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Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Dashing Divider

The Flowers: Iris by Alphonse Mucha 1898

I've been asked by several friends if it is safe to divide Iris in September.  Yes, I say!!!  Actually it is safe to divide them when they're blooming season is over in  late Spring.  I have Iris planted in several different areas of my yard, so I have a bit of a job in store for me.

~Spring 2016 * photo by Suzanne

While I was thinking and planning where to start my fall cleanup, I wondered, "Just exactly where did the Iris come from in the beginning?"  I grew up with Iris plants in Kansas-my parents had them placed in groups strategically throughout a terrace that faced the street.  Not much else would grow there, but the Iris of various colors always made an appearance in the Spring.

With a little bit of research, I did find a few answers.  It appears as though the Syrian landscapes were generously endowed with Iris way back in the 1400's.   In 1479, King Thutmose III of Egypt, conquered Syria, and, upon discovering the Iris, decided that the plant should be immortalized in Egyptian drawings as symbols of the renewal of life.  Being a gardener himself, King Thutmose III took Iris and various other plants back to Egypt from Syria for their gardens.

Locating a picture of Iris engravings on King Thutmose III tombs and monuments was difficult, however, I was able to find this carving of the Kings' Botanical garden, Festival Hall, Karnek.

~Thutmose Botanical garden relief

Hence, we move all these years forward, and, the Iris still survives, having traveled miles from home, and, into our society!

~photo by Suzanne, April 9, 2016

Okay, now we're back!  Throughout the summer months, the Iris leaves can turn brown, but they don't die back.  They just look bad!

Here is my self made video, Part 1, from a few years ago (actually November 2011) of a small flower bed makeover.  In this video, I clean out the area, and freshen it up by mixing top soil and potting mix.   Potting mix is not dense, and, when mixed with top soil or any other potting soil, it helps keep the soil airy.  In addition, it adds nutrients to keep your plants healthy.

Watch what I do next.  And, please excuse my stutterings...I'm shy and I actually filmed this video with one hand, while I worked with the other! It is a little over 12 minutes can probably skip 6 minutes of it, and jump to where the Iris are planted.

* I hope you were able to watch my video-hilarious, wasn't it? does give you an idea of how you can plan and easily put a small flower bed together that will be pretty and easy to maintain.

 The following Spring brought beautiful, rich color to this small garden!  It just turns out that all of the Iris in this bed are snow white.
My little grandson was only too happy to help maintain!

~small floral garden * March 2012

This was a few years ago, but, the Iris are still doing well and blooming, and I change out the bedding plants each year.  And, you can see that the Iris foliage is stout and healthy!  I will clean out again this fall, and we'll have another look see at any changes I might make. little grandson is a little bigger now-hopefully, he can help in a bigger way!

I am so glad you came by for a visit, and I hope you were able to view my video-yes, that crackling voice was mine!  It sounds like my son when he was 11 and his voice was changing, lol!


I am truly grateful for my family and friends, and would like to thank:
Yahoo images
You Tube
My little assistant, Shawn
Southern Living Magazine

Every month I receive a copy of Southern Living Magazine.  It's a great publication, with tips and advice on home decorating, foods, travel, and gardening.

I love the 'Grumpy Gardener' section of the magazine-he's so full of, I mean, he's so full of great information on planting issues.  Below is one such issue:

Mowing Nightmare
Q.  When my son cuts the grass, he leaves clumps all over the yard, and it looks terrible!  My neighbors are ready to run me off the block.  What is he doing wrong?

A.  Don't be so hard on the guy.  Many people have sons who just hang out in the 'man cave' all day texting and playing video games-at least yours cuts the grass (albeit badly).  The reason for the clumps is either the grass is getting too high between cuttings or he's cutting it when it's wet.  Explain this to him.  You'll need to send him a text!

* Thank you 'Grumpy Gardener' for your expert advice on how to handle this situation!  We shall certainly see you again!

So, adieu, mes amis * be safe, love a lot, and laugh a lot!
See you next time! ♥

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Autumn is just lite days away!

~photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, Texas *

Autumn is well on it's way, I can almost smell the scent of fireplaces and fir trees!  As we enjoy the drum rolls and brass of the high school band during half time at our favorite football game, a strange, slow, breeze passes through the stadium on a whim!  It's a breeze that sends flirtatious leaves floating downward, showing off their hues of red and gold.

falling leaves gif photo: falling leaves 64405526b14c7f6064e7d661b984cd15a8fdb781.gif

♫"Since you went away, the days grow long.
And, soon I'll hear, old winter's song." ♫
Autumn Leaves
~written by Joseph Kosma in 1945

Isn't Autumn Leaves just the greatest song?  We sang this song in my high school Glee Club, and, I  remember how lovely it sounded.  

Well, now-down to the business of the day!  The summer has been so hot and muggy...actually, it's not over yet, even tho it is September.  Needless to say, I didn't have much going on in my Summer gardens.  With my son's help, we kept some of the herbs alive, and the fern and canna lilies continued to thrive.

  One plant that returns faithfully every summer is my Umbrella plant, aka, Umbrella Palm.  See how it billows and waves around my flag?  Well, actually, this one needs to be thinned out.  Although this  plant is not deep rooted, it can be stubborn and hard to dig up.  And, when you plant them, you need only scoop out a ditch just wide enough and deep enough to lay the root in.  At first, I thought this was a shade lover, but alas, I found that the Umbrella prefers the sun.  Umbrellas die back in the winter, and I cut the palms down to the ground.  They start to peek out in early Spring, but, sometimes are too frail for the coolness that still lingers from the Winter.  Just give them a chance, tho, and, they'll continue to ease up as the sun becomes warmer.  I love to watch the Umbrellas sway in the breeze, and glisten at night under the stars and moon.

~photo by Suzanne * September 4, 2016

In my Texas garden, roses come early in the Spring. Even with the cool mornings they can bask and breathe in the warm sun.  I now only have two producing rose bushes...I don't know why!!!   I planted two new rose bushes, in the same area as the other two this past Spring, but they died early on.   Do any of you have ideas as to why I may have lost them?  One of them looked sick from the beginning to me.  I'll just have to try again this coming Spring, but, be more selective and keep health issues in mind.

~Chicago Peace Rose * photo by Suzanne
April 26, 2016

~photo by Suzanne * April 2016

~ Don't they make the prettiest cut flowers?

The white roses are called 'Garden Party'.  It is a hybrid tea rose with delicate white flowers, edged in pink, and puts off a heavenly fragrance.  I've only had this rose for a few years, and it produces more with each season.  They are so delicate, that I cut them as the buds are just thinking about opening and bring them inside to open up.  I have to confess that, originally, I only bought this rose because the name makes me think of Rick Nelson!  And, I'm glad I did!

Soon, it will be time for me to prune back these rose bushes, but, sometimes I get a few blooms in the fall, as the weather cools down.  So, I'll wait just a bit to see if that happens before I start pruning.

Well, I'll be moving along for now.  We still have planting tips and issues to discuss for fall, so I will return soon with some more Texas garden fun!

I haven't been around for a while, and I am currently trying to update and dust off this blog.  Oh...I won't change the design, but, I believe a few current items will give it a fresher appearance.

* Thank you so much for coming by, I hope you've had a pleasant summer, with, not too hot temperatures.  It's been pretty hot here in the Lone Star State, and I'm ready for a cool break.  If you have the time, please stop in and say hello!  Don't be shy-that's my job! ♥

"Do what you can to show you care about other people,
and, you will make our world a better place."
~Rosalynn Carter