Plants – Flower of the Day and Invasive Plants

My flower of the day, part of Cee’s FOTD challenge, is this gorgeous yellow iris blooming in my garden. I love my iris plants. I also grow a deep purple and pink iris in my gardens.

Iris plants spread at a good rate, but they rarely become invasive, and are easy to dig out and share with friends when they take over too much room.

A plant I’m having trouble with this year is yarrow. I have this nice clump near the air conditioner. I appreciate its tenacity in this inhospitable dry soil. The plant spreads a bit each year, but for the most part is easy to control.

The flip side of this story is the yarrow sown last year via a pack of mixed wildflowers. These yarrow plants are not cooperative. They have returned and spread like a noxious weed. I am having a terrible time pulling the long tap roots out of the rich soil in the back yard plot. Yarrow is  a medicinal herb for muscle aches, but I certainly don’t need this much medicine, and if I keep yanking it up, it’s going to give me a backache. The moral of the tale: read the back of mixed wildflower packets and don’t plant any that contain yarrow.

I love my Rudbeckia Daisies,  but they also spread and can take over any plot they are in. Each year I end up pulling plants out of the beds and also seedlings out of the lawn. Still, I wouldn’t eradicate the Rudbecka altogether; I love the tall yellow stems of daisies they produce in mid-summer.

Phlower & Perspective – Iris Cathedral

Purple Iris – Flower of the Day

“I have had more than half a century of such happiness. A great deal of worry and sorrow, too, but never a worry or a sorrow that was not offset by a purple iris, a lark, a bluebird, or a dewy morning glory.” ~ Mary McLeod Bethune

This regal flower reminds me today of beauty lost. How horrifying it was yesterday to witness Notre Dame in flames and realize there was nothing to be done to save it. A reminder to make the most of every moment, so much can change in just a matter of minutes or hours.

Posies – Bouquet/Iris and Wisteria

It’s time to start creating a weekly bouquet of garden flowers to enjoy. This week I chose the wisteria and iris that are beginning to bloom in my garden. Both of these spring blooming flowers are great for arrangements, and with their substantial stems are easy to use. Remove any leaves that will be below the water line. Cut stems at an angle, and if you’re really ambitious cut straight up the bottom of your wisteria stem to allow more water to be drawn up. It’s best to choose iris buds ready to unfurl. If you cut these stems underwater they will last even longer. An added bonus is the spectacular fragrance of both these flowers. Astonish yourself and create your own springtime bouquet!

Plants – Iris

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My favorite iris plants are blooming. Because my area of the country is swamped in daily rain showers at this time, I decided to bring these beauties inside to enjoy in a vase. The colors, frills and fragrance of iris plants make them a good choice for indoor bouquets. Be prepared for complete enchantment when their fragrance fills the air. I can’t remember the name of this variety, but the scent is a mixture of grape-notes and soft florals.

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A vase with weight on the bottom is the best choice for displaying iris.

Prayer & Praise – Macro Iris Photographs

The inside of an Iris always reminds me of a cathedral with stained glass ceilings and windows. How can I not praise the Creator when I gaze upon his wonders? This is my Father’s World.

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“Every time we pray our horizon is altered,

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our attitude to things is altered

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 not sometimes but every time,

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and the amazing thing is

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that we don’t pray more.”

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 ~ Oswald Chambers

Plants – Mid-Spring Garden Update

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the garden: planting, weeding, watering and tidying up. Likewise, the garden has been the subject of quite a few recent posts. Here are a few quick updates on some past posts, and then I’ll try to turn my blogging intentions elsewhere, at least for a few days. 😀

Birdie, birdie in the tree

Sparrows made use of my birdhouse and the tree has been a-twitter with the chirping of baby birds for over a week.

Koi in Pond

I’ve been enjoying the pond, it is on the small size, but the koi are huge. They don’t seem to mind the small confines. Two have grown to twelve inches from three/four inch sized babies.

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A coleus grown from my own gathered seed has finally, after years of pampering, become a beauty. I love the finely edged leaves and vivid pink color. I named it Raspberry Twizzle. It has the characteristics of other coleus I have grown, but I have never seen such a brilliant pink in other coleus. I love it.

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I love my potted pansies and dahlia near the front porch.

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I found an old favorite, Mimulus, or monkey flower at a local nursery. The plant is heat intolerant, so I am growing it in pots on the porch.

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My Meyer Lemon and  Carambola sprouts are also vacationing on the porch for the summer. At some point I am going to have to decide which to keep and which to give away or discard.

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I replaced a rose that didn’t make it through our long winter with one of the Hasslefree Roses variety. I love this beautiful apricot beauty called: About Face.

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The Tomato Transplants in the Straw Bales are doing very well, so are a crop of mushrooms. The mushrooms sprout up overnight and succumb to the heat of the afternoon sun. They don’t seem to be doing the tomatoes any harm. This new technique of growing tomatoes has been a lot of fun.

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The Square Foot Gardens are up and doing well.

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Our Iris plants in this area are blooming weeks later than usual. Here is my favorite. I can’t remember the name, but oh the joy I feel when it unfurls its amazing pink petals. The blooming of this beauty prompted me to go on my yearly “Iris Hunt.” My “hunt ” is a long, circular bike ride through all the surrounding neighborhoods to find and photograph as many gorgeous Iris as possible. More on this at a later date. Thanks for looking, and thanks to those who have been asking me for this garden update. Blessings on your day!

Posies – The Garden Path – Iris Bouquets

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I love iris plants. I enjoy cutting each of the varieties I grow for beautiful vased arrangements in the house. Even the buds on an iris flower stalk are fascinating. Beginning as tightly furled points, they gradually open into rounded balloon shapes before bursting into a blossom that resembles a floral cathedral. I love to peer into the inner recesses of an iris flower. There is a sense of the spiritual for me as I gaze at the detail created by God. The light filtering through the outer petals into the inner chamber of the flower cannot be duplicated by anything manmade.

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An iris is an easy flower to use in a floral arrangement. Cut near the base of the plant to remove the stalk. Unopened buds, just beginning to unfurl are the best choices for cutting. Recut to the length you want, trimming the stem on an angle, place in room temperature water. Iris can be combined with other flowers in floral arrangements. In the first photograph I have combined purple iris with yellow lamium. The iris will last for several days. When the first few blossoms wither, pull or cut away from the stem. The lower buds will then begin to open.

Plants – The Great Iris Hunt

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.  Psalm 33:5

In the past few weeks I have enjoyed hunting down and photographing some of the beautiful Iris plants in my area. When I gaze at the beauty of the petals of an iris I am reminded of the one who created all things.

To all artists and craftspersons, please feel free to use any of the iris photographs below for your art or projects. A Blessed Sabbath Day to you.

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Plants – Purple Iris

The purple Iris plants growing in my garden are another one of my “Old Reliables.” Every year, whether wet or dry, cold or unseasonably hot, they bloom without fail. When the sun shines through their thin, but durable petals, they glow with regal grace. The “Culture of Iris” is easy, plant the rhizomes in early summer and the following spring you will reap the rewards.

This year I am determined to watercolor a painting of my gorgeous iris plants.