Showing posts with label Colors everywhere. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colors everywhere. Show all posts

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Cool Look

Okay, it's hot. It's hot almost everywhere. If the temperature is lower, the humidity may be higher and the misery remains  ......well, miserable.

In searching through my photos for a 'lost' picture, I came across these, which although they won't lower the temperature, they are at least refreshing.

Remember Spring? Left. wild primroses.   Center, Golden Bell Forsythia.           Next, a peach colored Iris.

Right, is from  friend touring our own southwest. Feel that moist air!

Below: From the same friend, while visiting the English country side.

Acres of tulips from an email

The cone flower blooms in late spring or early summer and is a native wild flower. I got this one at a nursery although I have had them growing wild in what is now a wilderness behind our house. We're hoping our plants grown from seed will survive.

Last year's rose bush in bloom.
This year...bare stems.

Welcome color-from another 

                                        Remember when............?  Remember wishing for summer?
                                                             We have it and more to come.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Love of color

When gardening, I have one gift you won't find in any manuals.
I know it's strange, but I can change perennials to annuals.
- Dick Emmons

My dad often told me "You love people, not things." I believe today's usage of love has left him far behind. I do love color!
Driving here and there through town the colorful crepe myrtles have been in every block, almost in every yard. They appear in bright rose, light
pink, lavender and white. Recently a red is beginning to show up in a few plantings. What a boon to the July and August landscape these shrubs are!
Is there anyone who does not respond to color? Is it possible?

Think seriously about this! The blue sky, the first green tints of spring; the wonderful colors of fall, even the week-long dreary grey sky that we sometimes have; surely everyone responds in some manner to these.

We know and expect artists in all fields to be drawn in to the field of color. It is the food for their spirit; they hunger for it whether it is in the form of paints, yarn, and fabrics or in the flash of semi-precious stones. They are not alone in this. We all react to color whether consciously or not.

In general, we have been thoroughly studied and evaluated in regard to our reaction to color. The colors used in waiting rooms are usually considered to be soothing ones (a necessity if one is waiting for their ten o’clock appointment and the clock shows eleven), colors in a children’s department are bright and exciting ones. What is the color décor in your favorite restaurant; a restful one in earthy colors or exciting reds or oranges? This photo of the wall behind the Range Restruant in Albuquerque, NM was taken by Sherri Woodard Coffey and shows an eye catchingly display of child's toy ranges . The photo above, left, also taken by Coffey, shows only a small portion of woven wall hangings at a Taos gallery.
Although what are considered to be our basic reactions to colors have been scientifically studied, there are definite color trends. That too, has probably been analyzed to help manufactures decide what the public is ready for this year or the next. Remember the Harvest Gold appliances of the ‘60s? Or the sandalwood walls?

Personally, I react strongly to color. There have been occasional shopping disasters which I have tried to ignore and salvage. I always get pecular looks when I speak of this, but there are some shades of blue that I cannot wear. I cannot tolerate wearing these garments more than an hour or so. How these shades of blue ever appeared in my closet is a puzzle but being a little on the thrifty side, I attempt to “get my money’s worth” and force myself to wear this blue thing! It is a fact, that after a short time in this shade of blue, my hair begins to feel stringy, my nails have become rough and I am as edgy as a cat watching a nearby dog.
There is no hope for a compromise. The garment must go. Now!
I have sewed for many, many years, starting on my mother’s treadle machine. As a young married, with no machine, I even made a few garments by hand. Where does sewing enter in to a discussion of color? A look into my closets will answer that question…shelves full of colorful fabrics which spoke to me from their store racks. So now yards of material are on the shelves, waiting for me to return to a size 12 which was my favorite pattern size. How long does it take for fabrics to rot? Their future is not bright.
The real purpose of this blog is to show some pictures my son took of flowers he had grown one summer. Each time I find them in our stack of photos, I am impressed by their bright colors. I call them happy ones.
In these 100º days these lilies and irises could not survive. Daily watering is all that keeps even the most heat tolerant plants in bloom. Even sunflowers are hanging their heads. The little succulents are happy with lots of sun and their plump leaves help them survive. They don't wilt; they begin to shrink and wither when their supply of water is depleted.

Less than 2 week until September! For me, September is Fall. I ignore the calendar. School buses are at the DPS office, their drivers being tested. Buses are reviewing their routes. Texas tax free weekend benifiting those purchasing school needs has filled the stores.

Fall also means a fresh look at the flower beds. They can be as colorful as those of spring. Think about this:Fall flowers can be as prolific as those of any other season and some of them can be of the easy care variety.Our hillside had a sprinkling of golden rod and I decided to transplant one of the plants. It actually took root in an unlikely spot on the north side of the house where it was shady. Since that first attempt, I have moved a few more plants. What I need to do is to get serious about having a clump of gold and group at least five or six plants to make a showy display. Mine will never come near to being the golden carpets we passed one October while driving through Ohio. Field after field solid with golden rods in full bloom, make a memorable sight.
One of my favorites on my old home place was a row of purple asters that grew along the fence row. Their small lavender flowers bloomed profusely and attracted so many bees that I dared not get close. For that reason alone, it would be worthwhile to start a clump of these hardy plants. There are many varieties of asters and these may need more care than the old fashioned ones that remember growing unattended. They were not fertilized nor did they get special watering. The survived on whatever nature provided and made a colorful low hedge.
We mustn’t forget the chrysanthemums! Although many varieties are spoken of as “summer mums”, somehow the image of those large shaggy mums that were only a fall blooming plant lingers on. Today’s mums are as colorful as the ones that I remember, but the size of the blossoms are a fraction of those of the large ones I once grew. The pungent scent of the disturbed plant remains the same. Some dislike that scent very much, but to me, it signals the coming of cool weather, school starting, a few new fall clothes and other things associated with the changing season. My problem with mums is their root system which is near the surface of the flower bed and are very easy to disturb when raking the leaves that collect in the sprawling growth. The low-growing plant’s branches are also easy to break away. Incidentally, these branches spread out and take root, making cultivation difficult. Doesn’t matter here on the hill where cultivation is not a frequent occurrence Fallen leaves settling among the limbs are the biggest problem.
I’ve always been surprised that the Tyler Rose Festival is a fall event, having grown up with a yard sporting clumps of old-fashioned roses which were spring blooming. In later years my “monthly” roses protested their environment by limiting their floral production to only spring and fall. If you love roses (and who doesn’t) follow all the planting and care suggestions in a gardening book and they will repay you with a beautiful crop of roses…but probably not on a monthly schedule!

I love the fall. I love it because of the smells that you speak of; and also because things are dying, things that you don't have to take care of anymore, and the grass stops growing.
- Mark Van Doren


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Flowers of July and August

We are approaching the last of July; gardening season is far behind us, and here I am browsing the flower sections of Home Depot and others, trying to control the urge to get one of each variety. I would classify myself as having a serious problem except for the dozens of other shoppers also loading their carts.

My yard consists of a shallow layer of top soil over a gravel base. That's the best part. There is a large amount of solid rock between the house and the road. I continue to have hopes for the part with the layer of soil; the rock, proven to be at least 40' thick, as proven by a core taken 45 years ago, will remain "as is. "

Many plants have met their doom in my planting areas. Cactus and Yucca are prolific in the untouched part of the acreage. Roses are not happy here. Even the newer variety of knock Out, developed for our difficult Texas growing area, is needing special attention.

I have hope that this coneflower, recently planted, will approve of it's location and become permanent. We once had some growing wild down the side of our hill but that was before we had a lot of underbrush cleared because of fire danger. Most of the wild flowers were drastically rearranged.

Some wild flowers look rather straggly when not in other words, they look like weeds! There is one that I now have in a flower bed, transplanted from another part of this gravely hill. It is in it's second year in a flower bed and I hope that after it's many years in the wild This is a Liatris, budding now for late August or early September spikes of lavender flowers. It's flowers are long-lasting, even providing filler in floral arrangements after it has become dry. After years of seeing it growing wild, I was surprised to see it at the florists.

For years I have wanted what is called a Butterfly weed. A member of the milkweed family, it does not spread as some do, but I have seen the same clump appear year after least 15 or 20 years, in the same location by the side of a country road. It's blossom head is a cluster of small orange flowers, each plant cluster having six or seven heads or clusters, making a striking display. It may be bought from wildflower speciality stores for a rather hefty price, but I definitely must have one. If it can thrive unattended by the side of the road, surely it can survive my care.

Here in the south, one of the showiest, most dependable flowering shrubs is the Crepe Myrtle, and it is so

tough that once established it withstands the Texas heat. Different plants seem to have different timetables, making their gorgeous displays last for weeks. The colors range from white to light pink and lavender, to a deep rose and almost red color. Plenty of sun and water will create a mass of color.

Joining the crepe myrtle at about this time in July, is the Purple Sage. I have seen one of these shrubs, in a totally neglected location, be completely covered in lavender blossoms for almost 40 years. It appears to be dying now, and I wish someone would give it first aid. Like the Crepe Myrtle, all plants do not bloom at the same time. I'm waiting for mine, and hope it has enough sun to put on a show.

It's not only a July or August bloomer: it brings color from it's very first bud. Let it have plenty of light but shield it from the hottest sun in the afternoon for that will cause the blossoms to close. It has

several names: Moss Rose is the most common. Portulaca is most likely the name on it's tag. Growing wild is a much less showy plant, it's blossoms are usually small, quarter inch size, but with the same colorful variety as the larger Portulaca: yellow, orange and shades of rose.
It's succulent leaves look the same as those of its larger showier cousin. The wild variety is usually called purslane and is loaded with healthful additions to one's diet. Don't use me as an about it before you dump it into your next salad!

The days remain hot and the lawn is becoming brittle. Our lowering water table is enough of a concern that I will water only enough to keep the roots alive. The flower beds will get their share and we will be rewarded with their blossoms. The day will seem cooler because of their bright colors.