Friday, May 26, 2017

Five Flowers on Friday

Today I'm joining Carly and Tricky at Fast Blog for Five on Friday.
On May 22nd I posted about this child's board book of flowers that I recently got.  I love all the colorful illustrations so thought it would be fun to find real flowers to match.

Flower Number 1
Flower number 2:
I deadheaded my daisies and a few days later found two tiny little surprise blooms.
Flower number 3:
Buds and blooms on my balcony.
It's amazing how these two blooms are on the same plant and yet look so different.

Flower number 4:
Last year I had a red hibiscus that succumbed to the summer heat, so this winter we bought another one, in a different color.
It had an aphid problem several weeks ago but that's under control now.  One beautiful flower opened up this morning and many more buds are just waiting to bloom.

And finally, flower number 5:
I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that's such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.
Helen Mirren
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Crochet Lessons

The joy of crochet is its simplicity: there is only ever one stitch in work and just a few variations of the basic stitches to master, but the possibilities of using and combining those stitches together are endless.
Erika Knight
A week and a half ago, my 11 year old neighbor, Malak, asked if I could teach her to crochet.
Lesson number one:  the chain stitch.  Once she felt she understood how to do it, she would go home to practice.
And the next day, she would bring me her sample.
Lesson two:  single crochet.
I was so pleased with how quickly she was able to pick it up even though she felt her work was messy.  I told her that she can't expect to be perfect when she just started and besides that, I've tried to teach adults who never got past making chain stitches, so I think she's doing great!
On Tuesday, she announced she wanted to make a scarf but I told her we needed to take it one step at a time.  I figured a much simpler project would be more satisfying.
So lesson number three was crocheting a circle that was transformed into a flower by using the stitches she had already learned.  At the rate she's going, she'll be crocheting that scarf in no time.

Happy Thursday,

Monday, May 22, 2017

Balcony Blooms

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.
(Liberty Hyde Bailey)

Aptenia cordifolia a/k/a heartleaf iceplant or baby sun rose.
... great ground cover, easy to propagate, tolerates infrequent watering.
The Hibiscus flowers best in temperatures between 60-90 F ... since we are already at 100 F during the day, and by next week will reach 115, I am going to have definitely move my plant to another location.  Last years's red hibiscus did not survive the extreme summer heat.
Moss Rose, native to South America. flowers in early summer and is able to survive in areas of heat and drought.
Thai Basil is left to flower and used as ornamental plants in the garden.  The bees love them and the best thing is they self-seed.  I have volunteer basil popping up all over the place which makes me very happy.
Another very good self-seeder is Vinca Catharanthus Roseus a/k/a Madagascar Periwinkle.  Human impact on the forests of Madagascar has caused dire consequences, yet the periwinkle has been able to survive.
Tradescantia Pallida, Purple Heart ... sold here as an outdoor plant which is where I've always had it.  Turns out it is great as an indoor plant, too.
Bougainvillea, a thorny flowering vine that is a native of South America so does very well in warm climates.  The leaves change colors and are the bracts that surround the actual flowers which are white, usually three clustered together.
  Being involved with The Secret Garden these past couple of years has sparked my interest in getting to know my plants.
I even grabbed this colorful child's board book from the pediatric playroom (they are constantly weeding out the donations they receive and this book made me smile).

"May flowers bloom in all corners of your world,"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Potted Plants

I've never joined in on Michael's Scribble Picnic before, but follow Wanda and Serena who participate weekly.
Today when A Lil' Blog on a Dotty Hill Somewhere popped up in my sidebar, I thought it ironic that the theme is potted plant, since yesterday I doodled that very thing.
I always say I will doodle every day, but never seems to happen.
Since we are on the theme of potted plants, I took some pictures around the house.  Above is a ZZ plant (Zamioculcas Zamifolia).  
I have a diary where I do write down notes from my day, anything new I learn, or quotes and inspiration.
Dracaena Fragrans a/k/a a Corn Plant.
A view of some of my potted plants on the outside and avocado leaves on the inside reaching for the sun.

The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence.
The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence.
Silence gives us new perspective.
Mother Theresa

Currently listening to the soothing music of Ani Choying Drolma.
Have a peaceful day.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Interactions and Affirmation

A garden is a public service and having one a public duty.  It is a man's contribution to the community.
-  Richardson Wright, Truly Rural, 1922 - 

Today I went to The Secret Garden to see how things are faring since we were there on Saturday.
Are you sick of garbage yet?
Yeh, me, too.  Unfortunately, it is a part of my life anytime I step outside the house.
The good news is I only had to pick up a grocery bag's worth.
It's easy sometimes to get discouraged when gardening in a public space.  My friend, Rene, made these beautiful hanging decorations for the shed that we hung up a couple of months ago.
Unfortunately, those dangling decorations became too much for someone's hands to resist.
And more recently, one of the crocheted bench backs was burned off by boys who smoke.
But I have to admit, that almost every single time I am at the garden, I have a positive encounter with a stranger.  Someone who comes over and asks questions because they are curious about what I'm doing.  Today two separate ladies stopped to talk with me.  We had great conversations and they were very grateful and encouraging.  It is those types of interactions that affirm my belief that we truly are making a difference out there, little by little.

The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world.
-  Charles Dudley Warner -

Happy Tuesday!
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