Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sun Day

Despite last night's cooldown, it was hot from the get-go this morning, as we hit 81 around 9:00 a.m. I got right out to the watering before that, to make sure all my green friends were prepared for the day ahead.

This patch of dianthus is one of those flowers where it's hard to capture the flower color correctly, depending on the light conditions. It's actually, to my eye, just a little more toward the orange than the pink side of the spectrum, as reds go...but I'm having a heck of a time getting it right. Ah, well...lovely just the same.

I was happily surprised to see that this cleome seedling has developed so quickly. I think it's benefitting from its location along the route of the soaker hose, not to mention the hot golden rays of the sun.

Here's a pair of seashell cosmos seedlings at the feet of a clump of veronica (left). I'll need to transplant them so they're a little further apart, since they both look like good healthy plants.

Now, in the fish pond, you may have noticed we have a potted iris. You'd probably just have noticed the sword-like leaves coming up out of the water, really, but you might have guessed iris.

Anyway...the thing hasn't bloomed for us for about five or six years, as it seemed to have gotten pot-bound...and also didn't have a good strong sun location to thrive in.

When it bloomed last, it looked something like this, so you might imagine how psyched I was to see a pair of buds on the plant last week.

I didn't mention it here, because I figured it'd be a great Purple Flower Surprise to spring on you (get it? 'spring on you'...heh) when the time came.

Except, that time came this morning, and as you can see, the result was something different than anticipated, though clearly, there was still a surprise.

I'm not entirely sure what happened here. Plants rarely just change their mind about what they're going to look like, after all. (Do they?) The results of my online searching have suggested that both are most likely Louisiana irises.

I wonder if maybe we got two different kinds of roots at the nursery and when I divided the overgrown plant a couple years back, I gave more room in the pot to a root which hadn't been blooming before. Which makes me wonder if we'll still see the blue/purple one.

Anyway, lovely, isn't it?

Here's a look what everyone else at our house was doing as I headed out for an afternoon at work.

No, it wasn't exactly my first choice for a location on a Sunday afternoon, but there were things to be done and also, air conditioning!

The clematis vines on the lamp post really are an eager bunch. I wouldn't want to try to untangle them at this point, that's for sure. And they are covered in flower buds, which should be fun to watch over the next week or so.

It being June and busting out all over and such, there are plenty of things to see getting ready to show off just about now, like this foxglove flower spire, which is climbing and beginning to reveal its flower buds. It looks like there'll be several other flower stalks rising from this same patch. Yay!

In another part of the border, the sweet William is showing its spikey little flower heads now. Have you noticed there don't seem to be many plants named after guys? I mean, there's this William guy, and of course, Narcissus...and maybe Stephanotus (am I spelling that right?) but who else? I'm not thinking of any others off the top of my head just now. The rest, I'm pretty sure, are all girls' names. Doesn't seem quite fair, does it?

In other news, look at this sunflower seedling. Remember when they were crowding my bedroom window, what seems like forever ago? This one is also very close to the underground route of the soaker hose, and clearly thriving for the regular moisture to its roots.

Not far away, it gives me great pleasure to point out that this carnation plant, which managed to avoid being nibbled by my long-eared friend, has some lovely flower buds bobbing on curling stems. The plant that did get nibbled, though, also seems to be giving it another go, since I also see some lower flower buds appearing there, too!

And here's another look at that new arrival, the verbena bonari ensis, and it's flower buds. I love these long, thin jagged leaves. And there really aren't enough plants with square stems.

Meanwhile, summer seems to have arrived on Not Wisteria Lane. You can tell because these siberian irises down the street are now suddenly blooming. But there are other signs, too.

Now that everyone's windows are open to catch the breeze, it's become clear that almost everyone on the street watches "Jeopardy", since you can hear the Ding tone that signals a correct answer in super-quadraphonic sound when you're out in the garden after 7:30 p.m.

Also, the hard-of-hearing lady two houses down and over, watched Airport '75 last night. I know because I was able to sit inside our own house and listen to all my favorite Karen Black and Helen Reddy scenes quite clearly. ; )

Oh, and the most important sign of the change of the seasons: the Ice Cream Man is COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm always eager to have a new photo of me, but am rarely happy with my results.

Tonight I was playing around with the bug-repellent tiki torches as a light source, and I thought this didn't suck.

Hi everybody!!

I was still dripping a little from a brief visit to the hot tub, which, surprisingly, did help me cool off a little.

Great cloud formations at sunset this evening. This one caught my eye. It almost looked like there was (Great Hera!!)an Invisible Jet swooping down out of the sky.

Although I began this entry well before midnight, it's now 12:28 and the temperature is still 74 degrees, so the sea breezes seem to have abandoned us. It looks like there's a slight chance of a storm overnight, which could be kind of fun.

Meanwhile, I think I need another ice cream sandwich.


Bird said...

Ah, you have Sweet William! We had it in our garden when I was a child, and as my dad was called Bill it has double nostalgia points for me! They have such a heady, wonderful scent.

I'm enjoying all the street detail, reading this I felt like I was watching the sunset with a beer in my hand, all the flowers filling the air with scent, listening to all the neighbours tvs :)

Lacey said...

um...there's Bachelor's button...that's a guy, isn't it?

Birdie said...

What a wonderful respite visiting your blog has become for me! It's a lot like reading Cooper, only with more plants. ;) It makes me slow down and imagine smelling the flowers. For the first time, I'm seeing the flowers as I race by in my car. I need to slow down out here in the real world too. Thanks, Greg.

Greg said...

Hi Bird!! Glad to have you stop by the neighborhood for a brew and some observational entertainment!

Lacey, you're right...I suppose we must count bachelor buttons (tho it's not really specific), and there *is* Joe Pye Weed, as well, and I suppose Nico-tiana and Timothy grass, all of which I thought of since posting.

But still...when you stack it up against the infinite varieties of Pansy, Daisy, Petunia, Rose, Veronica, Susan(black-eyed), Lily and all the others, it isn't exactly balanced.

Birdie, thank you so much!!! You couldn't possibly have come up with higher praise in my book; it was Coop who inspired me by example to be more than just a photo blogger.

And I'm so happy that you're noticing flowers does help to make the day a little sunnier, eh? Now, can we get you to slow down for a closer look?!

: )

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how I first remembered what your prepped beds looked like and how they have since come to life. Nice self-portrait! ;-)

Jenn Thorson said...

Ah, yes-- not too many flowers named for guys, unless you think Roses. Like Mr. Lincoln, Joseph's Coat, etc.

An ice cream sandwich sounds good about now. :)

Greg said...

Afod--the garden's certainly sprung to life, hasn't it! I'm just like a typical gardener, and so will throw that "just wait a few weeks" line at you! : )

Jenn, you're right, we'll find more guys in the named varieties of roses...and probably a few more if we mine all those Latin names. I'll try to keep this in mind before posing random questions in the future!!

We hit 89 well before noon today--ice cream sandwiches for everyone!!!

Patrick said...

Hyacinth is actually named after a boy, a beautiful young man, Hyacinthus, whom Apollo loved. Is that too geeky to bring up? It would probably be unkind to name a a boy Hyacinth now, wouldn't it.

If you haven't already seen it, there's a rather lovely movie out of Canada called The Hanging Garden. All the characters are named after plants, the main character is Sweet William, and gardening is a central theme. It's written by the same guy who wrote "Beefcake" a few years back.

Patrick said...

Oh, and I forgot, great photo!

Greg said...

Not geeky at all, Patrick--I'd forgotten about Hyacinthus. I guess I've been tainted by Hyacinth Bucket ("boo-kay, darling") of BBC sitcom fame!

I remember hearing something about The Hanging Garden, but have yet to see it--it sounds fascinating. Time to move it onto my must-see list, I think.

I couldn't find an interesting hat--I'll save that for next time!

Jess said...

A lovely post. Flowers (of course), a napping kitty, your handsome self and pretty evening sky photos. Very nice.

Marc said...

Beautiful irises, and I love the verbena...and the cat is adorable. Nice skies!

Butch said...

Well, what can one say after visiting your beautiful blog?!!

You have such a variety of plants and I can say I've been learning much along the way every time I visit.

Had to laugh about "Bucket", what was the show called, putting on airs or something like that...

A kitty in repose, how natural as they will barely open their eyes as you go out the door to "bring home the bacon" or is that kitty litter and catnip! ;-)

Your picture is a keeper. I know how you feel about picture taking. I never like my pictures when one is taken.

Next time that Icecream truck goes by have your other half take the picture of you running out to the street pushing the kids out of the way as you queue up to the truck. Ha! Now that would be a "keeper" too!!

Greg said...

Hey Jess, hey Marc!! Of course, the cat wasn't *really* napping; I have the second photo of the dirty look he shot me after the camera clicked...but isn't he a cutie?

I'm looking forward to all the blogging that'll come of your Ireland trip, so take plenty of photos!!

Butch, I think it was called "Keeping Up Appearances" featuring Hyacinth and her family...great show!!

Thanks for your independent assessment of the photo--the photographer's quiet lament: never having photos to say that you were there, too!

I'll consider that next Ice Cream Truck photo...I *was* especially excited at the truck coming by--took me right back to those childhood summer evenings! (Except there's no bells anymore, but a digital tune...oh, you just can't go back...)

Lacey said...

Um...then there's Johnny Jump Up, Jack in the Pulpit, Cosmos...I've been wracking my brain trying to come up more...

Greg said...

You're good at this game, that's for sure, Lacey!! Thanks for all the brain-power...

...and let me just say, too, how grateful I am that the cosmos is not as ill-behaved as Cosmo Kramer!!

Amy said...

Greg, I just discovered your site, and how awesome is this!! I'm new to blogging, and all that comes with it, but you've got a great thing going here! I absolutely love all the photography you use - you've got a great eye and apparently a good camera. I feel right at home here, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be sneaking back here during breaks from work when I need a moment to myself!

Patrick O'Connor said...

Your blue iris, at least one of them, looks like the Louisiana iris 'Sinfonietta', a vivid blue and a nice plant.