Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's all about the tulips!

 This time of year, for me it's all about the tulips.

 Pretty blush pink tulips in my gardens

 There are quite a few tulips down by the potting shed, in a garden room I call Daylily Junction.

 How many tulips do I have? Well, probably 100 or so. Most of these are either what Breck's sold as "perennial tulips," or Darwin type tulips. If you've grown tulips you are likely aware that tulips are not reliable year after year. Thus, I've tried to plant these that are supposed to last longer. Good luck with the Breck's collection - I think they've been there 5 or 6 years. The Darwin tulips were planted the fall of 2013 so they haven't been well-tested yet.

 In Pella, Iowa, Home of Tulip Time, the tulip bulbs are pulled after blooming and new bulbs are planted every fall. For an event like Tulip Time, you must have gorgeous, reliable blooms. They also have a lot of fancy tulips. We were in Pella today to see the tulips and enjoy lunch and shopping. Here is my favorite bed from the central park in downtown Pella.

 Love these tulips too, although I've never grown any like this. They kind of remind me of peonies.

 Oh, look at this color!

 Another pretty color combination

 This sidewalk in central park is lined with various tulip varieties and colors. So pretty!

 Spectacular color and form!

 Pink in the garden - definitely a favorite of mine

 Tulips behind the Historical Society museum

The same location a few years ago

 Me and my friend posing in front of the posies

 Three of us traveled to Pella. Here I am with another friend, posing in front of the Tulip Tea Room.

I just love the lace curtains and the tulip topiaries - and the FOOD - at the Tulip Tea Room.

I forgot to photograph the tea room food, and when searching iPhoto for a previous Tulip Tea Room picture, I found this cute, cute puppy pic and decided to close with it instead. :)

This was a former shelter pup, long since adopted.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Time to Garden!

Ah, spring! The boredom that affects me when it's cold and I can't be outside is gone. Now, there is plenty to look at and plenty to do.

Our own little babbling brook, looking better as plants begin to come up around it. There is a lot of planting I need to do around the stream and pond. Many plants were removed last year for the creation of the waterfall, stream, pond, courtyard and pergola. Some that were relocated will come back; others will stay where they are now. I would like this area to be very colorful and thus will be adding zinnias and coreopsis and daisies.

Love the sound of the trickling water. Last night we left our bedroom window open and we could hear it. Very peaceful.

 Tortie, the outside cat, enjoys drinking from the pond. Dragonflies and birds are attracted to it as well.

This morning when I was out in the gardens, a turkey flew by me. He (or she) had been in the gardens but I didn't see where he came from. I'm guessing he was at the pond or under the birdfeeder.  That was the first time I've seen a turkey in the yard. Deer, opossums, birds, garter snakes, ground hogs, raccoons, cats - yes -even fox but never before a turkey.

 An unusual daffodil

 Many tulips have begun to bloom and many will be blooming in the coming days and weeks.

 Tortie framed by tulips

 I adore tulips!

 I planted a few hundred grape hyacinth last fall. These are the first to bloom.

 Red-veined sorrel - so pretty - and EDIBLE too. It's a perennial.

 The creeping phlox is putting on a show now too.

The owl and the robin
I had difficulty getting a good shot as I have no tripod, but I do enjoy seeing and hearing this owl who has taken to perching in a large tree in the neighbor's yard in the evenings. I wonder...where do the owls go during the day? Inside a hollow tree, sleeping??? He has a cute face, doesn't he?

As I titled my post, so I must get around as it's time to garden! Not just to look and photograph, but to do clean up, plant lily bulbs, re-work a bed to make it shrubs only, stir compost, and move coreopsis to a location by the to get that color going over there...see you later.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Warmer days

I'm confident that spring has arrived with warmer days but cool nights.

The ground is warming up, the waterfall/stream/pond has been opened and flowers are popping up.

 These are chinodoxa, or Glory of the Snow.

 I love these delicate, ruffly Striped Squill.

 Scilla, also called Siberian squill, are very good at naturalizing.

 Hellebores, also known as Lenten roses...there are many fancier cultivars; mine are simple and sweet.

 A few daffodils and tulips have begun to bloom on the south side of the house. Many others in the back gardens will bloom later.

 A few pansies grace pots on the front porch.

The water feature


I am the grateful recipient of some lovely tags from blogging friend Patty of Patty's Pretty Things. Patty is a kind and creative soul who sells lovely handmade items through her Etsy shop. Here's what Patty sent to me:

 Beautifully packaged with a sweet handwritten note -

 Look at these cute teacup tags!

Also loving these garden-themed tags from Patty!
Thanks, Patty!

I also had a recent giveaway win. Let me show you...

 Ruth from Antiques and Teacups sponsored a giveaway recently, and I was the fortunate winner. Ruth sent me a cookbook from their local animal shelter, tea, and lavender from her garden.

 A Downton Abbey-inspired tea, Mrs. Patmore's Pudding Tea, is a black tea with caramel and vanilla flavor - mmm!

Ruth sent this Citrus Green Tea which is very good.

Thanks, Ruth!

Ruth sells teacups, antiques and china at her Etsy shop.

I'd love it if you would pop over to see Ruth and Patty.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring break in south Texas

What a privilege to head south to visit our daughter, son-in-law, and little grandson over spring break!

 We went to Kemah and had lunch.

 We ate at Crazy Alan's Swamp Shack.

 Our appetizer was fried pickles. Yum!

 I had catfish, fries, and hush puppies for lunch.

 It's crawfish season in Texas, and this is my daughter's plate.

 After lunch we strolled the Kemah boardwalk.

 There were many gulls in the area.

 This was our shuttle.

 Later we went for a long walk in the neighborhood. One neighbor has an orange tree.

 Another neighbor has a Bluebonnet preserve.

 Bluebonnets are a type of lupine. Beautiful!

 Magnolias and other flowering trees were in bloom.

 Spanish moss hangs heavy in the trees.

We also were treated to a day at the beach. Here's Ron, looking for seashells. It was warm, but overcast, and the water was chilly. We enjoyed wading, though.

We had a great visit with the kids over spring break. Now we're back home, and it's almost time to begin working in the garden.


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