Monday, July 28, 2014

Gardening Question

Having searched the resources available, yet not having talked to a REAL gardener, I can't find an answer to my question.

Question: after sixteen years, why are the blossoms on these old chrysanthemums so small?

wee mum flowers are on lower right of picture

My stylist this morning said that the roots after all these years probably have worn out.  The Walmart flower seller guy said that genetically, maybe the flowers are just not supposed to bloom after a certain undefined number of years.  So with those expert witnesses to testify on my behalf, the mums will be dug up, discarded, and and replanted with fresh pots of mums.  

Sadly, I must wait at least two weeks until shipments of new mums arrive at the local stores.  Home Depot is my usual supplier.

The red mums above seem to be doing well and are the usual sizes.

Cosmos with flower garland seem happy.

Columbines on second flowering of the season after roots have been shaded with bark and flagstone rock. Some columbines have been moved to different locations, but have not overcome the shock of their rude upheavals, so the pictures would not be pretty if they were shown.  Trust me, those flowers and the daisies that were also dug up and moved are in a sad state of trying to survive in their new surroundings

On a happier note, new hostas have found their places this morning in the wildflower garden, although they really should be banned from living with the wildflowers.  Let's just say the wildflower garden is becoming more civilized with the hostas growing alongside the columbines and penstemon and daisies.

Lots of rain has kept us indoors a bit more the last few days, so I've caught up on Last Tango in Halifax (my new favorite PBS series), Endeavour (another PBS series) and reruns of Midsomer Murders.  John Nettles of Midsomer fame is my new best male friend.  Cannot forget Poirot, either.

Wishing you a big, beautiful bowl of ruby red cherries.  Hope your July ends on a high note!

And if you know why those flowering mums have become so small, please leave me a comment.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Decorative Ice Buckets with Flowers

My mother toasting you from years ago! Note ice bucket in foreground.

(1995, Ann McCarroll)
I dropped a tear in the ocean. The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you.

It is that hot time of summer in the northern hemisphere, so time to make a few ice buckets.  Just because they are pretty!

Here is a link that will tell you all about how to do it.  Back in the day, I did not go to near that trouble, using a half gallon orange juice container with an empty wine bottle placed in the middle and layered flowers in the waxed juice box.  Then the entire container was frozen overnight.  After the ice block was frozen solid and just prior to serving, the waxed boxed was peeled away and discarded and wine was decanted into the empty wine bottle.

Updating on that picture from the 1990's, last week I layered flowers into a plastic bowl, freezing differing buds and flowers between one inch layers of water.  It came out almost as pretty as the what the supplied link showed. If you go over to Betty's blog, she shows one she made June 23; she suggests putting a votive candle in the middle.  That would be attractive for entertaining in the simmer dim hours.

The local craft store supplied the clear plastic container that holds the ice bucket, keeping drinks cold with extra ice cubes melting around the drinks.  This time, I did not make an indentation in the ice bucket, but did include a couple of tiny plastic fairies frozen in the ice for a teeny bit of whimsy.

That ice block held drinks cold for several hours, even in 90 degree temperatures in the shade.  A couple of friends came over yesterday for lunch and drinks on the patio.  It was almost a party!

Speaking of parties, today is Prince George's First Birthday!  His maternal grandmother, Carole Middleton, gave a Peter Rabbit themed party that the Daily Mail reported to be very 'middle class'.

read here that "the now defunct left-wing Inner London Education Authority banned him (Peter Rabbit) and his cousin Benjamin Bunny from London schools in the 1980's because it said the rabbits were too bourgeois."  Now can you imagine that Peter Rabbit would be too bourgeois? Ha! Sniff!  What would Beatrix Potter think?

Happy Birthday little Prince George!