Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Friday, July 03, 2009

Peonies and Rain

It's a given...or so it seems - when the peonies bloom we have thunderstorms and water pours from the sky. It rains buckets...cats and dogs...and sometimes just steady, light rain. The majority of our June days held showers or thunderstorms this year, making it hard to get decent photos of the peonies before they flopped.

Some days there have been glimpses of blue sky between the clouds..... Posted by Picasa

....but more often than not, the skies have been gray. If you click to enlarge the photos you'll see that there's a border of peonies across the front yard.

The largest, most spectacular Peony blooms are in the Lilac Garden. The yellow flowers are Evening Primrose (Oenothera) and the silver foliage is artemisia, which is a pretty filler, but needs to be thinned ruthlessly.

All my peonies are passalongs and, unfortunately, the names weren't passed along with the plants.

At the other end of the Lilac Garden the same light shade of pink blooms beside huge magenta flowers. Posted by Picasa

The background shrub is Weigela, and the red in front is self-sown Sweet William. Posted by Picasa

I actually photographed this first peony bloom on June 15th, but forgot to include it in my Bloom Day post.

Foxglove is still blooming, but the Columbine flowers are gone, leaving dozens of seed heads to be cut off before they pop open and spread themselves liberally.

I love this weigela! Posted by Picasa

Sweet William is a very easy care plant, and simple to move around by division or seed collection. This clump is in the Driveway Garden. Posted by Picasa

Campanulas are adding their lovely blue to the mix of colors at the moment, with Verbascum at their feet,

....and lemon lilies behind them here.

A few lovely white Campanulas are mixed in.

Down in the Fence Garden the Foxglove are still looking good,

...but the pretty white Lupine is finished. Posted by Picasa

I was pleased to see several beautiful blooms on the two white Peony bushes this year.

There's the tiniest touch of magenta on the edge of the center petals.

I still haven't managed to capture a decent photo of this border with most of the bushes looking good. The blooms are either drooping or dropping their lovely petals on the ground.

This lovely bloom has two glorious shades of pink. Posted by Picasa

This smaller flowered magenta Peony has the most delicious scent of all.

And it stands up well against the elements.

Oh look, there's a glimpse of blue sky!

Not so on this evening! I caught this golden light through the front porch as the sun was setting during a cloudburst. The air was warm, and mist swirled up toward the sky, creating a spectacular effect...breathtaking beauty indeed! Posted by Picasa

The pouring rain didn't deter this tiny hummingbird (click to enlarge if you'd like a closer look).

The first male arrived here on May 14th this spring....3 days later than last year.

His red throat is hard to capture with the light shining on it at just the right angle to make it show. Posted by Picasa

I saw the first sweet little lady on May 18th. It's very good to have our tiny friends back.

The abundant rain certainly makes everything grow fast, including the lawn and weeds! I'm having a very hard time keeping up with everything, especially with days like yesterday, when the rain poured down for most of the day.

We've also had a visit from our son and DIL and our two little grandsons, which was wonderful fun, and a nice respite from the garden chores. But today we're seeing snatches of sun, so it's back to work, and hopefully I'll get something accomplished between the rain drops. Posted by Picasa

Oh dear, I spoke too soon and the rain is pouring down again now.....

One good thing about the rain is that I've had plenty of chances to wear my Muck Boots and I've found I like them so much that I wanted to mention them again. This is totally voluntary. It's not often I find a product I like so much and want to share. It was such a pleasure to do business with them, and they didn't request this as part of the offer (just a link in a post), but I want to put a link to the Garden Shoes Online site on my sidebar just to say thank you to those good people for these wonderful shoes.
Thanks so much to all who have visited and left a comment on my recent infrequent posts. So sorry if I haven't managed to visit and comment in return. I'm working on it, and hope to catch up with you all eventually! Isn't it ironic that when the most is going on in our Northern hemisphere gardens we're often too busy to visit each other?

Wishing all my American friends a very
happy Fourth of July,
and may God bless our country! Posted by Picasa
P.S. The rain has stopped and the sun is shining again! I'm off to the garden right after lunch, but I'd better hurry! Hope to see you soon!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas in the City

Had a wonderful time in the city
I smile when I recall
The space, the songs, the company
I really had a ball

"Annie's Other Song"
John Denver

This song has been going through my mind since we
arrived back home last Thursday after spending Christmas in New York City.

Daughter #1 (KP) and her husband (K) are now living there and invited us to come for the holiday. Daughter #2 (KE) and her beau (A) were going to spend Christmas with his mother, who lives near the city, so they drove us in, which was very convenient since driving in the city is not something we'd volunteer to do! The traffic going in and out was amazingly sparse compared to the usual teeming mass of vehicles. It proved to be a perfect time to visit.

We saw the huge tree in Rockefeller Center the day after Christmas (Boxing Day for the Aussies and Brits)

On Christmas Eve KP and K took us to a jazz concert at Lincoln Center. Ann Hampton Calloway was performing and she was fabulous! Her back-up trio on piano, base and drums was wonderful too. She's a great entertainer with a beautiful voice. It was a really fun night. Unfortunately they didn't allow photos so I didn't take my camera. I was really sorry to miss getting some shots of Lincoln Center which was decked out in absolute splendor. They won the prize for the best light show. It was gorgeous! Midtown was looking really spectacular. What a time to be without a camera!!

Went to church on Christmas morning at St. Paul The Divine Cathedral

It's such a magnificent building!
The service was beautiful, with lots of Christmas carols being sung. There was such an echo in the sanctuary that the congregation was actually singing a couple of notes behind the choir, and we had to concentrate very hard to hear the sermon.

The cathedral is within walking distance and happily the weather was fairly mild. The wind was a bit nippy, but we did have some sunshine! Posted by Picasa

Our hosts - KP and K

KE came back to the city in the afternoon and the girls cooked a delicious Christmas dinner of roast lamb, baked potatoes, fancy brussel sprouts with yummy additions, and cauliflower au gratin. My contribution was pumpkin bread, eggnog cheese cake and cookies.

Here we are opening presents

Super soft homemade socks from KP for me! And we gave her a knitting book (of course!). Posted by Picasa

Ross got a lovely pair of mittens from the girl who loves to knit, and
there were many other presents, including some very good books. I got 3 new gardening books, so I'll be curling up with those on the wintery days and nights to come! KE gave me my very own mad bomber hat, so I won't have to steal Ross's anymore. His was a Christmas present last year from A and I wore it around all winter (but only on the farm!) I'm a little hesitant to be seen in public wearing one of these hats, but KE tells me they're very 'in' at the moment :) Hmmm.
Here's Ross with A and KE

Once in a while I relinquish the camera :)

We took Hanna with us to her new home and she is now officially ensconced in her highrise apartment and has made a very smooth transition from a country cat to a city cat. Here she is under the glass of the coffee table. She had to explore every possible place to play! Posted by Picasa

Ilsa was not in the least impressed with her new 'playmate' and her welcome couldn't be described as warm :)

Hanna was totally unafraid and tried hard to make friends, but Ilsa just hissed and hid in the bedroom the entire time we were there. She's rather a shy kitty. However, I talked to KP today and she was pleased to report that the two are now friends and playing happily together. Well, she's not really sure that Ilsa is altogether happy about it, but she is playing. Posted by Picasa

On Christmas afternoon KP and I went for a walk in Central Park. It's pretty even in it's winter colors. There were quite a few people out for a brisk walk or a stroll, even though so many people had left the Big Apple for the holidays.

I really liked these 'natural' decorations, but the city decked out in lights and baubles is quite a sight to see. I'll post more photos next time.

Jasmine is missing Hanna and so are we, but we're happy that she has a loving home and a kitty friend, who's learning to like her. She's a very adaptable cat and did amazingly well on the trip. Nothing seems to phase her. She certainly looks content, doesn't she?Posted by Picasa
So yes, we had a wonderful time in the city, and Ross surprised us all, as well as himself, by really enjoying the Big Apple. It was his first visit to the city even though he was born and raised in upstate NY!

Posted by Picasa
May 2008 be a wonderful, joy-filled year, rich in blessings for all of you. I look forward to another year of friendship and sharing our corners of this big wide world.
Happy New Year dear blog friends!