Monday, April 24, 2017

Flower for the Day What bloomed over the week-end I 4-24-17

Its exciting in the garden. Here are just some of what bloomed over the week-end. I'll get into more detail about them
in the coming weeks.

This iris is always the first of the new year.

The allium are up in purple and white.

This is a doble blooming iris.

My favorite peony:

Virginia bluebells:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Flower for the Day Hesperis 4-21-17

With the spring rains the wildflowers emerge. Hesperus matronalis is an herbaceous plant in the mustard family, Brassicaceae. It 
lined our trail on our easter walk and is coming up now in the wildflower garden. It has many common names including dame's rocket, damask violet, dame's-violet, dames-wort, dame's gilliflower, night-scented gilliflower, queen's gilliflower, rogue's gilliflower, summer lilac, sweet rocket, mother-of-the-evening and winter gilliflower.

It is often mistaken for phlox which blooms later in the year.


Rosebud lips and soft copper eyes

Waited on by fireflies

Crowned with fern and laurel bits.

She's Eo's sister...Hesperis.

Nicasio Orlando 

Don's Blog An Easter Trail Walk 4-16-17

On Easter we walked on a beautiful nature trail in the Meadows area of Innsbrook Missouri.
It parallels a small branch of Charrette Creek. It is of the finest Missouri woods.
There are limestone boulders and a cliff along a gradual trail which has only one steep spot.

The trail came to a wonderful bench

where it was  peaceful

by the silent creek.

There were many spring wildflowers including this wild geranium which
was sprouting out of a rock.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

An Easter Trail Walk 4-16-17

On Easter we walked on a beautiful nature trail in the Meadows area of Innsbrook Missouri. The path is a quiet wooded gentle trail
which parallels a small branch of Charrette Creek. There are
limestone boulders and a cliff.There is one steep area which can be tricky if it has rained.

The trail came to a wonderful bench

where it was  peaceful

and overlooked the silent creek.

There were many spring wildflowers including this wild geranium which was sprouting out of a rock.

My Easter Butterfly 4-16-17

Jan has been painting butterflies  for months and on Easter morning she emerged from her chrysalis transformed into one.

Flower for the Day Ajuga 4-20-17

This year has been very successful for ajuga. This perennial ground cover has been coming up everywhere and flourishing. This is Ajuga reptans. It is also called bugleweed, ground pine, carpet bugle, or just bugle. It is in the mint family (Lamiaceae). 
The flowers can grow quite tall.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Flower for the Day Amaryllis 4-19-17

My amaryllis is blooming later each year. It is quite mature (the bulb is over thirty years). The size of the blooms remains the same. Caring for it is almost seamless so I continue to put it
in the dark in the winter and bring it out and start watering it in February and it summers outside.

                                                    I AM AN AMARYLLIS

Hippeastrum is my proper Latin name 
I am so spectacular I simply put others to shame 
From a large bulb my green shoots will grow 
I dwarf the other plants I love to be on show 
With my elevated position I look down on other plants 
They are tiny in comparison and look like little ants 
When my tip emerges it contains my superior flower head 
My blooms can live for three weeks yet other flowers are dead 
I am the king of flowers 
I can produce three flower stem 
My trumpets are enormous, people stand and gaze at them 
I have no scent for you to smell when I am flowering 
The intensity of my blooms would make it overpowering 
Once I've finished blooming I deserve a two-month rest 
Then I will re-flower for you and show the world I am the best! 
My chosen flower - Amaryllis meaning pride 
Contest:- Picture yourself as a flower – Andrea Dietrich

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Flower for the Day What's Blooming Now? 4-14-17

Late last week we had really great rain and this is what is blooming now. Jan put the flowers in a little vase.

Clockwise from the  right there are two different types of columbine, Lily of the Valley, Spanish 
hyacinths, an ox-eyed daisy, and pink phlox. Welcome.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Flower for the Day Azalea 4-11-17

My azaleas are always in a state of flux.  They will not be ignored. Right now they are fully budded out and are beginning to bloom.
budded out and are beginning to bloom. The buds began about two weeks ago.

They bloomed over the week-end and today they have really popped.

They are exquisite.


Spring breeze comes with drizzle,
Moistens here and there.
Red and white and many colors,
Azalea blooms everywhere.
The leaves are Small and the flowers are delicate,
They mix well densely and charming.
The beauty of the azalea looks like
the goose's feather brightened by fire flaming.

Poem by Charles WOO

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Flower for the Day Least Bluet 4-8-17

I love miniature flowers. I found these small flowers in the meadow behind the house. I have lived here for more than 35 years and have never seen them before. The entire meadow is a carpet of these tiny flowers. There were just too many to see. Imagine a whole field of them.

They are least bluets (Houstonia minima).  They are also called tiny bluets and star violets.
They are  a precursor to spring. The flowers are about 1/4 inch wide and grow at the top of a slender stem
that usually branches only once near the middle. The  petals (40 can be purple blue, deep violet or white and they have a  reddish center and a yellow throat. These  are pale violet.

A closer look reveals the delicate colors.

These tiny flowers are very uniform in size, height , and color. The excitement of seeing them
out of nowhere will allow me to look for them every spring from now on - right about the time that
Spring Beauty appears. The least bluet  has a large number of common names including Quaker Ladies, Quaker Bonnets, Little Washerwoman, Blue-eyed babies, Wild forget-me-not, Eye Bright, Angel Eyes, Nuns, Innocents
Star of Bethlehem, Venus' Pride, and just plain bluets.

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Fall 3-18-17

I  walk near the Lake House in the late afternoon. I start by climbing up to the road and heading north. It is hilly and cool. It has rained recently but the road is fairly dry. It is peaceful and there are no cars on the road. I reach my regular turnaround point and head back. I am  feeling pretty good about my body.  I am blending  with my surroundings. I follow a different route back and still it is quiet. No one is on this trip with me.

I take a short cut as I near the house crossing some huge stepping stones. I put my left foot on the lower edge of a flat stone which is at a 35 degree angle up and then step with my right foot. I am launched flat to the right as my right foot slips inward to the left knocking out my stable left foot. The fall is not dreamlike or in slow motion. There is no chance to " roll"  into the fall.It is sudden and violent. I land simultaneously on my right hip -  my right wrist -  my right elbow.  My right arm strains out of its shoulder socket. - Luckily I don't land on  my neck and head. There is no sound. In one second  I go from standing to lying on my right side on the hard cold moist mud and moss.
It happens so fast I don't think of looking around and being embarrassed. It actually hurts so much that I have a shocked feeling of weakness. I am instantly sweating in response. I gingerly test  my body and surprisingly the various appendages have some limited mobility. Apparently no hip or wrist or elbow fracture. Can I get up? Not on the right side - maybe on the left. I get onto my left knee and then up all the way. I stand for a moment and take some deep breaths. I walk the 50 yards to the Lake House.

I take my coat off and blood is streaming down my right elbow. I take my shirts off and there is a v-shaped laceration on the end of the elbow. The blood stops with pressure and a small dressing. I begin to feel better as I realize how lucky I was. I make up a story that it is because I have been working out with a trainer for the last 17 years. Or maybe it was fate or luck or the sign of the moon. 

I tell Jan, "I fell." She says, "Do you want to go Home?" I say, "No, I want to see what is going to happen next."
There are still surprises at age 81.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Flower for the Day Celandine Poppy 4-1-17

Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) is a native plant that does well in the shade. It is also called 
wood poppy and yellow poppy. Members of the Poppy Family are characterized by their production of latex, which in the case of  Stylophyllum diphyllum is yellow. They will bloom for several months, re-seed in the fall, and the whole stand enlarges each year.

Flowers begin as small hairy buds,

and emerge quickly.

The flowers have 4 yellow petals, 2 sepals, and multiple yellow stamens.

They have a single large stigma.

The stigma is the part of the female organ or pistil that accepts the pollen during fertilization.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Flower for the Day Hyacinth 3-31-17

March has come in like a lion and is going out like a lion not a lamb. Our water tables are overflowing
but the flowers are responding. 
I don't know if you have ever cut your hyacinths and brought them inside but if you do you are in for a treat. 
The amazing pungent scent is surprising and extremely pleasant. 

Can you smell it?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Flower for the Day Gnome Garden 3-29-17

This is the Gnome Garden after 2 days of light rain and a little added warmth - a
beautiful explosion. (Best on your computer.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Flower for the Day Tulips 3-27-17

I am not a tulip guy but have put a few in for the last several years. 
This is a nice subtle red crop.


The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.   
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.   
I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.   
I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses   
And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons.

They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff   
Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut.
Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.
The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble,
They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps,
Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another,   
So it is impossible to tell how many there are.

My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water
Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently.
They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep.   
Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage——
My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox,   
My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;   
Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.

I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat   
stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.
They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations.   
Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley   
I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books   
Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head.   
I am a nun now, I have never been so pure.

I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free——
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them   
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet.   

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe   
Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby.   
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down,   
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,   
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.

Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.   
The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,   
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow   
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,   
And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.   
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.

Before they came the air was calm enough,
Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss.   
Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise.
Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river   
Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine.   
They concentrate my attention, that was happy   
Playing and resting without committing itself.

The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves.
The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;   
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,   
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.
The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
And comes from a country far away as health.

Sylvia Plath, "Tulips" from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1960, 1965, 1971, 1981 by the Estate of Sylvia Plath. Editorial matter copyright © 1981 by Ted Hughes. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Source: Collected Poems (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1992)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Flower for the Day Phlox 3-23-17

There are several beds of phlox within the gnome gardens which have begun to bloom in the last few days.
The colors are vibrant. Phlox is from the Greek - flame.

The details are amazing.

I had not seen the purple spots on the white petals before this close up.

Denel Kessler
Denel Kessler
Mar 15, 2016

The Mountain keeps all secrets. Crusted lichen on timeworn boulders. High altitude longing for alpine daisies. Carefree blossoms, long ago plucked, gone to seed, restless in the fertile ground.  Wildflowers bloom shortly sweet, fleeting paintbrush to layered canvas. Fairy slippers lost on crumbling doorsteps. Glacier lilies pressed between avalanched pages.  Forget-me-nots in forgotten blue hollows. The common harebell feels anything but common when seen through a lover's eyes. Forest tiger, your bulbs taste bitter. Purple lupines sage with fuzzy-leafed logic.  Fireweed, erect, unadorned, eternally reaching. Lousewort, spreading phlox, leave this scarlet alone.  Listen to Indian Henry, it's bad luck to trample what is sacred. The devil dreams behind steep and sheltered walls. Keep to the Wonderland, bypass this Trail of Shadows.  Seek ancient hunting grounds, steadfast shelter in the wooded clearing.  There is no pearly everlasting along these old trails.  Paradise lost may never be regained.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Flower for the Day Periwinkle 3-22-17

The periwinkle (Vinca minor) has been blooming foe more than a month. The purple beds surround the east and west sides of the house. I love vinca as a ground cover because it stays green all winter and blooms twice a year. It stays low and does not climb the trees. This vinca bed is more than 70 yards long.

It is impressive close up - beauty growing old.

Lyrics of your smile

Your beauty sings harmony with a cantata sunrise, euphoric melodies in viola and piccolo lingering 'pon a lavender haze of periwinkle whispers, symphonic poetry afloat of dawn's breezes, ecstasy in tangerine desires, wafting concertos of passion as I listen quietly to my day once again beginning with the perfect lyrics of your smile

Copyright © Chris Green | Year Posted 2016 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Flower for the Day The Gnomes want Out 3-13-17

The gnomes winter over in the garage. They have watched with interest as the gardens are getting ready with cutting the grasses, blowing the leaves,  and mulching with some organic concoction called Black-Gold.
They told me last Friday that they were ready to come out to their garden. It was a beautiful March day.

I told them to be careful what they wished for:

They are still smiling.

Prabhu Iyer
Prabhu Iyer
Oct 28, 2014

Carved in stone, lost in time,
freezing my parted smile,

Peering down into the unknown,
I sit next to you, toting my arms:

Where is the world
that breathed you to life?

On this lonely peak, tires
upon tires of hopes and dreams
retreat into the the terraced
spirals of mists; Every mystical
dawn dissolves into the lakes.

Gnomes bear the burden of
mysterious gates to the beyond,
as whispers tiptoe to strains
of the Quijongo.

Here epochs and worlds end.
And counts begin all over again.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Flower for the Day Daffodils II 3-9-17

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Flower for the Day Hyacinth 3-8-17

These hyacinths came up almost overnight. They are old friends and constant.

It is exciting to watch as the petals unfurl almost in real time.

"If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul"
- Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Don's Blog St Louis Symphony Special Open Rehearsal

My friend Dave lives in E, coloradostes Park and was able to visit this week. On Thursday we went to a friends 
of the Symphony Event at Powell Hall. I was an Open Rehearsal and filled the lower level. Dave and I sat in the second open row on the right. The musicians put their instrument cases in the first few rows.

Here you can see the pre-start tune-up with the St Louis symphony Chorus in the background. To the left of the podium in the brick red shirt is Concertmaster and First Violin David Halen. David runs the Innsbrook Music festival in the summer.
The practise was run by guest conductor Sir Andrew Davis. They started by playing Belshazzar's Feast which William Walton wrote in 1929 at the age of 27. The words sung by the chorus were shown on the white screen 
behind the orchestra.

They played this mesmerizing piece straight through without stopping. Belshazzar of Babylon commanded his followers to drink from the sacred vessels taken from the temple of the Jews. In the midst of the revelry "as they  feasted came forth fingers of a man's hand and the King saw the part of the hand that wrote: "MENE.MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN" "THOU ART WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE AND FOUND WANTING". And then Belshazzar is slain -SLAIN! - the chorus almost shouts as Babylon falls and the Jews are delivered. The piece gets inside your body. After this the conductor turned and asked the chorus director Amy Kaiser for her reactions and they worked on three minor parts.

There was a 20 minute intermission and the chorus left. Most of us went to the lobby for cookies and drinks. It reminded me of an intermission at a Blues hockey game - only th audience here was on average 40 years older.


After the intermission the conductor and the orchestra worked on one piece: Edward Elgar's Falstaff-
Symphonic study in c minor, op.68. They worked long and hard with many re-plays. At one time the conductor turned to the audience and said," I know this is very boring, but we have to do it."

For me it was an evening of great entertainment.