Tag Archives: garden bloggers

GBBD August 2011

GBBD – Garden Bloggers Bloom Day arrives when I have lots of blooms this month. By this time of the year it’s been a long hot and dry summer. Most blooms are moving onto their next stage. The blooms are  producing fruit and seed. (tomatoes, for example.)

So, with a nod to Carol and GBBD, I humbly submit GBFD or Garden Bloggers Food Day. Because it so seldom  happens, that I have an abundance of both blooms and produce.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on pink zinnia

Pollinators, like bees and butterflies are key to producing seed.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)  It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma.

After mating, small, yellow eggs are laid on garden plants from the carrot family, Apiaceae, including dill, fennel, Queen Anne’s lace, and parsley. I always grow extra parsley happing to create an attractive area for Black Swallowtails. This year the worms helped themselves to the carrots growing near the zinnias.

The most noticable blooms in my garden are the sunflowers.


"Musicbox" but I call these my mailbox sunflowers.

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are blooming their big heads off and making sunflower seeds. Nothing can make a gold finch happier.

"Chocolate Cherry"







Big Sunflower

"Van Gogh" with half runner bean vines.

"Valentine" pale lemon flowers about 5" across.

Giant Heirloom, "Titan" Sunflower


These native sun-worshipping North American native flowers turn on their stalks to follow the sun. The name Helianthus is from the Greek words for sun and flower.

Direct sow seed into the garden. Sunflowers have long taproots that are easily stunted, so wait until the ground is warmed and plant seeds into the garden soil.

Several of these sunflowers are pollen free, making them ideal for bouquets. They don’t drop messy pollen on the table.

"Musicbox" Sunflower




I have a couple more sunflowers this year.One has already bloomed and is gone. Another is a perennial sunflower that is a late blooming variety not yet blooming.

I got all these sunflower seed from Renee’s Garden seed.

Thanks for stopping by.

GBFD is my way of sharing my garden this month, August 2011.

GBBD is a way to share what is blooming in my garden on the 15th of the month.

Carol from May Dreams Gardens sponsors Bloom Day each month. Thank you, Carol.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day July 2011


Greeting guests at the front door.

Black tea with lemon mint

Black tea with lemon mint

“Mosquito is out,
it’s the end of the day;
she’s humming and hunting
her evening away.
Who knows why such hunger
arrives on such wings
at sundown? I guess
it’s the nature of things.”
–  N. M. Boedecker, Midsummer Night Itch

Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Join me on the patio for tea with mint. or lemon balm.

Orange Day Lily

So many of my esteemed fellow garden bloggers have names on every flower. Not me. I am clueless about the lovely lillies. Some were here when I moved in this house, some were gifts or I found them in a sale bin.


Standing alone, flowers about five inches across, plant about six feet tall, this gangly lily begs for a new home.

My house is 170 years old. There are lots of things growing on this little acre that I haven’t identified.

There is a big black snake living in the North East corner. I think we’ve never had a problem with mice because of that big snake. He is not in the picture because he lives in the Poison Ivy Patch.

I think next bloom day, I’ll have sunflowers to share. There are lots of pollinators (like honey bees) this year. I am not seeing many ladybugs and I sure could use some bungry ladybugs.

There is a killer black cat next door that kills the song birds that I feed and invite into my garden. Yes, it poops in my garden and spends a lot of time in my garage and on my patio. Every day.

Raddish Flowers

Raddish with seed pods and flowers

Have you ever seen raddish flowers? I let a few go to seed, just so I could see the whole life cycle of the annual that is alsways in my spring garden.

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens.

I call these the house lillies because there are a lot of them and they came with the house.










Small blooms, but the flowers just keep on coming for days


in the front yard, along the front porch, several spiky lilies want to be in a better designed garden spoce.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2011

Confederate Memorial State Historic

I’ve been traveling this month, enjoying other peoples flowers. The neighbors are enjoying mine.

forsythia at Arkansas Welcome Center



Visit  Carol at May Dreams Gardens to meet more flower lovers participating in Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.


MO Botanical Gardens is just beginning to bloom with redbuds






thousands of tulips at MBG



So many color combos and tulip flower sizes at MBG








Beautiful primrose is in full bloom when some herbs are just surfacing in April.

primrose in the herb garden behind Shaw's home at Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Our travels took us to Independence where we saw these softly fragrant  pink lilacs.

Pink Lilacs with the same heavenly fragrance as the lavender lilacs.

Traditionally, GBBD is April 15. And, garden bloggers share what id blooming in their own gardens. Carol’s idea has grown so we can see the changing of the seasons, and the wave of flowers blooming through all zones both urban and suburban.

Since April is Poetry Month:

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
–  Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant

“Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire” by Margot Berwin

In late spring, I volunteered to review “Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire”, a first novel by Margot Berwin. I can count the books I’ve reviewd on one hand, so I thought this early work of Margot Berwin, would be a great “summer read.”

Hot House Flower

The book was free, as was my review. The paperback, “Hot House Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire,” by Margot Berwin, is published by Random House and retails for $14.95. I expected this to be a lightweight summer read and was looking forward to “discovering” a new garden writer.

I, being a slow reader, usually get the benefit of early reviews from my speed reading garden blogging friends. I think many folks took this book too seriously and were disappointed. I was expecting a light and lively summer read and that is what I got.

Corpse plant

I was waiting for Hot House Flower to blossom into a full fledged romance novel, a genre seldom on my reading list. Thankfully, it was not. There was just enough travel and horticulture information to keep me turning pages.

Margot, you had me when you wrote the words Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Our protagonist, Lila, is learning about these nine plants of desire throughout the book. Each chapter starts with a little introduction to one of the nine plants and a hint about whats coming next.

I am glad “Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire” found it’s way to my reading stack. This is a romp through the jungle and there is even a bit of beach time, some totally unbelievable horticultural anticts and even a bit of magic and mystery.

This ain’t no botanical encyclopedia. My garden blogging friends would still be quibbling over the details of this book, if they hadn’t figured out it’s supposed to be fun and fictional light reading.

Heck, Margo took Lila and me to a place I’ve only dreamed. She even started out in a place I too would have wanted to trade in for tropics. She may not be that stong female heroine we are all looking for. She can’t turn all the raining monkey poop in to compost as she drives by, for example.

I received this book as a TLC Book Tour, a virtual book tour site. Virtual book tours are a promotional tool for authors to connect with readers via well-read book blogs and specialty blogs.

Realism? You want realism, well my friends, tune into reality tv. Accuracy? You want accuracy? Join the Royal Horticultural Society or stop by Martha’s on the way home.

You rarely find this kind of fun and imagination in contemporary (adult) literature. You don’t have to learn anything, just read. Relax. What could be more fun?

In garden terms think of an informal cottage garden, a little messy but delightful, never the less. After reading “Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire”, I wonder whats next for Margot Berwin.

  • Title: Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire
  • Author: Margot Berwin
  • Release date: June 1, 2010
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Pages: 304
  • Genre: Adult fiction

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