Gotta Garden

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Something interesting is blooming.  Some years ago I obviously planted it but since (as I just looked up) it is only hardy to zone 8B, it really has no business blooming here.  I kinda sorta remember moving it and putting a sorta kinda marker on it to remind me.  Bets are I thought it was another of the red variety when I moved it, which I do like...but, surprise:

Yellow Lycoris aka Lycoris Aurea:

Haha, just when I thought I would do a link about it, I find somewhere else saying it is easily hardy to zone 5.  Well, then, it definitely should be hardy here (and where has it been all these years??).

I had an epiphany of sorts.  Not the religious type.  It just sort of descended on me that this house, this garden is not my forever place.  And since that realization, nothing has really been the same.  Nothing will happen right away (unless DoD sustains even further cuts, ha), but, at some point, we will move to somewhere that will suit us better.  It's very expensive here and the hubs has an awful commute, among other things.  From my perspective, working on a hill has become a chore.   

This led me to thinking about how/what I should do about my garden.  I have one of those yards that simply no one (in its current state) would want to take over.  I myself have become weary of keeping it up.  The weeds are winning.  The days when I could/would work all day outside, regardless of the temperature are gone.  

(a little look during peak bloom this year)

So, I've begun culling the herd.  When the daylily bloom season began, I had over 700 registered daylilies (and countless seedlings in the backyard).  Currently, I've just gotten below 500.  Still lots more to go as I hope to get down to 350 or so.  And maybe even further from there.  

I've resorted to weed whacking seedlings but darn if they don't spring right back up.  Ha.  It's not just daylilies that have to go, either.  Strange how your perspective changes when you look at everything with the thought:  Are you worth the effort of caring for you?  Am I willing to care for you?

In addition, there have been various other changes.  I've become a foodie of sorts.  We no longer eat processed food (okay, occasionally some ice cream, if that counts, and whatever might be found still in a carefully chosen restaurant meal), wheat, soy and some other stuff.  

I spend inordinate amounts of time sourcing our food.  It's getting somewhat easier, in that regard, but needless to say, I also spend a great deal of time cooking.  Not that I mind, as I actually like cooking.  There's a great deal of thought that goes into our meals now.  No more ordering pizza or picking up Subways (those were the days).  

My days fly by and often I realize I haven't even been outside to enjoy my garden.  Who would have ever thought that?!  Especially in summer (okay, in winter that's the norm, lol). 

 I still enjoy gardening.  Yesterday I was emptying driveway pots and remembered I had thrown some carrot seeds into one.  Little colorful carrots were in there, delightful to see, and helped me realize that I could grow such in pots (especially if I paid attention to them, e.g., watering and thinning).  


This year, I seemed to have more interest in garden things than adding plants (because I obviously have zillions of plants).  I like a bit whimsy and humor in the garden.  Peaceful areas are very appealing as well.  Privacy is huge to me and well, my front yard has none these days.  With the loss of the two large redbuds, it's like being on display always and constantly.  It did let in more sun, which the daylilies have appreciated.  

But. back to where I began...things are-a-changing, as they say.  I'm changing.  Just part of my life's journey.  I've been working on this garden since 1999.  The longest I've ever lived anywhere is here.  I like most things about here.  

It will hurt, somewhat, to reduce the garden.  It's hard letting go of things, whether they be inanimate possessions or living plants.  There are memories attached and monies spent that often make it feel like a failure or a waste.  It's often not worth the trouble (most often) to find the plants new homes.
These feelings have been working on me for some time.  I just pushed them aside and ignored them until an incident happened in the neighborhood that profoundly affected me.  It's not worth going into the specific incident, but I realized I lived around some people who view life (in a very broad sense), neighborhood friendships and just tolerance differently than I do.  It was quite shocking to me.  Very unsettling.  It felt like the sun didn't shine as brightly. 

I felt my heart harden a little and I didn't like it.  Despite efforts and intentions to forgive and forget, I found myself for.the.first.time.ever thinking that I could move.  Willingly.  A new place, a new beginning sounded very appealing.  Which is so weird, if you know me, as I value strong roots greatly as someone who has had said roots ripped out unwillingly so many times.  I know how hard and long it takes to develop the connections, the favorite veterinarian (for instance), the friendships, all the things that make living somewhere feeling like more than home, rather community. 

I can give it up here?  That answer is a simple yes.  I would not have thought it.  For years now, the joke between my husband and myself was my answer of 'bye' to his any thoughts of a move.  I do want the forever place.  I'll never have the place where I can say I have lived for endless years.  Such is life, I've come to realize.

It wasn't just The Incident.  I recognize that things have been in the works, probably since the loss of my beloved dogs.  They were the beginning of the end of things here, I think.  My Kobe lived his whole life here with me/us.  What an amazing thing.  I will take him with me, wherever I go (literally and figuratively) which is what he would want.  Riley, too. 

There's no perfect place, I know.  It's fun to dream, though.  Wonderful to think of living somewhere without a cranky neighbor who occasionally complains about my dogs barking.  Exciting to dream of somewhere they can run and chase squirrels with abandon.  Luxurious to think of somewhere I could freely walk out in my pajamas without seeing anyone.  Nice to think of quiet, especially at night when my Rudy feels it his duty to report on anyone opening a car door or whatnot.  Not sure if this is reality for me/us, but pleasant to think of living somewhere where if I let the yard go, no one will care.  No more homeowner associations!  Ha. 

This dreaming, of course, extends to what I would like (differently) in a home.  How much better the space will be used, etc.  

Wish me luck.  It will take lots of time to downsize this garden.  It also depends on why I'm downsizing.  If I'm moving, then the choices and decisions are more absolute.  As long as it is still in the future somewhat, I'm rather hazy on it .  

We also need the housing market to improve.  A lot.  I have no desire to be a landlord for renters.  Been there, done that and found it not my thing.  

There will still be garden adventures to write about.  And maybe other stuff.  I no longer travel as much for gardening (not that I still don't enjoy a beautiful garden) and realized this past summer that I probably attended my last regional meeting.  It just doesn't have the same allure for me.  I wouldn't say the thrill is gone exactly, I'm just content with a lot less.  In many areas of my life, frankly.  

Until next time....

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rainy Sunday in VA

Interestingly, I see it was raining last time I got around to putting a few words together.  Perhaps rain equals productivity for me? 

Anyway, it's a rainy Sunday and I have actually been outside and taken rainy pictures.  Even more amazingly, I have finished with said pictures.  Wow.  

 First up.  You know I like daylilies with attitude and today, even in the rain, Asterisk was bringing it:


Asterisk (Lambert, 1985)
height 28in (71cm), bloom 8in (20.5cm), season M, Semi-Evergreen, Diploid, Unusual Form Spatulate,  White spider with grayish cast and green throat. ((Virginia Gada × Shibui Splendor) × Cerulean Star)
A rare picture of Dena Marie's Sister facing me (of course, it would be when it is raining...) as this one, for reasons I can't fathom, seems to favor blooming facing the side of my house:


Dena Marie's Sister (Carpenter-J., 1997)
height 32in (81cm), bloom 6.5in (16.5cm), season MLa, Rebloom, Dormant, Diploid, Fragrant,  Rose pink self and a green throat.

Wild Wookie has long been a favorite.  This year it is blooming on shorter scapes for some reason as are some others.  Not sure why:


Wild Wookie (Stamile, 2002)
height 31in (79cm), bloom 9in (23.0cm), season M, Rebloom, Evergreen, Tetraploid, 35 buds, 6 branches, Spider Ratio 4.00:1,  Red self above yellow throat. (Daniel Webster × Web Browser)

Eternal Warrior has stayed while others that are somewhat similar have left.  Does well here.


Eternal Warrior (Salter, 2003)
height 30in (76cm), bloom 7in (18.0cm), season EM, Rebloom, Semi-Evergreen, Tetraploid, 25 buds, 3 branches,  Rose blend with light rose watermark above green throat. 

 A small one (yes, you might guess that from the name) that lives up to its reputation.  It came to me as gift from the hybridizer, Tim Herrington.  He is one sweet man and someone I look forward to seeing at conventions.  Little Gold Nugget:

Little Gold Nugget (Herrington-T., 2005)
height 12in (30cm), bloom 2.87in (7.3cm), season EM, Rebloom, Dormant, Diploid, 18 buds, 4 branches,  Bright gold self above tiny green throat. (Texas Sunlight × Just For Breakfast)

Another of Tim's small ones that I prevailed on at an auction (I will bid on Tim's stuff because it never disappoints.), Grandma's Little Sweetheart:


Grandma's Little Sweetheart (Herrington-T., 2010)
height 19in (48cm), bloom 2.8in (7.1cm), season M, Rebloom, Semi-Evergreen, Diploid, 35 buds, 6 branches,  Saffron yellow self with a light rose eyezone, olive green throat. (Everybody Loves Earnest × sdlg)

More from Tim, Green Rainbow remains highly sought after:

Green Rainbow (Herrington-T., 2005)
height 25in (64cm), bloom 4in (10.2cm), season EM, Rebloom, Dormant, Diploid, Fragrant, 28 buds, 7 branches,  Green lavender with purple eye above huge green throat. (Dixieland Five × sdlg)

One more from Tim (for today), Raspberry Ripple Cupcake, from his acclaimed cupcake series of doubles:

Raspberry Ripple Cupcake (Herrington-T., 2007)
height 21in (53cm), bloom 3in (7.6cm), season EM, Rebloom, Dormant, Diploid, 24 buds, 6 branches, Double 100%,  Cream with raspberry feathering eye above green throat. (Custard Cupcake × sdlg)

This one came to my attention at the Georgia National (2010) and I was determined to acquire it.  Love the vividness of the colors, especially the red...even in the rain:

Paco Bell (Salter, 2008) height 22in (56cm), bloom 4.75in (12.0cm), season E, Rebloom, Dormant, Tetraploid,  Yellow with red eye above green throat.

An oldie, but I'd recognize anywhere, Golliwog:


Golliwog (Wild, 1983) height 25in (64cm), bloom 8.25in (21.0cm), season MLa, Rebloom, Dormant, Diploid, Unusual Form Spatulate,  Pink spider with yellow green throat.

Like Golliwog, Spotted Fever is one that stands out.  


Spotted Fever (Brown-Oakes, 1995)
height 22in (56cm), bloom 3.75in (9.5cm), season M, Semi-Evergreen, Diploid, Fragrant, Double,  Tan peach peony blend with lime green throat.

A favorite for a while, Cimarron Rose:

Cimarron Rose (Salter, 2005) height 28in (71cm), bloom 7in (18.0cm), season M, Semi-Evergreen, Tetraploid, 30 buds, 3 branches,  Rose red with gold edge above green throat. 

This is simply a ginormous bloom.  A bonus plant from the Lambertsons last year, it is coming into its own.  Turquoise Temple:

Turquoise Temple (Lambertson, 2004)
height 34in (86cm), bloom 9in (23.0cm), season E, Rebloom, Semi-Evergreen, Tetraploid, 20 buds, 4 branches, Unusual Form Spatulate,  Light lavender bitone with light gray to medium gray lavender eye and edge above green throat. (Blue-eyed Curls × Stellar Star)

Walter Kennedy came here from the Florida National (2009) after a dear daylily friend suggested we buy it and split it.  It was definitely a good decision and I continue to appreciate his good eye for daylilies.  I think it's the only one like this, definitely distinctive.

Walter Kennedy (Stamile, 2008)
height 28in (71cm), bloom 5.75in (14.5cm), season M, Rebloom, Evergreen, Tetraploid, 55 buds, 8 branches,  Red with darker eye and edge above green throat. ((Virgil Earp × Sue Brown) × Tet. Peppermint Delight)
Elisa Dallas came to my attention at the Houston National (2008) after I saw it showing off in several gardens.  Took me a couple years, but it's here now.

Elisa Dallas (Trimmer, 2004)
height 25in (64cm), bloom 5in (12.5cm), season EM, Rebloom, Evergreen, Tetraploid, 25 buds, 3 branches,  Pastel pink with red eye above green throat. ((Raspberry Beret × Dan Mahony) × Tet. Connie Burton)

Chatham Babe arrived here via a daylily garden south of me that I used to frequent when I was in my collecting frenzy.  The name was appealing, but I don't know if it is somehow related to Chatham Manor here in Stafford County.   My hubs suggested Chatham House Rule as a possibility.  Who knows.  It is worth noting that here, at least, it grows much larger than the 3.5" it is registered as attaining. 

Chatham Babe (Joiner, 1990)
height 24in (61cm), bloom 3.5in (8.9cm), season M, Rebloom, Semi-Evergreen, Diploid, Fragrant,  Light apricot with light rose halo and green throat. (sdlg × My Pet)

A little more colorful than usual (weather and temperature, among other things, can affect color), Cerulean Star is another that I think is distinctive.

Cerulean Star (Lambert, 1982)
height 32in (81cm), bloom 7in (18.0cm), season EM, Dormant, Diploid, Unusual Form Spatulate,  Medium blue orchid self with green star throat. (Family Portrait × (Born Yesterday × Laura Lambert))

Fabulous Black Pearl is just getting started, but still looked pretty good in the rain (note, it's actually darker than it appears here):

Fabulous Black Pearl (Salter, 2008) height 25in (64cm), bloom 5in (12.5cm), season M, Rebloom, Semi-Evergreen, Tetraploid,  Lavender with black purple cream eye and edge above green throat.

Rose F. Kennedy remains expensive and somewhat difficult to acquire.  I waited on a waiting list for mine and one nice fan arrived in Aug. of 2011.  Given that, I was expecting it to do a bit more than still be one fan by now.  It's a big flower that is very eye-catching.  Now, it just needs to increase for me and make a nice clump.  Ha.

Rose F. Kennedy (Doorakian, 2007)
height 29in (74cm), bloom 7.5in (19.0cm), season M, Dormant, Diploid, 24 buds, 4 branches,  Green with wide purple red picotee edge above green throat. (Emerald Starburst × sdlg)

In the camera color challenged category, Moonlight Sail is darker than it appears here.  Purple is the most difficult color for me to capture accurately.  Moonlight Sail was one of the first expensive daylilies I bought that actually looked like the picture.  Unfortunately, it hasn't increased well for me (or at all, really), but I am hopeful that it is now in a location it likes. (Definitely not reddish like it appears here.)


Moonlight Sail (Stamile, 2005)
height 28in (71cm), bloom 6in (15.0cm), season M, Rebloom, Semi-Evergreen, Tetraploid, 25 buds, 3 branches,  Purple with lavender watermark and gold edge above green throat. (Bohemia after Dark × ((Musical Medley × Seize the Night) × Chartered Course))

While I'm on a color-challenged-them, Delight of My Eyes presents what I call Camera Purple.  This is not the correct color!  I see it often in photos, so I know it is a common camera issue.  I just wish folks would acknowledge their pictures are off.  It frustrates me greatly to not be able to get it right, despite many efforts/attempts.  My other camera (Canon Rebel tsi) did a better job than my newer Canon EOS 60D.  I am considering a new lens, but am not confident that will solve the problem.  Most solutions seem to involve changing the color in Photo Shop.

So, imagine this flower with the color actually being purple:


Delight of My Eyes (Grace-L., 2008)
height 26in (66cm), bloom 5.75in (14.5cm), season E, Rebloom, Evergreen, Tetraploid, Fragrant, 25 buds, 3 branches,  Pink cream with purple eye and edge. (Elisa Dallas × Jelly Maker) 
I will usually opt to not use a picture like the one above.  Even with the rain, I had a terrific bloom on Bella Sera but am unable to get the color right.  Giant sigh.  

Wedding Candy Truffle was on my outta-here-list, but is redeeming itself.  It's on the maybe-list now.  The blooms so far have been large and all double (a must for me...doubles must double...all-the-time).

 Wedding Candy Truffle (Kirchhoff-D., 2002)
height 29in (74cm), bloom 6.75in (17.0cm), season EM, Rebloom, Semi-Evergreen, Tetraploid, Very Fragrant, 22 buds, 3 branches, Double 98%,  Shell pink self above yellow to green throat. (sdlg × Tet. Virginia Franklin Miller)

I can get the darker colors fairly well (thankfully) like Wild and Free here is pretty accurate.  Usually Wild and Free has a number of blooms open (very striking) but I suppose is holding back with the rain.  I note that it is the result of a cross between two of my favorite daylilies, so it's not surprising that I like it.

 Wild and Free (Stamile, 2005)
height 38in (96cm), bloom 9.5in (24.0cm), season E, Rebloom, Evergreen, Tetraploid, 25 buds, 4 branches, Unusual Form Crispate,  Violet black blend above green throat. (Wild Wookie × Velvet Ribbons)

The color on Cosmic Traveler (below) is just a little off.  Fairly close.  

Cosmic Traveler (Trimmer, 2007)
height 25in (64cm), bloom 5.25in (13.5cm), season EM, Rebloom, Evergreen, Tetraploid, 20 buds, 2 branches,  Rose lavender with darker eye above green throat. (Wild Cherry Round Up × Doyle Pierce)

For fun, here's a few shots of a butterfly hard at work:

 Now, I know that the swallowtail larvae like parsley.  Really.Like.Parsley.  As in, always plant more than you think you will use/need.  So, this year my parsley is in pots on my driveway.  Somehow, they still found it and, at this point, are only eating the seed started parsley (vs. some plants I purchased).  Okay.

It was a bit of a surprise to find one hanging out on my lemon verbena.  I'm not sure how willing I am to share that  :)

Finally, a little pet humor.  Yesterday I was attempting to get a picture of a new-to-me-blooming-for-the-first-time daylily (Someday Soon) and my...ahem...assistant was insistent on being in the picture, too.

*Disclaimer:  Yes, these are indeed rain soaked blooms.  And, no, I didn't push leaves, etc. out of the way because it was enough of a challenge to hold an umbrella.  Further, the color is off on some due to the weather, flash and general ignorance of the photographer.  Said photographer doesn't have Photo Shop or the time/energy to enhance/correct/change any photos.  They are what they are.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rainy Tuesday

Rainy day here.  I shouldn't be surprised that my two young dogs bring all the wet and mud back inside with them.  Ah youth. 

Excited that February is almost done.  The first of the crocus (yellows for me) are blooming. 

The long foliage hanging over the crocus belongs to sternbergia lutea.  It will disappear soon, not to be seen again until fall. 

Note how the crocus foliage appears snipped.  It is indeed and my guess would be rabbits.  Rotten things.  My cats are getting older (they'll be 12 this spring) and prefer being inside most nights and especially nights like tonight when the weather is unpleasant (cold and windy rain).  I can't blame them; however, it's been many years since I've had to deal with rabbits...thanks to them.  Let's hope they get back on the job soon. 

A couple more, popping out from the old daylily foliage. 

Below, some hardy cyclamen looking a little weather-worn...

Finally, a personal harbinger of spring...larkspur seedlings.  These are offspring of some from the Mary Washington House days.  I look forward to them every year.  There were so many weeds in this area, that I had to really pay attention when weeding not to inadvertenly yank them out, too.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snowdrops Continued

Here are a couple that I find do have distinguishing appearances:

Pictured above is Merlin.

Pictured above is Viridapice.

And, here are a couple that were new last year, blooming this year...

I'm happy they're both blooming, but they look quite alike to me...much like others I have.  No matter, I hope they continue to increase as they are still lovely.  I'm just not sure whether they're worth a label (smile)....

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snowdrop Season

Belated welcome to 2013.  Outside, the snowdrops are least those that have decided they like it well enough here. 

S. Arnott pictured above.

For the first time in a number of years, I'm not planning to add any new snowdrops.  The differences are, for the most part, too subtle for me to see.  Add in a survival rate of maybe 50% and it becomes a game I am less interested in playing.


Don's Big Seedling pictured above.

Those that are surviving here are (in my plans, that is) going to be moved to line my front walkway.  Some are there now, but others are scattered here and there.  It's nice to appreciate them and that will be much easier when they're all in the same general area. 

Mrs. Backhouse #12 and Straffan pictured above.

One day, I still would love to visit the UK during snowdrop season.  Many pictures I see from there show so many varieties that are simply unavailable here.  And, the glory of it all, to see endless sweeps of them would be inspiring.

Winifred Mathais pictured above.

Perhaps one day (sooner), I will make it to Winterthur where I understand they have large areas of snowdrops.  It appears they reopen on March 1st. 

John Gray pictured above.

I think I have a couple of doubles that have survived but are not in bloom.  Doubles, especially, seem to not like it here.  Since the blooms last for quite a while, I will keep attempting to snag a few more pictures of some that aren't featured today.

An unknown snowdrop pictured above.

Also in bloom are the first of the crocus (yellow), some hardy cyclamen and hellebores.  It's challenging (that's part of the fun) to capture the hellebores as so many like to hang their heads  However, the beauty contained there, especially the doubles, makes it so worth it.  Last year, I removed a number of dark flowered ones that no longer pleased me.  It seems that light colored flowers and white ones show up so much nicer against their foliage. 

Many changes around here making for no excuses for lack of things to talk about and share. 

Here's a taste:

Lucy and Rudy.
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