Tag Archive | inspiration

Hurry Up, Already! Spring Can’t Come Soon Enough for Me!

Although I really can’t complain about our Midwestern winter this year, its still lasting too long for me. I’m hoping for an early spring, however it usually doesn’t happen like that when we’ve been teased so early in the year.Β  In mid-February, we had a week of 60F / 16C… That was just crazy weird! Of course the convertible top was down all of those days =-D We got a lot of yard work done that weekend. My front garden is all pruned and ready to be posted about. (I’ve been holding out on ya’all regarding showing you my whole front foundation bed!)

I’ve been out checking the status of the daffy and tulip bulbs, along with the buds on the lilac bush. The bulbs are barely out of the ground and no action on the lilac. I used to have a fair amount of crocus, snowdrops and grape hyacinths in my lawn. I haven’t replenished them in a few years and I think the squirrels have accidentally dug them up or they’ve perished, as I don’t see any yet. That’s OK. When things decide to pop, they tend to do so in a hurried manner. Spring bloomers, to me, are like the ocean or a 2 year old… turn your back on them for one second and they quickly change their status from OK to OH!

My quince are starting to bud. I love quince. Such a vibrant display of color. These shrubs are quite small right now, however as part of my front bed, I’m not planning on letting them get too large. I’m focusing on pruning them to be fuller shrubs. Quince can be quite leggy without proper pruning early in their lives. Since the blooms tend to be in the lower, inside regions of the plant, the more inside area, the more numerous the blooms. Same goes for my mock orange. These are a dwarf variety, however they have the same blooming location as the quince. Proper pruning will give these guys a thicker branching structure, lower in the plant. Of course you don’t want to get too crowded of a crown, that promotes less air circulation which lead to other problems. Like Goldilocks’s liking… not too much, not too little πŸ™‚ This is a great argument for purchasing smaller, younger plants… so you are able to prune and train them to your liking.

This may be my last Friday off this Spring. Sad face. Although I am writing this post on St. Paddy’s Day, these photos were taken before the snow… There is still about 3″ (9cm) of snow on the shady parts of the yard. I’m going to try to eek one more Friday out of this month, however that’s pushing it. I’m actually doing rain/bad weather dances, as that will delay any construction / clean-ups until April 1, when our contracts actually start.

I finally got a real nice, competent co-worker to fill a much needed gap in our company. She’s very young, however hungry to learn. Who knows? Maybe she’ll like horticulture and follow that into college. Maybe not. I just hope she stays long enough to straighten this place out a bit. After only three weeks, she’s proved herself immensely in keeping all the records straight. You just don’t understand how stress relieving she is to me! I’m a horticulturist, Jim! Not an office manager!! πŸ˜‰ I’m hopefully going to get out into the field a bit more because someone is there to man the office. Sadly, I did get my wish last Tuesday and had to drive to the North Shore in a snowstorm for an emergency tree locate. That was super!! NOT. In the end, it wasn’t that bad and I proved myself where 2 other ‘Master Arborists’* failed. Three’s a charm, they say…

As it is Spring around here… A time for new beginnings and all that. I’m going to try to get my life in a bit more order. First, I need to get myself in better health. I don’t know how I got so fat. I hope I don’t have a heart attack when I go out planting Spring flowers in three weeks =-O

Next, I need an income plan. Life at my job right now is pretty awesome (along with the pay), I’m not going to leave anytime soon. Yes, I have complained about it in the past (who doesn’t???), however now that I’ve got some well needed help, I can focus on what I consider more fun and that is working with plants.

Yes, I will continue with my blogging here. Honestly, during the flowering season, posts write themselves with all the photos. It only takes me a second to stop and shoot the flowers.. Haha!! I’m still hoping for that perfect writing job. Ya know…. The one that pays you enough to actually eat better than Ramon noodles? That is another reason I keep the blog going. It is a portfolio of sorts. It also shows I’m capable of finding stuff to write about.

Speaking of which… I thought of a great ‘Tuesday’ feature, that will also showcase some of the awesome blogs I follow. It’s a win / win. I’m not an ‘Awards Blog’, however I understand that they are around to try to promote each other’s blogs and share. I’m just not a big sharer of personal info, that’s all. However, I’m all for promoting each other! I’m not going to give the premise away just yet… They say you should always leave your audience wanting more….

 

*I’m only a test away from ‘Master Arborist’ status. It requires 10 years of active service, educational goals and passing a test.

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

In Lieu of Awards… Twin Tuesday is Here!

When I started blogging about 4 years ago, I wondered how some blogs had so many awards and how could I also become so beloved!! I stalked some bloggers. I wasn’t ashamed…. Commenting on every post. The need for recognition festered with every non-mention in the next award hand-out ceremony. I was desperate. .. I ended up finding a blog (I think) that basically invited everyone to take a certain award. I can’t even remember the name of it, and I even tried to search it to no avail. After I graciously accepted my award, applied my badge to my blog, high on my sidebar… I started awarding everyone I met. YOU’VE BEEN SELECTED!!!!

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After getting three under my belt (not even gonna link to them, if you’re that curious, hit the search box), The first line of the fourth was, “MY BLOG IS NOW AWARD FREE”. I think after the first one I wrote, I was trying to follow the ‘Promote 15 other bloggers for the award’ dealio and noticed many folks noted that they were award free on their ABOUT page. I didn’t understand the problem with award posts until I tried to write one… They’re HARD. There’s also only so much information I’m going to write about myself.

Of course, the moment I didn’t want any awards, did I start to start receive them… in droves!

Isn’t it Ironic? Don’t you think?

Anyway. I did still like the idea of the awards…. To share the blogs that I found enjoyable with my MP fans. I did write a few thank you posts when I arrived at some milestones. Again, I feel that that was a no pressure way to promote a fellow blogger. However, I’ve thought of a clever way to celebrate and share my favorite bloggers yet again! Drumroll……. Twin Tuesday will start next Tuesday! My Tuesday’s post will be dedicated to one blog that I follow, in where I try to mimic their posting style.

Oddly enough, while searching for some of these meme’s (et all, for this post), I did run across a few articles/posts about how some folks freak-out when other folks do things like this…. ie, copy their blog premise or posts, more-so on a regular basis or flat-out verbatim. It basically creeped them out, huge! I sincerely hope I do not offend anyone, I also do not plan on changing my blog, this is a one and done thang. I really just want to celebrate the blogs I love πŸ™‚ So! If you have a blog that I regularly comment on, you are most likely going to be doppleganged! If you DO NOT want this to happen, please email me. I will also respect anyone asking me to remove it, post publishing.

I really hope that my blogging community will enjoy my attempts at imitation. Some will be easy… some will be hard. I’m going to enjoy the challenge and I hope the blogs I choose to honor and my fans will enjoy my attempts at doppelgangering! However, more importantly, I hope by sharing my favorite blogs with you, you’ll go check them out yourself.

I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts!!! Ilex

The Little Sunflower That Could

When I saw the tiny cotyledons poking out of the cement, I knew it was a sunflower. However, I never thought it had a chance… It was growing right in the main thoroughfare to the front door of my home. This is where the UPS, FedEx, USPS person, all unwanted solicitors, friends, neighbors, neighborhood dogs, and we come through. Really, I would have taken a few baby pictures had I thought it would survive to flowering.
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This is what it looked like right before we had our party. I was somewhat embarrassed that I had a plant growing within my walkway. However, I was pulling for the little guy.. who wasn’t so little anymore!

Ironically, many folks thought it was faux. Really? Why would I put a sunflower in the middle of my walk?

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The crack is only about 1/4″ inch or .635 centimeters. It is slightly heaving the cement on the left side. That’s actually helping get rid of the puddle that used to form here. Awesome!

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I seem to have gone through a wardrobe change.

I can’t believe how large the stalk could get coming through such a small opening.

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Almost!

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Pop!! Here is what sunflowers do best. No other flowers surpass these giants.

For life to have happened in such adverse conditions is downright difficult to believe. This little survivor should teach us that life is amazing, must be enjoyed and should not ever be taken for granted!

Β© Ilex – Midwestern Plants