The garden is popping out all over the place, even though we were hit by a 1 1/2 - 2" layer of snow on Friday. That's ok...most of the peach/cherry/apple blossoms aren't far enough along to be damaged I don't think.
I took these pictures last Friday....the last day I had to work in the garden before being deluged with other distractions. Above is a bunch of common milkweed pods I found at the back of the garden. I gathered these as one of my friends wants to start a patch on her property to provide food for Monarch butterflies which prefer it. The fluffy fibers, meant to provide a parachute for the seeds to travel with, provide nesting material for goldfinches, one of my favorite birds and extremely common in my yard.
I was dumbfounded to find this iris blooming away, even before the Dutch crocus were in full bloom. Situated on the eastern side of my back yard garden, well away from any structure, I didn't think to find even the earliest of iris in bloom. This is a complete surprise to me as I don't remember planting it and I have no idea what it is. Perhaps some of your savvy gardening types can help me out.
The thin leaves, and the tall crests make me think that this is a Dutch iris....I am a tad flummoxed. It is quite possible that it is a mystery plant purchased at Spring Hill Gardens clearance sales....I'm forever haunting it and dragging home all sorts of roots, rhyzomes, seeds and half dead plants from that place. Sometimes I feel like I am a wise woman from ages gone by as I carefully gather all the rejects--bits and pieces of wizened plants and carefully put them in the ground.
The dark maroon sort of colored leaves are the leaves of Dianthus barbatus "sooty"--Sweet William. I love sweet william and sooty has dark leaves and lovely deep maroon blossoms. I don't remember if it has the sweet scent of some of the older strains, but it seeds itself in which is a good thing as it is a short lived biennial. Well worth growing in your garden. Growing it from seed is easy.
One of the other happy surprises I relieved is a Beautiful Blogger award from Ruth Anne . I am terribly embarrassed to say that I had been nominated for an award by Jessica back in November I think... I wasn't really clued in and while I meant to participate...especially because I loved the signage for it...I never got around to doing it. So, thanks, Ruth Anne...and thank you too Jessica, even if I am really late and didn't really participate (blush).
Some people I know don't like these things. I think they are sort of neat as you get to explore blogs you might not find otherwise. I do look at the blogs my followers follow and often I stumble upon some real beauties. Having the blog awards are not so much "me, me, me" as Jessica once described them, but a way to explore and find joy elsewhere. Basically, if you don't like them, then you don't have to follow them.
The rules (golly, there are always rules aren't there????)
Here are the rules:1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 5 bloggers who you have recently discovered and you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
Seven things about me:
1. I'm left handed...but am semi-ambidextrous (I bat in cricket left-handed, I bat in baseball right handed for example....and I can't use left handed scissors.)
2. I am, unfortunately, a procrastinator....I think largely because I want to do the best I can do...not from perfection, but to do the best I think on it....yet sometimes I don't dive right in because I dread doing it......I'm working on it, but it isn't pretty.
3. Like Ruth Anne, I'm a collector of stuff....and I'm trying hard to de-clutter and simplify. Must be the age. ;)
4. I've had fish (tropical and goldfish) since I was 8 years old...yes, continuously although in college it was merely a goldfish in a bowl.
5. I love goldfish. I built my first pond (fiberglass molded and made by me) when I was 13. I dug another one when I lived in Connecticut when I was in my 30s. Fish from that pond moved down here with me and my neighbor Ellen helped me dig a bigger pond than the one I had in CT here...(GO WOMAN POWER!!!).
6. I am part elf...I have a pointed ear. Seriously. I've only met one other person who had this.
7. I adore learning--reading is a passion. I guess that means I'm not yet dead.
Hmm... now is the hard part. Bloggers:
1. Ok...this is sort of a cheat, because I know that she doesn't participate, but you need to take a look at her blog anyway, so go look at Ardea's Nest.
2. Not that she would ever participate in this....but if you want an unusual and sort of irreverent take on life (and this is my view of this blog) take a gander here at Life at Willow Manor. Way cool.
3. Now this is a cheat too....as this isn't a "recent" find of a blog...this is one I've followed for a while as I've "known" Shady in the internet sense for...hmmm....about 8 years?
4. The same goes for Sunita...who has several blogs...check them out, but the Urban Gardener is probably the prettiest and the one she posts to the most. Chai n spice is also simply wonderful.
5. I found Carole's blog I think in November, so for me, it is a recent find.....and I have to say I have had several finds which compete for this one, but definitely this is one of the more recent. Carole is very upbeat in her blogs and is a quilter...and like most of us needlewomen who foray into the fiber art world has a wonderful eye for color, texture, form...and life!
Decisions, decisions....choosing was difficult, sharing is great fun!