Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Passion for Pollen

I am always pleased each year when the Cosmos begin to bloom. It is the classic summer flower!

This bee looked to be quite smitten with this pink Cosmos bloom, and was tightly hugging the center of the flower. :-)


The family reunion is over, and it went beautifully. We have spent some time this week at our favorite campground upriver, in our very favorite campsite, on a bend of the river.....with the sound of rushing water relaxing us in the day and lulling us to sleep at night. It has been wonderful therapy, after some very busy weeks!

Monday, July 21, 2008

House Makeover - Part 1

We have been doing several DIY projects around our place this year. The most ambitious one has been the painting of our house. I am posting some before and after photos to show the amazing difference paint can make.

BEFORE.....Not so bad, kind of country looking, but I was ready for a lighter color. If you click to enlarge, you will note the pointed shutters, which reminded me of a Swiss Chalet.

AFTER! I absolutely love the new color, Banana Cream, by Sherwin Williams. The trim is True Value Pure White. We used primer to cover the dark color, and then two coats of yellow. I painted the shutters and trims, and my dear husband did all the rest. I used the chop saw to trim the shutters even on the tops and bottoms for a more classic look. [Yes, real women do use power ] We have a few details to clematis was still blooming on the right porch post, so it will be painted white and then we will add some Victorian trim pieces to the porch corners. The door will be painted to match the brick planter which is hidden by the honeysuckle. I will update with more photos later.


Thank you, Dear Husband for my new house.
I believe it has now graduated from a Country a

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kissed by the Morning Sun

I am soooo busy, with a family reunion coming up this weekend. I am hosting it the first night at my house, for my immediate family, and then we will meet with our cousins for the weekend at a resort up the river. Just taking a minute to share a photo today......

This poppy seems to really glow, as it basks in the early morning sun. I don't know for sure which kind it is, as it was in a mixture of seeds, but it is just so charming!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pretty Poppies

Anyone who has ever been to my garden will note that I am very fond of Poppies! I planted a row of Shirley poppies in my vegetable garden many years ago, and was enchanted by their tissue paper texture and lovely colors and bi-colors. They reseeded, came back, and then I began casting the seeds all over my garden! I still love the Shirley poppies, but each year I try some new ones of other types. Last year it was Drama Queen and Pink Ruffled and Lauren's Grape. This year I obtained seed from a Gardenweb trade for White Swansdown....pictured below.

It is aptly named, as it's large double flowers with snow white petals do have the look of the fine soft feathers of a Swan's down. These are about 3 ft. tall and the foliage is a pleasant grayish blue-green color. The Latin name is Papaver somniferum laciniatum.

Another endearing feature of Poppies are the buds. I like the way they gracefully hang their heads, until they are ready to fully bloom. Then they stand upright... at attention! Here is a fat bud, just beginning to open, still in it's drooping position.

A close-up of the feathery white 'down'.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Cosmos

I have been eyeing these Happy Ring Cosmos in the Parks Seed catalog for a couple years, so this year I stopped resisting and purchased the seed. They were started in my greenhouse and planted out only last week, so I was surprised to see them already blooming.

The colors of this Cosmos reminds me of when we used to tie-dye our T-shirts when I was a teen. You you put the rubber bands on and then the dye makes concentric circles of various shades of color? I really like the effect. This flower, shown here in my favorite tiny vintage bottle, is a bit on the small side. I'm hoping the subsequent flowers will be larger, more like a regular cosmos, when the plant gets a bit more established. The catalog says they can reach 4-5 inches.

Happy Ring is just plain CUTE....and makes me happy!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Red, White and Blue 2008

Last 4th of July I had a nice, unplanned display of red, white and blue flowers , but this year the red Monarda didn't return. So I decided to take a stroll around the garden to see if I could come up with another spontaneous grouping of red, white and blue. This is the best I could do....

Okay, so I know the Salvia is more purple than blue, and the Maltese Cross has a bit of an orange hue, but the cute little button flowers of Feverfew 'Virgo' are definitely white. :-)

See yesterday's post for a red Zinnia that looks like a burst of fireworks.


Have a great Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Red Spider Sighting...

Ummm...... Red Spider Zinnia, that is. :-)

This is a new Zinnia for me this year. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in cuteness, don't you agree? The pretty white flower in the background is Giant White Hyacinth Candytuft. This winning combination happened quite by accident...when the candytuft hitched a ride with something else I transplanted nearby.


Flowers are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade.

~Rudyard Kipling