Sunday, June 8, 2008

Spring-week 13- June 8- it feels like summer

The week has been dominated by the weather. It is raining again. We have had 3.5 inches of rain, with much more on the way. Some of those rains were the real heavy kind, the kind that knocks down flowers. There is the gardener word game where you say a flower and tell what is the first word to come to mind. For example in response to the word “hosta” you might say “shade.” Well this week, in response to the word “peony” I would say, “Flopped”. That is what they all look like, all around town.
Iowa City is having flooding that begins to be like 1993. Remember 1993? City Park is flooded. The Shakespeare in the park will have to be somewhere else this year. Dubuque Street was closed by the end of the week. The big Mayflower dorm on Dubuque Street has been evacuated. And apparently the worst is yet to come. We have a big reservoir with its dam upstream on the Iowa River. The dam is about 7-8 miles upstream. The lake is so full that the Corps of Engineers has to let out an increasing amount of water to keep the water from just going over the spillway, like it did in 1993. That means the flooding here is almost on schedule. The Corps announces that the water flow will increase from10,000 somethings to 15,000 on Saturday morning at 9. That means that the water level in Iowa City will go up 2 feet about 10:30. Govern yourself accordingly.
Did I mention that it seems hot. I know that hot is relative. But it was 90 yesterday so it was uncomfortable. But what good weeding weather. The volunteer walnut trees in the front yard pull right up. When the weeds are gone, and they are only gone is little corners of the garden, I am splashing caladium around. This is their environment. They have idled in the pots waiting for now.

So what’s up in the garden? The Siberian iris came and went almost overnight. They were good but they did not last. The oriental poppies are almost all gone too. They can be the kind of garden focal flowers that you must have. You have to catch just when they bloom and enjoy them at that moment.
The first Asiatic Lily is blooming. The potted clivia have begun to bloom. In a few days the first Iceland poppies will start. It is an exciting time, just as it is frustrating as there is so much to do.

How about some pictures for this week’s poll.
First there is this wonderful tall Siberian iris. There were 5 bloom stalks this year as the plant grows. I think three of them were on the ground after the rains. That does mean that we have had plenty of flowers for the house. I really do believe that peonies should not be grown for the garden. They should just come in right when they open.

Here is one of the few poppy pictures this year. They would open and then they would be gone.

The orchid cactus, particularly this yellow variety, is in full bloom. There is a picture of them all hung below.

Finally here is one of the many columbine that can be so graceful.

In last week’s voting you liked the purple, blue and orange all about the same. There was no clear winner and this is not really a contest.
So what else do I have for you this week?

Here is the white poppy, again which bloomed for one day.

This is a yellow primrose called a sundrop. I grew tons of this plant 10 years ago but have gradually used the space for other things. I still have clumps of it in various places in the garden. Amazingly each clump had a first bloom on Friday. There was some genetic message going around that just said that was the day to start blooming.

Here is a little martagnon lily. They really are precious.

The orchid cacti are all hung in the front yard. I thought that a before and after shot would be appropriate. The one picture was today. The other was taken at Thanksgiving.

Winter was long and is a not so distant memory as we worry about flooding and tornados. Here is a picture taken on February 6. It is a wonderful memory and still has meaning.

Enjoy the week. Next week we will be in Colorado. I will try to get something ready to post in our absence.

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