Tag Archive: roses

To say that this year’s garden is better than last year’s would be too easy.

Last year we were in the middle of a drought combined with mind-numbing heat. My favorite weather guy started a count of how many days in a row we had above 90 degrees.

If not being able to tolerate that kind of weather makes me a wimp, so be it.

But this year’s garden is different not just because of the milder summer. I have taken a more active role regarding the volunteer plants that are pretty but in the wrong spots.

Side view of the front garden

Side view of the front garden

In the front garden I planned better for the fall in which I have always wanted to have Flowering Cabbage.  The husband picked up several plants for me and I worked it around a mum that was given to me. They are lying low in the front while the mid-section of the garden is filled with white Shasta daisies and purple cone flowers.

I love this section but plantings never seem to survive here. I have mixed in quite a few perennials as well as thrown in hundreds of seeds. Nothing comes back the following year. Early spring seedings fail. Once the season is over I might have to work over the space and have my husband or son overturn part of the space with compost.

Frenchie the dog

Frenchie the dog


My other solution is to fill the site with statuary. This guy used to belong to  a man by the name of Frenchie. But he died and the dog went to our neighbors who sold him when they moved away. Sadly, the last set of owners managed to break off his nose and right paw. My son and his friend retrieved Frenchie from the dump for me and placed him in his new spot. At some point I must repair him.

Hollyhocks and Sunflowers

Hollyhocks and Sunflowers

Now if you look on the west side of the house, you will see Hollyhocks  and Sunflowers co-habitating easily. Black-eyed Susans fill the lower spaces.

Four O'Clocks

Four O’Clocks

But walk a few more steps at the right time of day and you will be greeted by a mass of Four O’Clocks. They prefer to bloom in the shade and get it on that side of the house during morning hours. My grandmother had these on the west side of her house but a tree gave shade in the afternoon so they burst out every day at the end of the day.

Gourd Vine

Gourd Vine

On the other side of the house is a new planting – bird house gourds. The problem is my vines are growing great but there is no fruit. I have flowers but they are not moving into fruit as one would expect. Bees have recently moved into a pillar on the front porch. I am hoping this will begin the fertilization process.

New Growth

New Growth

Finally, I have made progress on the new rose bush. There are budding branches turning into growing green stuff. It is exciting to watch as this plant was delivered to me and needed planting almost immediately. I over-watered at first but then corrected myself, putting the new bush on the same schedule as the old one.

My neighbor states an old proverb about transplanting roses. The first year it survives, the second year it is live, the third year it thrives.

How is your garden growing this summer?


Related posts:

Working in the Spring Garden

 Working the Hosta Bed


Quick Bits

The past few weeks I have been a little busy as the school year wound down and softball/tee-ball season gears up. I also had a paying job to complete. So I took a little break from the blog. I  know some of you make the effort to write something everyday and I applaud you. Sadly, that is not me. Some days you have to say no to something, especially when that something does not pay you.

Today I am going to talk about this and that.

Black Bloc in Toronto, 2010
Photograph by Oliver Lavery, found on ladyoftheheart.blogspot.com



* A week ago, the city north of us had to deal with the NATO Conference, featuring many world leaders. Mrs. Obama took the wives of these leaders to her old neighborhood to show off a positive-action outreach center. Mr. Obama and others worked out how they will leave Afghanistan by 2014. Protesters abounded in the area.

Some, like nurses protesting the closure of mental health centers throughout the city, had a just cause to bring to the public. But then there were the Black Bloc who were there to fight against the police. Reporters heard shouts of “death to cops” and indeed, these people did not show up until the last day wearing masks or scarves over their faces.

On the same weekend in other parts of the city, two young teenage boys lost their lives to gang gunfire. They were not gang members themselves but people who caught in crossfire or mis-identification. If these Black Bloc people really want to do something about the injustices of the world, perhaps they could do something like volunteer in those tough neighborhoods to give kids a safe place to hang out or learn something new. But that would be akin to real bravery.



* Today I saw a story about a Safeway meat department worker who saw a man beating his pregnant girlfriend in the store. So he did what most of us would not and got between them. He stopped the man from beating on the five-month-pregnant woman and hung on to him until the police got there.

So the pregnant-girlfriend-beater was arrested and got off with three years probation. The meat department clerk at first was assured by his manager that his job was safe. The next day, he was suspended with no pay.  This is going to make life rough for the man with a pregnant wife of his own.

Thankfully the residents of the Northern Californian town let Safeway know that they made the  wrong decision. They inundated the Facebook page of Safeway, picketed the market and had a petition up at change.org. If that wasn’t enough, the police chief wrote a letter of support for the man. And he had the support of the mayor.

In the end, the butcher won his job back. There is common-sense in corporate America.



* When I got dressed today, I put on a tee-shirt that says it is a ‘large.’ The surprising part is that it fits, nicely. Maybe this weight-loss thing is working out after all. I increased my distance for walking, added wheat bread and took out white bread, maintained eating as much fruit and veggies through the day as possible and continued drinking at least eight cups of liquid daily.

Sometimes when I look at current photos, it seems like nothing has changed. It is when I try on a slightly smaller size in clothing that I notice the difference. We take our victories where we can find them. I am taking mine around the block as I walk the dog.

Roses along the Steps



* With this weird warm spring comes early blooming of flowers. My roses are hear before June and a part of my knows I should be worried. But are they not glorious?

BTW, the Chicago Botanic Garden is doing a study on bloom times. It is called Project Bud Burst. They are looking for more people to report the bloom times in their gardens. Great project and I need to sign up.


What is going on in your world?

Garden Dreams Come to Life

June is the month of roses.

My roses are going crazy right now, one of the benefits of a very rainy spring.

Roses from the driveway.

My $5 rose-bush from Wal-Mart continues to be a great bloomer. I believe the secrets is that I have never trimmed the branches below the graft point. I give it a 20-minute drink two times a week.

View of Roses from the front walk.


The other thing I do is deadhead spent blooms. That way the plant focuses on making more blooms and not seed production. I am not the only one with a great rose display. This picture is on my way to work.

Roses on a Fence

I saw this bush earlier in the spring wrapped around the fence. It looked cool and I wondered how the plant would look once it bloomed. And so it has…

This next plant is a rare specimen in my garden.

Purple Spider Wort

I have a ton of Spider Wort that is Fuchsia in color, as you can see in the background. This one is purple, given to me by Dawna, but I only have a few of them.  I am hoping that next year more will spread.

Last but not least is the latest tree to bloom in a gentle sweet smell. The sycamore has giant flowers and a seed pod.  Oh, and it looks spectacular.

Sycamore Tree

And now for a little love song from Cass Elliot on the Smothers Brothers Show.



Red Dreams

Why do we love what we love?

I, truly, have no idea.

2011 Chevy Equinox, Picture from anycarinfo.com

Last week I made a reference about my favorite crossover vehicle. I didn’t name it but it is the Chevy Equinox. I have no idea what it is about this car. When I look at it I find myself drawn to the lines, the hatchback and the size. I can see my family toodleling around in the car with the dog in the hatchback area. It may not hold as many people as my mini-van used to but I think I am ready for that.

What I love most is the red color. It is crimson with a touch of orange in the mix. It attracts me and makes me want to have the car no matter what.

This is one color I cannot wear. I have rosacea and a red top just makes it more apparent. When I wear red it seems as if my face glows like Rudolph during flight. Granted, the rosacea is much better than it used to be. I used to get angry red bumps from cheek to cheek.

So I changed my diet by dropping soda and adding green tea. I wear lotion with SPF 15 and drink lots of water. And I have stopped wearing red. All of these tactics make my cheeks look better. But it has not ended my love affair with the color.

Picture by Chelle

I find myself attracted to red fabrics for quilting. I like adding touches of red in my home decor and there is nothing like a deep red tomato nestled against mayonnaise in a sandwich. When I see this car and others in the same hue, I can not stop looking at them.

I want that car!!!!

Reality says this is not happening for a while. Reality says I need to get budget problems under control and then the next new car I buy will only be new to me.

Reality really stinks sometimes.

Picture by Bowlingranny

So in the meantime I am enjoying the view and hoping that when everything gets better, there will be a red crossover vehicle in my driveway, right next to my red roses.

A Mix of Weeds and Flowers

Blackberry Lily


In July, the Blackberry Lilies   

 begin to bloom. Now I am sure you are wondering where this name comes from and to be honest it has nothing to do with the flower. The flower looks like a miniature  Tiger Lily. But in a few weeks when the flower turns into a seed pod and the pods opens the seeds look like a blackberry.  

I take the seeds and throw them in the spots I want them to grow. But the birds like to eat them and now my neighbor has a few of these flowers as well.  



Walmart Roses


The roses are on their second round of blooming thanks to all of the rain we have gotten this summer. Granted it makes my life harder with all of the humidity that drains my energy. But when you see these roses, all is almost forgiven.  

To keep the blooms coming, especially in years without great rain, I do two things during the season. I cut back the spent flowers so the plant does not go into seed production. And I water the roots two times per week by setting the hose near the root base. I leave it there for about twenty minutes to ensure a good soaking without drowning the plant.  I bought the plant 10 years ago for $5.00 and I have kept it going all that time with these simple steps.


weed vine with white flowers


I cannot find the name of this vine. All I know is that it is a weed that tries to take over and I hate it.
I have ignored this particular part of the garden and the vine is taking over some clumps of day lilies. This week I am ripping it out and trying to find the root to dig it out.
I don’t believe in using chemicals to get rid of weeds in the garden but this one may make me change my mind.
Last but not least is a picture of me in the garden. I have been working hard so I am schlumped over and looking fatter than I really feel. In the last few months I have lost inches around the waist and fat off of the face. But here you cannot tell I have lost anything.
Me in the garden

In my mind I feel as if I am at least ten pounds slimmer. The husband took this picture, allegedly about the garden. Because the peonies are in bloom this must have been in May. Sadly, the weeds have taken over again while I was at VBS and not able to weed every night. 

This week I am back in the garden with my weed stick and weed bucket, a one gallon ice cream bucket.  Perhaps I should switch to the five gallon bucket.