Tigridia Tuesday – Week 1

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Right, so – here we go! My first bloom was last week, on Thursday.

So here is Friday:

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A twofer!

And Saturday:

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I had two on Sunday but didn’t go out front until they were already drooping. Sorry!

Monday: a pink one!

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And today:

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Another twofer, but this one wanted a closeup.

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And on another plant, one with a different shape.

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Sad, isn’t it, to see the shrivelled remains of yesterday’s glory?

Hubby asked me did I think they bloomed at night, or early in the morning. I had trouble sleeping last night so I came downstairs at 4:30 am, and had a peek out the window – nope, they don’t. At 6:30, starting to unfurl but not fully open yet. By 9:30 when I leave for work they are perfect! No scent, by the way, just gorgeousness.

Flowers Flowers Everywhere and not a Bee to Drink

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I’ve definitely noticed there are no honeybees in my garden this year. White-tailed bumblebees by the dozen, but ‘normal’ bees? Not one. I think I will have a chat with my two immediate neighbours and ask if they mind if I try a hive next year. I know my garden/yard is too small, and the dog will go mental until she finally eats one and finds out why she shouldn’t eat flying things… but it’s bad, I tell you. Butterflies are also very rare the last few years.
Last year I got seed out of my little irises (which I planted and it’s growing!). I didn’t even take pictures of my iris this year as they only lasted a few days. The seed heads are nonexistent, too – shrivelled unfertilised dry lumps. I have to wonder why not, and make correlations.

On to happier news. My much loved lavender rose has bloomed twice since last I did a flower update. This one is gone now.

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But this just opened up to say hello today!

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Don’t mind the bird-poop – the wee finches just adore the giant weed-tree I transplanted into that corner. It’s a grey willow and I know it annoys the neighbour on that side as he cut it back himself last year. I have no problem with that – but when the lilac I grew from seed is ready, I want to put it there and I wouldn’t want it pruned without a discussion first. It’s only about a foot tall still, so time enough. I’ll feel bad for the birdies though, as they adore the massive ugly thing.

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Crocosmia lucifer about to bloom…

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Crocosmia lucifer in bloom. A reminder for new folks – hubby dug this up for me out of a patch of waste ground nearby. It looks amazing in massive clumps – ours are several years away from clumps still.

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Can you believe these are potato flowers? Me either! So delicate and lovely. You would wear clothing made out of such fine material, wouldn’t you? The lowly ‘tater; a bloom on it as silken and soft as a gown that the Queen of Carnival at Mardi Gras would be proud to wear.

TIGRIDIA!!!!

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It’s back and beautiful!

This was taken last evening, when I first spotted the potential bloom:

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This morning!

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By the time I got home from work, it was folded in and silent – but there are two more buds ready for the morning, I can tell!

I’m so fascinated with this plant. It seems such a shame that the flower lasts only one day, but it is entirely amazing how fast the buds come into flower. This thing should be studied for potential growth-hormone benefits.

Oh! I collected seeds last year, and they sprouted like mad things. While the babies are only a few inches tall this year, I have hopes for next year! I might dig up my whole front patch of garden and plant these instead, I love them so! Can you imagine a field (okay a tiny field) of these in bloom? Wow!

Here’s the question on my mind, though – I get these beauties for just one day, and of course I take photos. Do you want to see these every damn day? Maybe I could do a weekly post – tigridia Tuesday or some such? Whatchoo think?

Cartoon Craziness Challenge – Self Portrait with Spots

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My contribution to the Cartoon Craziness Challenge – this week’s theme is a self portrait. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t making fun of myself, so the original post is about talking in my sleep, Lokii being evil, and finally my getting yet another zit, or spot, at the age of 40. Yes I’m fucking well older than that now and I still get them, so I repeat: what the hell?
Anyhoo, I’ve re-read it, and it’s kinda funny so please do have a look!

So I’m kinda cheating on the challenge, as I already had this drawn years ago. Tough noogies.

Moi, for real (I drew my features from a photo) with a Giant Irish Talking Spot/Zit from Hell.

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Scaranoctupus

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My summer-fruiting raspberries are now enjoying their second year in my garden, and we are enjoying them, too.

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I’ve been picking at least this many every morning. They don’t last past noon, so no chance of me having enough to cook with. We don’t care – they are too tasty to resist!

The birds can’t resist them either. The wee finches and sparrows and tits leave them alone. As do the giant crows and rooks and ravens. It’s the middle sized birds that found my bounty – starlings.

Luckily for me, the day they started to ripen I was asleep on the couch downstairs, just a few meters from the back door (sliding glass type). Spottie cat the mighty hunter saw the robbers and set up the alarum. Okay, actually? He went ‘mehmehmehmeh! ikikikikik!’ at them, and that woke me up. He did sound a bit different though, so I got up to see.

Dammit! I never thought I’d have bird troubles, and had no netting or anything else handy at 4:30 am to keep them away.

But I’m a quick thinker, and came up with a solution instantly. All I had to do was get my bare feet wet in the dew, and the problem was solved!

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Neko will just have to live without her huge octopus until the growing season is over.

Cat inna Hat Challenge!

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Ah, I don’t normally do these, but I felt the immediate need to draw a cat in a hat when I saw The Indecisive Eejit’s challenge.

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Yah, it’s rubbish but I enjoyed the 10 minutes it took to do it – I use the Brushes app and it is ‘fingerpainting’ on an iPad. I can do much better work, I promise – my favourite being Ivy and Stewie. Please, have a look – I promise I’m not usually so… quick?

Lilies of the Non-Valley

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Well, hello!
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And, goodbye – the orange ones bloom first but just don’t last.
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I really loved how symmetrical these yellow blooms appeared.
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And a surprise, I think.

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Did I have these last year?
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I know I planted them last year, but I only remember red-orange ones with black speckles. Hmm. I have a terrible memory, but even hubby doesn’t remember seeing these last year.

Slimy… Check. Kinda cute? Check!

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Slimy… Check. Kinda cute? Check!

I have potatoes growing in a pot. First time I’ve tried it this way, but I’m sick to death of the taters I never planted coming up year after year in my small vegetable patch. Said patch is nothing but sage and oregano now – with the never-ending, never-able to fully dig out potatoes growing up amongst the uncountable stems and roots.

The ones in the pots were started from the eyes from store-bought spuds that I let get go to long before eating. I chopped those eyes out, left maybe a centimetre or quarter inch of potato ‘meat’ for sustenance, and put them on top of about an inch of compost. Once they started making leaves, I dumped in more compost. Repeat. The idea behind this is that potato plants will grow spuds all up their stem if the stems are buried as they grow taller. Supposedly. I’ll let you know in the autumn if it worked…

I rather slacked off on the ‘repeat’ part in the last two weeks, so this afternoon when I spotted the rounded side of a nice, fat, baby ‘tater emerging from the compost I figured it was past time for a dirt top-up. Then I looked again. It wasn’t a ‘tater!

A big snail had snuggled down into the dirt and under the shade of the leaves (probably to wait for darkness to start its evil plant-munching duties). I plucked it out of the dirt, meaning to toss it over the wall, safely away from my plants.

Something stopped my good right throwing arm; I held the snail, looking at the perfect camouflage sworls and swirls and zigzags on its shell. I removed the encrusted soil from its tightly-pulled-in foot. Then I set it on my hand, to see what would happen.

What happened is that I made a friend.
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The damn thing seemed to have a personality!

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It had no fear of me, or of cat, or of dog. Indeed, it seemed to be looking at me and saying “Hi!”

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“Howr’ye?”

How odd that I want to spend a little more time with this invertebrate. It was really fascinating to watch, and the slime wasn’t a thing like what a slug leaves behind: it washed off right away. What is odder, perhaps, is that I’m pretty sure I would eat this critter. If I had a few dozen of its friends to make it worth my while. Maybe I’ll start an escargot farm! I only had escargot once, but I sure did love it. I like chewy, garlicky food.

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Maybe I’ll just keep it around a bit longer, for more photo shoots, and try not to think about garlic butter sauce.

About Time I Share Flower Pics, Yes?

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Its been an off year for me, with the planting. I started off really early on my veggies, in hopes that they actually do something this year. Mostly I ended up with a lot of dead seedlings for my efforts.

Then, I was late with starting flowers from seed. Ugh! Most of my new babies are just tiny things, or didn’t bother themselves to grow at all. Luckily, I have a good few that over wintered just fine and have been shouting to the sun their joy at being alive.

My Sweet William from seed, now in year three and showing no signs of stopping.

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I might have to stop it myself by deadheading – damn stuff self-seeded all over the place and is smothering one of my blueberry bushes (in a pot).

Not from seed: clematis! Year two for this plant, and sadly it’s hard to see the blooms as it is growing up the grey willow tree and gets buried in the leaves. I took the fist pic with my iPhone – second one was iDJ’s work but I have no idea what he used. His is more true to life colour, but I like mine better because I couldn’t even see the bloom, it was over my head and horizontal so I clicked and hoped for a result. Woot!

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Also not from seed, unless it seeded itself – native Irish yellow iris. Most people here would not have this in their garden, it’s rather invasive and weed-like. Don’t care: love it.

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Yet another not from seed! I hopped a wall and stole this from the terribly unloved landscaping at the business next door to mine. Seriously, it’s all weeds and horsetails over there. Except for these zinnia! They are very large, 4in or 10cm across. I’d hoped these were Gerbera daisies when I stole them. But I’m not displeased. I’m sure they will love it here!

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Roses roses roses… Nothing out of my favourite lavender rose yet: something snapped off the early spring growth and it is only just considering blooming now. But the massive white roses are taking over, the candy-floss pink ones are exuberant, and the darker pink ones are just deciding this is a good year.

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Galliardia from seed last year, survived our mild winter but is slow to start. The rudbeckia is all leaf still – but one of those plants is now three years old, too!

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The native common spotted orchid is in bloom!

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Lilies are in bloom! The orange ones came up first.

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But today! Today, we walked out front to see the first bloom on my “black” lilies! I love these so much!

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Best thing is that I accidentally learned an iPhone photography trick for flowers. I took a shot of this, and it was so very wrong in the colour. Too red, too orange. So I put the flash on, as a whim – and by golly by jazuz, the real colour came out and said hello! I will be using this again in the future – imagine how that clematis pic would have looked!

Thanks for wandering around my small Irish garden with me!