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Heirloom Bearded Iris

I hesitate to call this iris heirloom, or suggest its name, but that is the closest I have come so far to figuring out who might be this beautiful iris.

When we first bought our house, the front and backyard surprised us in each season with all kinds of bulbs–old jonquils, rain lilies, oxblood lilies, oxalis and a lone Dutch iris oddly placed in the very abandoned part of the back yard. Read more

Snapdragons

I never thought I’d be a snapdragon fan. As a child I saw them every summer in my grandmother’s garden. They seemed too… familiar. When I first started gardening I was so obsessed with starting native plants that I usually ignored most of the ‘annuals’ table at every gardening center, but then, one autumn while I was looking for some color to fill in bare spots, I visited a gardening store I’d never been to before and they had rows and rows of snapdragons. And to my surprise, they were fragrant, so fruity and sweet. I had never remembered snapdragons as being scented before, and I’m sure some are more so than others.

So I bought a flat of really tall ones, in pretty pinks and deep rich magentas, and planted them informally amongst my roses. Around here snapdragons can bloom all the way through winter if cold doesn’t stick around for long. They dislike our summers, but six months of bloom (from October to March) is not bad at all! Read more

the peak of the cool season

As I sit here writing on my front porch, the sweet candy fragrance of sweet peas is dancing in the breeze. This part of the afternoon, fragrance often dissipates in the heat, and already the heights of the afternoon sun are starting to produce the kind of heat that makes me thankful for air conditioning (or at least the very protecting cedar trees in our yard, which just started to leaf out last weekend). Read more