Thank you, commentor Cope:
Here is a group of close up pictures of pretty flowers/plants from our back yard, Sanibel island and the Chalice Well near Glastonbury. Again, my personal knowledge of the floral world is scant indeed so any misidentifications are mine and mine alone.
At the top, sea oats against the setting sun on Sanibel Island. Yes, not really a flower but one of the few plants I actually can identify.
Second, a flowering Sago palm in our yard. It’s not technically a palm and this one died some years ago after infestation by some kind of white gunk. If I had left it in the ground, it might have pulled through but I didn’t.
Thirdly, the flower of a bottlebrush plant. It too thrived for many years in our yard but it isn’t there any more and, honest officer, I don’t know where it went.
Staying in our own backyard, this is the sexy part of some kind of bromeliad that took over our side yard for some years until they were deemed a nuisance and relocated to the yard of appreciative neighbor.
Last and most exotic is a pink flower from the Chalice Well at the foot of Glastonbury Tor in far off England. Mrs. cope was there some years ago and brought back hundreds and hundreds of pictures. This is one of the prettiest but I have no idea what it is.
I think that last photo is a poppy?
Still no snow cover around here, but I’ve been so busy on this political stuff all week, I haven’t made any progress on the disgusting dumpsite that is our front yard. I don’t want to start clearing the beds, for fear of inducing six weeks of subzero temps, but if I were a more prudent person I could get a head start cleaning up the hardscape, at least…
What’s going on in your garden (planning) this week?
Good Morning, Everyone ???
@rikyrah: Good morning.
That last one is definitely an opium poppy. They’re quite popular in gardens over here in Ye Olde.
Pleasant intermission from the Big Shop of Horrors.
@NotMax: We snuggle watchin’ Lucy
On our big, enormous twelve-inch screen
Brace thyselves. Runway >WTF.
Beautiful pictures. This is the second day in a row that I’ve slept past six.
I had my usual reaction to the “fashion” I see in reports of such shows: Who the hell would wear that in public?
@rikyrah: Good morning rikyrah and everyone!
Love the pictures cope!
The weather will be nice enough today for me to try to do something in the garden, but instead I’m driving in to IL to meet a friend for lunch and to celebrate her birthday last week. It’s been a busy week and I’ve barely been online. And that’s been nice, much as I miss you all. IRL ≠ online life, and thank FSM for that.
I am going to spread some crimson clover seeds on the yard edges and the vegetable garden to be (the previous tenant fenced it in as a chicken run). Not sure how the clover will do as it thrives on sweet soil and this place needs lime. But, lime is cheap, so I will get some. Crimson clover is a great cover crop. Its an annual, fixes nitrogen, and is very pretty.
The phrase you’re looking for is “child-bearing hips.”
These are among my favorites, here in western New York state. Good to have a name for them.
They had naturalized in the yard of the first house we bought. I saved seed and brought it along to two more homes over time. I’ve never seen the seed for sale and each year hope that some of the lovely flowers will survive to surprise us once again.
As for garden plans the weather and sodden ground allow for dreams but no work yet. Not the worst place to be.
Much more important things are discussed here, but some dark part of me could not let it pass: that is NOT an opium poppy, it is an Oriental poppy. The opium poppy has silvery leaves, among many other differences between it and the plant pictured here. (Papaver orientalists, not P. somnifera)
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@NotMax: You should check out the full collection. The photos at The Cut do not do it justice.
They wouldn’t, 95% of the time. Designers produce these stunt outfits to ‘stand out’; the people who can afford designer outfits buy less extreme outfits with the name on the label. The people whom the designers most *want* to be seen in public wearing their clothes (actresses, ‘fashion leader’ socialites) demand ‘personalization’ — Natalie Portman or Kate Middleton’s sister may show up later this spring, at an awards event, wearing an embroidered denim evening gown with ruffles or small panniers over the hips, which fashion writers will research as ‘inspired by’ the runway models.
The inevitable tryhard or aspiring ‘star’ may actually show up in one of these concoctions, and be ruthlessly mocked for failing to realize the outfits were designed for a very specific body type, which is unlikely to be matched by a 20-somthing pop singer or a 40-something matron.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Cool. I love learning odds and ends like that.
Nice colors to brighten up a soggy dreary February Sunday Cope. Thanx, very much.
This is a frustrating time of year for me. We get a few warmish days, enough so that I can get started on something and then it all freezes up or the rain and snow returns and saturates everything to the point where it’s just slop.
All the surface sown wildflower seeds I started a week ago have already sprouted, including the stuff that were supposed to take a minimum of 2 weeks. Now to get the next batch of seeds started.
My seedlings showed up this week but I haven’t been able to plant them yet. I’m supposed to “protect them from freezing” which I take as anything below 25 degrees could damage them. It got down to single digits one night this past week and the coming W and T nights they are calling for around 20. I will have to stick them in the ground regardless next wkend and just hope a fair # make it.
I did manage to clean out some flower beds this past week, some of which are in desperate need of mulch. Also picked up 3 yards of compost in preparation for the projects I have planned. My lumber yard has pallets I can have for free so I snagged 6 for the hugelculture beds. Speaking of which, I don’t have to wait for nice weather to gather lengths of 4-6″ diam limbs and logs for the HK beds and have a few stacked up already. I will police up a bunch more.
And then there is the firewood for next winter….
Me, too. I was feeling a bit bad that today will be in the 50s and sunny, a great day to do some cleanup that I’ll miss, but by Tuesday the high will be back below freezing again, and looking forward to mid-March it’s going to freeze /thaw in cycles for several more weeks. So I have to try to be patient. Going to start my indoor seeds this week though, so that by the beginning of May they can go into the cold frame. I also wanted to start lettuce and kale, but need to wait until overnight temps aren’t in the low teens. And this year I’m going to try this just to see how it goes.
A few signs of incipient spring in my yard: Winter jasmine buds are swelling, but there aren’t a lot of them, so I don’t expect a lot of flowers. The snakeweed is greening up, and another wildling that has made a border along one of the walls in the garden. The second needs to have last year’s dead stems cut off, which I’m doing while I’m out with the cats. I was wondering how the snakeweed would do with pruning off last year’s flowers, so I pruned a few of them.
Green leaves from a rudbeckia that grows to enormous heights are beginning to show under the mulch of last year’s dead ones, so I pulled the dead mat back a bit.
We’ve had a lot of snow over the winter, and rain this weekend, so the plants should do well.
Masses of snowdrops here, and squirrels are fighting mightily. I’m hoping they know more than the weatherpeople.
I’m going to see Swan Lake today at the movie theater. It’s a live showing of the Bolshoi ballet. Meeting a couple friends which should be nice.
I was smoking a ham yesterday and while checking on it I saw Percy chasing a ball into the woods. I thought “Where the fuck did that ball come from?” at which point I realized, “That is not a ball.”
Yep, an armadillo, totally ignoring Percy, and me, right up until Percy touched it with his nose and then it was hell bent for leather down into the holler. I half expected it to ball up and just roll the rest of the way down.
I was afraid once it reached the bottom it would take off for parts unknown with Percy hard on it’s heels and surprise surprise, Percy came when I called him off it. When it got to the bottom Percyless it turned around and looked up at me with great longing.
Snowdrops are fading here but the early daffs and crocus have stepped in. There are buds on the lilacs, but the. white one is traditionally far too early, if not suicidal, so take that with a grain. This last was the first week I managed a full four plus days of weeding in a row keeping to the sunny beds — where the shot weed was up and sometimes the size of small cabbages. A friend was giving away hellebore seedlings so I took advantage. It’s coming. The planning is mostly about gearing up to beat back the Nootka roses out of the path, and then the native iris and grasses need dividing.
The Fat Kate Middleton
The designer is an old high school friend of my daughter-in-law.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Amir Khalid: What Anne Laurie said. At the Real World level, we might see pretty standard denim clothes with toile prints, lots of embroidered denim (with the embroidery trending toward rococo), lace-up boots, women’s suit jackets with a hem reminiscent of a morning coat (there was an example in the extended photos at Vogue).
Dorothy A. Winsor
I wanted to say how much I appreciate these respite threads. I need them and I assume everyone else does too.
I had a very good day yesterday. Got out in the fresh air and sunshine—and unexpected mid-50s temps—and got a semi-respite from obsessing about politics. A friend and I had planned to see a movie, but we couldn’t find anything we wanted to see, and then she said, “Why don’t we drive out to Red Truck [bakery] and that thrift store?” (She is big into “thrifting,” which I didn’t know is a thing but apparently is, or about to be.) I was like—yes!
I am finally getting over a cold that has kicked my ass for two weeks. Lingering effect is mainly tiredness. I didn’t really feel up to concentrating on a movie, so a road trip sounded great. We headed out I-66 toward Marshall, about 40 miles, and as we got close we decided to eat lunch first. I suggested Shaffer’s Barbecue in Middletown, which I had tagged in my “places to try” database. It turned out to be farther out than I thought—another 30 miles—but it was very good. Excellent BBQ, but also fried oysters(!) and fried chicken, among other things.
And we listened to music in the car and got caught up on everything. My friend just came back from two and a half weeks at a friend’s place in Bali. Nice! (Anecdata in COVID-19 thread below.) And of course we did discuss politics. Ugh. But good to vent with a like-minded friend who is equally obsessed with and up on the news. No need to explain something in detail before you launch into your rant.
On the way back we did stop at the Red Truck Rural Bakery in Marshall (spendy but good). I bought a double-crust apple pie for reasons that I now do not know. Dessert for a week, I guess. The thrift store turned out to be closed, so I gingerly suggested that we stop by the Duluth Trading Company store in Manassas so that I could pick up some (spendy but good) underwear. (Not Buck Naked but Free Range—94% cotton and much better feel. But I digress.) That turned out all right, because she picked up some stuff for her very tall son, whose birthday is coming up. Motored back to Threadkill Lane, end of story. Excellent day out.
My friend is now very worried that Trump could get reëlected. But I’ll save the politics for later.
@OzarkHillbilly: You really can read armadillo facial expressions? I am impressed
ETA I had no idea that get as far north as Missouri.
@Sab: It’s easy enough, they only have 2 that I have seen:
1) I want food. (the longing look)
2) RUN AWAY!!!
I’m pretty sure there is a 3rd “Hey baby, wanna get frisky?” look, but so far I have not seen that one. If I ever do, I’ll be the one running hell bent for leather.
ETA to your ETA: They first started showing up in these parts within my lifetime. I first started seeing them with some regularity about 30 years ago.
@MomSense: Me too!
@Steeplejack: sounds like you weren’t far from my stomping grounds here in the valley. Was that Middletown or Middleburg? If the former, just a few stops down I-81. I’ll have to check it out.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
I’m going to take a sashiko class from a woman in my craft group. You should see the amazing things she does with old, torn jeans. I do mending and visible mending, but I’d really like to make it more of a statement.
The cast is excellent!! I’m so excited.
I like the look of the cake dress, but with less width. I also think the Delft fabric is pretty. Pick and choose, pick and choose…
How long before Ivanka wears a version of a cake dress?
Gets tedious doesn’t it? Four cord of 8 foot logs will arrive in the next couple of weeks, ho hum. But few things in life are better than cozying up to the wood stove on a cold winter day.
Never seen a sea oat before. Funny looking such and such.
Pretty flowers, thank you.
The fashion show with the denim and big hair reminded me of: If your Mom/aunt/sister gets her hair caught in the ceiling fan you might be a redneck.
I’ve been moving poppy seedlings around through the winter this year. If we had a normal winter I couldn’t do that as the ground would be frozen. Everything is about a month ahead of itself. I too wonder if there will be a killer arctic blast late in March or early April.
To go with her let them eat cakeonimics.
It’s the roaring 20s all over again. Wheee!
@bemused: Don’t you mean “Steals the design of the dress”?
@chris: The wood cutting gets harder and harder on my over abused joints and back. I think this year I’m gonna pick up a fair amount of it from local sawmills. I can get a p/u load of cutoffs for $20 which is about a rank. A guy down the road is selling ranks for $45, so it’s a pretty good deal.
@OzarkHillbilly: What a good boy! There is no way my mutt would return without the armadillo.
Once again it’s cloudy here and then rain on Monday and Tuesday. At least the week is not a total washout.
@OzarkHillbilly: Joints? You still have joints? Heh. Used to cut four cord in less than a day now I have to limit chainsaw time to about an hour a day, more than that and the elbows become unworkable. So I pick away at it for a week or so. Good thing I’m retired I guess.
What if you got someone younger to do it for you and give him/her some of the chopped wood as payment?
In the springtime of my dotage I have been spending more old golden time on the beaches of Florida.
Although my days of sewing wild oats are behind me, I have worked at encouraging and preserving sea oats. It is a remarkably beneficial plant for Florida’s hard pressed beaches.
This tall plant, up to 7 feet, with long thin leaves traps wind-blown sand and promotes sand growth, while its deep roots acts to stabilize the sand during storms and rising tides. Sea oats also provide food and habitat for birds and small animals.
The snow on the north side of the house is slowly melting (Des Moines area) but it is still a couple of inches deep in places, with a hard crust on it, despite some temps in the 40’s and 50’s (briefly in the afternoons). Everything is melted on the south side, but more snow predicted for tomorrow. Since I’m in a new zone, I have to figure out when to start planting a few trees (want one evergreen for winter bird shelter, a maple, and a redbud). Hardly anyone has planted backyard trees in this neighborhood, and, while I like the immense prairie sky, I want a bit more privacy and bird habitat.
When I get some beds dug up (meaning hiring someone to do it), I’ll plant mostly my mother’s garden – iris, peony, gallardia, blackeyed Susan and add columbine and salvia. Then this autumn, I’ll get daffodil bulbs in. Mostly, though, I’m watching what happens when here. I’ve lived too many places and get confused by seasons — two countries, seven states. Ready to slow down, though I find I’l largely indifferent to any charms Iowa has to offer. I’m going to have to work to find something to love. For today, a cardinal in a bare branched tree would do the trick. I’m not too demanding.
@Amir Khalid: No one would wear it in public. That’s not the point.
That blooming sago palm is lovely and so is the poppy! I spent yesterday hate-weeding the long raised bed and I’m half way done. It’s a false spring I hope 70° and sunny, trees in bloom and not a drop of rain all month unfortunately. If I get the rest of the weeding done today, spouse is going to add amendments and then top with a thick layer of mulch to try and block out weeds. The squirrels are enjoying fallen oranges. They pull out just enough peel to get in and get down to the business of hollowing them out. The birds love them too. Everyone’s building a nest and singing songs of get the hell out of my space/come be my mate.
The last several weeks of work have been long and arduous. This girl needs some down time. Someday.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: What a confection of confections! And huzzah for the revival of traditional fabrics, esp the heretofore wallpaper toile.
Ah, reminds me of Bruce Chatwin’s Songlines.
And now it’s snowing, and it’s sticking. There was supposed to be a cold front coming through, and it looked to me like the clouds were slanted as if they were outlining a cold front as I was eating breakfast. Looks like I was right.
Chatwin would be heartbroken to see the wildfires in Australia.
Wish he was still with us so he could write about PM Morrison.
It is supposed to reach 54 today here in Chicagoland .
My “Gang of 8” sparrows are having leftover kasha on the sunny balcony.☺
Made blueberry buttermilk pancakes with bacon for breakfast. Had a miserable cold all week so these tasted great. We’ve still got full snow cover here so not really thinking about gardens yet. I don’t get enough light to do a decent job of starting seeds. Moving more toward flowers anyway, tomatoes just never ripen; I’d have to cut a lot more trees to get that late summer light. What I really need to do is tackle the existing, overgrown perennial beds that have been taken over by the more rampant stuff, do a good deep digging, reset/reshuffle and add new things.
My Mom (91) has been diagnosed with some sort of mass in her abdomen. Waiting on results of tests early March; she’s in Florida, I’m in NH. My sister is in the process of selling her house in NY state & moving back here; she’s been reaming out 30 years of stuff and moving the rest back in chunks. Good news is that she had an offer on the house within a week. Ozark and Chris talking about firewood, it’s great except if it’s all you have. I need to feed the stove 4-5 times a day which makes getting away in cold weather a huge pain in the ass. Time to get a couple of good gas heaters even if it means a bank loan. Sorry I’m not adding much to the respite, it’s been kind of a stressful week.
Can you price out a heat pump or a wall mounted gas furnace that also heats hot water? Not sure about NH but there are tax credits here in Maine for conversion to heat pumps.
I had to clear out the dead stuff from my flowerbeds because the daffodils are about to bloom. There are galliardia and cornflower seedlings in the beds that have been growing (slowly) all winter–I guess those can take some freezing weather without dying.
I thought the Moschino jackets were beautiful; isolate them and I can see women wearing them very successfully.
Am hoping those dresses are a bodice and a skirt. A lot of the bodices looked wearable, mixed in with more austere clothing. The skirts — hard pass.
I really enjoyed the Vogue photos, all 67 of them. The collection was a confection, and beautifully made. Some of it was witty. Some just excessive, but with dressmaker details. Way better than the first collection Karl Lagerfeld’s successor showed at Chanel — that one was a tired horror show.
Kind of a fun way for fashion to make a statement about the times. No doubt Robin Givhan will be writing on this collection, any day now if not already.
ETA: Again, here’s Vogue on the Moschino show, via Anne Laurie.
@Kattails: I wish your mom the best; hope that mass is treatable and can be eradicated. And good luck with heating the house.
Wish I could send you our mild winter in central VA. You could get by with a modest space heater and some blankets.
We can all run around with upblown white hair and scream about revolutions.
And now we have the clothes to do it in.
Ayup. Every year I have to explain to various relatives that I can’t leave my hovel for more than 24-30 hours and that I just won’t if it’s really cold
ETA: Also cats, of course.
@MomSense: Thanks for the thought! Gas is best for me; my thoughts have been a Rinnai wall-mounted heater, they’re very efficient and quiet. One large one, and another small one for one quarter of the house that is the studio area & can be closed off. Not cheap but there’s no basement, only a crawl space. Haven’t looked closely at heat pumps, will do, technology is advancing. Money has been very tight but this just needs to happen somehow, I can’t get away with doing 5 cords of wood by myself.
My impression is that NH is not great for rebates. They don’t do much for home energy improvement like insulation & window replacement; there’s like a 10-year waiting list. Ideally I would replace old attic insulation that’s been compressed, do more under the house, replace a couple of thermopane windows that have lost seals, I could probably knock 1 1/2 to 2 cords of wood off right there.
@OzarkHillbilly: I don’t know much about armadillo behavior but we had a few (probably a family) around here for a while and early one morning, when I surprised mom and her babies, she jumped straight up in the air. I was, to say the least, shocked, perhaps the effect desired by jumping armadillos.
I am going to spread some crimson clover seeds
over and over
OT Happy Birthday to W.E.B. Du Bois
@Elizabelle: Thank you so much for the good thoughts. She’s pretty practical but has 5 stents so not a great surgery candidate; however there are way more options nowadays. Not going into crisis mode but she has had a good life, is religious (Lutheran) so feels assured of going to heaven, which is fine. Whatever works. It’s been actually pretty mild here, I only had to sleep on the couch to feed the stove at 2 AM a couple of times :)
Oh I’m going to look at those clothes after I hit my easel for a few hours! Another respite. I have a very pretty blue toile that have been meaning to make into a blouse for ages, also lots of old laces & some beautiful silk scraps and want to do crazy quilts and rework the laces into scarves and pillows. I’m so thankful for all the variety on this blog.
@Kattails: You will enjoy the photos. The fabrics and some of the workmanship are astounding, even while the total effect is a tad shocking and sometimes not that attractive for the particular model. Mr. Moschino had fun.
Love your idea of repurposing some of your beautiful fabrics. Everyone needs a little luxury.
In Des Moines, may I suggest one bed with native plants ?
Perhaps monarda/bergamot, ironweed, butterflyweed ?
Prairie Moon is a reliable source of high-quality seed for natives.
The butterflies will thank you.
The Iowa liberal blog “Bleeding Heartland” has a long series of posts on Iowa native wildflowers.
Shaffer’s Barbecue, 8140 Valley Pike, Middletown, VA 22645.
The food was very good—the potato salad was great—but it’s a little too far to be a “destination” restaurant for me. Shawn’s Smokehouse in Warrenton is closer and somewhat better. But I’m always trying new places and adding to my “database.”
@Kattails: Thinking good thoughts about your mom. I hope that your projects give you some relief from the stress of the cold and you mom’s illness..
@JPL: Thank you for your kind thoughts. She’s just carrying on, so I will too. Anecdote: She married her third husband about 4 years ago, when they were both in their late 80’s. Her second husband had been gone for some time, his wife had passed a couple of years before, and they had all known each other for like 50 years. Good for them!
@joel hanes: hahaha First thing I thought of when I read that comment.
Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
My backyard is such a blank slate (dead grass area and pea gravel) that I drew up some landscaping plans to scale and have been steadily working to get it done bit by bit. I spent my entire annual bonus on a new watering system because not much can live here without one. I still kept it to a minimum though. I’m planning for a very simple design. Next stage, which I will pay for with my tax return, will be to have the dead sod removed and within that bordered area put down a new thicker layer of pea gravel to keep down the dust. And around the perimeter a larger more colorful rock. Then by the southeast window I’m going to have Palm planted, m maybe a sago. Then 10-15 feet to the South a cluster of vertical railroad ties (only a few feet high and in an arc) with a cactus, a small water feature with solar pump and hummingbird feeder. The cats will love looking out the window at that. Then to the left of that is my 8×10 shed. In the southwest corner I’m going to put some raised bed planters for my daughter to grow her veggies. She has quite the green thumb. Then in the middle back a small arched arbor with two snail vibe plants to grow up and over it. A bird bath with a feeder for there too. Then along the rest of the wall on the back and north sides the occasional trellis with beauganvilla. The northwest corner is reserved for a small play pool. Which, at this rate, is going to be an above ground because that is all I can afford. Also have plans to screen in the porch so the kitties can go outside safely. So it’s a multi-year project.
J R in WV
All that time in TX, OK, NM and AZ… seen red foxes, mountain lions, javelina etc, road runners owls and hawks, antelope and mule deer, haven’t ever seen an armadillo, ever. OK by me..
@cope: Armadillos have two major defense mechanisms. One is rollimg up in ball. The other is jumping straight up in the air. The jumpimg probably works okay with predators but it fails majorly with cars.