Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

A (Late) Homage to Spring

May 21, 2019

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I realize that I’m a little late in paying homage to the beauty of Spring around our house since the Cumberland Plateau is now experiencing summer-like temperatures. But Spring is a beautiful season and we love seeing the yard come alive with color.

Crocus are the first Spring blossoms to make an appearance. Since crocus are also a favorite menu item for the critters around here we don’t have many left, but the ones we do have are always welcome.

Daffodils come next, and since the critters don’t like them very much we have quite a few different varieties showing off in our flower beds.

The white Mount Hood daffodil is a favorite, and is always beautiful.

We’re never quite sure what to expect with tulips. Every critter in the area seems to love to snack on them. But we have had several flowers bloom, some with unusual shapes but beautiful colors.

Others have a more traditional shape, but are just as beautiful.

Sometimes the interior of a tulip blossom is as pretty as the exterior.

Spring, Wherefore Art Thou?

March 19, 2019

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I admit it: I’m tired of the cold, I’m tired of gray skies and I’m tired of rain. I want to see blue skies and some color in the ground. I want to see scenes like these.

I wish I could say these beauties were from our yard, but they’re not. One thing My Beautiful Bride and I try to do each Spring is get to Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, to enjoy the spring flowers in the Walled Garden.  These pictures are from a visit we made a couple of years ago.

 

 

I love the way they plant their flowers — everything looks just right when they are all in bloom.

And as pretty as the blossoms are up close, the entire garden is a thing of beauty when seen at a distance from an overlook on the grounds.

All I can say is . . . COME ON SPRING!!!

Sempervivum

January 8, 2019

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My mother had sempervivum in her flower garden when I was growing up. Of course, back then I didn’t know they were sempervivum — she always called them ‘Hens and Chickens’ since the mature plant was surrounded by smaller, younger plants.

My Beautiful Bride and I discovered sempervivum when we moved to the Glade and had many rocky spots where nothing but weeds seemed to thrive. Sempervivum thrived there as well, and so we planted some around your yard.

Sempervivum get their name — ‘always alive’ — because they survive all seasons. Even when everything else in our yard has turned brown in winter, the sempervivum are still colorful.

We’ve been surprised at the wide variety of shapes and colors in the sempervivum. That makes it hard to pick a favorite.

The Yellow Day Lilies of Tennessee

July 31, 2018

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The other day I was working in the yard when ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’ came on my iPod. Now I don’t know much about yellow roses in Texas, but I have some experience with yellow day lilies in Tennessee, so I thought I would share a few of them with you.

The beauty above is Buttered Popcorn. It is one deepest, richest yellow I’ve seen on any plant. One of the nice things about Buttered Popcorn is that it re-blooms throughout the season.

Carolyn Criswell is a bright yellow day lily that we’ve enjoyed for enjoyed for several years. It is not a re-bloomer.

Lemon Vista is a pale yellow day lily. It is also a re-bloomer.

I may be cheating just a little with Star Struck since it has some orange in its blossoms. Star Struck has one of the largest blossoms on our day lilies, and it, too, is re-bloomer.

Savannah Debutante has beautiful double blossoms. This is a relatively new addition to our yard.

We have some other day lilies with other shades of yellow in them. Perhaps, if ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’ comes up on my iPod again, I will share some of these with you.

Saint Patrick Rose

August 22, 2017

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One of the newer roses that Betsy and I have in our garden is Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick is a hybrid tea rose that does very well in hot weather, which we’ve had plenty of over the past two years.

When Saint Patrick buds, the yellow buds are tinged with green (some people say chartreuse) — see the photo above, and the hotter the weather the more green there is along the edges.

But as the flower opens the green starts to fade away, and the yellow becomes more pronounced. This picture was taken the day after the one above.

By the third day there is very little green left, and the blossom is a beautiful yellow or gold. The blossoms are quite large and last for quite some time.

Saint Patrick is a rose we very much enjoy, especially during the heat of the summer.

Iris in our Yard

May 23, 2017

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I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Betsy and I love flowers and we enjoy having them in our yard.  But what type of flower works best for us?  Betsy loves tulips, but so do the chipmunks that live around us.  Roses are beautiful, but they take a lot of work.  We both like lilies, but so do chipmunks and deer.  As you can see, finding the perfect flower to grow here in the is not easy.

We have had success with iris however, and this year they have been putting on quite a show.  The iris above is Eugenia King.


Bountiful Harvest is one of Betsy’s favorite irises.  She really likes the colors of this one.


Cantina is one of my favorites.  I love the purple color with the steaks of blue in the falls.


Eggnog has a vibrant color, but I almost always get thirsty when I see this iris.


I really think Goodnight Kiss is a beautiful iris, but I really like the goodnight kisses of my Beautiful Bride much better.

Autumn Iris

November 8, 2016

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Betsy and I are fortunate to be able to enjoy iris at various locations in our yard.  I like iris not only because they are beautiful but also because they require relatively little care (unlike our roses!).

When Betsy and I started getting serious about our yard, we discovered that there were such things as reblooming iris.  Most of the iris we have are rebloomers, so we can enjoy the blossoms twice a year.  It’s rather like doubling our pleasure.

The iris in the header is Cantina.  This beauty has been in our yard for several years, and I always marvel at the color.

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Clarence is another iris that we’ve enjoyed over the years.  It is in the flower bed near the road, so we share it with people passing by.

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One of our newer iris is Lemon Duet.  This is actually the first time it has bloomed for us in October, but we’re very glad it did.

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My Friend Jonathan has been a good friend and has put on a spring and autumn show ever since he joined our yard.

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Double Your Fun is a newer iris for us as well.  The drought kept it from developing normally, but the colors are still gorgeous, so I could leave it out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our autumn iris blossoms as much as we do.

The Women in My Life

August 23, 2016

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They say confession is good for the soul.  I hope ‘they’ are right, because I feel I really should confess about some of the ladies in my life.  If you go beyond this paragraph, however, you have to promise not to tell Betsy about my confession.

One of the first ladies I see each summer is Janice Brown.  She’s very pretty and perky, as you can tell by the photo above.

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I must admit to being partial to blondes, and the bright yellow of Carolyn Criswell is always a delight to see.

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Judith is somewhat shy, but she is always a joy to have around.

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I have a great deal of Irish in me, so I suppose it’s natural that I’ve been drawn to Dublin Elaine.  In my mind there aren’t many like her in this world.

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Of course it’s hard to think of the Irish without picturing fiery redheads.  Lady Lucille definitely fits that description.

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Last, but not least, is Lady Elizabeth.  I suppose I shouldn’t feel too guilty about seeing her; after all Betsy’s first name is Elizabeth.

There — you have my confession.  I wonder when I’ll start to feel better?

Spring Has Sprung

March 26, 2015

2015 -- FFG Spring Flowers (March Daffodils)

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In the last few days we’ve had beautiful weather and Spring bulbs have burst into bloom.  We have several varieties of daffodils in our flower beds, and these have all brightened our days this week.

Unfortunately, we’re predicted to have two nights of below-freezing temperatures Friday and Saturday.  We can only hope we have some of these blossoms around on Sunday morning.

Our New Roses This Year

November 8, 2013

2013 -- New Roses

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I’m sure it comes as now surprise that Betsy and I grow and love roses.  We have 57 varieties of roses in our yard.  I think our rose garden has stopped growing, but we still need to replace roses once in a while.

This year we had three new roses in our yard.  The rose on the left in the collage above, Milestone, is a rose we first saw at Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina, last year.  I found it offered this Spring and ordered it.

The other two roses both came from Heirloom Roses.  Helen Traubel, the rose in the middle, is an ‘old’ rose.  It was introduced in 1951, but it has a beautiful color and very nice fragrance.  The rose on the right is Something Special.  It is a fairly new rose.  I like the way the white outer petals frame the yellow center.