Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

Iris in our Yard

May 23, 2017

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Betsy and I love flowers and we enjoy having them in our yard.  But what type of flower works best for us?  Betsy loves tulips, but so do the chipmunks that live around us.  Roses are beautiful, but they take a lot of work.  We both like lilies, but so do chipmunks and deer.  As you can see, finding the perfect flower to grow here in the is not easy.

We have had success with iris however, and this year they have been putting on quite a show.  The iris above is Eugenia King.


Bountiful Harvest is one of Betsy’s favorite irises.  She really likes the colors of this one.


Cantina is one of my favorites.  I love the purple color with the steaks of blue in the falls.


Eggnog has a vibrant color, but I almost always get thirsty when I see this iris.


I really think Goodnight Kiss is a beautiful iris, but I really like the goodnight kisses of my Beautiful Bride much better.

Autumn Iris

November 8, 2016

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(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

Betsy and I are fortunate to be able to enjoy iris at various locations in our yard.  I like iris not only because they are beautiful but also because they require relatively little care (unlike our roses!).

When Betsy and I started getting serious about our yard, we discovered that there were such things as reblooming iris.  Most of the iris we have are rebloomers, so we can enjoy the blossoms twice a year.  It’s rather like doubling our pleasure.

The iris in the header is Cantina.  This beauty has been in our yard for several years, and I always marvel at the color.

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Clarence is another iris that we’ve enjoyed over the years.  It is in the flower bed near the road, so we share it with people passing by.

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One of our newer iris is Lemon Duet.  This is actually the first time it has bloomed for us in October, but we’re very glad it did.

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My Friend Jonathan has been a good friend and has put on a spring and autumn show ever since he joined our yard.

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Double Your Fun is a newer iris for us as well.  The drought kept it from developing normally, but the colors are still gorgeous, so I could leave it out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our autumn iris blossoms as much as we do.

The Women in My Life

August 23, 2016

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They say confession is good for the soul.  I hope ‘they’ are right, because I feel I really should confess about some of the ladies in my life.  If you go beyond this paragraph, however, you have to promise not to tell Betsy about my confession.

One of the first ladies I see each summer is Janice Brown.  She’s very pretty and perky, as you can tell by the photo above.

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I must admit to being partial to blondes, and the bright yellow of Carolyn Criswell is always a delight to see.

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Judith is somewhat shy, but she is always a joy to have around.

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I have a great deal of Irish in me, so I suppose it’s natural that I’ve been drawn to Dublin Elaine.  In my mind there aren’t many like her in this world.

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Of course it’s hard to think of the Irish without picturing fiery redheads.  Lady Lucille definitely fits that description.

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Last, but not least, is Lady Elizabeth.  I suppose I shouldn’t feel too guilty about seeing her; after all Betsy’s first name is Elizabeth.

There — you have my confession.  I wonder when I’ll start to feel better?

Spring Has Sprung

March 26, 2015

2015 -- FFG Spring Flowers (March Daffodils)

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In the last few days we’ve had beautiful weather and Spring bulbs have burst into bloom.  We have several varieties of daffodils in our flower beds, and these have all brightened our days this week.

Unfortunately, we’re predicted to have two nights of below-freezing temperatures Friday and Saturday.  We can only hope we have some of these blossoms around on Sunday morning.

Our New Roses This Year

November 8, 2013

2013 -- New Roses

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I’m sure it comes as now surprise that Betsy and I grow and love roses.  We have 57 varieties of roses in our yard.  I think our rose garden has stopped growing, but we still need to replace roses once in a while.

This year we had three new roses in our yard.  The rose on the left in the collage above, Milestone, is a rose we first saw at Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina, last year.  I found it offered this Spring and ordered it.

The other two roses both came from Heirloom Roses.  Helen Traubel, the rose in the middle, is an ‘old’ rose.  It was introduced in 1951, but it has a beautiful color and very nice fragrance.  The rose on the right is Something Special.  It is a fairly new rose.  I like the way the white outer petals frame the yellow center.

Our World: Biltmore’s Rose Garden

October 7, 2013
Part of the rose garden at Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina.  August 6, 2013.

Part of the rose garden at Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina. August 6, 2013.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

I’m beginning to think that visiting the Rose Garden at Biltmore House and Gardens is dangerous to the health of our wallet.  Each time Betsy and I visit the rose garden, one or both of us will find a rose that we think would look good in our yard.  When we visited last year we found the Milestone rose, which we added to our garden this year.

We went back to Biltmore in early August as part of our getaway for Betsy’s birthday.  And sure enough, we both found some roses that we thought it would be nice to have.

Francis Meilland rose, Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina.  August 6, 2013.

Francis Meilland rose, Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina. August 6, 2013.

The first one we found was Francis Meilland.  This is a new rose that I’ve had my eye on for several months.

Winter Sun rose, Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina.  August 6, 2013.

Winter Sun rose, Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina. August 6, 2013.

Winter Sun is another new rose that both of us found to be very beautiful.

Sweet Afton rose, Biltmore House & Garden, Asheville, North Carolina.  August 6, 2013.

Sweet Afton rose, Biltmore House & Garden, Asheville, North Carolina. August 6, 2013.

Sweet Afton was introduced in 1964.  I’m not sure it is still available, but both Betsy and I liked its beautiful pastel colors.

Queen Elizabeth rose, Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina.  August 6, 2013.

Queen Elizabeth rose, Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina. August 6, 2013.

Queen Elizabeth is an even older rose (1955), but it is still a beauty.  I have seen it offered by several sources.

Do you have any suggestions for us?  We’re running out of places to put roses in our yard, although I’m sure the deer would be delighted to have a few more rose bushes to munch on.

Reach for the Sky

August 26, 2013
George getting a picture of our About Face rose.  July 21, 2013.  (Photo by Betsy)

George getting a picture of our About Face rose. July 21, 2013. (Photo by Betsy)

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

Most of our roses are average-sized bushes — three or four feet high.  But we have one rose that likes to show off every couple of years and see how high it can grow.

Betsy got the picture of me (above) trying to capture the top blossom on our About Face rose.  To put this image into proper perspective, I’m 6-feet, 4-inches tall, and I’m shooting up to shoot the rose.

The picture below is the photo I was shooting while Betsy was getting her picture of me.  I rather like it, even if the flag in the background is blurry.  The morning light was bowing through the petals of the rose when I got this picture.

About Face blossom with the flag in the background.  July 21, 2013.

About Face blossom with the flag in the background. July 21, 2013.

Our World: Tiny Flowers

August 12, 2013
Sempervivum blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 7, 2013

Sempervivum blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 7, 2013

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

While many of our roses, lilies and day lilies have large blossoms, our yard is home to some tiny flowers as well.  We have planted Hens and Chickens (Sempervivum) in several places in our yard.  Hens and Chickens are wonderful succulents that look good year around.

Hens and chickens blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 10, 2013.

Hens and chickens blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 10, 2013.

In spite of their name — Sempervivum means ‘always alive’ — hens do die out.  But they blossom before they die.  The flowers are tiny, but they are pretty.

Sempervivum blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 10, 2013.

Sempervivum blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 10, 2013.

When the hens die, their chickens grow to take their place.  It’s a shame the hens have to die, but what a way to go!!

Tulips in our Yard

May 2, 2013

2013 -- Tulips

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Old Man Winter kept hanging around so long this year that we were beginning to think that our tulips would never start blooming.  But fortunately they have bloomed and we’ve enjoyed their bright color in our yard.

The tulip in the upper left of this collage is Golden Oxford, while Guinevere is the tulip on the upper right.  The tulips on bottom (from left to right) are Red Dynasty, Purissima and World’s Favourite.

More Daffodils from our Yard

April 24, 2013

2013 -- Daffodils II

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Once Spring decided to stay in the Glade, it didn’t take long for most of our daffodils to bloom.  Both Betsy and I have enjoyed finding new blossoms in the yard each morning.

Orange Progress is the daffodil on the upper left, and Pink Charm is the daffodil on the right.  The daffodils on the lower row are (from left to right) Chromacolor, Mount Hood, and Fortissimo.

We are now enjoying tulips in bloom.  The warmer weather makes it possible for Betsy and I to spend more time working in the yard.  That’s almost as good as going on a hike.