Category Archives: Plants

A Bad Hair Day

I think these are the last of the poppies in my garden that have a different look.

The combination of colours and texture is beautiful, but it was the crepe paper look that made these poppies special for me. I wondered what the word “crepe” meant and found that its origin in 18th C. French was “crespe” which meant “curled, frizzed” from the Latin “crispus.”

In reality, the poppy petals are soft and delicate, but it’s the crepe look that I find fascinating.

D’you ever have a bad hair day

When petals lie down where they may?

You see, for me, it’s nothing new,

They do whatever they want to do.

Crispy,  frizzy, fluttering,

My hairdo takes a battering.

The passing breeze has tousled me

I’m not the queen I’d like to be.

Here comes a lady pulling plants.

I call to her, “Give me a chance!

I’m just not ready yet to die.” 

She halts and breathes a great big sigh.

“I love the messy look  we share. 

To part with you, I could not bear.”

 

 

 

Volunteers

My garden had a lot of volunteers this year, especially the poppies. So many stuck their heads up when I called for help in the jungle of my garden, that I couldn’t decide which ones to choose and which to deny. Here are two,  the first of many that I hope to post as time goes on.

I’m royal purple says the queen,

Most regal that you’ve ever seen.

I come from tall and stately stock,

My “white and purple” says I rock.

 

I’m one of those from Flanders’ Fields

Remembered well, my power shields

The fallen from forgotten sleep

As every year, I watch do keep.

Two Coasts, Two Kinds of Snow

Today, May 24th, it snowed a foot or more on the east coast of Canada. This is not normally May weather, even for the province of Newfoundland.

As I stepped outside in my front yard on the west coast of Canada, it looked like snow too. But a second look told me the white “flakes” on the ground were actually tired dogwood petals that had finished blooming.

As I turned to walk towards the front yard, I saw more snow. But this time it was in the shape of snowballs from my snowball bush (part of the viburnum family).

I really sympathize with the Newfoundlanders today, but I wouldn’t want to trade places with them. I like our kind of snow better.

Three Strikes, You’re Out

About 20+ years ago one of my neighbours had planted several small rhodos outside his fence next to the road. On my way home from work, I noticed one of the small plants lying on the side of the road, where deer had pulled it out of the ground. The deer problem was bad around here. If you wanted to grow anything, you had to have a fence around it.

Since the frontage was out of the neighbours’ line of vision, and they might not know their pIant was uprooted, I stopped, picked up the rhodo, and brought it to their door.

“The deer must have pulled out your rhodo. Thought you might want to  replant it.”

“Oh, thanks. Yeah, those darned deer. Just set it over there,” the neighbour said, and pointed to a shady spot near the door.

A few days later, another of the rhodos was pulled out and the scenario was repeated (I stopped, delivered the poor plant so it could be saved).

This time I was met with a sigh as they took the plant from my hand.

The third time I passed by and saw a rhodo uprooted, I stopped and knocked on the door. The neighbour’s adult son answered.

“Sorry, but the deer keep pulling out your rhodos. They don’t seem to like eating them but they don’t know that until after they pull on the leaves and uproot the plant.” I handed over the foot-high shrub.

The son took the plant from me. “Thanks,” he muttered, and flung it into the shrubbery a few feet from the house.

I noticed that the two or three rhodos left on the neighbours’ frontage were drying up and dying. I had tried three times to save the ones that had been uprooted, but when I saw that they didn’t really care about them, I changed my attitude.

“Okay,” I thought. “Three strikes, and  you’re out.”

The fourth time I drove by and saw rhodos in trouble, there were two of them lying on the ground, several feet from where they had been planted, looking limp and near death’s door.

I took them home, stuck them in the ground, and gave them a drink of water.

Today, the neighbour has no rhodos on his frontage, but in the photo below, you can see the two I rescued. They have been happy for over 20 years.

 

Bad Potatoes

Have you noticed that your potatoes are full of blemishes? A few years ago when I first noticed it,  I thought it was just a bad potato year. Then I thought maybe it was the excessive rain we had another year, and I wondered about disease. I kept thinking that “next year they’ll be good again.”  I’m not even talking about potatoes from my garden. These are the No. 1 potatoes that I buy in the store. For several years now the potatoes have had blue bruising.  It’s not getting better. On the contrary, it’s as bad as it has ever been.

I thought it might be our local Vancouver Island potatoes and started buying potatoes from eastern Canada and from the U. S., but the problem seems to be everywhere.

I wonder, if I’d been one of the starving Irish in the years of the potato famine (1845 – 1849), how much of the bad (blighted) potato I would have cut away. I suppose it would depend on how hungry I was.

Do you have potatoes like this in your area? What do you think is going on?

Lily

Did you know there are many varieties of lilies?  A friend brought this lily to my garden last year just before it was about to bloom. Somehow the conditions weren’t right for the bloom to last very long so I have been waiting anxiously for it to bloom again this year, so I could take its picture for posterity. The  long-hoped-for rain  arrived the day the lily tried to bloom. Would I be lucky enough to see the flowers this year? Not only did it bloom, but it graced my garden with three blossoms. I see that the first to bloom is already a little “rough around the edges” but the other two are still fresh. Notice the dark pollen on the stamens? Then please read the poem below the photo and tell me if this has ever happened to you.

Dainty lily blooms a while,

When she does it makes you smile.

But if you invade her space

Staring right into her face,

In her bloom your nose you poke,

Be prepared for Lily’s  joke.

Those who sniff her sometimes pay.

Pollen on their nose will stay.

Orchid Goes to Town

Another orchid is waking up. The first bud is squinting with one eye to have a look around. She’s not sure she wants to come out completely. It looks a bit gray out there. Where is summer?

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She waits a day or two and soon reinforcements come along. In the company of her sisters, she feels brave enough to face the world. But what faces they have!

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One of the things I love about orchids (besides their long blooming time) is that each type has such unique characteristics. It seems that the colours and designs are infinite. DSCN8532

 

What beetle with its bleeding feet

Has marked my orchid, once so neat?

Or maybe she’s not feeling well

And has the measles, I can’t tell.

I know! She’s going into town

To sport her polka-dotted gown.