Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh, Hairy Allium, Where are You?

Yesterday afternoon I went in search of the hairy allium that I purchased last fall.

I first checked out my "New Plantings" computer photo file to see where I planted the bulbs.

Ah, ha, right next to this rock.

That means these few long green scapes (grasslike stuff) must be the missing allium.
I see no bud yet and I only see three plants. I planted 7 bulbs. They should look like this:

Yes, I was into the ugly plants last fall when I made my order. I thought these would be so interesting in a flower bouquet. I wonder if they will even flower (if you call that thing a flower). :)

Actually I still find them outrageously interesting and I do hope mine look just like this picture.
I think that they should be about ready to bloom, but am not sure, so I google them. I am happy to find that they don't bloom until later, so I am still hopeful that I will get something from these scapes.
Did you know that alliums are just flowering onions?

Yes, onions, leeks, garlic, scallions, shallots and these are all in the same family.

Last fall I also planted some new poppies. I know that this is a new one and I am ecstatic to see this bud. I wonder what color it will be? I can't remember how many of these I planted and what colors.
Thankfully I save this stuff in a binder and when I found and opened the binder, the info I wanted was right on top where I stuck it last fall.

Here are the poppies planted.
It looks like there were only six, which makes me very happy because I know where all six are and they all came up.

I was very worried that I had hit some of the new ones with Roundup early this spring. At $5 per root, I am so glad that I did not do that!

My Monsella tulips have just about taken their last breath for 2009. As they sputter to their end, the chives (another allium) are just about to bloom behind them.

There is also a good-sized poppy behind the chives. It should be one of my good orange ones. If you are a long time reader, you may remember that I have "good" poppies and "bad" poppies. I am trying to get rid of the invasive "bad" orange ones. It is proving to be nearly impossible. Even the areas I hit 4 times last year with Roundup still have them almost ready to bloom! I think they will outlive me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Flowers to Brighten a Cold Rainy Day

It's been very cold the past few days. Today it's rained all day. I think the rain will continue the rest of the week. Today's high is 48 degrees.

It's OK with me. I rarely complain about rain because without it, I have to stand with a hose for hours every day to keep things growing.

I went out at 6:30 a.m. yesterday morning and nearly froze to death getting a couple shots of the creeping phlox. It's almost in full bloom in this picture.
I have to say that I am loving these yellow tulips that were supposed to be purple. The purplish stripe they started with is turning a wider red color. I have no idea what they are, but I know they are definitely not the Hot Pants that I ordered. I think I like these better. It's not very often that I am this happy when a company messes up my order.

I must have Halloween on my mind. Remember I bought a skeleton last weekend. This morning I had 15 minutes to kill before leaving for work. I decided on the spur of the moment to make this 4.5-inch witch block. It took precisely 12 minutes. I had all the fabric out from my last projects, so I just grabbed pieces and started sewing. I have no idea at the moment what I will end up making with it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fatally Flaky Cookies

Yesterday I finished reading Diane Mott Davidson's latest culinary whodunit book. I think this is her 15th book and I have read them all.

She always publishes recipes that were made throughout the storyline.
When I got home from work this afternoon, I decided to make the Fatally Flaky Cookies.
I figured that any recipe that starts by melting butter and brown sugar must be good!

Here is the recipe (click it to make bigger).

I was quite surprised that there is just one tablespoon of flour in this recipe. I read it three times to make sure.

The recipe also calls for a good quality cocoa. I had plain old Hershey's and I think it worked just fine. (I also used salted butter, Kosher salt instead of sea salt and light brown sugar instead of dark brown...I guess it's not really her recipe after I got done with it!)
The finished batter will look like this:
Yes, that's all the batter. The recipe only makes 12 cookies.

After the cookies have completely cooled, you put softened ice cream between two of them. So really you only get a total of 6 ice cream sandwich cookies (This is half of what she says it makes, so I made mine bigger than she does).

The cookie portion is very, very delicate. They break easily so this is not something you would feed children. It is more of an adult indulgence.

I liked them and will probably make them again this summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Soo Locks, Valley Camp Freighter, 1950's Female Vocalists, the Indians Fight the British and a Skeleton

Whew! I had an active weekend! We headed up north to a dinner/musical tribute to lady singers from the 1950's -- they sang hits from Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Connie Francis and Rosemary Clooney.

The show was great! When have you last heard someone sing How Much is that Doggie in the Window? We really enjoyed this one--even more than last month's Chicago. Unfortunately the pictures of our delicious meal of Chicken Cordon Bleu turned out blurry. I did get one usuable (though still blurry) pic of the strawberry cheesecake for dessert.

Before the show on Saturday night, we drove into the Soo (Sault Ste. Marie, MI) and did tourist things all afternoon. Here I am on the Valley Camp freighter. Well, just my arm is in the picture since I found it necessary to crop the rest of me out (wind is not kind to my hair). . . gotta LOVE that crop tool!

It's now a museum.
DH is looking at a life raft from the legendary sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

We went to the Soo Locks after the museum, but there were no boats scheduled to come in for two hours. So DH took a couple of pics of me wrapped around a few trees. LOL.

Then we walked across the street and he bought himself an ice cream cone.

Having just finished a nice spinach salad with chicken for lunch, I was too full for ice cream. While DH sat on a bench eating his, I wandered down to a few tourist shops and found something I couldn't live without.

You will never believe what.

Don't ask why, but I simply wanted one of these skeletons. You can't tell from the picture, but a votive candle fits in the rib cage. I think it will be great for a Halloween centerpiece.

On our way home today, we stopped in Mackinaw City for their annual Fort Michilimackinac Pageant where they recreate the events of an historic battle between the natives and the British government.

So that's a synopsis of my Memorial Day weekend. The only thing that would make it better is if I did not have to get up and go to work tomorrow! My four vacation days went by way too fast!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bringing out the Deck Garden

It's finally warm enough to haul all the pots out from under the crawl space. For all of my new readers who are wondering what a crawl space is.....The original house has a full basement. We added a family room and a kitchen 16 years ago and under the new addition we just have this 4-ft high crawl space. It's perfect to overwinter all my container plants.
In the fall I just cut down all the foliage and stick the planters in the crawl space. Each spring I get them all out, Most are too heavy for me to haul out alone. Luckily this is one gardening task that DH does help with.

We hauled them all out last night.
I will leave them all here for about a week so they get acclimated to sunlight before I put them on the sunny side of the deck.

Most of them have started growing in darkness so the foliage is all white.

It turns green in a week or so.
I top them off with some new soil and give them a good drink. They are very thristy since it's their first drink since October.

I top them off with this mixture of one bag of cheap top soil and one bag of Miracle Grow potting soil. It seems to work well for me.

See this orange container?

It will look like this in a few weeks:

It's amazing to me that all of that is in there just waiting to push through the soil and burst into glorious bloom.

I don't think I am going to buy many annuals this year. I went out Wednesday to look for some and could not find anything I wanted.

Well, I found just one thing....this Gerbera that I couldn't resist.

I am not in the mood to plant annuals, so I think I will skip them this year.

If I come across six hanging baskets that look good, I will buy them later. At the moment I am not in the mood to plant my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Life is Good in Zoey's (unemployed) World

This is the second day in a row that it has been over 80 degrees outside. That's too hot for me to do anything but enjoy a leisurely brunch in the tulip garden.

I spent the rest of the morning in front of the TV sewing binding on a small quilt. It was nice to be watching shows that I am rarely able to, like Regis and Kelli.
It took about two hours to sew the binding on. It feels good to have this UFO (unfinished object) done.

Now I am going back outside to water a few areas. It does not look like we will be getting any rain for a few days.

update: Oh, Dear. The Hot Pants tulips are blooming.

This is what they are supposed to look like:

I wonder if that little purple stripe gradually widens and the yellow disappears as they age? I don't think the Hot Pants are multi-flowered.

Hmmmmmmm..... do you think it's possible that these yellow multi-flowering tulips will turn into the tulips in this picture?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Blooming Blumex

This is the Blumex tulip I have been showing you on its journey from bud to yesterday's full bloom.
It's been a fun journey for me. I expected something more weird looking.

Here is one of its siblings. This one is a bit more unusual.

I also planted some Hot Pants tulips last fall. They have not bloomed yet. I think they are my first tulips with multiple buds on each stem. They should have a purple/white striped flower.

I worked outside for quite a few hours yesterday removing grass from all of creeping phlox (I am off work this week). It will be in complete flower in a couple of days and I had to get it photo worthy.

I pulled the old dilapidated birdhouse from behind the rockwall to stage this photo.

I love to use old pieces of junk to make a more interesting background.

Betty asked me if we stain the deck every year.
It only took us about an hour to do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's getting pretty Colorful in my Backyard

I am getting a lot more tulips to tiptoe through.

These bright red and orange-striped Greigii Kiev's are one of my favorites.

They are a lot smaller this year than they were their first year. I am just glad they came back.

I am tempted to pick them for a flower arrangement. I hate to leave a big bare spot, though. I wish tulips lasted longer.

Looking through the cherry tree branches.

Yesterday afternoon we got the deck stained. We finally had an opening of decent weather between the rain.

I will probably begin bringing out plants this week.
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