Spring is Not Just a Figment of My Imagination

I had begun to wonder if we had entered a new ice age, or perhaps that winter was really the one season of the year. The other seasons can only be enjoyed in the afterlife by the truly righteous. But in the last few days, winter has loosened its grip, and there are hints of …

Mo’ Better Blue (Flowers)

Recently I wrote about five favorite blue flowers, limiting myself to natives of the American Midwest. The comments that followed revealed that I am far from alone in having a soft spot for blooms of blue. And so I found myself inspired to do another post on the topic, this time not limiting myself to …

Amaryllis Hostage Crisis: the Final Chapter

Well, the Amaryllis made its desperate Leap to Freedom one too many times. Even with the shoelaces, stake, and skewers holding it back, we still found it lying on the table the other morning. Finally Judy rummaged around and found a tall pitcher we have not used in a long time (a wedding present, actually). …

Hand it Over – Or the Amaryllis Gets It

Our Amaryllis is being held hostage. Not really. It is merely suffering from an unhappy home life. Back in December, Judy and I placed it on a table in the back porch, figuring that’s where it would get the most sun. It sat there – and sat there – for weeks, with no sign of …

The Retreat from Moscow

It’s March 1st. March 1st, and 22 degrees F (or -6C). Also, we are expecting another three to five inches of snow. As this year’s winter crawls towards spring, it puts me in mind of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow. Not that I was there, but I’ve read about it. Of course, I’m not worried about …

Our Paperwhite Narcissus is Blooming!

And the timing was excellent. They bloomed just in time for Judy’s return from a week-long trip. She was worried they would already be faded by the time she was back. Of course, she pointed out that I had failed to water the Narcissus as she had requested. They seem to ┬áhave survived my neglect …

Planting Container Tulips

Today I planted my new tulip bulbs in containers. This is my second year doing this. I started growing hybrid tulips in containers because I found that they did not mix well in perennial borders. In borders I prefer smaller bulbs – including species tulips, grape hyacinths, etc. Anyhow, I had ordered 110 hybrid tulips …

Ordering Bulbs for Fall Planting

At the beginning of the week I finally got in my order for bulbs to plant this fall. Once again, I used my favorite source for bulbs, John Scheeper’s. The order was mostly bulbs I had planted before, but I am also trying out some new selections. First, the tulips for containers. Basically I ordered …

Nice Lilies, Dumb Location

My Asiatic Lilies are blooming. Mostly bright orange, some yellow, and a couple of magenta. These are the descendants of a naturalizing lily mix I bought from White Flower Farm about eight years ago. The hybrid and variety names are long forgotten. I like these lilies. The exciting colors grab my attention. Plus orange is …

Oh, ‘Casa Blanca’, What Happened To You?

I can’t deny it any further: my ‘Casa Blanca’ Oriental Lilies did not make it through the winter. This is a bitter loss, indeed. I loved my ‘Casa Blanca’. The pure, ivory white blooms. But above all, that fragrance, a fragrance that made me want to lie down on the ground and wriggle with happiness. …