susansflowers

garden ponderings


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A Daffodil Story

A personal story here:
My daughter’s birthday is at the end of March.  We have lived on this same property for over 30 years and always had fresh daffodils for her birthday.
In 1994, Daddy brought a bouquet of daffodils from our property to our daughter, when he flew into another state to see her on her birthday.
The last few years the daffodils have been blooming earlier than usual.
Now, I do understand that 30 years in the spectrum of time is quite small, even the Mississippi River has changed course in the last 30 years.
We have had milder winters these last few years, I wonder that global warming is a reality.
Today is February 21, we have had 2 or 3 daffodils bloom on our 55 acres already.
This is how I note the sunniest spots at this time of year.
There are hundreds of daffodils planted on our land.  They naturalize so well, I keep dividing and replanting on any sunny spot I can find.
Closer to the house, near a main flowerbed, here is the progress of daffodils.
Just beginning to open their petals.

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I took this photo when the sun peeked through the clouds for a bit today.
No rain is in the forecast this next week.  When sunny days are predicted, we often have foggy mornings.  Depending on the amount of sun, all the daffodils may bloom this week.

I see daffodils blooming along the interstate freeway (6 miles to the west), and in the nearby towns to the south.  We live in the hills north of town where I have observed our flowers bloom 10 – 14 days later .


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Baby’s Breath

Baby's Breath in Mini-Vase Copy of Baby's Breath

What I don’t know about photography could fill volumes.  My trying to take a picture of the teeny-tiny flowers of baby’s breath is a prime example.  Perhaps a small tripod and learning how to leave the lens open long enough would help get many more of the flowers in focus.

These flowers are often used as fillers in a bouquet, but my vase is holding only baby’s breath.  It is a 3-inch high mini-vase, made of porcelain.  The upper part of the vase has a transparent blue glaze, and the lower part of it shows a light brown toasty color from the wood fueling my kiln.


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Scented Lily

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Of course you cannot smell the delicate, delicious scent of this lily, but it is definitely there.  When investigating the last lily of the season to bloom, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is scented.

Over the years I have purchased lily bulbs from a booth at a local Home Show in the early spring.  Short and tall, mixed colors, whatever I could get a deal on, I bought.  Next, I had to find a place to plant my great finds, someplace I had not planted other bulbs.  Then i would promptly forget about them until they surfaced later in the year.  I am slowly rediscovering and savoring my finds.  The shortest lilies are too easy to lose in the garden, and I would not buy them again.  But any of the others, I totally LOVE!  

Because I can enjoy these flowers where they are planted, I have never cut my lilies for indoor bouquets.  Someday, I will take a chance on a lily bloom in a hand-made vase.

 


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Oregano, Mexican and Greek

Oregano, GreekOregano, Mexican

While both of these oregano plants look similar in the photos they have big differences.  The first photo is Greek oregano, which is low growing like a groundcover.  When Mexican oregano comes into bloom, the flower stems shoot up over a foot high.  While various bees like lavender and germander flowers, moths are especially attracted to the Mexican oregano.  I remember catching these moths when I was a kid (it is not hard to pinch the wings together when they are fully open).

In the culinary field, low-growing Greek oregano seems to me to have a stronger aroma and potency.  I recently acquired a small Italian oregano plant, that has yet to flower.  Have not yet done a taste comparison with the three varieties of oregano either.

I like using all of the oregano plants in the landscape, as they have some strong assets, besides their good looks.  They are deer and drought resistant.  The flowers are a pretty addition to a summer bouquet, but not over-powering in their scent.  While the Greek oregano flowers are good for very small vases, the Mexican variety is a nice accent for mid-size flower arrangements.