Monday, January 25, 2010

What to do on a cool, windy Monday

What do you do on a cool, windy Monday in late January? Why, you order roses!
That is exactly what I did today! I haven't had roses in ages, but have been bitten by the rose bug. Not just any rose though..I decided I really wanted to try antique roses. Something like my Grandmother may have had. I have always wanted to go to Brenham (Texas) to The Antique Rose Emporium, but that is several hours from Dallas. And, some day I will go for a visit; however for today I looked at their website and saw that I could order online. The roses are kind of expensive ($18.95) so I only ordered 2. I had no idea which kind I wanted, but the website helps you decide by giving you options to choose from: shrub, climbing, fragrance, color, etc. I knew I wanted a repeat bloomer that was fragrant. That narrowed my search a little. Then I just browsed through the available section, picked ones of interest to read about, and made my decision.
I chose this yellow
doches" first. As you all know, I LOVE yellow. This is the description the Rose Emporium gives about this rose:

doches” or
“Grandma’s Yellow” as it is known in some circles, is a real eye catcher! The bright yellow roses appear throughout the growing season on an upright shrub and are excellent for cutting. We feel this rose is a modern Floribunda, but unlike its modern rose cousins, it has proven to be disease resistant.

I knew I wanted a pink rose, but had no clue what to select. Reading about this rose named
"Odee Pink", made it an easy decision:

"Easy to grow and always in bloom, this unknown old Tea is what one might term "gardener friendly". The double, loosely-formed pale pink flowers seem the sort that Grandmother might have pinned to her shawl so she could enjoy the perfume as she went about her daily chores."

How sweet is that?

I have been excited all afternoon about ordering these plants. They should arrive the second week of February. Guess I need to get the bed ready pretty soon. I have some great dirt just waiting for a new home!
Sure was a great January Monday!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The "No Complaining Rule"

Our pastor has been doing a sermon series based on the book by Jon Gordon "The No Complaining Rule." Oh dear, my thoughts that first Sunday, I am the Queen of complaining. This isn't good! So, I decided to take a look at just exactly what it is that makes me complain the most.

It certainly is not my family. I have the best husband in the whole wide world. My kids are in-law kids are grand dog is the sweetest thing in the world..and my grandson, well he is without a doubt the cutest little thing you have ever seen. No complaining here. What else could it be?

I love my home, I love my job, I love my friends. I am blessed to have fished the Kenai River in Alaska; seen the sun shine on the Grand Canyon; and climbed a mountain in the Colorado Rockies. Hum....well it's not a travel complaint. What is it that I complain about the most?
Oh yeah..there is that weather thing. I do complain about that..a lot!!

What else do I complain about...let me think..I'll walk outside to clear my mind to see if I can remember what I complain about so much..
Ugh, look at all that standing water..why can't it dry up..I wish this yard was bigger..and why did that tree have to fall over..and why can't I get more flowers to grow back here..and why do I have so many snakes...
Oh, no.. can it be..surely it's not...yes, it is! It's the garden. One of the things I enjoy most, is what I complain about the most!
I will admit, I have a love/hate relationship with my backyard. I don't mean to complain about it, but I do-all the time! The fact is, the area is small, and difficult, but usually I get some good results because I love to work with it so much.
I decided to sit on the flagstone patio and think about all this. And I see this pot of beautiful pansies. The pastor gave us an assignment for the week-make a gratitude list. I am so grateful for these pretty fragrant flowers..I am so grateful I have a garden to sit in and can even be outside on a January afternoon.
I need to change my way of thinking. Every time I think of something wrong, I need to think of 2 things that are right. I need to stop complaining about the weather--I can't do anything about it anyway!
I see another pot of pansies with a cute little bunny stretched out in front of it. And, as I look over the patio to a now empty bed, I think I see-yes, I see tiny tops of the daffodils I planted last fall starting to appear. Lady Bird Johnson always said, "where flowers bloom, there is hope."
I can't promise I will never complain again, but I am going to try really hard to look at the garden
as problems that need solutions. Not all will have solutions, but I imagine lots will.
It is not hard to find things to put on my gratitude list, and please know blogging friends, you all have a special place on that list!

"Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes, it is the triumph of hope over experience."
Marina Schinz

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Paperwhites are blooming!

In the rush of Christmas and planting outside bulbs, I almost forgot to buy my Narcissus Paperwhite bulbs to force inside! I ran into Home Depot hoping to find some, and sure enough, they did have a few left on display. They came in a pack of 4, which was enough for me so I just bought 1 package. These are so easy to force. You just position them in potting soil, water some, put them in good light or by a window..and just wait.
It wasn't anytime before they started to shoot up. I kept them in the kitchen at first, but they starting growing so tall, I had to move them to the family room. It's funny though, every year it seems like there is always one that grows much taller than the others. Why is that??
And now, I have pretty blooms starting to open. See the red ribbon? Once the paperwhites start to bloom, they have a tendency to fall over. Top heavy I guess. I picked up a ribbon I had and tied the stem to a green stake which solved the problem.
I don't have many house plants, but I think this little group adds a nice touch of "garden" to my home. Just what I need on these dreary winter days! (One note: Paperwhites have a rather "unusual" scent which does bother some.) If you have never forced bulbs, you need to try it. It will brighten any one's day!

"A flower touches everyone's heart!"
Georgia O'Keefe

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weather in Texas!!

I am such a wimp when it comes to winter! I have always been so thankful I live in Texas where winters are mild. I can tolerate the summer heat just fine, but I don't like to be cold. I kept hearing we would have an unusually cold and wet winter..but in Texas? I was not a believer--until Christmas Eve. This is what my yard looked like on December 24th. And then, this past week..the Arctic front hit.
The garden section in the paper said to cover all you could, even pansies, violas and kale. I found all the sheets I could and started covering.
Depending on where you lived, the lows were between 8 and 12 with wind chills close to zero.
We have not had a winter with temps this low in about 11 or 12 years. The highs did not get out of the 20's for about 3 days. You can see the ice on the pond. It was about 2 inches thick! Luckily it did not stop the water from flowing from the old pump so part of the surface remained unfrozen. If you look, you can see one of the goldfish. They stay down at the bottom in a type of hibernation and seem to be fine.
This is the bed around the new tree. Under all those sheets are bluebonnets I called the Wildseed Farm in Fredericks-
burg and asked them what to do about my bluebonnet rosettes. They told me they normally tell people just to leave them alone as bluebonnets are pretty cold tolerant, but with this cold they are recommending covering them if you can. Not a problem for me to cover as I just grow them in a flower bed. I worked so hard to get these flowers going, I sure would be sad to lose them.
I get so depressed in winter. It's too cold, not enough sun, and nothing blooms. But today, the sun came out and it was above freezing. And today, I found my promise for better things to come..look what I see..
Through the leaves, even after the coldest weather, there is my hope!
How exciting it was to see some bulbs peeking through. I have no idea if all the bulbs I planted will make it, but I see that a few have.
I will never be a "winter person," but seeing these spring flowers coming up warmed my heart. I can take 2 more months of cold weather, right? (Hurry Spring, hurry!!)
"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 1, 2010

They had red tulips at the grocery store--I just couldn't help myself!
Happy New Year everyone!!