Thursday, May 29, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - a bushel and a peck

Show and Tell Friday is here, the day to share something special to you! This is sponsored by Kelli at There is no Place Like Home, so head over to join in.
Today I wanted to show something that has been with our family for over 20 years. It is a simple cross-stitch I made for my husband a long time ago, and has been with us thru six moves, and hangs in our bedroom now.

I love cross-stitch, but am very slow at it. So I wisely chose a quick project that I could do and finish !
Maybe you know the words to this song-

"I love you, a bushel and a peck,
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck."

I think I have it right.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


One of the great things about spring is that, although I am sad to see the tulips gone for another year, then the lilacs come, and I enjoy them, but for such a brief time! Next come the irises, and I think, 'these ARE my favorites.'
The anticipation of 'the next thing' helps me past the sadness of losing 'the last thing' which seems to go by much too fast.
At any rate, iris season is just about to swing into full gear in my yard, and I am so pleased that I walk thru to see what is blooming,
or about to bloom-
that I walk thru at least twice a day, if I am not already out there, slugging away with the weeds or some other gardening chore.
Sigh! I love irises, don't you??

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday

My dogwood is blooming, a bit sparsely this year, I am afraid.
I never get tired of these beautiful blooms, though. They are simple and elegant, exotic without being weird.
Happy GTS! Happy Sunday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - Iris time

Another 'Show and Tell' day ! Head over to Kelli's blog, There is No Place Like Home
to see what is going on today! My show n' tell is about one of my favorite flowers, Irises.
Just a closeup of a white bearded iris.

I don't remember this one being such an odd combo of colors, last year.

This is an early blue mini which I love.

Blurry picture of another bicolor mini.

I haven't figured out how to make the purple color come 'true' in Photo shop, yet. This is a deep purple iris.
I realize not everyone loves bearded iris, they really are an old fashioned flower. But what a show they put on!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday -violets and quince and columbines, oh my!

We have surely hit that part of the year when so much is happening in the yard and garden that it is overwhelming. I saw these speckled violets at the Ogden Botanical Gardens.
Here is some quince that is blooming in our yard. It must be a plant that is 'planted' by birds, because there is some growing at a few random spots around the yard. Quince fruit can be used

as a source of pectin for jam and jelly-making. I ought to figure out how to do that someday, pectin is expensive!

This last photo is of a mini columbine in my spring garden bed. It is a lovely, delicate pink and white that I am afraid the photo does not do justice.

Happy GTS!
Green Thumb Sunday is sponsored by As the Garden Grows. Check out what else is blooming around the globe!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Show and Tell Friday- decorative dish towels

Show and Tell Friday is here again,
and I wanted to show you'all some of my favorite dish towels.
The colored ones I got as monthly kits and did the appliquing myself.
Hooray for simple projects (they may actually get done!)
I hang these on my oven door as a holiday decoration, not so much as something to wipe hands on! I have a few more, I am just showing some of my favorites today. The watermelon is for the month of August, the bunny for April.
Here is a closeup -
One of my favorites is the embroidered saying- "Well-behaved women rarely make history." One of my daughters made this towel and gave it to me as a special gift. I am one lucky mom, I'd say!
Head over to Kelli's blog There is No Place Like Home for more show and tell fun!


Time is galloping along, May goes by too fast, as does spring. Although this is not technically a bloom, I have been watching the Japanese Maple unfurl its' leaves. I had forgotten, somehow, about the incredible scarlet color. Another highlight this spring has been my 'Ohio' lilac. This is the first year it has bloomed (will bloom, technically!)
I brought it back from Ohio about 5 years ago, and it has just sat there, not grown much, and so this year's bloom is a great treat. Lilacs are one of my favorite plants, and this one is a start from my mother's lilac bush, which she got from her mother's bush.

Also blooming- the weeping cherry tree, a few remaining daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, the wood violets, periwinkle, phlox, rock cress, pansies, and wisteria.

These mini-iris have been a highlight for me - I have dark purple, this light blue, and the white and yellow ones I blogged about a few days ago. Do you see the grape hyacinths at the bottom of the iris? I think more of those in front of these irises would be a good combination to put together.

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Head over to see what is going on in everyone else's gardens!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

GREEN THUMB SUNDAY -mini iris and LARCH tree, or Learning about Trees, part 3

This little mini -iris surprised me by being in bloom today. I think I'll get more 'minis', because they bloom earlier than the bearded iris, and multiply fast! Love the cheery yellow-white combo!
Also, my larch tree has finally 'leafed' out. Here are the needles in mid-April -
Lousy picture, I know, but those little buds are the needles coming out.

This is how they looked on May 1st -
Here is the tree today - it is a lighter green than the other evergreens nearby, soft and feathery looking.
One last closeup of the needles -

Happy GTS!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

SHOW and TELL FRIDAY- from plain to pretty

I finally remembered a picture I saw in a magazine last month, with a cute (and easy- has to be pretty quick or I'll never get it done!) idea to make a vase of flowers even more special. Just find some coordinating ribbon (I have a box of ribbon in my crap - er, I mean craft room), double-stick tape, and go to it. You can see from the pics that it is pretty easy.
Here is a closer look - easy-peasy. Can't remember which magazine I saw it in, though.

Oh, the yellow and white flowers on the right are from my garden, the purple and white is strictly fake-o-flowers.
Happy Show and Tell Friday! Head over to Kelli's blog, There is no place like home, to join in the fun.

Learning about Trees, part 2

Maybe I am just finding something everybody else already knows about, but that is one of the great things about the internet- information is easily available. I am trying to learn the difference between pines, spruces, firs, cedars, etc, etc. Once you start looking, there are all varieties of evergreens that I have not paid much attention to, previously! I found the Arbor Day Foundation website, which gives an easy tutorial about learning to identify trees. Then it helps you identify more trees! If you are as ignorant about trees as I am, it is a good, basic resource.

So, we have a lovely tree in the front that I thought was a blue spruce, but now I think it is a white fir, a tree that is recommended as better than a blue spruce for our area (central Utah), because it has few pest problems, is a Rocky Mountain native, and has a nearly perfect 'Christmas tree' shape.
White Fir -Abies concolor
These pictures are all from my BYU tree tour, our white fir is big, but not THIS big! Here is a closeup of the needles -

Eastern Redcedar -Juniperus virginiana
This columnar tree is not a cedar, but a juniper. Hmm, I wonder what difference that makes? At any rate, it is the tree used to make cedar chests! I snuck in behind the bushes and smelled the tree, and sure enough, it smells great.
These last two photos are of the Douglas Fir, another Rocky Mountain native, which is also popular as a Christmas tree.
Douglas Fir - Pseudotsuga menziesii
Another fir tree. Short needles seem to be characteristic of a fir, long needles of a pine - ? I thought the cones were cool -
Next time I talk about trees, I'll try and show you the two larches (?) I think I have in our yard.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Learning about Trees

On a recent visit to Brigham Young University's campus (for a lovely women's conference), I scouted out some trees via the university's tree tour. They have over 100 tree on their tour, and a small booklet (available at the bookstore) with pictures and map to help you find and identify the trees. You can see the online version at, if you are interested. I didn't have time to see ALL the trees on the tour, but I did see about a dozen or so.
Dawn RedwoodMetasequoia glyptostroboides
Next time I am 'in the neighborhood', I'll try and see more. This first picture is of a Dawn Redwood, a tree that was thought to be extinct at one time. This specimen was planted in 1962, and is about 70' tall. It is one of the oldest Dawn Redwoods in North America. Here is a closeup of the needles coming out.
Ohio BuckeyeAesculus glauca
Being from Ohio, I thought this was a bit ironic. BYU has played OSU in football, occasionally. (Thought I don't believe BYU has ever won!).

European Larch-Larix decidua
This Larch was a tree I particularly wanted to see, because we have one in our yard, and I wanted to make sure I was correct in my identification. I do not know much about trees, and so I am always trying to learn more. The Larch and the Dawn Redwood are the only two 'evergreen' trees that are deciduous, if I am remembering my master gardening classes.

Bald Cypress -Taxodium distichum
This is the last tree I wanted to show today, we (I managed to drag people along!) got a big laugh out of the description, which explains how the tree trunk is 'strongly buttressed, especially in wet areas with cypress knees, occurring only near water.'
Here we see the Sassy One
demonstrating how buttressing works on a nearby tree trunk.
So now I am wondering, how many colleges/universitites also have 'tree tours'? If you know of any, please let me know in your comments!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday- visiting Temple Square

We live about an hour away from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT. It is a place many people visit - I am not sure if it is lovelier in winter, decorated for Christmas with millions of lights and outdoor nativities, or in spring time when the flowers are at their absolute best. At any rate, our family recently visited temple square, and I thought I'd share a few highlights -
I love the pinks and blues of this tulip bed.

These hanging planters are amazing -

here is a closeup.

More tulips -

And a star magnolia. There's lots more to see, let me know if you've ever visited Temple Square!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - eeekkk!

I am posting early because I'll be out of town for a few days. Head over to Kelli's blog, There is no Place Like Home, to see what else is going on!
So, today I want to show you a little 'treasure' my DH picked up at a garage sale, unbeknownst to me. He then hid this 'pet' in the yard, in one of our flower beds, amongst the Japanese blood grass, to see if he could startle me.
A bit of background, we do live in an area where snakes live - we see them rarely, and most of them are harmless, except for the rattlesnakes. I do try to watch my step in the yard, and have been startled before by one of the cats sneaking up on me. So- a few weeks after this alligator was hidden, I saw it - just the snout, peeking out from the grass- I could tell it was large- (about 2 1/2 feet long) - and knew we didn't have any lizard-y type of animal of this size in Utah. Just the same, it freaked me out, and I started backing away, and yelling for DH, who happened to be in the front yard. He says he knew right away what I was yelling about. Well, he got me good, this time. I have yet to get him back! Any ideas out there?
We decided our plastic pet should help celebrate Easter with us.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Garden Bloggers Muse Day - May 1st

May arrives at dawn and kneels in prayer.
Her dress of green rustles as she rises to meet this day.
Feeling the warm spring breeze on her cheeks,
She smiles as she dances to celebrate the end of winter.
(Her work clothes cast aside for the day)
May is my favorite month , my birthday month! The weather is (usually) great, and I can get outside and plant and enjoy the flowers. May first is my grandmother's birthday. She was born 1 May, 1904, and would be 104 if she was still alive. She loved to garden, too.
Go to Carolyn's blog, Sweet Home and Garden Chicago, to join in for Garden Bloggers Muse Day!