When bright flowers bloom
Parchment crumbles, my words fade
The pen has dropped ...
- Morpheus -

Have a great day! :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Fairest Flower?

Here's something for you to enjoy!!! Not in the prairie, not in the garden... but within the Olympic context. ;-)(An Olympian) ;-o

And More! :-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It Was Necessary...

Before leaving for Michigan, it was determined that some of our trees needed to be removed.
Cutting trees is difficult, but sometimes necessary.

This is a "Before" Photograph, taken July 31, 2008.
You might notice that the tree in the center front of the yard is actually comprised of three separate Shagbark Hickory trees that had grown from three separate seeds and competing for root and sun-space. I also noticed each tree had become quite tall and spindly; each having 1/3 of the total canopy on one side of its trunk. During the wind storm just prior to my leaving for Michigan, it became apparent that at least one of them would probably be landing on the house before too long. You might also notice their close proximity to the house. There are also four trees in front of the south end of the house... one small one very near the large one on the corner and one "lighted" one close to another at its left. The two center ones had to go, too. Too little root space, as well as canopy space, for so many trees within 5-6 feet of the house!)

At any rate, these trees, along with a few others, were cut down while I was in Michigan. This is how the front of the house looks now. I really miss the beauty of the front canopy, but we will plant a good, straight oak tree a bit further from the house in the front yard this Fall. And then I'll feel better.

After, taken August 12, 2008
After - another view
There were also two tall trees on the north side of the garage. One was much larger than the other, and was leaning dangerously over the garage (you can see it behind the wooden screen). It had to go. The top of the other was dying, (it's the split one in the sunlight) as it was growing into the canopy of a Much larger tree to its north. It also had to go.


It's really bare "up north." I really miss the trees, but will be planting something before too long.


This is of the south backyard "woodland walk" area. One more tree was taken from this crowded area... behind the bench. It was not huge, but it was leaning towards the neighbor's house, in search of sunlight. We didn't think it needed to work that hard. And we would not like to have our neighbors be apprehensive over our trees. (They had two removed that were leaning over their house, too!)
It's not as Shady, but it'll be okay.

Thank you

Thanks to Dirty Fingernails
(who also has a blog entitled Back Away from the Mom's Jeans)
for nominating me for a blog award. :-)
1. Post the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 7 other people for this award and add links to their blog.
4. Leave a message for those you've nominated.
Here are my nominees:
Garden Author
Clay and Limestone
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
Urban Oasis
Our Little Acre
2 Green Thumbs Up!
Bob's Garden

Nothing "Shady" here! Just great gardeners and great gardens! :-)