I live where weather extremes prevail. Yesterday it was nearly 70, today 60, and in a few days it will drop to 9, yes, 9, with a windchill way below zero. In the meantime, I dream of spring flowers, renewal, transformation. I scrolled through old flower photos and decided to share a few. Drink a glass of wine, dream spring dreams, dance.
Usually, my son sends me flowers for Mother’s Day even though he lives far away. He sometimes sends his sister in Amarillo flowers as well. Since none of us are participating in the flower rituals this year due to quarantining, I offer all of you mothers out there photos of my iris this year.
Happy Mother’s Day. Stay safe, be thankful, take a walk. Enjoy!
All these spring showers result in lots of flowers–wild flowers and iris.
In spite of less than 3/4 inch rain since last fall and minimal watering from the 400 foot deep well, iris bloom everywhere–even in unamended caliche, a glorious reminder of nature’s resilience.
When I thinned these a couple of years ago, I had so many that I stuck them everywhere, even here at the end of the driveway. I have watered them only once.
A friend gave me just one. I planted it by the barn among others of the color in the first photo. In spite of the drought they multiplied a lot this past year. Probably all the rain from last summer helped before it quit raining.
I planted these a couple of years ago in front of the barn. I watered them a few times this spring but none during the winter. This particular iris reblooms in the fall and multiplies so fast it is difficult to keep up with separating it.
Possibly because of their location by the retaining wall near the barn facing west, these are always the first to bloom. I did water them a couple of times this spring. Insects have found them.
barely buried by the barn
caliche covered at drive’s end
along the retaining wall
Spring comes several weeks later in the country compared to town. The recent rains caused a sudden rush of beauty for wild flowers and iris which grow here almost as readily as the wild, native plants. They seem to appreciate this high, semi-arid country.
These iris thrive in spite of native, caliche soil, no extra water, nothing. About 1 1/2 years ago, I simply planted them without soil amendment or fertilizer. These are rebloomers. They will bloom again in autumn.
These I planted along side the barn. Once again no soil amendment, nothing extra. However, they receive extra water from rain running off the barn roof.
Notice, the tallest one. I did not even know I had one that color until it bloomed.
Here it is up close. Now for the wild flowers I found just strolling around after letting my horse out to graze.
After looking through a couple of native plant books, I gave up on identifying this one. If someone who reads this knows, please tell me what it is. I have also heard there is an app for my iPAD that identifies plants. I have yet to find it.
This grows by the retaining wall near the barn. Although the flowers look like guara, the rest of the plant does not. What is it?
Chocolate flowers were in full bloom a few days ago. Here is one still blooming with a few scrambled eggs (yes, the common name for the smaller flowers) here and there.
These carpet large portions of the pasture. Guessing they are some type of wild onion but not certain.
The blackfoot daisies are just beginning to bloom. They will cheer up the landscape all summer and into the fall.
As more flowers bloom, I will add photos of flowers living here on the rim of wonder.
First spring iris
early evening light glows
soft wind whispers
Note: for those interested in growing iris, these rebloom. They will bloom at a minimum again in the autumn. They are so prolific, that I separate them annually and throw them everywhere I have a blank space like here near the barn. They will bloom for at least a month.
On my way home from work today, I stopped by a friend’s house to get some Black Eyed Susans. She and her husband run a bed and breakfast with a spectacular garden in the back. Iris of every color are blooming, yellow, lavender and white, peach, every shade of purple, and one a combination of colors I have never seen before. The lavender and white combined in one flower I gave her in the fall of 2012. They rebloom and spread rather rapidly. Because of that and the fact that I cannot bear to throw any away, I have them by the barn and here and there. Some do better than others–a lot of the soil here is either clay or caliche or a combination, not very conducive to anything but the toughest. She has a rose bush taller than I am which means it must be about 5’6″ or 7″. Another deep red rose was already blooming. She gives me flowers and I wait and see how they do or if the deer or bunnies will eat them.
Today’s weather brought perfection, a rare treat of just the right temperature, sunshine, and no wind. When I arrived, her husband was napping in the garden in a lawn chaise. He got up, we all walked around the garden, looked in the koi pond, and commented what flowers seemed to flourish more readily than others. Many flowers which do well in town either die out here in the country only twelve miles away or fail to thrive. They just sit there and do nothing. She and I have shared flowers for years, flowers and conversation and wine. We all decided to sit town and share some wine and cheeses and crackers and visit. They travel widely and always have tales to tell. He is from Jordan so we discuss world events. Part of today’s conversation centered on Boko Haram and the differences between Shia and Sunni. He is Sunni and I used to be married to a Shiite. Often we discuss extremism and how it harms everyone, regardless of religion. None of us understand the hatred some people seem to feel toward others who are different from them either my race or religion or ethnicity or gender.
As soon as I returned home and changed into gardening clothes, I fed Rosie, and planted the Black Eyed Susans with a big dose of water and root stimulator. Who knows if they will make it. I will wait and see. If they do, they will contrast nicely with the purple of the catmint and the white, tiny, native Blackfoot Daisies growing wild among the other plants in my little garden. What more can a person wish for than spending time with good friends among the flowers. And a little wine never hurts.
When I realized the time and know 5:30 tomorrow morning will come sooner than I may prefer, I decided I had to write something here to fulfill my commitment to write daily for at least one month–three weeks down and one to go. Will I continue? Don’t know yet. Pluses: I have gained quite a few new followers, at least ten, maybe more–have not taken an exact count; it proves that if you stick to something, there are pay offs; and it forces me to think about some things I’ve read or experienced in a way that I might not if I were not going to blog about it.
What are some of those things I am thinking about? First, the weather. We desperately need rain and this statement comes from someone not all that fond of rain. I like the green results but do not like to be out in the rain normally. It is a wonder I love Costa Rica because it rains almost daily at least it did when I was there two summers ago. Fire warnings are even currently posted on overhead flashing signs on the interstates–not daily, but every time the wind rises which here is almost daily. Second, when I think about the destruction of volcanoes–from reading another chapter in Apocalyptic Planet last night, I keep wondering what would happen today if another explosion like Krakatoa in the 1800s occurred. Mass famine I imagine and a bunch of certain types of religious people claiming the end of the world. Third, after spending two boring mornings giving STAAR tests–the state standardized tests in Texas, and another morning left to go, wondering exactly why I still think standardized tests are good. Fourth, wondering how to turn this blog into a sort of website where people who want a signed copy of my new book, On the Rim of Wonder, can order it directly from me on this blog/website (I have had requests already which is, of course, a wonderful thing since book marketing is not all that easy). Fifth, well this will have to wait until another day when my mind is really sharp and we can have a discussion about the effects of poverty and why it is so difficult to escape.
In the meantime, while I was out watering around my house–to keep my xeroscape garden alive (even drought resistant flowers need some) and to, I hope, make my house safer in case of a wildfire, I thought about all the lovely flowers blooming in spite of the dry weather. Here they are in all their enduring beauty.