Don’t Listen to the Groundhog

Since I have a garden, not a groundhog, I tend to consult it as to when spring will arrive.

The first place I go for this information is the weeds.  Yes, that’s right.  WEEDS.

They know more than the hybrids. Their DNA has not been tampered with.

They use old school, and I do mean old, methods to determine when to start growing.

Well fellow Carolinians, the weeds say get busy.

The mint family(square stems) and dandelions are all ready blooming.

That means if you delay in weeding, you will be weeding mama weeds and baby weeds.  Two generations!   That’s way more than twice as many.

You don’t have weeds, you say?  Lucky you.

Then consult some of your garden favorites.

The BULBS say spring is near.

Tete-a-tetes say yes.

The crocus concur.

The old daffodils on the hill are thrilled.

Bulbs are always ahead of the game you say?

Ask the PERRENIALS.

Foxgloves are growing foliage.

The columbines are coming out.

Perennial poppycock you say?

Then go see a SHRUB.

The Pieris are ringing their spring bells.

The Quince is quite convinced that spring is near.

If you still need to consult a CRITTER, or two.

The bunnies have some spring in their hop.

Get busy people. Being a gardener is like being part of a horse costume.  If you’re not a head, you’re a behind.

I said spring is near NOT here. You crazy people better not set out tomatoes yet. They go out the third week in April.

P.S. I do have a groundhog. But we don’t mention such things around Mr. Flower.

FLING

 

 

 

My Daddy’s Planes

My daddy gardens in the spring and summer.

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In the winter, he builds planes.

This winter he is making the largest and most complex plane ever.

It is a model of the B-24 Liberator from World War II.

It has hundreds of tiny pieces

that must be precisely cut with an Exacto knife from balsa wood and glued into place.

He says that this is his last one. I hope this is not true.

If my eighty-six-year-old daddy can perform miracles with his crooked hands,

what excuse could I possibly use to not do amazing things myself?

I am his FLOWER.

 

Raffaldini Winerini

Okay, so I made up a new word.  It fits doesn’t it?   A little, Italian winery.

Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery is in North Carolina,

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but it did make me feel like I was in Italy or at least California.

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Mr. Flower and I enjoyed a wine tasting here last weekend.

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We sampled eight different wines as we learned about the various grapes and processes for creating the complex aromas, flavors and textures.

I did not know that some grapes are dried to enhance their flavors. This process is called Appasimento.  Some of the wines were aged in stainless steel instead of oak barrels.

 

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The lovely facilities are set up on a hill with a great view of the grape vines and surrounding farms.

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It amazes me the vision and foresight some people have “to dream and then do.”

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This is an impressive yet peaceful place to spend an afternoon.

FLOWER

Water and Ice

I am fascinated by water.  I call it the miracle molecule.

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It is the only substance on Earth found in all three states (solid, liquid and gas) at natural temperatures.

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Water molecules form a lattice as they freeze. This is why ice floats.

IMG_6979I have posted on snow several times.  Here is some ice art for your enjoyment.

 

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I could have stayed here all day watching the water flowing behind the ice sheets.

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I love nature with all my heart.

FLOW

Rescuing Red Ridinghood

I just couldn’t leave it there with a long root reaching desperately out from the bottom of the pot.

That would be like ignoring a drowning person’s hand reaching out of the water.

I did not know that its name, Rooikappie, meant ‘Red Ridinghood’ in Afrikaans until I looked it up on-line.

I brought the aloe home and did some trimming before repotting it.

These little pieces will be left to harden off for a few days and then rooted.  (Free plants.)

Little Rooikappie looks happier all ready.

My what big teeth she has!

FLOWER

Blooming Again?

My Schlumbergeras are now blooming for the second time since I brought them inside.

I wondered, it is the daylength that has encouraged them to start blooming again?

I consulted the US Navy’s charts on Duration of Daylight for my area.

My cacti were blooming like crazy between November first and ninth of 2017.

The daylength for those days was between 10 hours and 42 minutes to 10 hours and 28 minutes.

Late January daylength has been just over 10 hours. Hmmm? I expected these to be about the same.

Even my babies that just rooted and pieces in water are blooming.

It could not be a change in temperature, because even the cacti in my cold workshop are budding and blooming.

Just when you think you know a plant, it surprises you.

Nice!

FLOWER

 

Found Some Fountains

I heard a symphony as I stepped from my car.

So many sounds. Soft and soothing , yet exhilarating.

The instruments had no strings. Water was playing.

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Water moving in various volumes at different tempos.

Nature’s music.

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Each instrument was unique in it’s shape and sound.

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How could anyone just choose one and break up this band.

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I never thought of fountain sounds before.

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There is usually only one playing a solo.

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Not at White House Garden Center in Cornelius, North Carolina.

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Here, there are dozens performing together.

Each is as lovely to look at as to listen to.

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I went there on an errand and had an adventure.

If you are searching for a fountain.

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You will probably find the fountain of your dreams there.

Bravo!

FLOWER

An Art Outing

I love to go to places that sell art,

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just to enjoy all the talent I don’t have expressed by others. (kind of like dance class)

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Today, I visited the Wooden Stone in Davidson twice.

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Once before lunch to take pictures, and again after lunch.

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During lunch I looked at all my photos to check for quality

and to decide what pieces I had to have.

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Mr. Flower was with me, so this limited my purchase capabilities.

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It’s okay.   I know how to get back to the lovely little town of Davidson, NC.

Look for this lovely bench out front.

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I got two of the things photographed.

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I won’t tell which two because they are gifts and of course all my friends read my blog.

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Oh, more suspense!

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I really wanted this cutie-pie for myself.

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FLOWER

 

 

 

The Missing Man

My love of unusual plants came from three women, my Gran, my Mamaw and Miss Robbie.

This post is about Miss Robbie’s son. She is the one who gave me the “Sacred Fig Tree.”

He was the missing man. We send him cards, now that his mother is gone.  He usually sent a response.

He was a loner. Very quiet, but always courteous and properly dressed.

The cards came back. Where had he gone?

I sent dear Mr. Flower to snoop around the homeplace.

It was empty. A neighbor said he fell in the street, months ago. He left in an ambulance.

He never returned.  Where was he?  I called the authorities.  No one knew anything.

I am not a relative, but since I was so upset, a nice person whispered some information.

I found him!

I called to make sure his only relative (age 94) knew where he was.  She did.

THE END.

 

Just kidding.

I heard his name on my answering machine yesterday.

The city wants to tear down his abandoned house. It has been ransacked.

Miss Robbie’s lovely home full of lamps and books and knickknacks and clothes and silverware…

These were someone’s belongings.   Someone old.   Someone alone.   Someone ill.

Now the house itself is being threatened.

My heart hurts.

I got no phone call today. I will call the nice lady tomorrow.

I am not a relative.  But I care.

Please don’t mention this to my mama.  She will have a fit.  I am waiting for some good news.

FLOWER