Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

 
Every year in the winter months, my mom and I start talking about plants. Once the new year has begun, it's time to start planning. We talk about what did well last year and what we hope to add this year. It seems like every year when talking about perennials, my mom will say, "Well, if it comes back." This strikes me as rather odd. Well, why wouldn't it come back, I ask. It's a perennial! Maybe I just have high expectations.
 
 
Last year was one of the hottest (if not the hottest!) years on record! It was truly a scorcher. We had 90 degree temps (and higher!) from April through August. It was miserable. It was also dry. I wasn't surprised to lose a few things by the end of that summer. Even so, the roses looked marvelous! This year we've had copious amounts of rain and the temperature has been much milder than average. A little weird, honestly. The weather has been wet since January. After last year I may, like my mom, have wondered what would come back this year. I had hoped that the moisture would help.
 

 
But the moisture didn't bring this guy back. Looks like Penstemon. I think they like dry weather. But did I lose it because of the heat or the wet?

 
Sadly, my yellow Corydalis did not return. They're supposed to be prolific at reseeding. I got a few volunteers in the past. Not this year!

 
Virginia Sweetspire Itea 'Henry's Garnet' are native plants for my region. They like the heat and can handle some flooding. Yep, they're dropping like flies.

 
My coneflowers (and Rudbeckias) came back, but they look no where near this pretty. They are really chewed up. More rain, more bugs? I don't know. Even though we've had incredibly lush growth this year, there were still some plants that just couldn't cut it.
 
Now, why couldn't the weeds suffer the same fate?!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"I'm Sweaty!"

This summer, and well, every summer, I find myself wiping the perspiration off my brow. This summer has been pretty mild, but we've had days that are sticky, as we say in The South. That means it's humid. So, you sweat even though it's not technically all that hot out. And when I start to glow (because ladies don't sweat, right?), I say to myself, "I'm sweaty" (ok, ladies do sweat!) But I say it in Evan's voice...
 
 
 
 
Evan had beautiful skin. Everyone talked about his jowls and his jiggly cheeks and how he was "a chunk." Yeah, well, he may have been a chunk, but that skin was gorgeous! Like a rose petal. Soft, clear. With a hint of rosy cheeks. He was one of those little kids whose skin really did glow when he got warm.
 
 
 
 
You've seen those kids. They have pale skin and then they start running around and get hot, and their little cheeks start to get pink or red.
 
 
 
And Evan did love to run around and play. I remember his preschool teacher commenting on how much he loved to play. I thought to myself, "Well, don't they all?"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Evan especially loved to play outdoors. It didn't matter if it was 100 degrees outside, he wanted to be O-U-T! In fact, I was telling Justin that Evan wants to go o-u-t-s-i-d-e, and Evan cut in and said, "I want to go o-u-t...outside, I wanna go outside!" We'd go out and play until his little cheeks were red and sweat was pouring down and I'd still have to bribe him with orange juice to go back into the blessed air conditioning. And sometimes he'd want to go inside for a quick drink of water, but come right back out. He'd insist that I stay outside while he went in. I don't think he believed me when I said that we would come right back out. If Mommy comes inside, she wants to stay in! While that's true, I tried to keep my word and take him back out (if he let me in in the first place!)
 

 
He probably mentioned at times like this that he was sweaty. He seemed more preoccupied with fun than with the heat. I do distinctly remember him running around in the front yard on a cool day. No pink cheeks, no sweat. He turned to me and proclaimed, "I'm sweaty!" Ummm...no you're not. But it's that proclamation to the world at large that sticks in my mind. The way he said those two little words always comes to mind when I get hot and start to sweat.
Always.
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Color in the Memorial Garden?

 
Azaleas
 
I know when I've ordered the flowers in memory of Evan for a Sunday morning service at church, that some people think white is the most appropriate color for a memorial.

 
Fothergilla 'Mount Airy' bloomed for the first time this year!
 
Sometimes I put requests in about the colors I would like to see used in the display. Sometimes, I just let the professionals make the decisions. The last time I let them choose? They chose white. All white.

 
Baptisia alba
 
I didn't take the white ones home. The Music Minister asked me later if I'd like to have them, and I said no, I didn't like the white. Why do they do all white, I asked. He said he always thought it was for purity.

 
Deutzia gracilis, 'Chardonnay Pearls'/Duncan
 
That makes sense, I suppose. I suppose some people want to do their memorial gardens in all white. For purity, maybe. Or maybe because white stands out well against the green foliage and looks luminescent at night.
 
But my little boy, although pure, was not an "all white" kind of kid. His favorite color was red. We knew this from early on. He always chose the one (shirt, shorts, plate, ball, you name it) that was red. Always. Evan's short life was full of color. He made sure that our lives were colorful, too. So, I think it's only right that his memorial garden be colorful.

 
Columbine caerulea Swan pink-yellow
 
While those white flowered plants are in Evan's New Garden, there's color everywhere!

 
Iris 'Duncan's Smiling Eyes'

 
Unknown trade Iris

 
Stylophorum diphyllum 'Celandine Poppy'
 
I'm glad I chose a colorful garden to remember my son. Aren't you?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Growing up!

 
So, one little person around here has been busy losing teeth! Duncan didn't lose his first tooth until he was six and a half or so. Miranda is ahead of the curve losing her first tooth at a little over five. She pulled it out (June 20) after weeks of letting it wiggle horribly. I don't know how she could stand it! And even the apples that I sneakily fed her didn't make it come out any sooner.

 
Who me?

 
She lost her second tooth on July 7. This one also wiggled for weeks. I asked her numerous times if she wanted help pulling it out. Nope. She didn't want to pull it out. In fact, she talked about sending the Tooth Fairy a note after Tooth #1. She said she would tell the Tooth Fairy she wanted her tooth back. I'm not sure if she understood that she would have to give back her shiny coin, though. And I'm not sure what she would have done with the tooth had it been returned. A baby tooth necklace? A little creepy, I think! She finally pulled out Tooth #2 when I told her she could have an ice cream cup if, and only if, she pulled the tooth out. Thirty seconds later we had ice cream!