Saturday, April 25, 2009

Of course

While I gardened, I had my faithful canine companion with me. He only needed rescuing a couple times from wrapping his chain around things as he walked around. And only once did he excitedly run to bark at something and drag his chain through the begonias.

No trouble at all.

Fuchsia starts

There was one day this week I was able to leave work early. I think it was Wednesday. I stopped at Haggen and bought fuchsia starts for a dollar each.

I bought two different colors. One color is bigger than the other. I presume they are just slightly older plants.

These, too, are hanging baskets, but I am keeping them in a sheltered spot for now. My dad says you're not safe from frost around here until after Mother's Day. Sometimes that seems a long time to wait.

Gardening teaches you patience. I'm trying to think of pun on patience and impatiens but I guess I'm too sleepy.

Flower progress report

The two French lavender. They look fine. No remarkable growth, but no droopiness or illness apparent either.

The two hanging baskets of begonias and lobelia. I still don't trust the weather enough to hang them; instead I'm still keeping them under the "roof" of the upper deck.

A closeup of the begonia bloom. I just love that brilliant color.

Peppermint and herbs

The peppermint in this pot I thought could live or die earlier this spring. Looks like it has chosen to live.

Meanwhile, the peppermint in this pot has grown like a weed, as the saying goes. It really seemed like I left in the morning for work one day and this was a pot with a few straggly plants. Then the sun came out for a few hours and boom, lots of healthy leaves.

Speaking of peppermint being like a weed, a lot of baby plants were in the herb barrel. The shape of their leaves gave me a suspicion, so I pulled one up and rolled it around in my hand. I smelled it, and sure enough it was peppermint. At first I cleared away all but a little patch, thinking I could have a little peppermint in the herb barrel. Then I remembered peppermint's reputation for invasiveness, so I pulled it all up. I foresee having to "weed" for peppermint a lot this summer.

This parsley had pretty much died before we got any sunny weather, but now it looks like it could stage a comeback. Go, parsley, go. Grow, parsley, grow.

Sunny afternoon

In the afternoon, the sun came out. Here is the contorted filbert, with its contorted shadow, created by the sun. I planted verbena around the base a week or two ago, and since we had a few days of sunshine earlier in the week, they're thriving.

The deck and yard in the sun.

Pretty cloud.

Mr. Duck came back to the base of the feeder. His feet and body are too big for him to sit on the feeder, but the smaller birds that use the feeder knock seed to the ground, and he eats that.

After the little movie I made of Mr. and Mrs. Duck a while back, we didn't see them for quite a few days. I wondered if it was because my dad had the tree surgeon in, and he cut a lot of branches off trees in our yard. I thought maybe the noise and fuss drove them away. But a couple days ago, Mr. Duck started showing up again. We don't see Mrs. Duck, but my dad and I are wondering if she's sitting on some eggs somewhere. It would be pretty cute if we got ducklings at our feeder. But I hope no cats would get them. Lots of cats come around this feeder.

Overcast morning

It was cloudy and cool for the morning walk with the dog.

Here's our neighbor's magnolia again. More leaves among the blooms, and a lot of petals have dropped off.

The cul-de-sac maple from in front of our house. At least, I think it's a maple.

And our weathervane. My folks bought this as a memento of their years in the Netherlands. The Protestant churches there have a weathervane like this at the top of church steeples instead of a cross. My dad seems to have heard that's to remind people of Peter's betrayal of Christ, and how we all betray him when we sin. Could be considered gloomy Calvinism, or just a salutary reminder to live up to the faith we profess.

The sky behind it is how the overall morning looked.

Morning blooms

When I walked my dog this morning, I saw these azalea blooms alongside our house.

I don't know what kind of bush this is with the red flowers. It's in a yard my dog and I walk past. The flowers are pretty. I try to be subtle taking pictures of other people's plants. They might wonder why I'm taking pictures of their place. But it's just to look at flowers, folks.

And these rhododendrons in front of the house are starting to bloom, too.

Rhodies and azaleas look so much alike. I think I'm correct in identifying them. I think rhodies are bigger shrubs with more rounded leaves and azaleas are smaller with pointier leaves. If I'm wrong, someone correct me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Our deodara cedar is getting new growth.

I put the next picture up at Facebook, with Robert Frost's poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay." It especially made me think of the first three lines:

Nature's first green is gold,
her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower. . .

And it's so true that tender young leaves look like yellowish-green flowers.

The poem goes on to consider the brevity of the season and to contemplate the inevitable decline and, implicitly, our mortality:

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.

Aging, decline and all, are melancholy themes, but not necessarily cause for despair, especially for Christians. It's a similar theme to the hymn, "Abide with me," which says, "Change and decay in all around I see," but the hymn continues, "O, thou who changest not, abide with me." Although maybe Frost's poem is only considering the brevity of youth, not the brevity of life. It progresses to summer and to day, but not to fall or winter, evening or night. Perhaps it's about the loss of youthful idealism and innocence.

I may just call this tree "His Majesty" in my mind.


Yesterday I bought a flat of flowers at the Lynden Christian School greenhouse after eating at the school's pancake breakfast with my folks.

These next two pictures are a little blurry, but I planted lobelia around my begonias. These are hanging pots, though I haven't hung them up yet. I'm keeping them more uner cover till the weather is safer.

The lobelia should bear small white blooms, which should look pretty with the brilliant red of these begonias.

I planted verbena around the bottom of my contorted filbert. The verbena blooms should be purple.

And I put a couple pink geraniums on the upper deck so my mom and dad can have some flowers to look at too. I may add some trailing flowers to this pot later.

Sunday morning

This morning it was pleasant enough that I could sit out on my deck. I sat on this little bench with a cup of coffee.

I had my dog with me for company. He has to be on a chain or he'll run off. But if he knows he's tethered, he's quite calm.

He can go pretty far on the chains I have together, plus his leash. But he looks back at me sometimes, just so see if I'm still there, and if I'm okay with what he's doing.

Sniffing the air.

It was overcast, though a mild temperature. These trees look darker in the picture than they did in real life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Muddy Waters

"Muddy Waters" is: the name of a drive-through coffee stand in Lynden, the name of an influential blues musician, and a description of the current state of Fishtrap Creek.

It's running high and dirty. We've had a fair amount of rain in the past few days.

Misc. plants

I forget what this plant is called. My dad had it for a few years, but this past winter really did a number on it. This spring it seemed to have three viable leaves on the base, but they seemed to get scorched when we had a couple sunny days. So now I have this in the shade, and I am giving it, too, the chance to live if it will.

The contorted filbert again. If you click the picture, you can better see the leaves that are coming out. (Use your browser back button to come back.)


I gave some plant food to my herb basket. Right now it is just rosemary, tarragon, and thyme. The parsley pretty much died. I'll replace it later.

This is a new rosemary I bought to replace one that had died, or almost died.

This is the dead or mostly dead rosemary. I planted it in the ground, in case it wasn't dead and had the will to live; I would just give it that chance.

New flowers

On Saturday, my dad and I went to Hi Hoe Nursery. I bought two begonias and two French lavenders.

The begonias are in pots that will hang at the west end of the deck later. The ladies at the nursery warned me not to leave these out if there's going to be frost. They are under a roof, the roof of the upper deck, although not inside walls.

I will be adding lobelia to these hanging pots, but it was not for sale yet.

These French lavender smell so good. Even the leaves are fragrant. Color and/or fragrance. That's what I like in flowers.

The Empty Tomb

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"

"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

Jesus said to her, "Mary."

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).

(John 20:1-16)

Resurrection Sunday, April 12, 2009

Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o'er his foes.

He arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever with his saints to reign.

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Saturday, April 11, 2009