Simple Pleasures in September


Photograph taken through the window above my sink

I’ve been doing the dishes by hand lately. 
It gives me an opportunity to breathe,
enjoy the view,
(thank God for my neighbor Shelly and her green thumb)
unravel my thoughts,
and effortlessly clean my fingernails. 

My daughter-in-law suggested I trim back the delphinium
to see if it might bloom again.  It did!
I clicked this picture with the garage open,
giving it the dramatic black background.

Hostas are The Answer for north facing flower beds that get little sun.

Geraniums are great for color.  I always choose red geraniums.
My SIL kept her geraniums alive on a sunny closed-in porch for seven years.

Lupines are more common on the hillside than in a garden.
This is my first year growing them.

Lulus have been my favorite marigold (formally Marigold Lucida) for years.
I love the lacy leaves and small flowers.

Clockwise from the bright red flowers:
Red Celosia, Purple (mind went blank)  Light purple Penstemon, Orange-Yellow Marigolds

Well.  It’s time to update the 100 species challenge.  I think I stall because the perfectionist side of me (the side my husband would like to see applied to the dust bunnies under our bed) does not want to post a flower until I have “all the facts”.  I had this inkling to join the 100 push ups challenge.  When I mentioned it to Curt, he remarked with a splash of dryness, “Right – and you could recite your 100 species while you did your push ups.”  heh heh…

1.  Clematis
2.  Garlic
3.  Delphinium
4.  Daylily
5.  Dianthus
6.  Daisy
7. Lobelia
8. Verbena
9. Cosmos
10. Salvia
11. Diachondra

12. Rose  There are over 100 species of Roses – that would make a nifty ultra-challenge!  I learned that most species are native to … Asia!  Would you have guessed that?

13. Hosta – HA HA! I was sure this name came from the Latin and had something to do with enemy.  Of course, I believe that everything comes from the Latin and tend to make myself obnoxious informing people of Latin roots.  Hosta, however, comes from the Austrian botanist, Nicholas Thomas Host.  Joke’s on me.  Now I wonder about pronunciation.  I’ve always made it rhyme with cost.  Maybe it should rhyme with Costa Rica.
How do you pronounce this plant name?  Long o or short o? 

14.  Geranium – Not from the Latin, but from the Greek!  Commonly called cranesbills (evidently not that common – have you ever heard of them as anything other than geranium?) because the seed head is the same shape as the bill of a crane.  (Personal investigation pending)
The Greek word for crane = geranos.  Isn’t life sweet? We just learned a Greek word to add to our vocabulary.  I’m over the hosta thing.

15.  Lupine – Add this word to the “silent e – but short vowel sound” list (come, done, give, love, captive, minute, comrade and bade come to mind) Wait!  This is about plants!!  The leaves of a lupine are easy to recognize.  They look like palm trees.

16.  Marigold – I usually get all yellow Lulus that look like this.  They are the last flower to die in the fall, only after a hard frost.  I learned that the leaves are eaten as an herb and are a substitute for tarragon.  Am I gutsy enough to substitute them in my Tarragon Chicken recipe? 

That’s enough for today.  Like so many good things, all it takes is time and attention.  But once I jump in, learning a little botany is “the bee’s knees”.


3 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures in September

  1. Beautiful picture of the roses. You have a very pretty view while washing dishes!I always said short o hosta like cost.  That’s the only way I’ve ever heard it said.  Do you save the seed from your marigolds?  I never have, but my mother-in-law always did.  They’re one of the easiest flowers from which to save seeds.  Terry always plants marigolds as a border around our vegetable gardens as they are a natural insect deterrent.  Bugs don’t like the way they smell (and neither do I, but they are pretty!).Your pictures are motivating me to think more seriously about planting flowers next year….Blessings,Sandy

  2. Hi Carol, I got to your blog through my sister Melanie.  I joined the 100 pushup challenge, and am amazed at how many I can do already.  I started out with the test, and I could literally do 1 girl pushup without collapsing.  Now, week 4, I do over 100 (in 5 sets with rest between.)  Love your pics.

  3. @secros60 – Saving seeds is such a great idea.  I usually buy the plants in the little six packs, but this kind of Marigold is always hard for me to find around here.  Funny, I kind of like the distinctive smell.  Sandy, you would appreciate Debby’s blog about her journey losing – Welcome Debby!  And where did I get the idea for the 100 push up challenge?  Your blog!   You are my weight loss hero, girl.  And you are doing 100 push ups already???  Wow.   That is incredible.  Okay.  I’m inspired to start.  Thanks.

Comments are cinnamon on my oatmeal!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s