Azalea Afire

My husband and I both love the flame azaleas of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Their blooming is an amazing sight.  They glow as if ablaze in the sun.

We got the next best thing for our garden.


A Gibraltar azalea, really a rhododendron(translation rose tree).

This is a deciduous hybrid that is hardy in Zone 7.

The buds are a deep copper color.


When the sun hits the blooms, they catch fire.

IMG_9914 The bloom clusters are called trusses.


Against the Tide

I have been paddling against the tide.

If I use strong strokes, I can maintain my position.

In sight of the shore of my intended landing.

If I weaken, I get pulled out farther and farther.

Into the deep, wild sea that may bring me down.

I am tired.   I am older.

I wait for the tide to turn and bring me in,

but it hasn’t.

I am ready to put down the paddle.

Let the tide have me.

Maybe I have been headed toward the wrong shore all these years

and fate has kept me from landing

in the wrong place.


Seduced by a Single Rose

I knew I didn’t need another needy rose.  But I kept coming back to that single bloom.

The bush had terrible form.

Gruss An Aachen

I kept walking away.  That color, that shape, that blush of pink and peach, those tight petals.

I put it in my basket. Lord help me. Another rose.

It did not bloom the following year.

I babied it. Trimmed it.  Fenced it in.

The next year it grew. The stems were thinner than I remembered.

This year it has buds, but they are too small, too numerous.

Today a bud showed its color. RED!

How did this happen, you ask?


The lovely Gruss An Aachen scion died and the weedy rootstock survived.

I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.


Cut, Pull or Stake

We had a hard rain yesterday evening.

My houseplants get booted outside for storms.


Now that the sun is back, they must be dragged back in before scorching.

The main job now is in the garden.   Everything got really wet and heavy.


So I put on my rubber clogs to assess the needs of the day.

CUT the flopped over bearded iris stems and the shriveled old blooms off.

Night Affair   Could there be a more purple purple?

PULL the ten thousand weeds. (9, 000 are sweet peas.)

STAKE the tall stalks and stems of iris and peonies.

Krinkled White Peony

I shall not complain about the rain.


Evidence of a Stalker

While searching through my many files for a certain photo,

I noticed a disturbing trend.

Someone has been using my camera to take hundreds of photos of a certain two individuals.

There are pictures of them eating, lounging, cuddling and even using the toilet.

What was even more disturbing is that there is an inordinate number of closeups of their backsides.

Whoever is doing this is obviously obsessed with these two and has a booty fetish.

I am looking into the issue and gathering evidence.

I am pretty sure I know who the perpetrator is, but I won’t divulge her identity.

Iris, Old and New

April is the month of the bearded iris here in North Carolina.

I have one old type from my daddy’s mother’s garden.


I moved many iris onto this bank last summer.  They have never been happier.


The rest of my iris are hybrids.

They came from Cooley’s in Oregon over twenty years ago.

Taco Supreme
Banana Frappe’
Thunder Echo
Persian Berry
I got this from my daddy.   Hmmmm?  Depth of Field?


This is just the first wave of iris.  There will be more in the coming weeks.

The next parade will be the peonies.  Here is the first bloom.

Ants love the sap on the peony buds.

Ahhhhh spring at last!


My Many Mysteries

I have a bad habit of sticking seeds and plant pieces in the pots of other plants.


I tell myself I will remember this.  I will know what it is when it grows up.

I have done this too many times to keep track of what was stuck where.

So along with the designated plants in the pots, there are mystery plants.


I find a pieces of a plant broken off.   Which plant?  What color?


No matter.  Stick it here in this empty spot.

I have a habit of purloining seeds.

I spent a whole day with this piece of picked-off-the-tree citrus fruit in my bra.

I did not remember it until that night while changing into my pajamas.

I did manage to label those particular seeds.

Not that I wouldn’t recognize the mean little seedlings with their lethal thorns.

I have moved a “mystery tree” around the yard for years. I knew I must have had  a reason for planting it in the kids’ sandbox.

It finally bloomed this year.

It is a peach.  I now realize it was the pit of a long-ago snack eaten by one of my now-grown children.  Mystery solved.

While clearing out a box this morning, I found this.

Could it be a seed from a Tuscan pear?  We shall see.



Daddy in the Sky with Grandkids

I gave my daddy a plane ride for Christmas.  He didn’t get airborne until this Saturday.

He went up in a little plane from a small airport near our home.

It was not a Piper Cub like he and his dad had in the 1950’s.  No matter.

Daddy was the unofficial co-pilot.

My two adult children got to go along.  Lucky ducks!

I felt like I was lifting off with them as I watched them take off.   What a thrill!

I knew my daddy was being transported back to his teenage years.

My daddy and my children were up there in the sky making a memory.

The pilot knew this was no ordinary thrill ride.  This was a trip back in time.