narcissus painting 8″x24″

I’m not entirely sure these really are narcissus. The people who lived in my house before me planted very few flowers, but these are some that came up this spring. They were mixed in with traditional yellow daffodils, so I thought they might be a variation, with bulbs possibly all purchased at the same time. These bloomed two flowers per stem.

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I particularly like how the vase turned out.

8″x24″ oil on stretched canvas.

Available in my etsy shop. Thanks for looking. 🙂 SOLD, thank you.

iris note

I bought this kind of iris bulbs through a fancy mail order catalog fifteen years ago. I loved them, each bulb produced a single flower perfect for cutting. In the catalog, it was called a “Japanese Iris,” and I thought maybe it was special since it has a bulb rather than a rhizome. Perhaps not a true iris? I’m not sure. But then year over year, the bulbs dwindled away, until finally I had only one bloom the last year.

I don’t know if it’s because I was in zone five, and the winters were just too cold. I do suspect that’s it. Every winter, people would say, “This year is a lot colder, for a lot longer, than usual.” After fifteen years, I concluded that the winters must be normal, and everyone just forgot quite how cold it could be.

This year I found my fancy bulbs at the Dollar Tree. Yep, four bulbs for a dollar. I don’t usually have much luck with Dollar Tree seeds–but when it’s four packages for a dollar, you can’t really go wrong, either. I took a chance on the bulbs, and then bought some more. I could see emerging growth on about 25% of the bulbs, so it seems likely they will produce flowers.

iris

This is my public service heads up, because this is a lovely flower I’d like everyone to have a patch of in their garden. Especially if you like to cut flowers for vases. I’m very happy to have found them again, and especially so reasonably priced.

mspt: lavender wreath

For those who haven’t been reading forever, “mspt” is “make something pretty today.”

I used a wreath frame from the floral section in the dollar store, and ribbon and fresh lavender. You have to gather the lavender on just the right day–too soon, and it’s not fragrant, too late and it’s gone to seed. I think you have about one week to find just the right day, and then hope you get there before the bees.

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This used a lot more ribbon than I expected, so I switched to perle cotton thread. Which I ended up liking better, as it’s less noticeable.

And yes, it smells heavenly.

peonies abloom

I’ve been setting my paintings aside for the show, and then after that I will start filling my etsy shop again. So be assured more paintings are on their way!

Meanwhile, the first peony opened up in the garden. Such a vibrant color.

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The white irises have come and gone, replaced by these pretty variegated ones.

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My camera did something interesting all on its own. I didn’t change to a different setting in-between shots. I wish I knew what I did differently….

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How about your garden? Is it starting to look like summer yet? We had an 80-degree day yesterday, and expect another one today. That’s about all the heat I like, thanks.

the journey to Spring 01/09/15

I did not chronicle Spring last year, and now I’m sorry I missed it. I’ve been saying since the beginning of January that there’s been flocks of robins all over, so Spring is going to be early. I know Puxatawney Phil did not agree, but maybe since I’m west coast things are different. Most years the robins show up around March/April. About three years ago my neighbor was housebound and kept asking if I’d seen any robins yet, every time I visited. And then she passed away in March, without seeing the robins, which arrived late April. So now I always watch for robins and think about her.

So this year flocks and flocks descending in January seemed unusual. Except here we are in the first week of February, and I’m outside and the temperature is 66 and I spot this:

tulips

Six inches of tulips in the first week of February? It has to be close to unheard of. And yes, I checked around and found six inches worth of daffodils, too! I don’t think the flowers can be wrong, can they?

The lilacs are pretty minuscule, so I guess they’re no indication.

lilacs

And look at this weird bug pod. Can someone tell me what it is? I usually find these along the bottom of the house, hidden behind shrubs. If I smash the pod, it’s crispy and made up of lots of air sacks. What the heck is this? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Any help would be appreciated.

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wild flower mix

I buy those packs of assorted “spring flower” or “wild flower” seed mix, so what comes up is a surprise. By the time the flowers have bloomed the packages are long thrown away, so I can’t refer back to figure out what the flowers are. Next year I will save the package, because I like everything that came up!

These guys look like snowflakes.

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And this one is a fairly large flower, which droops and closes as soon as the sprinkler hits it. I love how it appears so fragile; the blooms last about two weeks.

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If I could identify either of these, I’d try and buy seed packs of these as stand-alones. As it is, I hope they seed themselves for next year!

in the garden: ranunculus

Ranunculus is one of those flowers I try to grow every year, with zero luck. I buy those little 4-inch garden pots with the flowers already in bloom, and I transplant them, and they wither away surprisingly fast. Year after year. And they don’t come back the next year.

So this year I spotted a packet of tubers? corms? they’re not bulbs or seeds…but anyway, I planted them and they have sprouted and produced flowers! Success!

Look at this glorious color.

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I mean, geez, does this color even appear in nature?

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I love these flowers!

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I am a tiny bit disappointed they are not the many-petaled variety that appear in magazine floral arrangements. But, I guess I am on my way and half-way there.

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This orange is going to be lovely tomorrow when it opens.

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Now if I can just get them to come back again next year….Any hints?