NOVEMBER AND DAY LILIES – Marilyn Armstrong

FOTD – November 12, 2018 – Day Lily


Nice to take a look back to the flowers of summer. Hard, right now, with the cold and the rain and the wind, to believe we’ll ever have summer.

I’m glad I take pictures because I find them very comforting in the chilly nights of November.

The most reliable flowers we have got are daylilies. Some of the cultivars have gone wild and you can find them in the parks along the rivers. Otherwise, the roses  — once they get started — really hang on until the first snow. We get lots of columbines and for some reason, this year, the rhododendrons really took off. I guess they finally reached “full-grown” and it only took them 18 years — probably more like 20 since they were here when we moved in.

We moved them to a better — sunnier — location, but otherwise, this year, they grew like crazy and even bloomed a second time in October.

Growing wild by the river, a yellow daylily

November is a funny month. We’ve had some very warm months … almost like summer, at least for the first half, though usually it drops down and gets cold by the time we get to Thanksgiving.

When we lived in Boston, November 18th was a “shorts and tee-shirt” day. We walked from our apartment to a local bar for lunch and visiting local friends. It was almost 80 degrees (26.7 Celsius) when we went into the bar. Two hours later, we left the bar. It had dropped forty degrees and it kept dropping. We ran home as fast as we could. The warm November weather ended in two hours in the middle of a Wednesday in November.

This year, it has been cool most of the month. Although some of the roses are still blooming, everything else is gone. The trees are bare, except for the little Japanese maple. The television meteorologists are beginning to mutter about snow.

Oh no! Not snow! But at least we got the leaves cleaned up. Imagine the snow on top of the millions of oak leaves.

It isn’t unusual for us to have snow on Thanksgiving. I hope this isn’t one of “those” years. Talk about “unready!”

One daylily
Two daylilies
More daylilies
Chinese daylilies

MEMORIES OF SUMMER – Marilyn Armstrong

Memories of Summer – FOTD – November 2, 2018


Suddenly, I realized that it is really getting to the end of the year and I don’t remember very much of it. One of my two (the small one) bird feeders arrived today. I have to dump the flowers to hand the feeders and I haven’t bought any feed yet. But I will. We get money on Thursday and bird feed is on my list. I have no idea how much to buy, either.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

One is designed mainly for bigger birds and holds sunflower seeds. The little one is for the little birds and holds “regular” birdseed.

I will work it out.

Bright lilies

Meanwhile, I thought I’d show off a few actual flowers.

Memories of summer, the daylilies, and roses

OVER? OR A FRESH START? Stark #writephoto – Marilyn Armstrong

Thursday photo prompt: Stark #writephoto


Often, through the endless winter, Maggie had been sure her garden would never bloom again. As the frozen ground showed no signs of softening in spring sunshine and clumps of dirty brown snow lay on the earth, she would look at the garden and think: “This year, it can’t bloom. Too cold for too long. Too much ice and snow. And I have not been able to work with it, either.”

The overgrown disorder of the last year’s growth was still thatched across the garden. It had rained so much last year they’d been unable to clear it, so it had stayed there, mulching its way through the winter as they mulched with it.

Despite this and her nearly terminal certainty of imminent doom and total destruction, the garden would suddenly return. Everything bloomed at once. Roses and rhododendrons and daylilies and even the daffodils and columbine.

Flowers suddenly bloomed. In some of the worst years when winter had lain on the ground through most of May, those awful, bitter winters? In those years, the garden would bloom all at once with a frantic and wild passion as if it making up for the lost weeks of normal growth, for the dead months when they had been unable to set a single bud.

One day, she would come downstairs and out the gate and gasp at the amazing colors, how the roses had covered the buses like blankets. That the holly was almost a full story tall and even the miniature lilac bushes and thrown a flower or two.

It gave her hope in a world where the sun rarely shined and she prayed only that the well would not be polluted from something poured into the ground, seeping slowly into that fragile layer of underground water.

Their source of life was down there. In her case more than 450 feet down there, one of the deepest wells in the area. Their water had always been clear and ice-cold after it rose from the underlying rocks.

Was this barrenness a forerunner to one more garden? One more summer when the heat didn’t burn the earth to cinders?

She could only watch and wait. Each year was different. One year, it never stopped raining and after a while, the ground felt like a giant sponge, soft and gooey. Then there would be years of drought, leaving all of them wondering if the underground miracle of water would survive.

It was the very early days of the first week in May. In normal years — sometimes called “the old days” — she’d have already seen her early flowers. The garden would have moved on from crocus to daffodil and would now be full of Columbine and the green shoots of daylilies. The old lilac outback would be about to bloom.

Wild garden

But maybe, one more year, the earth would catch its breath and everything would grow again. Maybe the rivers would fill up and somehow, as if they too were seeds waiting to be born, fish would be there and snapping turtle. The geese and the swans and the herons would fish and flocks of ducks would magically float down with the current.

All she could do was wait and never give up hope. the Earth would come back. After all, it always had.

THE FLOWERS I’VE GROWN: CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things People Grow


I grow flowers. I don’t do it in any organized way, but somehow, they grow. I grow things in pots — inside and outside. I have a wild rose and daylily garden that suddenly has become a huge rhododendron garden and we have the biggest holly bush I’ve seen.

I’ve got some very old lilacs, a few very young lilacs, astilbe and goat’s beard, a few random daffodils, and crocus. There used to be others, but they didn’t survive. At one point, I had an amazing display of hollyhocks, but one year, they withered and died and I don’t have any idea why.

Pink roses
Spiderwort
Daylilies
Columbine
Wild strawberries
Crocus
Red Roses
Geranium
Daffodils
Red Begonia
Christmas cactus
Orchids
Solomon’s seal
Lilac

A MAGIC GARDEN – Marilyn Armstrong

Photo Challenge Ambience

Our garden is magical for one month every summer. Usually between late May through much of June.

This year, it was July. It’s all roses and daylilies and for its single month, it’s absolutely magic.

Daylilies with roses along the edge
Also red roses
It’s not a macro, but it is as detailed a photograph of a daylily as I’ve ever taken.
Columbine
Spiderwort 
Lilac

 

JULY 2018 – THE CHANGING SEASONS – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons July 2018 


This hasn’t been one of my best photographic months. It was raining, or extremely hot, or extremely humid — and hot.  I am having a lot of trouble using the gallery function right now and I’ve been too busy to get in touch with WordPress. So I shall do the best I can.

My orchid continued to bloom up to four blooms — and it is still blooming!

Of course, the garden got really serious about blooming. The daylilies and the roses starred in the show.

Daylilies on the walk
Nearly perfect daylily
Also red roses
Photo: Garry Armstrong

And Garry went to Douglas and we both went to River Bend.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Downtown in Douglas
Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong

Crazy Duke got groomed
Up the driveway

And then, Garry went in for his cochlear implant. He made it! Better every day.

And we got a new mattress and life has marched on. I haven’t done a lot of photography, but it has been an exceptionally busy and complicated month!


The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su Leslie’s post, she can update it with links to all of the others.

IT WASN’T MONDAY WITH FLOWERS – Marilyn Armstrong

All photos: Garry Armstrong

I told Garry he had to get up early because the guy was coming from Hellen’s Fuel to adjust the boiler. It’s supposed to be an annual event and recently, is more like annual-and-a-half. We usually have plenty of extra money in the “heating oil” account, but winter was colder and longer than usual, so we got at least two extra fillings of oil … and we ran out of money. That’s a first, too. We’ve never run out of money in all the 18 years of living here.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

There’s a first time for everything.

So, the guy didn’t show up to “tune” the boiler. I called the company, but no one was there. The office was empty. I thought that was pretty strange at midday on … hmm. I furrowed my brows and looked at Garry.

“Is today Monday?”

“No,” he said. “Today is Saturday.”

“Right,” I averred. “Because yesterday was Friday. Why did I think today was Monday?”

“Does that mean the guy isn’t coming to fix the boiler?”

“It means that yes. But why did I think it was Monday. I knew all day yesterday it was Friday. I lost a whole weekend.”

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I worry myself when that happens. It’s one of the problems that come with not having kids in school or going to work. Every day is pretty much the same as every other day. This is not a bad thing unless you have an appointment or intend to watch something live on television. Like Wimbledon or the soccer finals.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

When you have lost your weekdays, organizing can become entertainment. At least I didn’t drag him out of bed really early, but I was absolutely sure it was Monday.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

And, though I may not know which day of the week it is, I pretty much always know the real date because I schedule my posts and bank payments, so I spend a fair bit of time staring at calendars.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Still, it wasn’t Monday. Now, 10 hours later, it still isn’t Monday. But when I post this, I’m sure it will be Monday. Because I’ll use a calendar.

Flower of the Day