My blog, that is! 😁 This has been in the back of my mind for awhile but I wasn't sure how to go about it and didn't want to lose my readers who know where to find me. But, there are a few things I wish were different about Weebly. For one thing, I can't add a search engine here, or organize my posts into categories, so they eventually get buried in the archives, and unless you're willing to dig through all that, you'll never find a specific post again!
So, I am giving Blogspot a try. The whole process has been quite an adventure since I am somewhat technically challenged, and I still have some things to figure out. I was about ready to throw in the towel yesterday during the set-up process, but I think I'm finally starting to get used to how most of it works, and I love my new design! Here's the link to my new blog: Ye Flower-Lover's Blog
I will still be keeping this site up for a while at least, until I get my new blog all figured out and move my more important posts (flower histories, etc.) over there. I also need to figure out how to work subscriptions. Blogspot has an automatic email form but I tested it out and haven't got any email notifications after new blog posts yet, so I'm a bit worried about that...if any of you know about how it works, please tell me!! In the meantime, I will keep my list of subscribers for here, so if you can't get the new form to work and you still want to follow my new blog (I hope you will 😊), I'll be able to work something else out.
Whew! Anyway, I hope that's not too confusing, and I hope to see you at my new blog!
Was it worth while to paint so fair
To bring thy beauty unto perfect flower,
Thy silence answers: 'Life was mine!
'In its first radiance I have seen
It really is amazing how time flies! This has been a long winter, starting in early November here, yet I can hardly believe it is already Spring! And another thing, today marks TWO YEARS since I started this blog! Seems like just yesterday! I had no idea where it would lead, but am very happy that I started it. The joys of gardening are twice as wonderful when they can be shared, and I've enjoyed getting to know like-minded gardeners and nature enthusiasts. I really appreciate all of my readers, so thank you to those of you who stop in, subscribe, and to you who comment - I love getting your feedback and comparing notes with you! 😊
Today was a perfectly lovely early spring day, and since I am beginning to feel like myself again, I went for a very pleasant hike in the woods this afternoon (still on snowshoes, of course!). On days like this I can hardly believe that winter actually happened, despite the white evidence all around me! The air was a balmy 45 and the sun was very warm. It was just so refreshing to be outside in the spring air, without a care in the world (well, none that I would allow myself to think about on such a splendid day)! 😁
An old bird nest. I also saw a bald eagle today but wasn't quick enough with the camera.
One of my objects for the walk was to get some Speckled Alder catkins to try to force indoors. I've never tried it before but thought it would be pretty, so we'll see how it goes!
The greenhouse had a very hard winter...all but one of the PVC supports have been broken. But thankfully it is still usable for my seedlings this spring!
Starting seeds is a bit of a challenge this year. The pussy cats think it is the greatest fun in the world to knock over my flower pots, and Nastya loves to roll around in the plants trays! I finally had to resort to duct-taping the lids shut!
I've even caught her napping amongst my plants!
She makes my botany studies difficult too! 😃
My gardens are still under several feet of snow, but the glaciers are receding. I can hardly wait to see them again!
I would have loved to just sit outside for awhile, but...
P.S. I fear the catkins aren't going to survive long enough to flower...as I was typing, my sister announced that Nastya had discovered them. We tried to move them but she kinda followed! 😃
Since it is still rather wintry out and I'm recovering from the flu, I decided just to go for a virtual walk through the woods today, and give you a peak into a couple of the books in my library at the same time! You can even have a little music if you like...this piece really reminds me of a ramble through the woods on a beautiful spring day! 😊
"The opening flower of every weed,
"That delicate forest flower,
"So will I build my altar in the fields,
"To me the meanest flower that blows, can give
" Consider ye, the Lilies of the field,
"...flowers have always spoken to the mind attuned to receive their message. And it is noteworthy that the thoughts they have suggested have been invariably beautiful ones - the common, the degraded, the impure has no part in the inspiration of flowers.
My father and I went looking for a good view of Mt. Katahdin this morning. It was magnificent! I have wanted to climb this mountain since the first time I saw it, but haven't had a chance yet. Someday, I will! 😊
Some of you having expressed a desire to see my 'botanical library', I finally decided to do a post about it! 😊 Humble as it is, I am very excited about it right now, because I have just made a few very exciting additions in the last week! I recently discovered the Antique & Collectible Books section on Ebay and nearly let the fire go out in the stove as I eagerly browsed page after page of old botany and flower books! I finally managed to narrow my wish list down to just four - for now! 😁 The first to arrive was Gray's Structural and Systematic Botany, otherwise known as The Botanical Textbook printed in 1858. (As you can see, it came on the same day as my seeds)! It is in excellent condition, and I am filled with wonder every time I think that this very book existed during the Civil War!
And these are today's arrivals. Poetry of the Vegetable World (1853), and Ye Flower-Lover's Booke (1911). Both of them promise to be very interesting and I'm sure you will be getting some peeks into them in future blog posts. 😊 And yes, that's a cat!
Front page of Poetry of the Vegetable World...
These are my most treasured books right now. Reprints are wonderful, but there is just something so special about owning the originals! I'm expecting one more in the next few days, Wonders of the Vegetable World, by William Henry Davenport Adams (originally published in 1867, but I think the edition I'm getting was printed in 1890).
My full botanical library: My Garden, by Louise Beebe Wilder (1916), Flowers and Flower Lore, by Hilderic Friend (1884), A Modern Herbal in 2 volumes, by Mrs. Grieve, (1931), Flora Domestica (1823), Flowers: Their Moral, Language, and Poetry, by H. G. Adams (1844), Picciola, by X. B. Saintine (1839), Gray's Structural and Systematic Botany (1858) Gray's Manual of Botany, Gray's School and Field Botany, (all by Prof. Asa Gray), Poetry of the Vegetable World, by Prof. M. J. Schleiden (1853), and Ye Flower-Lover's Booke, by G. Clarke Nuttal (1911).
So there's my library! 😊 It may be small now, but I hope to gradually accumulate more of these old books. In fact, my biggest problem has been that every time I read one of these, I find more interesting titles in the notes and bibliographies that I simply must read, and I doubt if a whole lifetime would be enough to read them all!
I was saving this poem for the first of March, but then got carried away posting pictures of all the snow and completely forgot until it suddenly started going through my mind at 5:30 yesterday morning, and I knew there was something I forgot to do! 😁
I do believe Spring is coming! Even though the temperatures are still below freezing, the sun is very warm and the snow melts a little bit during the afternoons. Today was very beautiful. There is definitely some life stirring in the air...I can just sense it! I suppose my plants must be feeling it about now too and I know I will find some of them already peeking out before the glaciers have quite receded from my garden! 😊
Dear March - Come in -
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest -
I got your Letter, and the Birds -
Well, here it is March! Spring cannot come soon enough for me! We had another snowfall of about 10 inches last Sunday. We are up to 147 inches of snow for the season so far...an all-time record. It is literally starting to feel like we are being buried alive! Have you ever tried to shovel snow with no place to throw it?! And there's my garden! 😁
The "view" out our front window!
And then came the blustery day. Tuesday was just plain horrible. The high was about 6 degrees F, with 35 mph winds and windchills of at least -35!
My greenhouse was taking quite a beating, and getting buried in the blowing snow, but there was simply nothing I could do about it. I was on the verge of frostbite after just 10 minutes outside trying to get wood. When I came in my mom told me that my nose was white. It was painful as it warmed up again, but thankfully no damage!
We did have a beautiful sunset that day though!
Many roads were closed...this was our road at about 10 AM on Wednesday!
It took them about 2 hours just to clear the section of road in front of our place! They had to use this big snowblower because it was just too wind-packed for the plows.
Now we have a perfect wall all along the road!
Nastya and Olga were extremely fascinated by the whole process...or maybe they were just impressed by the big CAT! 😃
Yesterday I finally got up the courage to go out and inspect the damage to the greenhouse. It is going to take me a few days to dig this out. The drifts are so packed I can walk over them and barely make a dent! Shoveling it is like cutting through Styrofoam, only much heavier! I am just thankful it is still standing and at least the plastic is in one piece. Repairs will have to wait until the snow melts, but hopefully it will still be usable for seedlings this spring!
The left side is crushed from the weight of the drift, and another PVC pipe has broken and gone right through the plastic.
The mountain at the end of our road...somewhere buried deep is a Stop sign!
But enough of that! I am learning to look on the bright side of everything, and flowers make that easy. This is what I have to look at in the kitchen right now! 😊
I loved the color of this Heartsease flower so much, I decided to press it before it faded.
The first of my seed orders arrived yesterday and it's about time to start planting. There is light at the end of the tunnel. 😊
"Pale, mournful flower, that hidest in shade
I have always wanted to see this mysterious-looking wildflower, but never came across it in my ramblings here. So, I was thrilled when I finally saw it for the first time when walking through the Haunted Wood at Green Gables last summer, and then again in the woods near the Hopewell Rocks a few days later! I'm afraid some people thought I was a bit eccentric when I stopped short on the crowded to trail to photograph them, though! 😁
This truly unique flower is often mistaken for a fungus, but it is in fact an herbaceous perennial in the Ericaceae family (which also includes the Rhododendron, Azalea, Blueberry, Cranberry, Huckleberry, and Heather)! It lacks chlorophyll and therefore is not dependent on sunlight to thrive, so it can often be found in very dark, dense forests. The plant is actually a parasite, deriving its nourishment from certain fungi, which in turn derive theirs from the trees (I hope I'm explaining that right!). It is native to North America, northern South America, and Asia, and is of ephemeral occurrence, blooming anytime from June to September.
The Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) is also commonly known as the Ghost or Corpse Plant, One-Flowered Wax Plant, American Ice Plant, Convulsion Root, and (my favorite!), Wood Snowdrop. The genus name Monotropa comes from the Greek monos, 'one', and tropos, 'direction', in reference to the flowers, which turn to one side. And of course, uniflora simply means one-flowered!
I was quite surprised to learn that this plant is actually used as a substitute for opium, but without its adverse effects! Apparently, it acts in a very unusual way, actually raising the patient's ability to deal with the pain, rather than making it go away. It is said to work the same way for emotional pain as well. This is a very interesting article, if you want to learn more: American Herbalists Guild: A Little Known Nervine.
This flower was one of Emily Dickinson's favorites. In 1882, after Mabel Todd presented her with a painting she had done of some Indian Pipes, Emily wrote ecstatically, "That without suspecting it you should send me the preferred flower of life, seems almost supernatural…I still cherish the clutch with which I bore it from the ground when a wondering child, and unearthly booty, and maturity only enhances the mystery, never decreases it.” After Emily's death, Mabel Todd published a volume of her poems, and chose this flower to adorn the cover.
I am still hopeful that I will come across the Indian Pipe in our woods someday. Since it requires just the right conditions (wet weather after a dry spell) and then grows up and fades so quickly, maybe I have just missed it so far. Have you ever come across them?
I'm joining Clay and Limestone today for Wildflower Wednesday!
A dark dull patch of earth was all
And from my eyes fell many a tear
Ah me! one early morn I crept
When, lo, a tiny shoot appeared
It was more gorgeous than the King
I clapped my hands, I wept for joy,
O maiden fair! in saddened home,
I am a passionate gardener and seed-saver, who also enjoys playing the violin and accordion, running, spending time with my 4 golden retrievers, keeping chickens, photography, and reading.