Saturday, June 28, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday thorns amid the roses, or dandelions amid the thyme?

My GTS is just a little dose of reality, which I am constantly getting from my garden:
We have some lovely thyme as a groundcover. Then I see (and today you can see it too!) the weeds amidst the beauty. I haven't even gotten to this end of the garden to weed out the grass, etc. that tries to sneak into the thyme.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Show and Tell Friday -cake plate and apricot nectar cake recipe

It's Friday, and time for Show and Tell - be sure to go to Kelli's blog to see what everyone else has to offer today!
This old cake plate is from one of my great grandmothers, I am not sure which one. I received it from my grandmother, who kept it in her china cabinet.
It is not a fancy one, or an expensive one.
But it is cherished because it is a piece of the past I can enjoy.
And those green candles are pine scented, just Christmas leftovers that smell great when I open the hutch doors!
If I'm showing a cake plate, I think I should add a recipe.
This recipe is from The Cake Mix Doctor by Ann Byrn.
Favorite Apricot Nectar Cake
1 pkg (18.25 oz) plain white or yellow cake mix
1 pkg (3 oz) lemon gelatn (but we have used peach in a pinch)
3/4 c canned apricot nectar
3/4 c. vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, or soybean oil
grated zest of 1 lemon (1 t.)
4 large eggs
3/4 c. confectioners' sugar
2 T fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
4 T. canned apricot nectar ,or more as needed
Lightly mist Bundt (or angel food cake) pan, then dust with flour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix all of the 'Cake' ingredients together with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then mix at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes more. The batter should look thick and smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. PLace the pan in the oven.
Bake the cake until is is light brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger 35-42 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 - 15 minutes.
Prepare the glaze by combining the 'glaze' ingredients in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat, stirring, untilthe sugar has dissolved, about 3 - 5 minutes.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a serving platter (or beautiful cake plate!)
While the cake is still warm, poke holes in the top with a toothpick or wooden skewer. Spoon the glaze onto thecake so that it seeps down into the holes . Let the cake cool before slicing.
This is a flavorful, moist, not too sweet cake! Try it if you are having trouble keeping your weight up (j/k :) !

Iris failure

I goofed, the iris in the last post is called 'Full Tide' , not Blue Tide.
Maybe I should post it on that "FAIL" website. Maybe not. It is a funny website, but some of it is inappropriate, as my daughter warns me. (what does it mean when your kids are protecting you from racy stuff?lol)
All my new irises are done blooming, so no surprises left. Actually, there are hardly any iris blooms left at all. Sad.
Good thing the daylilies are starting to bloom!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday - iris and Japanese maple seed heads

Green Thumb Sunday is here once again - irises are winding down around our place -
this lovely blue one is called Blue Tide.

I have been weeding grass out from under a 3 foot tall Japanese threadleaf maple for what seems like forever. One positive in this endless chore was that I noticed these tiny 'helicopters.' I love the beautiful colors.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - 'the good stuff'

I do look forward to show and tell every Friday! Thanks to Kelli at There is No Place Like Home for hosting this event. Be sure to head over to see what's going on.
When DH and I got married, we didn't 'register' anywhere. We had an extremely small and simple wedding. Needless to say, we didn't receive/have a set of china, i.e., 'the good stuff'.
One day we were browsing
thru a catalog sale and saw this set of stone ware.
It had a lot of qualities that helped us decide we should buy it -
1.) It was on sale! One of the cups or saucers was missing, I think.
2.) We both liked it. We had looked at some other sets and didn't seem to like the same patterns at all.
3.) Did I mention it was on sale?
Here is a closeup of the pattern, I like the blue, and the faded effect with some of the flowers.
For those of you 'in the know' about china and dishware, on the bottom it reads
'Kensington Staffordshire Ironstone England Balmoral 1801'.
Now I am sure this wasn't made in 1801, because, again; we bought it in a catalog store,
not an antique shop.
We have used it for special dinners with our children all these years, and I still treasure my lovely 'china'.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I am noting with a good deal of satisfaction that last year at this time, all the irises had been done blooming for two weeks. This spring has been a good deal cooler and longer than last year's. I still have another week or two to enjoy the irises. This is Malaguena, and is one of my new irises!
I saw this shiny blue beetle today on another iris. Hope it is not an iris-sucking crum-snucker, or something else sinister.

I know that gardening is not ALL about irises, but they have occupied my mind a lot lately. Here is some spiderwort that I got last year, and seems to be happy so far in the spots I have put it. Also blooming -
snow in summer,
red valerian,
roses are just starting to bloom,
phlox is still finishing up,
silene (I think!),
California poppies,
cranesbill geranium,
the azalea,
white bleeding heart,
snowball viburnum, and the
love-in-a-mist is just starting to bloom.

The oriental poppies are blooming. I have a few new colors that don't look like they are going to bloom today. I like the orange, but am looking forward to red, and pink as well.

This is a new color of siberian iris for me, the dark purple ones are also blooming like mad.

The lupine is blooming.

Oh, and did I mention that my IRIS are blooming??? This is one that wandered out of our yard into the field next door. I plan to retrieve it. I love the velvety purple of the falls, don't you?

Don't miss out- go to the home of Garden Blogger's Bloom day, May Dream Gardens, and see what Carol and the other bloggers have in their gardens.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

SHOW AND TELL Friday - quail eggs and iris mystery

Friday is here again, and it is time for show and tell -be sure to head over to Kelli's to be part of the fun!
Last week I was lamenting that I didn't know the name of several of the irises I had planted last year.
This yellow iris w/ the brownish-red markings on the falls (the lower petals) was one - I looked around online, but there are a lot of similar irises out there! At any rate, I found a box where I had put last year's 'maps' of where I was planting which new iris ( I think I bought /received about 20 or 30) and especially the picture of the ones I had purchased in a store! At any rate, this little mystery was solved- the name of this iris is Michigan's Pride. I am aware that perhaps nobody cares about this name but me, but I am pleased to have some of my iris mysteries solved.
DH found these when he was cleaning out a bed. We didn't hear any quail fussing at him while he was near the eggs, and don't really think these had been taken care of.
Here is a closer look at them. I've seen a few quail in the yard, so I hope they have a new nest and babies somewhere else.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday - what is the name of that iris?

I had a lot of fun with my own, self-declared iris week, but my irises are still blooming. I am planting a few, thanks to DH, who found me a deal.
This two toned blue is a nice one, but who knows what the name of it is. I have had some trouble with my recordkeeping. I know I wrote down somewhere what I planted where, but now am having a heck of a time finding that record. urg. Still, I am 'suffering' thru as my irises bloom and bloom, and am trying again to keep track of them w/ a new list, a new system, etc.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

'Prissy Miss' finishes Iris Week

Thanks for so many fun comments about the irises.
The last one I will show you (this week!) Pink is not always my fave, but this iris is a lot of fun, I would call it Sassy Miss, if't'were me, but then again, nobody asked, did they?
Love the tangerine beard. Let me know if you are posting iris pics on your blog, I'd love to swing by and see!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Coral Sunset for Friday of Iris Week

This is a newly purchased and planted last fall iris for me. I love the coral-peach-tangerine tones in an iris. Anyone who has 'checked in' this week knows that I have an inordinate love for irises. I would have to say, though, that if roses are the queens of the plant world, irises would have to be the royal duchesses. They aren't around all the time, but when irises show up, they surely command attention and admiration.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - 4-H jewelry

Be sure to head over to Kelli's blog There is No Place Like Home to see what else is going on there today.
For show and tell today, I thought I'd show (what I could find of) the jewelry I received in 4-H. I was not in an animal club, our group was mostly girls, and we focused on homemaking skills.

My grandmother was the leader of our club, and two of my aunts were leaders while I was a 4-H -er. I was a member for 10 years, and so received numerous buttons, then pins (I seem to only be able to find my 6 year pin to show today) , and finally a ring.

However, as any one who has been in 4-H knows, it's NOT all about the jewelry. I learned to sew and cook (homemade bread!), among other things.

I was not really one of those outstanding 4-H kids.

The 4-H motto is 'To make the Best Better'- and I am sure my grandmother despaired of ever seeing me do an outstanding project, or sew an outstanding article of clothing, or anything else. I was (and still am) kind of a slap-dash kind of a gal.

But I do love to sew, and made quite a few of my clothes for high school, and for my children (until they got old enough to protest!).

I have a lot of great memories of making things, going to the summer meetings, making a float for the fair, and etc. OH, and the fair! that was something wonderful, but I'll tell you about that another time.

Any other 4-H 'kids' out there?

Champagne Elegance for Thursday

Iris mania is in full swing around here, yesterday my DH brought home a bag of 25 mixed varieties (surprises!) that he bought for me for $5!!
Whatta deal!
This iris is one of my very favorites, Champagne Elegance. The falls are such a soft, almost undefinable color - tan or beige is too common of a color to adequately describe the mix of peachy beauty and ? It is the personification of elegance to me.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Irises and friends for Wednesday

Today's featured iris was a gift from a friend - Linda and I graduated from high school together, and roomed together for our first year of college. I was visiting her a few years ago, and she gave me this beautiful iris.
She didn't know the name of it, and I have been searching around online to see if I could figure it out. There really are a lot of very similar irises. I looked at BlueJ Iris's site, because they have a lot of irises, with the descriptions of the standards, falls, beard color, etc. included with a picture.
This beauty looks like a 'plicata' to me, and so I looked on this page to see what I could find.
After some searching, I decided it could be Orinico Flow or Blueberry Ice. Blueberry Ice has a different colored beard, and Orinico Flow is not exactly the same. I won't even elaborate on the problems with purple and blue colors in photos (digital, esp.!). I'll need to work on that.
At any rate, no definitive name for now, but an absolute beauty that I never tire of looking at!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Moon for Tuesday

This iris is in a bed that I am trying to put together with yellow and orange irises.
I have a few daylilies, and this year I'm adding drumstick allium (which I grew in Ohio, and they spread like mad- I am thinking they might slow down here in Utah). I have a yellow and white mini-iris, Wedding Candles, a frilly white and yellow iris I showed earlier, and a bright orange iris called Summit Satin.
Now, the plan is to have yellow tones in this garden bed. I need to move a beautiful white w/ purple edged iris that I got from a friend out of this bed. Maybe I'll have to replace it with a new orange or yellow.. hmm.
Tune in tomorrow if you are like me and never get tired of these beauties!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Nigerian Raspberry Iris for Monday

This is an iris developed by Brad and Kathie Kasperek, who run Zebra Gardens. They have developed a unique line of broken color irises, with stripes and swirls.
A Kasperek iris is easy to recognize because they really are different. Even the names are easy to spot, because most of them have an African style name - Baboon Bottom, Kickapoo Kangaroo, Python's Parasol, and one of my favorites, Nigerian Raspberry. Zebra Gardens just happen to be located in northern Utah, and I've been up to visit, once. (And, no, I don't have any financial interest in their business!)
I love the purple-y rose color, and the splotched edges.
In honor of the glory and beauty of Irises, I am posting every day this week.
Do you have a favorite iris? Maybe your irises are blooming, too - leave me a comment, I'd love to come and see!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Garden Blogger's Muse Day for June

Garden Blogger's Muse Day is sponsored by Carolyn at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago. Head on over to see what is going on.
It is Iris week at my house, and so I thought I'd share a poem about irises.
The garden with its little gate of green,
Invites you to enter, and view mysteries unseen,
Its vine laden bowers and overhanging trees,
The air filled with sweetness, the hum of the bees,
The flagged walks with Iris galore,
Of most beautiful coloring, unknown before,
Pink, white, purple, yellow, azure blue,
Mixed and mingled of every hue,
You come away wondering, can more beauty be seen
Than in the garden with its little gate of green.


Green Thumb Sunday - Iris week begins!

This year I have a lot of new irises blooming for the first time (having bought or been given them last year).
I never tire of walking thru the garden, to see what's new. This is a yellow and white bicolor that I don't know the name of, but I looove looking at it.
I'll be posting every day this week, so I can show off all my new beauties.
Happy GTS!