Sunday, June 1, 2008

Iris, Peonies, Rare Birds!

It is amazing to me how rain and sun and warmth can make a garden grow so quickly. While we have had some very nice days-days that were even hot, our nights have been cool. Down in the 40's a lot of the time. These past few days we have stayed in the lower to middle 60's and the humidity has increased. And no matter how much you water dry and thirsty plants, there is just nothing like a good drink of rain for them. So when you combine all the elements, the garden explodes with new growth, buds and blooms.

Friday felt like a typical July day with lots of humidity and hot temperatures and chances for severe thunderstorms. Just before dark, they came! In short bursts of enormous energy, it rained 2 1/2" accompanied by wind and lots of lightning. Thankfully, we had only a few small limbs down. Saturday, hubby and I worked on cleaning up the outside. We had a trailer full of garden trash from last fall and this spring and of course our ceiling tile had all been thrown on as well. We took it out to his brother's farm and dumped it in a pit to be burned later. To get to the pit we waded water and had mud to our knees throwing the trash off the trailer. While hubby sharpened the blades on the mower, I took a rolling magnet around the yard and driveway to pick up any stray roofing nails. He mowed our hay field(it had been 3 weeks since we had mowed) and I took the power washer to the stone patio. Both jobs took the better part of the afternoon. I finally finished my chore and came in to take a much needed shower. He stayed with the mowing and then broomed the cut grass and got it hauled off. Needless to say, we were both tired. But it felt good to get the yard and outside back into shape.

Today, I took time to check out my gardens as well as the flowers at my Mother-in-law's. I was surprised at how much things had changed in just a couple of days.

I am not too sure what this flower is. I remember planting small bulbs here a few years back but have no other recollection about them. Still, I enjoy their dainty yellow blooms.

A Martha Stewart 'heritage' rose is just about to open. This is a deep red that almost looks like velvet. Maybe the Japanese Beetles will stay away long enough for some of my roses to show pretty blooms.

Good old 'Betty Prior' is full of promise. It is a great standard in the world of roses. She has few petals and looks old fashioned(which I like) and is not a fussy type. Even the beetles leave her alone.

The columbine that I planted years ago, is in full bloom. It has spread from one small plant to several all over the end of that burm and looks such a pretty purple mass.

My Iris has another bloom, and this one is even bigger than the first one.

In my last post, I talked about my MIL's iris and wanting to transplant some of them to my garden to keep them going in the family as she is now in a nursing home. Today, I decided to see just what she had. These yellow and bronze are one of the ones I think of as old fashioned-original iris.

And of course the pale all yellow ones.

These, too, were some of the very first iris I remember as a child in my grandmother's yard. My granddaughter calls these "root beer flowers". She thinks they smell like root beer. Well, maybe a little.

Oh my! Look what else she has in her iris beds. This is a huge rust colored one.

Such a bright yellow!

And these purple and white ones are gorgeous.

This is a pale pink on top with a hint of yellow then a lavender towards the bottom. It looks like an orchid. I am going to be very busy this fall!

I also found more peonies than I remembered. A pale pink double with darker outer petals.

A truly enormous double deep pink one.

And lastly a pale pink to white double. I feel a case of peony envy coming on!

Then as a treat for all you bird lover's, I wanted to show one of my shots of rarely seen birds. Lisa, are you ready for this?

Okay, maybe they aren't really rare. But I did see them in a very unusual spot. We went to a small town ice cream place this afternoon and while sitting out under their umbrella, up walked these two chickens. I think they must have come from the outskirts of the town, but seemed very much at home pecking around the trash can.

The latest update on our roof. The work was completed late Friday afternoon. Or so I was told by the men as they left. However, and this is a big however! The heavy rain we got Friday proved them wrong. I had a virtual waterfall in the front part of our living room. I didn't get a picture of the water actually pouring through as I was too busy setting out bowls and buckets and towels. This picture was taken the next morning. We have a skylight in this area(separate from where we have the new ceiling tile) that lets in much needed light. After moving the love seat and putting down the towels, etc. I called the contractor. He came over in time to see the leak. "Did this leak before?" "Well, yes-a little recently, that was one of the reasons for the new roof." DUH! He did promise to make it his credit, but when? Hopefully tomorrow, before it rains again! I am keeping my sense of humor about this as I have always wanted a water feature. But maybe outside would be a better place for one.

This week is supposed to be a really warm one here. So I am looking for the gardens to grow triple time now. I hope your week is warm and that your gardens grow before your eyes.


Alyssa said...

Oh, that's just awful having your living room rained on! I sure hope they get that roof fixed before the next rain. What a pain!

What lovely pictures you have of the beautiful iris. I would definately remember where the prettiest ones are this Fall. The bronze and yellow ones surely brought back memories! Where I grew up, the sidewalk leading to the barn was lined with masses of those. For many years I didn't know iris came in any other colors!

And I see why you have "peony envy" :) - - they are something! Since your MIL is in a nursing home, you definately should dig some of them up to carry along the tradition. Our iris are blooming now and the peonies will probably open next week. Yes, warm weather and rain surely makes a huge difference!!

Oh yes, the little yellow flowers in the beginning of your post are a type of Allium - a member of the onion family. I have some like that also. They are so dainty.

Beth said...

oh those iris are pretty--what a busy weekend you had AND a waterfall in your living room--after reading all of your activities I feel like a nap! Good luck with the roof--how frustrating. Keep us posted.

Rose said...

Beckie, I am tired just from reading about all the work you did this weekend--you'd better take today off!
Those irises are beautiful and remind me of ones my mother used to have (still does??). You definitely need to transplant those.
Love the "rare" birds,LOL.
I'm proud of you for keeping your sense of humor about the roof; I think I would have cried. I hope they get everything fixed.

Cheryl said...

Beckie, now you are really putting me off having the roof done!!! How awful for you, I was going to say, it never rains but it pours....but thats not funny is it?

Love the Iris's and chickens(I am a chicken lover).....and the little yellow plant is an allium, not sure which one though.

I do hope the sunshine turns up are not alone, its been awful here.

Hope that roof is sorted soon and you recover swiftly from all your hard toil.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I about cracked up when I saw your "RARE" birds Beckie. I love them though. I wish I could have some chickens in my garden as you know. These are real beauties too.

Oh I feel so bad for you about your leak. My gosh what a kick in the pants after all that work on the roof and it looking so good. Someone forgot some flashing around your window I bet. GEEZ

I love those old fashioned irises and the peonies too. You should get some rhizomes before your forget what color is where so you can have a little piece of each. I find that they transplant easily.

beckie said...

Alyssa, where is your post for this week!!? I know you are busy, but at least let us know you are alive. I know what you mean about the iris. The first time I saw on of the big brightly colored ones I did think it was an orchid! But as you say the bronze and yellow ones are full of memories. Thanks for the allium name. I just couldn't remember at all!

Beth, it was a working weekend-finally. Seems as though we get so busy the weeks and weekend fly by without getting much done. But we both were proud of our accomplishments. The roof-he is here working on it again. My fingers are crossed. But as Steve says, no paying if it still leaks.

Rose, I would have cried but knew it would do no good. You should get some of your mom's iris. More joining the two families together. Are you up for another plant shopping day? :)

Cheryl, it is funny! What a great pun. They are working on getting it fixed so hopefully I can get things straightened up. I know your weather has been miserable and I feel for you and your bees. I can't imagine what is going on with them. Hope you get some of this heat we are having now.

Lisa, I didn't know you wanted chickens. I suppose they are a no-no in your neighborhood. They are redoing the skylight now. I think the Dad came over and told the son how to do it. I emailed you about the iris.

Cathy said...

Hi Beckie,
Thank you for stopping by my blog and the compliments. Your flowers are beautiful! Hope you get your roof situation straightened out soon. I had to chuckle when I saw your photo of the corn field. . .that is exactly what we have around here. Hope you don't mind if I add you as a link. I really enjoyed reading your blog.


Amy said...

Oh dear, I'm so sorry about the waterfall in you living room! Hopefully it is fixed very, very quickly.

Those iris and peonies are just gorgeous - I hope you're able to get some pieces so they can continue on in your garden. I don't know if you remember that piece of peony I pulled out accidently this spring - it rooted and is growing quite happily in my garden. They seem to be very easy to divide.

Laura said...

I thought of you when the storms went through the other day; sorry to hear about the leak. We had a decent rain go through today. Now we have standing water and sunshine.

Your Mother-in-Law's Irises are beautiful! I would definitely divide some of them.

Have a great day and good luck with your roof!

beckie said...

Cathy, It was a pleasant happening finding your blog. I enjoyed it.

Amy, the roof still is leaking so try #3 coming up. Lisa has said I should go ahead and dig some of the iris now, so I think I will try it. Hope you are getting better-lets us know.

Laura, we are drowning! Ponds of water everywhere and fields aren't planted yet. Hope you are doing okay with your crops.

Cheryl said...

Hows that roof Beckie????

Rose said...

I was going to leave the same comment as Cheryl, LOL. I just posted this morning about basement problems. You and I need to buy stock in Wet Vacs and de-humidifiers:) Pray for no more rain!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

What a drag! Around here the best time to get a new roof put on the house is between the middle of July & the middle of August, but then you could end up with a stretch of rain like last August. I guess you just have to reroof when it needs it & cross your fingers.
Your MIL has a lovely selection of Irises. Isn't it great that Irises need dividing so that there's always plenty to share? (Unlike Peonies.)

Rose said...

Me again. I'm just experimenting to see if the photo I added to my profile works. Hope you don't mind. Basement is drying out...