Fall Blooming Flowers 10-1-2014

Happy Hump Day! Whoop!

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year!

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The Thistle o’ Scotland
(As translated by Malcolm MacFarlane)

O, the Thistle o’ scotland was famous of auld,
Wi’ its toorie sae snod and its bristles sae bauld;
Tis the Badge o’ my Country, it’s aye dear tae me,
and thocht o’ them baith brings the licht tae ma e’e.

It’s strength and its beauty the storm never harms;
It stan’s on its guard like a warrior in arms;
Yet its down is as saft as the gull’s on the sea,
And its tassle as bricht as my Jeanie’s blue e’e.

Chorus:
O, my country, what wonder yer fame’s gane afar;
For yer sons hae been great baith in peace and in war;
While the sang and the tale live they’ll aye win respect,
The lads neath the bonnets wi’ thistles bedeckt.

Chorus:
Lang syne the invaders cam owre to our shore,
And fiercely our Thistle they scutched and they tore;
When they maist thocht it deid, twas then it up bore,
And it bloomed on their graves quite as strong as before.

Chorus:
My blessings be yours. Is there Scotcsman ava
Wad stan’ by and see ony harm on ye fa’ ?
Is there gentle or semple wha lives in our land
Wad refuse to drink health to the Thistle sae grand.

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Conium maculatum – Poison Hemlock

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Phlox

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hmmm.

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Cutie, fuzzy bees!

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Doellingeria umbellata – Flat-topped aster

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Monarda punctata -spotted beebalm

Love these seedheads!!
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Lovely woodland flowers

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Aster

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Fall Blooming Flowers 9-30-2014

Top Notch Tuesday to you!!

Hope your week is going well so far…

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year.

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Capsicum annuum – Ornamental pepper

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Not sure – An annual for our pots

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Chaenomeles speciosa – Flowering quince

It’s blooming a bit out of sequence. This is a spring bloomer.

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Aster

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Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’- Japanese blood grass

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Helianthus tuberosus – Jerusalem artichoke

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Eutrochium purpureum –  Joe Pye weed

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Erigeron annuus – Daisy fleabane

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Phlox

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Fall Blooming Flowers 9-29-2014

Happy Monday everyone!

I have only recently been able to collect a few more posts for the ‘Blooming Series’. Not sure if ya’all noticed the lack of any last week. Anyone? That’s fine. It won’t be long before I’m rambling on about non-Midwestern Plant subjects. I may think of bringing on another blog, however we’ll see if that can happen.

I need to be working on motivation. More on that later.

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year.

For now… Preeeettty Flooooowers!
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Roses and Black Eyed Susan’s, lovely combo.

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Fuzzy pollinators on sunflower

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Phlox – growing wild at the forest preserve.

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Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ – Love the color change

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Rudbeckia – Black Eyed Susan’s

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Another pollinator on sunflower. Love this color gradient.

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Fat-ass carrots

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Hmmmm, weed fer shore.

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Our Autumn material.

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Peppers! Hot-cha-cha-cha-cha!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Memories of Days Gone By

My grandfather died when I was 19. He was a man that was happiest when he was either playing with his model trains, playing with us grandkids or playing music.

He was a music teacher by day and a musician at night around the city of Chicago. Although he could play almost any instrument known to man, his favorites were the organ and his saxophone. He was a Jazz-man! He in turn taught his two children instruments as well, my Mother embraced the flute and piccolo (as I did) and my uncle the clarinet. If I ever get off my butt, I have records of these three, The Johnson Trio which I need to get into a professional to record these to CD. I’m sure these records probably only got one more ‘play’ in them before the vinyl gets scratched off by the needle.

After his partying days were over, he moved to a beautiful part of Michigan, right along the lake called Douglas. The house looked a bit different back then. It was a plain white farmhouse. It has obviously had a bit of a face-lift since then! My earliest memories include going there during the summer. I can’t seem to find an old photo of the house…

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The upper room used to be where my bro and I stayed.

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I was having a few growing pains of my own at the time of his death. I did attend his funeral, which was odd, as it was my step-grandmother who made the arrangements. We didn’t feel her distaste for us until that day. He wanted to be cremated, however she chose to bury him. I’ve not been back to this area since the funeral, well, until now!

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I really had no idea where he was buried. I actually figured the internet is a powerful thing… Let’s search it… I found a site called Find-A-Grave. That helped!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Orchids

I’ve collected a few orchid photos after visiting many botanical gardens. Here’s a nice collection of colors. Sorry, I’m not a orchidologist… I don’t know their names. If you REALLY want me to figure it out, please leave a comment! image

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This one smelled like chocolate!

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Camerone Settings

I’ve only just begun to understand the settings on my camerone or camera phone. I’ve never been too concerned with the quality of my photographs. As long as everyone has their eyes open, no extra neck rolls or heads cut off, it was a ‘take-print‘ in my opinion!

Now that I’ve been trying to amass a collection of plant photos, I’m more concerned with getting it right. I also need to practice, as speed is sometimes necessary when you’re pulled over on the side of the road, dragging a reluctant husband for a walk or sneaking onto someone’s property!

lacy tomatillo

NO effect

I thought this tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) that had a beautiful lace cover was a great subject to practice some of the effect settings. These were the easiest to play with. My next lesson will deal with the stuff that requires a bit more brain power.. Like F stops and speeds… What? Brain power on E!

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Vignette

tomatillo

Greyscale

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Sepia

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Vintage

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Faded Color

tomatillo art

Turquoise

tinted tomatillo

Tint

cartoon Tomatillo

Cartoon

moody tomatillo

Moody

tasty tomatillo

Rugged

oil pastel tomatillo

Oil Pastel

fisheye tomatillo

Fisheye

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Autumn Season Pots To Fall For!

Every season does go by faster. I’ve already discussed this. I need to go change the countdown widget over down-there to countdown to something else, but what? Fall? Nah, already here. Winter? PLEEEEZE!!! I don’t think so. I’ll have to mull on that… If you have any suggestions please comment!

Click for last years fun Autumn Containers!

All the basics from designing a summer container still apply when designing the fall pot:

The only thing you need remember for a well-presented display is: Thriller, Filler & Spiller!

  • The Thriller is that one large plant that is generally in the center and taller than the rest.
  • Filler are those mid-range sized plants, often of ‘fatter or fuller’ stature.
  • Spiller is just that, plants that hang over the edge of the pot.

The only small difference you need to remember is that Fall plants do not grow like the Summer plants do. Basically, WYSIWYG (what you see, is what you get), you do not need to think about a plant growing into it’s place. Fill the pot to it’s greatest extent because this container will only be around for two months at best.

Most Fall plants are also not that tall. We use grasses, sticks and other material to get the height the design requires.

Here’s a list of our commonly ordered Fall plant material:

  • Miscanthus grasses – These add great height & texture
  • Pennisetum millet – Height & texture, fuzzy seedheads.
  • Heuchera – Coral bells – Great colored leaves available
  • Acorus & Carex – A nice bright yellow or white for a great spiller
  • Sedums – Great for spillers
  • Ajuga – Nice texture
  • Rudbeckia – Great reds, yellows and oranges available, also great for height
  • Kale – It comes in many varieties from cabbage/round style to tall parsley-looking
  • Osaka Cabbage – A staple in most of our designs. Fills those ‘holes’ really well
  • Swiss Chard – A wonderful filler that is very colorful also
  • Mums – Aren’t they the official fall flower?!? Great filler
  • Calibracoa – They look like small petunias, but can handle the cooler temps. Great spiller
  • Ivy – Sometimes we reuse the ivy from the summer containers as it still looks great and it’s much bigger than the newly ordered pots
  • Ornamental Jerusalem Cherry – Looks like a tomato plant, but use with caution, they don’t take the cool weather well & the ‘cherries’ fall off
  • Ornamental peppers – Great way to splash in some color to the filler section
  • Crotons – One of my favs! Great for a colorful thriller
  • Pansy – These cool season flowers look great and add great color to the pot
  • Bittersweet or honeysuckle – This one is not alive, but it is a great finishing touch to the design. Unfortunately, it is a very invasive species, but is grown for the floral industry. I wish someone would get a business together where they would ‘wild collect’ this and do a ‘two-fer’ for society, invasive removal & design enjoyment.

Without further ado… Here are some Fall containers to drool over!!

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Karma Check – All is Working

My husband inadvertently got on a Men’s Magazine mailing list without a subscription. The only thing that gets utilized from it is the perfume samples for free air fresheners.

I did have a chow-chow dog a while ago that would pull out my magazines and find these pages and rub all over them.

Having this past memory, I decided it was a fun idea to rub one on my Oreo. He wasn’t that pleased, however Mommy was! He smelled so manly!

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After teasing my dog, I went outside to cut down my ripe sunflowers for winter seed. I started lining them up as the dogs played. However, while enjoying watching the boys run around, I noticed the color change on Oreo’s neck. “Here Oreo!!” Yup. He did it again.

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The little bastard rolled in poop!

AND that’s how Karma works!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants