Category Archives: cockscomb

SIMPLE DELIGHT

Late summer provides a bit of a respite

From the heavy work of a perennial garden.

Sure there is still deadheading

To keep the blooms coming

And weeds to be pulled.

But my garden is in that “in-between” time.

It’s a bit early to start digging things up

And moving them around.

Something I love doing.

So late last week

When my friend Beth

Reminded me that

“the simplicity of a water drop on a petal

Can delight our inner self”

IMG_0291

It helped me to slow down

And look for that simplicity.

Tonight when I was making a little arrangement

For the breakfast room

IMG_3014(1)

And a praying mantis popped out.

It was shear delight.

IMG_3003(1)

I quickly relocated it to the garden.

Then as I moved the arrangement to the table

Another appeared.

IMG_3017(1)

What are the chances of having two praying mantis

In the same arrangement?

Pretty slim I’d say.

It reminded me of the moment last spring

When all the babies hatched.

I was lucky enough to happen to walk by

At this moment.

A few weeks later

Nature repeated itself for Harper & Henry

When they found their own delight.

IMG_3018

Finding delight in simplicity.

Thanks for the reminder, Beth.

Gail

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Bouquets, Bugs, Children in the Garden, cockscomb, Dead Heading, Flower Arrangements, Garden Photography, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Grandchildren, Perennials, Praying Mantis, Uncategorized

DOG DAYS ARRANGING

Since I garden in the southern great plains

There are things I’ve come to expect

In late summer.

Grasshoppers come to mind.

 

IMG_2935

Photo credit Debra Mitchell

Humidity is definitely a factor.

And it is often accompanied

By heat.

As I look out onto my garden.

I almost feel like I need to apologize

To the brave plants

Basking in the heat of the day.

Yet, some plants seem to not just survive

But thrive.

I can’t take credit for too much planning

But I do know I want cutting flowers

All through the growing season.

So there is some intentionality

To my methods.

And as a result.

When I went to cut for my Sunday church bouquets

I was pleased to find plenty to pick.

So how does this work?

If there’s a star in my garden

All season long

It has to be Annabelle Hydrangea.

IMG_2938

I have a hedge of five planted at the east end.

They have bloomed since late May.

Starting with fluffy white blooms

And maturing to the lime green that I love

Since it goes so well with many other flowers.

I’ve cut them all season

And they still have lots to give.

That’s why I’ve added them to the corners of my garden house.

And last fall in a front bed.

I even wanted a hedge of them in front of our new fence

But lost out to John’s desire for more Crepe Myrtle.

The next jewel of late summer arrangements

Is tall garden phlox.

IMG_4787

If you cut it back in the spring

The blooms will be delayed until early July here

And they will still be going strong in August.

These two flowers alone

With their big blousey blooms

Are a great foundation for arrangements

Large and small.

Cleome is another gift this time of year.

It’s a funky flower that brings interest to both the garden

And arrangements.

CLEOME OR SPIDER FLOWER  - FULL SUN - 3 ' - 4'  - SELF SEEDING ANNUAL

Cockscomb is just beginning to come into it’s own.

So start cutting and don’t stop

Or you’ll have a cockscomb only garden before you know it!

IMG_1733

Now fill in with some blues and purples in the Veronica family

IMG_2940

Add Zinnias

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maxmillion Sunflowers

IMG_2950

And Dahias.

DSCN0783

And you have a “Dog Days” arrangement

That will make you smile each time you pass by.

IMG_2933(Edited)

Like much in life

I can’t change the heat of August

But I can find joy in the blossoms

It produces.

Take care,

Gail

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Bouquets, cleome, cockscomb, Dahlias, Flower Arrangements, Garden Planning, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Hydrangea, late summer garden, Maximillian Sunflower, Tall Garden Phlox, Uncategorized, Veronica Spicata, Zinnia

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

It’s happened again.

A bumper crop of Cockscomb.

IMG_5630

If I looked back

I imagine I have written

A similar blog

Most every year

About this time.

But this year

Cockscomb is crazier

Than most.

IMG_5641

Perhaps it is the cumulative effect

Of years of Cockscomb

In my garden.

Whatever the cause

It’s carpeting the front of my garden.

Which means I have to pick

Lots of it

To prevent it from going to seed.

IMG_5566

I can’t compost the blooms

That would only mean more

Next year.

I can’t bring myself

To put it in the trash.

That goes against the composting code.

IMG_5642

So…the last few weeks

I’ve taken to cutting big bunches

And just dropping them by

Local florists shops.

It’s kind of a reverse thing

Flowers going in

Rather than flowers going out.

Luckily I live in a small town

And know these florists well.

Sometimes the answer to the problem

Is counter intuitive

Reverse logic

Or just plain simple.

Share what you are given.

Gail

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under cockscomb, Compost, Uncategorized

IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE

This has been an unusual summer

On many fronts.

I’ve been gone half the summer.

Two weeks here

A week there.

Grand kids will do that to you

I’ve learned.

img_1440-2.jpg

Not that I mind

I don’t.

But I’m not used to flitting around

Like that.

Then there was August.

Days turned into

Weeks of mid-80’s

And there was the rain.

In a month when it might not rain

At all

We had 6 inches!

So…

Combine my absence

With cool temperatures

And gentle rains

And what do you get?

A jungle.

The Cockscomb is officially

Growing out of its mind.

IMG_1752

Zinnias have popped up

Everywhere.

IMG_1732

The Asters are blooming,

IMG_1761

And Cleome is still going strong.

IMG_1785

Then there is the crabgrass.

If you don’t pull it.

It just keeps growing

And growing.

I think I’ve filled

Four poly carts

With the stuff.

Yesterday I managed

To get about half way through

The weeding process.

With a little deadheading

Along the way.

That’s really all there is

To do out there right now.

That and enjoy Mother Nature.

Yesterday was a tough day

To be one of these.

img_1716.jpg

Not sure if it’s a moth

Or a butterfly.

First one was eaten for lunch

By a Praying Mantis.

IMG_1679

Then this Orb spider

Had another one

For dinner.

IMG_1711

I was still

In the garden

At dusk

When the locust chorus

Began singing

A familiar song.

Fall

Isn’t it yummy?

Gail

IMG_1765

 

1 Comment

Filed under Bugs, Butterflies, cleome, cockscomb, Dead Heading, Fall, Gardening, Grandchildren, late summer garden, Nature, Orb Spider, Praying Mantis, Rain, self seeding annuals, Uncategorized

SUMMER LOVE

There’s something about the flowers

Of late summer

That I love.

Maybe it’s because they are sturdy enough

To thrive in the normal August heat.

With the cool days

And unprecedented rain

We’ve been having

This year’s August garden

Is lush.

Out of control really.

The cockscomb is doing it’s usual thing.

Blooming EVERYWHERE

IMG_2860

Zinnias are beginning to bloom.

They didn’t get planted till around the 4th of July

So they are just now kicking in.

 

DSCN0274

Endless Summer hydrangea

Are putting on new blooms.

While their cousin Annabelle

Has never stopped.

IMG_1344

And Cleome is still going strong.

DSCN0026

The thing that I notice

Is how different each of these flowers is.

Their forms.

Their needs.

Their appearance.

Yet when you put them together

In a simple vase.

They not only

Play well together

They encourage one another.

IMG_1351

How can you not love a garden?

Gail

Leave a comment

Filed under cleome, cockscomb, Hydrangea, late summer garden, Perennials, Rain, self seeding annuals, Sunflowers, Uncategorized, Zinnia

BACK IN THE GARDEN

I’ve been gone the last two weekends

Which meant

No time in the garden.

It takes a lot to get me out of the garden

Two fall weekends in a row.

img_6262

But a visit with Harper & Henry

And the out-of-state wedding

Of a dear friend’s son.

Collided

Leaving me out of the garden.

While we were gone

We got a big rain

Six inches of rain

To be exact.

So the ground is just right

For fall rituals.

Moving things

Pulling up spent Cockscomb

And just generally puttering around.

This is the time of year

Where the present

And the future meet.

In the garden.

Spring flowering bulbs

Have started to arrive.

img_6291

Though the soil isn’t quite cool enough

To bury them yet.

My potting bench is covered with

Little containers of seeds.

img_6295

Glimpses of things to come.

And the Dahlias hit their stride.

img_6259

But the action isn’t all outside

Normally this time of the year I’m making pesto.

But our hot summer

Combined with my negligence in keeping the basil from bolting

Landed me with tons of bitter basil.

So there’s no pesto this year.

Instead I’m planning to freeze

Cubes of herb butter

img_6287

For winter cooking.

And the kitchen windowsill is filled with

Tomatoes in different stages of ripening.

img_6280

It’s a defensive move

Against whatever four-legged devil

Is dining on my almost ripe tomatoes

Every night.

img_6216

They get them just before they ripen on the vine.

So I’ve figured out just how long I can leave them

Then pick them before they are stolen.

Now I don’t mind sharing a few

But they are taking more than their fair share.

October

img_6302

You just can’t beat it

For perfect days in the garden

For relishing in a season well spent

And planning for the future

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Bees, cockscomb, Dahlias, Fall, Herbs, Seeds, Tomato, Uncategorized, Zinnia

ARRANGEMENTS

One of the joys of having abundant flowers

Is sharing them.

I don’t have a lot of exotic plants.

But I have flowers.

And fall brings arm loads

Of late summer’s glory.

Cockscomb is the staple

This time of year.

dscn6141

And the beginning

Of every arrangement I make.

If you cut it long

You’ll have lots of branches

To hold other less stable stem in place.

And the color

Just oozes a fall feeling.

I’ve nominated myself

In-house florist

At church

img_5866

As well as Loaves & Fishes.

img_5899

They are willing to indulge me

And let me bring flowers each week.

Since friends drop vases by

When they clean out their cabinets.

I always have a good supply.

You can create reasons

For other flower fairy gifts.

This week included

A “thank you” bouquet

To a fellow L & F board member

img_5883

And a “hello” bouquet

To a new family

Moving on the block.

img_5894

It’s a simple way

To keep the cockscomb

Trimmed away from the path

And to share the glory of the season.

Someday when life slows down.

I’d love to do this all the time.

Enjoy the week.

Gail

“I must have flowers always and always.”

Claude Monet

4 Comments

Filed under Bouquets, cleome, cockscomb, Hydrangea, late summer garden, Uncategorized, Zinnia