Sunday, May 19, 2013

Local Love to The Faux Frenchmen

Now, its true that every year Maifest in Mainstrasse has crafts and foods and beer and live entertainment.  And hey, who can deny the appeal of an oompah band, huh?  NO ONE, that's who.  

I got myself down to Covington,
But this year it wasn't for the oom-pah bands. 
I threaded the maifest maze of tented booths, 
OMG, Red John?

And found both the Moerlein booth and the Taste of Belgium Booth.  

I sat down contentedly with my Sangerfest Bock and my waffle and thoroughly enjoyed the live entertainment :  

The gypsy jazz awesomeness of Cincinnati's own Faux Frenchmen.  

The Faux Frenchmen.  
Fine musicians.  Catch them around town and show some local love.   

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Unblooming Iris (Part 2)

We had to skip town for some urgent family stuff.  Urgent family stuff takes a bit of the wind out of your sails.  Goes without saying, I guess. 

We got home, exhausted and smelly, and I was immediately and illogically cheered by what greeted me. 
surprisingly un-purple, in a pinkish way

Not bad, as payoffs go.

I love the colors and textures.  The fuzzy + the veiny + the ruffles. 

It was such a pleasure to just sit outside with my coffee and admire what nature and science has so lovingly crafted.  

But that's not all.  
Orange photobomb

This is another first for this O-Town Gardener.

It is one year old,

And my poppy has popped.
 One of 3 poppies survived the planting.  It didn't flower last year, but it's clearly quite productive this year.

The pods are all cute and fuzzy like baby tomatoes.
pods pods pods
I bought the poppies as a multipack of seedlings, so the orange is a surprise.  But I don't mind the pop of orange.  My garden isn't all match-ey match-ey and the same color.  That's all right with me.  

Perennials might require more time and patience, but there are some great surprises along the way.  

Annuals are for chumps.

Maybe that's too harsh.  But just look at this show!

In the beginning perennials are teeny.  In the first year you wonder if they are sick or dying.  And you lose a few.  I've certainly lost a few.  But Perennials are awesome.  You plant one year and the next year they come back to you.   

Looking as fresh and gorgeous as ... well, THIS.

A much-needed pick-me-up. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Unblooming Iris

It must be, oh, four or five years ago since we went to that small-town library book sale.  There was an adjacent plant sale, but at the time D & I lived in an apartment with no direct sunlight.  I had had no intention of adopting plants, but as I loitered outside waiting for D to finish up with his purchases, both the library and plant sales were winding down and the ladies were getting antsy to rid themselves of what hadn't sold.  

Would I like to take home a plant?
No, no, just the books, thanks.
And if they offered me free plants would I just take them?  
No, I declined politely.
Did I know they were going to throw them out after I left?
Okeydokey then, I'll take two.  

In the four or five years since I have had the lily it has bloomed all but the last two years.  On the sunless porch in the teeny pot, it still popped up some lovely flowers for me.  I transplanted it two years ago and it didn't bloom, but upheaval can be tough on us all, so that's understandable.  
See, no direct sun.  Such a trooper!

to be honest, I'd forgotten what color it was until I saw this photo

Last year it was smothered into the dirt by the iris, and I'd rather thought it had died.
Now you see it 
Totally smothered

It didn't die though, hardy son of a gun. When it peeked above the soil line this spring I swooped in to rescue it, transplanting it into the front bed.  It's looking happy and healthy.  
he's on the right.  Next to the foofy-pants poppy
This iris has been another matter though.  

Every year this leafy bugger gets bigger, but has never so much as put on a single bloom.  

What color iris?  Why, I have no idea.  It's adopted.  

But then ...

I couldn't believe when I caught a glimpse of this peeking out of the foliage. 

I've read about irises that don't bloom.  Caused either by stress (if its been transplanted), or soil deficiencies.  Too much nitrogen, not enough phosphorous.  This isn't necessarily resolved with normal fertilizers, because that often just piles on more nitrogen, because it coaxes green growth over blooming.  We tried sprinkling some fireplace ash, which supposedly also leaches potassium into the soil.  

Maybe that made the difference?  I dunno.  

Purple!  I think it's purple!!  Eeeee!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lazarus Lizards

It was a rough spring for allergy sufferers in the Cincy area.  I think I may count myself among their ranks if next spring feels as abysmally bad as this year.  Sinus thing became a sinus infection, turned into an ear infection, turned into bronchitis.  

Like I said: a rough spring.  

But now for something completely different.

The Lazarus Lizards are back!

 A flash of movement out of the corner of your eye, and then!  

Wee dinosaurs!
look at his wee velociraptor feet!

you see it, right?

Please stay, and procreate, and eat ALL of the insects.  Thank you.
"Clever girl"

In addition to watching the lazarus lizards scoot around,  
see what I did there?
this Quite-Contrary-Mary has been watching her garden grow.  
But that's a post for another time.  

Velociraptor from :
Villainous Victorian Velociraptor from: Shirt.Woot