Thursday, May 31, 2012

Raspberry time....

If we could get a good rain, the crop would improve greatly. It is putting out one fruit at a time per bunch.   We are going to make a lot of the raspberry jam again this year if things impove.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Take a Nap.......

When you get tired you need to take a cat nap.  Yellow Kitty takes a lot of naps as she is very old and likes to sleep in the shade on a hot day.  She is asleep right under the blooming clematis plant.  In the evening she goes back into the basement and finds a dirty clothes basket for here evening bed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Gift.......

I have been helpful to people who have a need.  I do things because they need to be done not because I have to be told to do so. I just am a team player and want to be there when I can to give a hand.

I was mowing my yard on Saturday and looked up and there were three pots of flowers sitting on my front steps.  They had been planted with petunias and violas.  What a nice surprise to find and as I didn't help out just for any repayment.  The note attached just said thanks for being there.

The color of this petunia is so unusual and beautiful.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day.........

My planters have young plants in them so the flags do steal the show. The clematis in the background is blooming well.  We had a small shower early in the morning and it is cool this morning. It will be hot again today but not any record breaking temperatures like yesterday.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday's One Shot

Have a great Sunday of rest. This rosebush has never performed this well before this year. I have a lot of dead heading to do now so it will do it again. I don't know the name of it but I do remember picking it out as I wanted one that bloomed in clusters like this.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


We had company today and needed something special to decorate the table.  I went out and cut a few of the last peonies and also brought in some of the hydrangea that had turned white. My wife created a really nice bouquet in a pink vase.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A New Bloom........

This Asiatic lily is blooming in a vase filled with water sitting on our kitchen table.  I hit the stalk with the weed whacker and as you can see it bloomed anyway in spite of my bad treatment.  It took it about a week to start blooming.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flag Iris Bloom.........

This is my one bloom from this flag iris planting. I did move a clump of this plant to another location and it has not budded.  I will be anxious to see if it blooms in the new location.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another Day Of Blues.......

The spiderwort has given a great show of color this year.  I do have a magenta colored spiderwort but can't seem to catch it blooming.  It is in the shade and only blooms a certain time of the day.  Whenthe sun goes to the west they close back up into a tight form.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Morning Blues......

The creeping bluebells are blooming at the back south side of the house.  They are doing well. I keep them under control as much as possible. I don't hesitate to tear out an advancing plant when I know it will multiply and take over anywhere that it wants.  The patch in the front north of the house is in shade so it is just now budding.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another Pretty Picture......

When I think of older varieties of peony I include this one with the group.  I actually am not an authority on this flower but this is the one I saw most when a kid on the farm.  All the farmsteads had this peony blooming in their yards.  I have one of these plants out on my alley in the far back corner of the property.  I don't think I placed it there but it sits at the base of the power company's transformer pole.  I rarely see it except when I am out mowing the orchard area.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday.s Design.......

The old fashioned iris continues to bloom.  It is lasting a lot longer than the newer hybrids.  The various patterns helped give this iris the name of Bumblebee.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday's Dose of Red

My red peonies are the last to bloom and they look great.  I had one that was so large and heavy that it hung out into the walkway.  I had to pick it and take it inside as to keep it from getting damaged by passerby people.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spring Bloom........

The mock orange bush has the most wonderful smell while it is in bloom. I can smell it all over the backyard area.  The simplicity of the white blooms make it look so pure and pristine in its appearance. The bees are out and about enjoying the free nectar.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One Wonderful Bloom.......

This one bloom on my clematis has been out for over a week.  I many more buds that just have not opened.  I keep taking photos of it to hope that it will help make it bloom more but no such luck.

Here is another shot of the same bloom that I took a week ago.  Maybe I need to water it as the rains stopped a week ago and people keep saying we need more rain.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Picture Perfect............

A last minute shot, unplanned, turns into a beauty of a shot.  The idea that a flower that size can unfold from the head of a bud that small is shown with bud and bloom side by side. It is amazing to see it happen every single time. I think that is one of the things that I like about growing flowers is to watch the miraculous change every single time that something blooms.  It is like a butterfly coming out of it's cocoon when they unfold from their cramped form into an exploding form of petals.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Yellow Rose of Woodward........

It is a sunny Monday morning here in the central plains of Iowa.  We started off cool temperature wise but will be 81 degrees by the afternoon.  It doesn't seem so hot when we are allowed to have cool temperatures at night.

The yellow rose was a rescued rose from the garbage dump at the place where I was working one summer. I think it is a Knock Out rose.  I didn't get it trimmed back last fall on during the winter so the blooms are on the end of a six foot stalk.  After they bloom I will cut it back for the next batch of blooms.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Old Fashioned Iris........

The white is so pure in this flower and the design is so wonderful with that true blue violet color.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sunny Days Are Here Again...........

Moving back into warm weather, birds keep coming for free food.  The cardinal was in direct sunlight in the evening as the sun was going down for the day.  I don't understand the ruffled feathers. I actually think it might be a youngster.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First Peony......

The very first bloom opened yesterday of my many peonies.  Sadly the buds are all laying on the ground already from the weather so we will be picking them and making bouquets so we can enjoy them.  There will be a few upright blooms but they will be few.

The peony reminds me of the old fashioned flowers that I would see as a kid on the farm. Neighbors would share roots and the flowers of the agricultural community continued to spread from farm to farm. Many time the entire set of farm buildings and house are removed and the peonies are still blooming.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The iris is called "Superstition" and is touted as a black iris.  Actually when it is first opened it is so dark that it looks black but by the end of the day the  deep purple shows.  I bought this variety a number of years ago and gave one of them to my parents and kept the other two.  It is the most hearty of iris and puts out very tall stalk.  People kept taking samples of  my parent's iris and it isn't there anymore.

With the rain and wind being so strong the past few days, I had one stalk that broke off completely.  The stalk iwas so long that I cut a foot off it so I could put it into a vase for the table.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday's Bazinga........

In spite of the heavy rains and wind, the newest iris to bloom is still alive.  I braced it up with some sticks as it just bent over to the ground but didn't snap along the stem.  I like how the afternoon sun shines off of the bloom.  It is a red brown and the camera almost caught the right color this year.

I had to return and use larger stakes to get them to stay standing on Monday.

Monday, May 7, 2012

William Baffin.........

The original growth of this rose was wonderful.  Then a few years into it we had a rainy season that killed it out down to small sprouts.  After much pruning of huge pieces of dead wood last summer the rose has resurrected.  I bought this rose at Grand Marais, Minnesota many years ago figuring if it can survive in there is should do well in Iowa.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Blues.......

This is one of my favorites of my iris collection. The colors are so great and it is such a robust grower.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


This was a photo taken on a bright day unlike today.  We are gloomy looking outside and expect to be in the 80's again today.  I don't want to turn on the air but when the humidity gets to be so high it is like swimming in moisture, one needs to dry out a little.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Over the Fence......Another View.


The rains caused all of these to bloom at once.  I like the abstract composition that I captured.  I was on a step ladder looking across my backyard fence in order to take the shot.  We have become a hothouse climate now with 80 degrees F.  daily.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Rain is Magical........

Two days of sporadic rain has cause this clematis to open all of it's blooms at the same time.  I will have to take more pictures tonight after school. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Iowa Wild Rose.........

Iowa wild rose is the state flower.  I keep finding evidence of our hard freeze on different plants as they mature.  The freeze messed up the coloration of these roses.

There are red splotches on the petals of the flowers.  Some are worse than others.  The wild rose spreads by it's roots and I have to mow the yard to keep all the sprouts at bay.  If I were to never mow the back yard, a third of my yard would consist of wild roses.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bloom Time......

I bought this iris at least ten years ago and the label on it was "Portrait of Larry."  I went back to the catalog and it's name was  actually "Portrait of Laurie" which was a miner mistake.  Being a Larry I was at first pleased to see it was named after me but no such luck.

 I moved this iris away from an encroaching set of raspberry plants.  I just moved it last  year and it bounced back this spring as if it was never moved. It seems to be growing many new rhizomes which is a great thing.  It is planted very near my river birch but it seems to like it's location.