Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pink and White Delight

Thanks so much to all of you who left comforting words on the loss of my dad. I appreciate each and every one of you. It never ceases to amaze me that this blogging community is so full of wonderful, caring people from all over this big, wide world. It warms my heart.

I've begun this post several times, but one thing or another has kept me from finishing it. Finally, tonight, I'm going to get it hook, or by crook!

The Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra) began blooming in very early May, and are still showing a few blooms more than half way through June. This plant liberally sows seeds so that I end up with new plants each spring to move around and give away to friends. It's high on my list of favorites.
It hangs so gracefully, and has delicate heart-shaped flowers dangling from each stem in this wonderful rosy-pink shade.
And speaking of shade, it will grow in a shady spot, as well as in sun.

I've enjoyed this garden on the driveway side of our front porch more this spring than any preceding year. It's been absolutely gorgeous, and I've taken so many photos of it that I decided it needed a post of its own, even though I'm so far behind with my posts, and have so many other flowers to show you.

We've seen the lilacs bloom and the Oriental poppies, iris in several colors, columbines, Pansies, and many others, and the peonies are blooming gloriously now.
I plan to post photos of them all as soon as time allows.

The cats are never far away when I'm working in the gardens. Here's Toby keeping me company.

There were blue and white forget-me-nots sprinkled throughout the garden, entirely self-sown.
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And this dainty Arabis (Rockcress) which is a perennial. You can see it between the bushes in the second photo.

This bush, which sits next to the porch steps, is the original plant, given to me by my husband's sister about 16 or 17 years ago. It has certainly multiplied well over the years.

This lovely dark purple pansy came back from last summer, and the Johnny-jump-ups are always willing volunteers. I've just (regretfully) pulled some out today to make room for some marigolds and ageratum.
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I love the tiny forget-me-not flowers. They sow themselves every year with very little help from me. I occasionally move some around to fill in a space.

Such a lovely shade of blue!

They were spread all around the front of the porch, and filled the entire garden on the other side. It's a small area that I plant with impatiens because it's shaded by the big maple tree, so it makes a great spot for the Forget-me-nots to fill in during the early spring.
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This white Bleeding Heart blooms later than the pink, and isn't such a vigorous grower, although this spring it has grown larger than ever before.

It doesn't spread as easily either, but I did end up with one new plant from it this's the first time that's happened.

Chives and Snow-on-the-mountain grow next to it, with a dark colored columbine in the corner by the porch. Posted by Picasa

This pretty heuchera (Coral Bells) grows next to one of the pink Bleeding Hearts. There were several others but they got buried underneath the bushes as they grew bigger, so today I dug them up and will plant them somewhere else.

Finnegan is where he's not supposed to be, as usual. He loves to hide in the "jungle" :)

The columbine sows itself all over too, and often has to be moved or thinned and thrown on the compost heap.

The little English daisies bloom very early and are pretty reliable about coming back each year, and sowing themselves, if I'm lucky. Posted by Picasa

Murphy is sharpening his claws while Finn looks on. These two spend a lot of time entertaining each other, when they're not sleeping :)

This has been an eventful week, but I'll have to tell you about it next time because it's past my bedtime, and I must get up early for work tomorrow. Only 2 more days of school left before summer vacation. I can't wait to have more hours to work in the gardens!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Wedding and a Passing.

It's been 15 days since I've posted, which seems a very long time to me. These past 2 weeks have been filled with activities and work, so spare time has been at a minimum. After a long day, When I finally sit down to do a little blogging at night I tend to nod off, and consequently, haven't managed to put a post together, or do much visiting. I've missed you all! Hopefully I'll eventually get around to visiting with you to catch up on all that you've been up to.

Our weather has been mostly sunny and warm (we actually need rain!), perfect for gardening, but I've been working at school, so haven't had enough time to keep up with everything. My gardens are very untidy and looking a bit neglected at the moment. I've been planting containers and window boxes, and now I'm beginning to plant some annuals. I'll post pictures of the gardens soon. The peonies are budding, the bleeding heart are almost finished blooming (I will post the promised pictures of it soon), and I still have some iris blooming, among other things.

Ross has the vegetable garden all planted (well, he keeps adding a few things), and it's looking great. It's huge! He planted 125 hills of squash and pumpkins....and there are only 2 of us! He likes to try new varieties....and feed the neighbors!

Kylie and Ko held their wedding reception on June 2nd. Some of you may remember that they were married in a small ceremony at the Cornell Plantations last September. (Clicking the links will take you to those posts, and there are two more posts with pictures of the plantations here and here, if you're interested in seeing those beautiful gardens).
Ross says Kylie and Ko may have set a record for the longest period of time between the wedding and the reception :)
It was a very informal gathering, with a friend performing the Master of Ceremonies duty. He proved to be a stand up comedian and had us in stitches with stories of the couple's romance.

Kathy, our youngest, served as bridesmaid, and another friend, Paul, was the best man.

Kylie surprised us then by singing that old favorite song, "Our Love is Here to Stay" to her husband. It was a very touching moment (which brought tears to her mom and dad's eyes) and she did a beautiful job, singing acappella in her sweet, clear voice. She was a little emotional and nervous, but I was filled with admiration for her having courage and determination to do it. Posted by Picasa

Ko's lovely family

The reasoning behind the lengthy gap between the wedding ceremony and reception was that Ko's parents live in Japan and were planning to make a trip this June for Ko's graduation from Cornell upon completion of his PHD in Sociology. So that the parents need only make one trip, Kylie and Ko waited to have the reception at the time they would be here in the United States. Ko's brother and his wife live in sunny California. We fell in love with his family and had a wonderful time with them. I'm sad that they live so far away but we'll keep in touch.

Here is the whole family group, minus our son, Andrew, who was taking the picture, and our DIL, who is shy of being on the blog :)

During the cake cutting (a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting...Kylie's favorite) the couple showed restraint and thankfully, no cake was shoved into faces. But apparently Ko was feeling mischievous and decided that dignity is no fun, because shortly afterward he could be seen chasing Kylie with a piece of cake in hand. She ended up with just a little frosting on her face :) Posted by Picasa

The weather was very hot and humid, with showers and thunderstorms predicted, but we were lucky and had only one small shower a couple of hours before the reception. As you can see, the party was held beside the lake and once the sun set the air cooled off nicely. It was a perfect setting for a wedding reception, and a wonderful time was had by all.

August 5th, 1916 - June 10th, 2007

On a much sadder note, my 90 year-old father passed away in Australia on June 10th. Dad's health had been failing for some time so it wasn't unexpected. He is now free from any pain and suffering after living a long life. May he rest in peace.
Dad loved to fish, so I've posted a picture of him taken during a 2-week fishing trip to Tasmania. He had a ball! That's one huge lobster!

My dear mother died in 1996.
It's a strange feeling to be without parents Posted by Picasa

I hope you all have a wonderful week!
I hope to find time to post pictures of the gardens soon!