Wordless Wednesday

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The Tuesday View April 25

April 25, 2017

The grass is greening up and the perennials are growing in my mixed bed in the back yard. The giant alliums are leaping out of the ground, while the daylilies are not far behind. Lamb’s ears, iris, veronica and astilbe are making their presence known, promising good things to come.  ‘Ice Follies’ narcissus and clumps of past-bloom bloodroot are in the woods beyond. For comparison, my last view was posted March 21. What a difference a month can make!

March 21, 2017

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting The Tuesday View, a meme showing the view of one or more of our gardens over the course of a growing season.

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In A Vase On Monday – Spring Fling

Flowers are bursting forth, birds are nesting… Spring is all about sex and reproduction – a spring fling!

My narcissi are from collections bought long ago, so no ID. The lovely lemon-yellow Butterfly narcissus just opened and the miniature golden trumpet daffodils are always among the first to bloom and last for weeks.

I was glad to add a few delicate flowers of barrenwort (Epimedium lutea), which have jumped into bloom next to the house, while their counterparts further out in gardens have barely emerged from the ground. The bright blue glory-of-the-snow (Chionoxdoxa luciliae) provide a nice contrast.

I was charmed by the tiny, red floral fireworks of the red maples (Acer rubrum) and couldn’t resist adding a few branches. A few sprigs of green honeysuckle leaves (Lonicera tartarica) and some felted, fragrant Geranium macrorhizum leaves are the greens.

The green vines and flowers on the cream pitcher add to the spring feeling. The hollowed eggs are quail.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

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Earth Day 2017

As you probably are aware, April 22 is Earth Day, when we celebrate our beautiful Mother Earth. However for gardeners, I think every day is Earth Day, in that we demonstrate caring for the planet through our gardens.

It distresses me that our Earth is still in peril despite measures taken since the first Earth Day in 1970. Our lifestyle, which many take for granted, creates greenhouse gases and nearly every action puts more into the atmosphere, adding to climate change. Even the smallest things we do as individuals, when spread across many shoulders, leads to big impacts for better or worse.

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Seeking ways to reduce my carbon footprint, I wondered about ways to reduce in my gardens, other than carbon absorbtion facilitated through plants. Rototilling garden soil releases greenhouse gases, not just the exhaust from the machine doing it, but gases stored in the soil itself. No-till gardening uses mulch, which reduces the need to weed and cultivate, adds organic matter to the soil and holds these gases within the soil. Microorganisms and fungi within the soil also are supported and this enables even more carbon retention.

IMG_4148Costly pesticides and fertilizers are petroleum products, so practicing organic methods are another way to reduce. The Amish, who don’t use chemicals, actually have greater yields per acre than their neighboring farmer up the road who does.

An estimated 17% of all fossil fuel consumed in the USA goes for food growing, harvesting, processing, shipping, packaging and distribution. Organic production cuts this by about 30%. In the U.S., the average bite of food travels 1,500 miles from farm to table. Raising food at home or buying local organic food saves significantly.

Meat production has a larger carbon footprint than vegetative production, since animals produce methane and consume grain, adding an extra step in the food chain. If you make a couple of meals each week meat-free, eat 10-20% less at every meal (which sheds those extra pounds you may have been meaning to lose anyway), you’ve changed the world!

IMG_4356Nearly every single thing we consume has a carbon footprint. By looking at what we consume and asking ourselves how we can reduce, each of us can take small steps, which together add up to make a huge impact. Our and future generations’ lives will be affected by the actions we take today. Make a pledge now in honor of Earth Day to change your world. For more ideas, visit http://www.earthday.org/take-action/

 

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A Different View April 18

April 18, 2017

Time for a spring view. Birch and maples are budding out in rose and green. The grass is growing, too. Spring at last!

For contrast, here are winter and autumn shots:

December 30, 2016

October 18, 2016

It’s nice to live where there are four distinct seasons. Summer awaits!

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In A Vase On Monday – Pink Hyacinth

With a week of above normal temperatures, at last my garden is beginning to grow and bloom. Last week everything was tightly budded, but this week is a different story. I had cut a few branches of Japanese quince (Chaenomeles × superba) to force and then this weekend the forsythia (Forsythia × intermedia) began to bloom along with a few pink hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis). I put in a few dried black birch catkins (Betula lenta) for accent.

For a vase, I used my vintage ‘The Cube’ cream server (T.G. Green & Co., Church Gresley). The felted Easter eggs I made last week in a workshop at our library. Unfortunately, the dog got a hold of the one on the right, so it looks a bit disheveled. Mementoes for many Easters to come.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

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Remembering Thelma’s Easter Egg Hunt

IMG_8892Many years ago in my early thirties, soon after I moved to town, I joined a quilting group comprised mostly of older women. One of those women was Thelma French. She was vivacious and fun loving, with a rough, gravelly voice and a mischievous sense of humor. She was kind and thoughtful, and possessing a can-do attitude, did lots of volunteer work around town, particularly with the church. Everyone loved Thelma.

One of her annual traditions was hosting an Easter egg hunt on her front lawn. She gathered older kids and friends together to dye dozens of eggs, which were then hidden under bushes and in the gentle slope of tufted grass in her yard.

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Young children of the town were invited to join the hunt and prizes were awarded, but everyone went home with something, usually chocolate candy eggs, which were more popular than the hard-boiled ones! I brought my children there when they were small and recall the fun, watching the dash and search for eggs, particularly the coveted “Golden Egg,” which yielded a special prize to the finder.

The coveted Golden Egg.

The coveted Golden Egg.

Those of us who knew Thelma still miss her friendly cheer and speak of her fondly. In her honor, the church has kept up the tradition she started so many years ago. The Annual Thelma French Memorial Easter Egg Hunt no longer takes place on her lawn, but at the Town ball field, where volunteers hide hundreds of dyed eggs.

Jan ready to hide eggs.

Jan ready to hide eggs.

IMG_8913The young children of the town gather at the appointed time and with great excitement, hunt for eggs hidden at the base of trees, in tufts of grass and even around the play structure, dugout and bleachers.

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This particular year, over 300 eggs were hidden and 23 children participated, in three age categories.

IMG_8948The winners for the most eggs collected were: Age 0-3 years – Finn, age 3, collected 17 eggs. Age 4-6 years – Gus, age 5, collected 39 eggs. Age 7-10 years – Patrice, age 8, collected 42 eggs. The golden egg was found by Ben, age 10.

IMG_8963Happy Easter everyone!

 

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