The tulips have been glorious this spring and I just returned from a walk around the neighborhood where many, many cheery clumps of tulips bobbed their heads in the light breeze.
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul.” ~ Luther Burbank
Next door neighbors’ passionate pink tulips.
While the neighbors’ tulips are still in full glory, some of mine are already on their way out. But there’s no hiding a tulip’s grandeur, even in those final days.
I mean, I can only hope to look this vivid and interesting on my deathbed. (Maybe I can do without the spider, though.)
Tulips, I salute you.
This morning my phone told me it was –10 degrees outside which would explain the frost and ice on the insides of the bedroom window. It eventually got a little warmer, but was still so cold that when Zippy went out for a few minutes to shovel, he lost feeling in his fingers. I haven’t gone outside today and am exceedingly grateful I had the luxury to make that decision.
In case you’re also enduring brutally cold temperatures, here’s a photo from July 2020 when I crawled beneath the day lilies as they reached for the warm, blue sky:
I look forward to seeing those cheery flowers again.
When we returned from our walk around the neighborhood this morning, I spotted these two extra-tall sunflowers peering at us over the fence.
July 26, 2022
I took their photo with the intention of a Twofer Tuesday post. But after downloading the images from the camera, I discovered some sunflower pics Zippy had taken last week.
Sunflower plus an upright male Goldfinch:
Sunflower plus an upside down Goldfinch:
And a whole lot of sunflowers plus an almost-disappeared Goldfinch:
July 20, 2022
Did you spot him in that tangle of green and yellow? If not, check the upper right corner.
Poppy’s world is a magical place, and it’s the most free part of the entire universe.
June 19, 2022
Confession: I didn’t know there was a singer-songwriter-YouTube-personality named Poppy, but when I went in search of a poppy-related quotation and happened upon their above quote, found myself in complete agreement.
A poppy is most definitely a magical place. How else to explain these other-wordly images of my neighbors’ front yard poppy-crop?
Gratitude to these trippy flowers for helping me find joy and wonder during these very difficult days. Magic is always welcome here.
After another burst of pain earlier this week, I finally made an appointment to have my finger checked out. Today, the orthopedic doctor was pleased the tendon seems stable and believes the pain is only due to inflammation that can’t settle down. She offered a steroid injection and, while I’m no fan of sharp needles, I said YES, PLEASE!
We’re hoping that shot is a one-off and that my left hand will fully recover. I’ve currently got my two fingers taped together and will do so for the next few days, but then the tape comes off and I (hopefully) will resume my regularly scheduled life and activities (that will include gardening!)
May 22, 2020
Until then, I’m going to follow the lead of this butterfly and tread lightly.
It’s good I have photographic proof of flowers that bloomed in my garden over the past two Mays, because they’ll have a hard time showing up this year in my weed and grass-choked beds.
May 2, 2020
For the past month or so, I’ve either had to wear a splint on my left-hand ring finger or tape that finger to the middle finger in order to immobilize it. I strained the tendons badly (at least, that’s what I’m guessing) while trying to rotate our compost tumbler that sits on casters (the tumbler we built in order for me to know how to write a how-to book for young readers) and so haven’t done any bed clean-up in front this spring. One-handed gardening is above my pay grade.
As we returned from a walk just now, I averted my gaze from our front yard. Poor little perennials, struggling to push through the dead and mess I can’t remove. Zippy has no time or energy for yard work because he’s working hard to finish the van build and the quotes we received from clean-up businesses were very high, so the mess will remain.
Lucky for me, vinca is a hardy little plant.
May 7, 2021
It always finds a way to make its presence known.
It’s gray and gloomy today, belying the unseasonably warm weather (which refuses to give us a drop of much-needed moisture!), so I went in search of a cheery image to brighten the day. I selected a photo of sedum that’d bloomed in the front yard last summer.
June 10, 2021
I then went in search of a quote to accompany my photo, but was unsuccessful. Instead, I learned that sedum roofs are quite popular in other parts of the world. Sedum has a very shallow root system and not only that, “The metabolism of Sedum differs from other plants. At night, carbon dioxide is absorbed through the stomata and converted into malic acid. During the day, under the influence of sunlight, the malic acid is decomposed and photosynthesis takes place. The stomata in the leaves are only open at night. During the hot and dry day, moisture loss is minimized.” How cool is that?! And how beautiful is this roof?
My new dream is to live in a little cottage covered by a sedum roof.
August 22, 2021
It’s been a hard day and I’m trying to accomplish tasks here and there in order to stay out of my head. Weeding the front flower beds, laundry, and vacuuming. Reading and writing a tiny bit. Kissing sweet Emma on the head. While all those things were constructive and helpful, they aren’t enough. That’s why I’m posting this photo — so that I can revisit the peaceful image as needed.
Lamb’s Ear and honey bee. July 3, 2021
And I invite anyone in need of a break from the stresses of reality to do the same.
I recently bemoaned the lack of blooming iris in my gardens, wondering how others in the neighborhood managed their bumper crops of iris. I then realized I wasn’t alone. Yes, there were a couple gardens absolutely filled with iris, but the majority of us had clumps of iris in which only one or two stalks had buds/blooms. Then I remembered our early freeze last fall and the unusual amounts of moisture this spring. Maybe it wasn’t negligent gardening practices that led to my dearth of iris blooms? Whatever the reason, I’m grateful for this flower.
June 10, 2021
Solidarity with late bloomers, yo!
June 10, 2021
Once upon a time
two poppies did bloom fiercely
dead ever after
May 24, 2021
I’m starting to see iris in full bloom around the neighborhood. One home has two banks of deep purple irises which are absolutely stunning and another front yard is filled with white iris blooming.
My garden? A grand total of four potential iris blooms in the front and back gardens. What the hell? (I’m so grumpy I’m not even going to attempt taking another photo that at least pretends to be in focus).
And the indignities don’t end with the iris. I passed a yard today that was ablaze with blooming allium. I just checked on my plants and this is what’s happening here:
One puny, non-spherical bloom. Not only that, it’s really short. Again, what the hell?
You probably know that echinacea and its antioxidants are good for our physical health. It’s a widely-used herb with many applications.
Purple Coneflower aka echinacea. July 16, 2020.
What you might not know is that these vibrant plants are also what the doctor prescribes for cold, gray days. Guess you could say that echinacea is also an antigloom.
You heard it here first.
I took this photo on April 1, 2020, but the image feels appropriate for today. This afternoon I had a productive phone conversation with an elected official about pending legislation that would greatly reduce jail populations in Colorado. I’m feeling hopeful.
Bulbs planted by neighbor who now lives in Hawaii and undoubtedly remembers exactly what this is.
And what’s more hopeful than brave flowers pushing through the soil, year after year?
May this bold, beautiful bloom brighten your day, as well.
Daylily, July 19, 2019
May 29, 2019
This iris bloomed in my garden not quite two years ago, beautiful despite being battered by the elements.
Iris are hardy flowers and I look forward to seeing this one bloom again this coming spring.
I’m struggling to focus today so it feels very appropriate to post an out-of-focus flower from my garden last spring.
Cranesbill. May 23, 2020
Even though it’s not a sharp image, the bright pink and the various shades of green are soothing. And I have nothing but admiration for a bloom that stands tall while others hunker down.
For the past couple years, I’ve regretted planting Russian Sage in my garden. It gets leggy and spreads all over the place. The root system makes it very difficult to remove.
Then I saw these Goldfinches.
August 22, 2020
Maybe the sage should stay, after all.
This spent phlox is a pretty accurate representation for how I’m feeling today.
August 6, 2020
But just as this hardy perennial will gather its resources in order to bloom again in the future, so will I. Hopefully, it won’t take me until next summer to do so.
It’s Monday and it feels like a Monday. All I’ve got to offer are these two slightly out of focus Day Lilies I photographed a month ago.
July 3, 2020
Here’s hoping your Monday is following a different script.
It’s hard getting out of bed these days. I eventually got myself upright and after my morning ablutions, I reached for my hoop. For twenty minutes, I hoop-danced in front of my living room window. My mood lifted and I felt more energized. As I danced to the music, my eyes kept going to the purple coneflowers in the front garden bed and I told myself I’d photograph them when the dance session ended.
Purple Coneflowers. July 16, 2020.
Today I am grateful for these flowers, for my hoop, for music, and for my climate activist friend who’s currently reading my middle grade novel to make sure I didn’t misrepresent anything. Also? I’m glad I got out of bed.
I see aquarium plants waving gently in the water.
In reality, this is sedum and penstemon growing in my front garden. But my lack of focus and the poor exposure make it look like aquatic plants. Rather artsy-fartsy, methinks.