FAVORITE ROSE PHOTO – CEE’S FLOWER OF THE DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

February 15 – My Favorite Rose Photo


This is one of my top two rose photo favorites. The two pictures are very much alike.

I love this picture because the roses bloomed so intensely they look like the roses they put on the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Last year we cut them back very far and the bloomed, but not nearly as much as usual and I think the intense rain has prevented a lot of sun-loving flowers from blooming. It’s all mud out there!

PHOTO CHALLENGE: THE MAGENTA ROSES WITH RED AND SCARLET – Marilyn Armstrong

Photo Challenge: The Magenta Rose

Oddly enough, I actually took pictures of roses in the floral party of our grocery store. I haven’t done that in a really long and I carefully took pictures of all the roses.

Pink, white, red … all of the roses grouped in a cooling bin. They certainly smelled delicious and looked downright edible.

These pink roses are indeed as close to magenta as you can get!

THE CHANGING SEASONS – JULY 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, July 2019 – Our Hottest July Ever!

It’s official. This has been the hottest July in recorded weather history … 140 years worth. Not only have these been the hottest days, but they have also been the hottest nights with temperatures rarely dropping below the 80s.

I haven’t been outside much. For an asthmatic, this is bad karma. The hot, wet air makes it difficult to breathe and lacking inhalers (because I can’t afford them), being inside is a lot safer.

I did take a few pictures in the garden and of the newly repainted deck, but this hasn’t been much of a photographic month. If someone turns down the thermostat and the humidity, maybe we’ll have some breathable air. Right now, it’s like trying to inhale hot soup. Whatever that stuff is, it isn’t real air.

The newly refinished deck — which is also why there are no birds. It was time to take in the feeders until the fall. I miss my birds!

The Garden – Daylily Central!

About 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 yours.

FLOWER CLOSEUPS IN OUR 2019 GARDEN – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close up of Flowers

My garden is just a bit “unilateral” this summer. The Daylilies have overwhelmed everything else, except maybe the grass which is fighting it’s own battle to get higher than our knees before mowing.

A perfect pair of Daylilies

Another glorious Daylily

Spiderwort

Very closeup of our tiny roses

PINK ROSES IN OUR GARDEN – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Shades of Pink

Just in time! The roses showed up and it just happens that I took a couple of pictures! I didn’t think we were going to have anything but tons of Daylilies.

And we do have tons of Daylilies, but you just can’t kill those barbed wire roses! So … they are back. It’s hard to tell if the darker ones are red or pink. Right now, they are closer to pink than red, but later in the summer, they will probably be darker.

Square pink roses in our garden

A darker shade of pink?

LAST SUMMER’S GARDENS – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Flower

The daylilies aren’t blooming yet, though I think they will be before the week is finished. Perhaps this is a good time to remember the gardens of 2018 which were a month late because of the cold spring. I think we’re doing the cold spring again with the addition of pouring rain, lightning, and wind.

Good thing the climate isn’t changing!

 

THE GARDENER’S RESPITE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Respite

My right shoulder hurts. A lot.

At least half of that is an old injury from my riding days … and the rest is probably hauling heavy pots — with and without food — in the kitchen. Trying to find a position in which I can sleep with that shoulder wrapped in a heating pad is interesting. Because it’s my right shoulder and these days, I have to sleep on my back because that’s what my back wants, I can’t find anyplace to put the electric cord that is not underneath my head.

It is a lumpy cord and includes the piece for changing the settings, which is very lumpy. It makes sleeping a dicey affair.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Meanwhile, in theory, my son is coming over tomorrow to change the sink faucet — assuming his back isn’t out. I also asked him to come by (if it ever stops raining) with his big electric hedge clippers and cut down the rose bushes and rhododendrons.

Columbine

There’s no way I can maintain them anymore. The flowers will get the entire garden. While the bushes will eventually grow back — probably sooner rather than later — at least I don’t have to stare at all those dead rhododendrons.

I will get a respite from our barbed wire roses and dying rhododendrons.

Bright lilies

I find a garden full of dead bushes a bit depressing. I don’t even know WHY they died, although they sent up a bunch of new, young shoots too … so maybe this is just their way of saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new? Is that how these bushes usually work?

Daylilies with red roses in the back

As for the roses, these cruel, barbed-wire bushes have been (ahem) a thorn in my arms, hands, arms, and clothing for about 17 years. I should never have planted them and they have totally taken over. They not only get tall, but they send out runners,

House in summer

Merciless and cruel, I can see how they were used to protect property. No one would try to dash through those bushes. I don’t think they could unless they were carrying a flame thrower and frankly, I’m not sure the bushes would care. They are very durable. They should be properly removed by an actual gardener, but I’d have to pay someone to do it and I can’t.

At least cutting them down will give me a season’s respite from their claws. I’m sorry about the rhododendrons, though.

We didn’t plant it sensibly. Didn’t leave pathways … or rather, we did, but they got eaten by the daylilies and roses. I never imagined a time when I wouldn’t be able to just hike up there and deal with the plants. Getting old is not only not fun, but it’s also a surprise.

You can count the years all you want, but you don’t really expect them to add up to “old.” No one plans to be old, even when we are planning for retirement. We think we will stay exactly as we are with maybe a few gray hairs.

I feel bad about it. It seems like murder. I’ve always encouraged plants to grow and cutting them down feels like a betrayal. I am comforted by knowing there will still be a few roses in the back and the daylilies will go into furious growth when they don’t have to battle with the thorn bushes.

You never imagine, when you plant a garden, that one day you won’t be able to care for it. It never crosses your mind. I was planning for an energetic old age that differed in no special way from being younger.

Oops.

PRICKLY AS A ROSE – Marilyn Armstrong

Prickly as a Rose

Garry bought me roses and they are still looking lovely on the table in the living room. While I was poking around, I found pictures of the last of my roses from this past October.

I was looking at them today as we were coming home from shopping. I realized that the rose bushes have gone into a full wrestling match in the garden. The barbed roses have wound themselves around the rhododendrons that have grown like crazy since I cut the roses back last year.

Tame roses from the florist

Home-grown barbed roses. These are the most merciless roses in the world …

I sat there, staring at them, and seriously wondering how in the world to untangle the two bushes. These aren’t little bushes, either. Both are more than six feet high and at least that or more across. I can feel the pain of thorns already and I haven’t even picked up the pruning shears. It’s going to be pointy, poky, thorny, bloody springtime!

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy whatever, but these are flowers. This time.

FOTD – 03/25/2019

SQUARE, SPIKY, POINTY NO SPECIAL REASON ROSES – Marilyn Armstrong

Square, pointy, roses bought for no special reason
FOTD – March 24, 2019

My birthday bouquet was drying up and dying and Garry thought I needed something new. Something bright and cheerful. Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out what needs doing and how to get it done.

I even dream about it. And I’m also worrying about Garry and what would happen to him if I’m not here to take care of all the stuff in which he has never taken any interest. Like how the bank account works. Or where to find the title to the house.

Sticks, no stones

So there are the “no special reason” roses that Garry brought home yesterday.

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things, too.

COLORFUL WITH MEMORIES OF LAST SUMMER – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Colorful

Sunday (aka the day after tomorrow) will bring, in order, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and finally, rain. I know we had some crocus, but it’s buried under 18 inches of snow.

These are eighteen inches of frozen hard snow. Nothing fluffy or fun about it. I’m hoping the rain ultimately washes most of it away.

Photo Garry Armstrong

Photo Garry Armstrong

So, as you can imagine, colorful is later this year or memories of last year. I cannot bring forth the colors to come, so I shall revisit the flowers from days of yore.

July 2018

July 2018- Photo: Garry Armstrong

Daylilies and roses

A BOUQUET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK – Marilyn Armstrong

BOUQUET – FOTD – O2/19/2019

I needed that bouquet. Sometimes, a bunch of flowers really helps. Not always, but sometimes. This was one of the times it helped.

Of course, I took pictures.

These aren’t flowers I can grow in my garden, but it’s a pleasure to enjoy them in my living room.

Bouquet

Chrysanthemums

Beautiful pink rose in a beautiful bouquet

PROVOCATIVE QUESTION 10: THE CHOICES WE MAKE – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #10

This week’s provocative question is about the choices we make and the actions we take.


“What is more important to you, doing the right thing or doing things right?”

To me, these are unrelated questions.

Doing things right is a work kind of question. Doing the right thing is a moral choice. One course of action doesn’t replace the other.

You can do both or neither, depending on the circumstance, but I honestly can’t imagine a situation where doing things right would make doing the right thing impossible.

I literally can’t imagine that as a choice. When would that kind of event occur? Under what circumstances?

ROSES AND OAK LEAVES – Marilyn Armstrong

Roses & Oak Leaves 


A few days ago, our entire property was completely covered by a full carpet of oak leaves. You couldn’t see anything but leaves and broken branches from the trees. The rain and wind have never quit for more than a day or two at a time.

The leaf vacuum crew came and cleaned us up yesterday and while we aren’t completely free of leaves … there are always more up there in the trees … we can see the deck and the driveway … and even the front lawn.

Late roses and oak leaves

Oak leaves in the ground cover

Of course, the rain and the wind are coming back. It’s going to be a bad week. Regardless, we’re going to be away in Connecticut for a few days, so the dogs and the weather are going to have to try and get along without us for a few days.

Leaves and the dog’s rope toy still wet from rain

The weather has gotten pretty weird. It’s hard to explain, but it doesn’t “feel” normal. The weather has always followed a pattern. Not the exact same pattern every year, but typically in late August, you’d see the first yellow leaves. Night time temperatures would begin to drop which triggered the leaf change.

Oak leaves

By mid-September, nights were chilly, even though the days were usually quite warm. By the end of September, at least half the trees had changed color and two or three weeks later, by mid-October, Autumn peaked. When we got lucky, it would linger a couple of extra weeks. If the winds didn’t rise and we didn’t get a lot of rain, you might still see quite a lot of fall right through November.

The last of the woods. Bare now

This year, spring never came. Summer started more than a month late and the flowers that bloom in May didn’t bloom until July. Some never bloomed at all. The dry days of summer never happened and the wind and the rain have continued undaunted and as far as I can tell, are not going to stop. Eventually, it will be cold enough that the wind and rain will become snow and rain.

We didn’t really have Autumn or spring. We’ve had a few days here and there, but mostly, it’s not the seasons. It’s just weather.