Dead Nettle

The nice thing about making art (instead of stories) is that at the end of the day, you might have something pretty to look at. I think my favorite here is the dead nettle, oddly enough, though the explosion of pansies does make me smile. smile emoticon

These are little 5×7 framed originals — now comes the part I hate, figuring out how to price them. Sigh. Minimum $10 to cover the cost of the frame…

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The irises are starting. 🙂     When I was a kid, irises were my favorite flower — I even used to do paper crafts where you made an iris out of paper, which is a complex and challenging process. Now, of course, there are too many flowers I love for me to have a favorite. But irises will always have a special place in my heart. I’m not sure of all the names, but I think the second is Batik, and the third is Captain’s Choice, both new to my garden this year.

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Allium bulgaricum.

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It’s a funny sort of flower — you can’t really see the prettiest part unless you tip the blooms up. But here are the points in its favor: a) it’s hardy and deer / bunnies / squirrels won’t eat it, b) when it’s coming up, the pointy spikes add a unique and interesting element to your garden, c) when it starts to open, the delicate blooms are graceful, unusual, and lovely, and d) if you cut some and put them up on a mantel, with their tall stems, then the blooms are high enough that you can actually see the flower parts and enjoy them. They always make me think of fairy houses.

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So last night I tried the microwave technique for pressing flowers, and it worked pretty well. They throw off a lot of moisture in the process, so any books you use will get a bit wrinkly, and possibly have bits of flower gunk stuck in them afterwards. I’m okay with that. 🙂 I let them finish drying overnight, and today they’re ready to use. This would be a fun craft to do with kids — pansies and leaves are easiest to work with and give lovely results.
Now what shall I do with these beauties? Bookmarks, I think…IMG_6216 IMG_6217 IMG_6218 IMG_6219 IMG_6220
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Okay, I know I’ve hit a certain threshold of not giving a damn, because when I decided I wanted to start on pressing some flowers tonight for a craft project, and it was a bit chilly out for my nightshirt, I just threw on a fuzzy grey polka-dotted bathrobe and *slippers* and went out into my front yard to harvest flowers. In the dark. A couple neighbors did walk by, and I have no idea what they thought, if they noticed me at all, bending down with my little snips in the parkway, but no one actually said anything, so I count that as a win.
(I never was overly concerned with respectability, but that attitude is taking strange turns in my 40s. Kind of curious to see what I get up to in my 60s. 🙂 )IMG_6215
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Lilac and Columbine

Serendib garden journal: I love to travel, but it is hard to leave when the garden is blooming — I’m always afraid of missing something. When I left, the columbines and bleeding hearts were in full swing, but I could see that the irises were about to start, and the lilacs were beginning to bloom. I just planted those lilacs last year, and they hadn’t really gotten going yet, and I didn’t want to miss them.

I planted them for Kirsten, one of our best, oldest friends, who loves gardening, and especially loves lilacs. They always make me think of her. And then I went on my trip, and came back a week later, and it was okay — I hadn’t missed them. The lilacs were still just opening their buds, and I cut some, and brought them in, along with some columbines (aka granny’s bonnets) that had blown mostly down in the wind. And now my kitchen smells like lilacs, which is one of the best scents, and sometime soon, I will call my friend, and talk to her about her garden, among many other things.

(And speaking of friends, the columbines are freely self-seeding, as promised, and I already have quite a host of them, in a variety of colors, and can easily spare a few to other gardens. Locals, could you use a columbine?  JulieNaraToni?)

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Moving Day

Serendib garden journal: I have moved: one metal arch, one stone water feature, two bunches of double tulips, two Raspberry Splash pulmonaria, one Jack Frost brunnera, five columbine, and one heuchera. It took about an hour, and the garden looks SO much better, I can’t even tell you. I can show you after pictures, but I didn’t take any before pictures, so the dramatic improvement won’t be obvious. Just trust me, many flowers were crowded in all the wrong places; everything is much happier now.

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