December 19th, 2010

Paul Neyron rose 2

Sunday real life

It's been better so far today.  I had Jasmine Pearl tea, which is a favorite.  The other day I had either "Black Beauty" or "Jade Fortune" tea.  You can't tell them apart from the little cone shape they're wrapped in.  I'm pretty sure it was black tea, though, and very good.

Mom seemed to be in a better mood today.  Perhaps going to church helped.  She suggested bringing down the big trash bags I'd made of papers and magazines to recycle and papers to shred and recycle.  Recycling goes out in brown paper bags.  I filled four of them.  Mom helped me with shredding, and we filled two more brown paper grocery bags.

Mom and Dad went to the produce place.  I asked them to get red and white carnations, since I was supposed to do a Christmas arrangement to go to a nursing home.  Mom called back to say they didn't have white, but they had red.  I said that was fine.

I went out into the back yard to see what I could get of greens.  The neighbors' ivy has spread to our yard and is climbing several of our trees, so I cut some ivy.  I cut some smaller branches off my young American holly trees.  American holly is Ilex opaca, so named for the leaves, which are matte instead of being shiny like English holly.  I figured the nursing home residents would just need to deal with having holly with non-shiny leaves.  I only saw two berries total on the two winterberry shrubs.  I'm sure there had been many more than that, but I think the birds like them.  The winterberry is a deciduous holly, but has nice red berries.  The ones inside at Longwood Gardens around this time have branches covered in berries.

I continued my search.  Our neighbors have huge overgrown evergreen trees on the property line.  I cut a couple of smaller branches that were down on the ground on our side.  Mom and Dad brought home a bunch of two dozen red carnations.  I'd given them a ten, and they gave me five in change.  I don't think that was too bad for so many carnations.  Carnations and pinks are fairly high on my list of favorite kinds of flowers, particularly the fragrant pinks.  I love that clove scent.

So I took the greens I'd collected and the carnations, and made a couple of arrangements.  They look homemade, but again, the residents will have to deal with having homemade.  I took the light paper-like foil I'd taken off the pots of freesias, and wrapped that around the plain plastic containers I had the flower arrangements in.  The foil is dark green on one side and silver on the other.  I put the green side on the outside.  I tied a red-and-green ribbon around one container, and a red ribbon around the other.  Mom and Dad thought the arrangements looked nice and festive.

Paul Neyron rose 2

flowers I really like

Well, it's something to look ahead to, for the most part.  I'll start at this time of year.  I like amaryllis.  I'm good with the classic red, though some of the pink and white ones are pretty, too.  I like tuberous (Rieger?) begonias.  They're on sale this time of year.  I think they're on sale pretty much all around the year in the big independent garden center I go to.  The fully double ones have flowers that look very rose-like.  I like African violets.

In early spring: snowdrops, pansies, snow crocus, mahonia, winter honeysuckle, ranunculus, primroses, wallflowers, cherry blossom, witch hazel, camellias.  No, I don't have any camellia trees -- I'd need a big greenhouse -- but Longwood Gardens has about a dozen in a permanent planting by the East Conservatory, and I think a few more that they rotate out to the conservatories that change displays as they bloom.  My favorite part of the conservatories at Longwood Gardens is the orchid room.

Mid-spring: Dutch crocus, daffodils, grape hyacinth, sweet peas, tulips, stock, hyacinths, bleeding heart, columbines, Brunnera macrophylla (perennial forget-me-not), apple blossom, dogwood.  Forsythia, though it's so common.  It's still cheerful.  'Dawn' viburnum and daphne (had but killed off).  Lilacs, as many as possible.  Tyler Arboretum has dozens and dozens.  I try to get there for them every year.  The magnolias that bloom in spring.

Late spring: irises, pinks, peonies, lily-of-the valley, Judd viburnum, more I'll think of later.

Early summer: roses, sweet bay magnolia, tradescantia.

Summer: roses, bee balm, foxglove, daylilies, delphinium, poppies, geraniums, balsam and other impatiens, begonias, jasmine, Oriental lilies, tiger lilies, cornflower, four o'clocks, lantana, portulaca, rose of Sharon, heliotrope, fuchsia, calendula, lotus, waterlilies, clematis.

Late summer: cardinal flower, colchicum, butterfly bush.

Fall: pineapple sage, mistflower, fall-blooming crocus.

I have a lot of favorites, it's true.  I've grown all but camellias, lotus, cherry trees, and waterlilies at one time or another.