Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Happy Mother's Day To All ! !

The weather may not have made for a good Mother's Day, but we still managed to have a great time here. My daughter and family came over for a spaghetti dinner and an exchange of gifts in celebration of being Moms.
I was given the fantastic hanging basket of maroon coleus (one of my most favorite foliage plants) and lysimachia nummularia "Aurea" and the rustic three-decker bird condo. It's for decorative purposes and I liked the fact that the craftsman had used porcelain insulators (once used on transformers) for the perches. We are not sure where it will be placed this summer. I also received a cute little fuzzy teddy bear from Sierra and three wonderful cards from Adeena, Tony, and Sierra.

Outdoors our yard has brightened considerably. On my photo-walk I came upon a small amount of these guys:

They are morel mushrooms and are considered by many as a gourmet treat. I picked a small bowl full and sauteed them in real butter with a touch of salt and white pepper. Ahhhhh - just excellent!
Here they are soaking in cold salt water for an hour or so to get rid of any debris or critters hiding in the intricate folds of the caps. They are so odd to me because they are completely hollow - not like other mushrooms I'm used to.

I've a tiny little garden under a willow tree called strangely enough, The Willow Tree Garden. (My gardens don't have cool names like the British seem to come up with for their gardens - mine are just mundane and are descriptive of the physical location.)
Anyway, the Willow Tree Garden has pretty much escaped the ravages of deer and rodents (so far!) this year and have a lovely showing of tulips.
The Lamb's Ears and Artemesia set of the green foliage and bright tulips nicely.

Growing all through the little garden is Lamium maculatum "Chequers" . It's very pretty, but has to be controlled or will take over the world! The bees and pollinating insects do love it.
Most of the daffodils in the back yard have faded but there are others to take their place.
Some of the few Virginia Bluebells I have growing against an old woodpile. In the background are Lily-of-the-Valley nearly ready to bloom. Aren't they a very fresh green color?
Above and below are two types of species tulips that I have no name for.
On cloudy days they close up and show another color.

The Back Garden (see, another very imaginative name!) and paths have wilder flowers...

Trillium don't even look real! Just too perfect!

The leaves of the Bloodroots are so unique that they wouldn't even need flowers to be noticed.

White Columbine, Jack-In-The-Pulpit, and could someone please tell me what this yellow-flowered shrub is? It looks like Honeysuckle flowers but the berries are light green and striped and look like a gooseberry, but taste awful! The shrub is about five or six feet tall and covered with flowers.


In Steve's Planting Area (someone please find me a Thesaurus !!) the Pulmonaria doing very well.

I especially like the different colored flowers on one stem. And when blooming is over, the speckled foliage looks great all summer.

Emerging stems of Tradescantia "Sweet Kate". The grass-like leaves take on a chartreuse color and sport blue-purple flowers.

Yikes!, I know another daffodil photo. It was just to pretty to pass up!


This is what's ahead of me. As you see the "tiny seedlings" have gone nuts and need to be planted in their respective containers. Some of the ground cover Petunias are blooming. Trouble is the weather is not cooperating. We've had touches of frost lately and I've been taking these in and out of the garage. Or, if there is a strong north or northeast wind, which seems worse than anything, they are easily battered. I'm hoping by next weekend the temperatures will become more steady and I can get going with my containers. I can't wait!! (Weight loss update: 28 pounds and counting!!)


The healthy being craves an occasional wildness,

a jolt from normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite,

his own little festival of the Saturnalia, a brief excursion from his way of life.

Robert MacIver


Bye for now,



Gina said...

alyssa - wow there are so many beautiful flowers that i dont know where to start. i planted a few virginia blue bells and jack in the pulpit in my shade garden. i sure hope they make it. yours are so pretty. you've got planting to do, missy!

DeeMom said...

Now that is some CONDO…how neat
OH YUM on the Morels they are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good
Beautiful Under the Willow garden, love lamb’s ear. Planted some new this year in another area, so far so good
Fabulous collection of Tulips, and of course the Virginia Blue Bells are always a treat for the eyes.
All the wild flowers are lovely

SIGH you indeed will be Quite busy with your seedlings…But then it is a fun Busy I think

beckie said...

Alyssa, Morels in your yard!!?? We have to go searching in the deep woods here. And they are selling for $6o a pound. Your Mother's day gifts are perfect for a gardener. You have such lovely and unusual tulips. Great job. And I love your wildflowers. Enjoy planting in your gardens!

Lizzie A said...

Guess what time I got home on the morning that you wrote this post! No, really guess.
WRONG! I got home at 5:30 am!!!
Prom was AMAZING(!!) and so was after prom, hence the five in the morning buisness.
Even better than when I got home, guess what time I woke up after that.
Wrong again, unfortunatly. I wish I got up at that time, butno (yes I meant to slur those words together, that's how they should be said in this instance, butno) I woke up at nine fifteen. Yes 9:15, yay!!(Sarcasm!!)
So yeah, I got a nice long sleep in time after partying all night long.
Hope you had a Wonderful wonderful mother's day!!
I was just reading some of the other comments, and I just wanted to know, what's so special about morels, I guess I should actually read your post this time through instead of just looking at the picture (very pretty, by the way), so yeah.
Hope you are well, and hope to hear from you soon!

Alyssa said...

Gina - I'm sure your plants will "take' - they will probably be just a little slower than what you are used to. Don't give up on them. Yeah, you're absolutly right - I've got tons of planting to do!

Dee - I'm glad you liked my pictures. Things are really starting to look pretty. I wish I could find more morels - this was just a tease. And yes, I'll be busy but it is "fun work" for me. I'm sure you understand that. It's so rewarding.

Beckie - Yes, we got lucky with the morels growing right on our woodchip paths. They appeared a few years ago - just a couple, but they have steadily grown in number. Thank you for the compliments and yes, I will surely enjoy my upcoming planting!

Lizzie - Wow! You really surprise me coming home with the sunrise! I'm glad you had a great time. I'll bet your were tired waking up so soon after going to bed! Or do you mean you slept until 9:15 in the evening???

You must have some wonderful memories and I'm sure you and your pals will be talking about it for a long time.

I had a great Mother's Day, thank you.

The big deal about morels is that they are fairly rare for a mushroom and have a wonderful taste. Mushroom lover's have created an almost cult-like atmosphere when it comes to morels. They only grow at a certain time of year and are unpredictable as to where they will appear each year. If you ever get a chance to try some, don't hesitate!

alicesg said...

Hope you have a wonderful mother's day celebration. I had chilli crabs. :) Wow, I love your gallery of flowers. They are all so pretty. I wish we could grow tulips in our weather.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Alyssa,

I dropped in via Mary's post about her dad. Your WI flowers look so springy and Midwestern and a Happy Mothers' Day greeting to you, just a little late.

Does that yellow flowering shrub have a pleasant but not overpowering scent? It's been a long time since I lived in Illinois, but it sure looks like Clove Currant/Ribes odoratum to me. I received it long ago as a passalong plant and was pleased to find that Thomas Jefferson grew it, too.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mary said...


Happy Mother's Day! (too late, I know). Your tulips are just beautiful! They've been long gone here. I love your photo walks through the gardens.

I don't know, Alyssa...I hope those mushrooms tasted good but I would never eat anything growing in my know, my dogs tinkle on everything.

28 pounds! Congratulations. Keep it going and stay away from those Big Macs!


Lizzie A said...

When I said "9:15" I meant that I got about 4 hours of sleep. I can't sleep in very much ever, but when I am that tired, I can sleep in past 7:00 am, but otherwise I wake up at 7. I woke up at nine, and there was no way that I was going back to sleep. Too bad.

Alyssa said...

Alice - Thank you. Chili crabs sounds delicious! What is your weather like that you can't grow tulips?? What a shame.

Annie - Thanks for the Mother's Day wish. And also for identifying the Clove Currant - I had no idea. All I could think of was gooseberry! It has a very nice scent and when we got home from work tonight, I smelled it right away! Are you able to grow them in Texas? They sure are carefree and neat looking. We didn't plant it - it just kind of grew by itself !

Mary - Thank you and I hope you were able to celebrate Mother's Day with all what was going on in your life. The pugs are always on leashes so we can control where the tinkle goes!! We keep them way away from the morel areas! And yes, they tasted great - not "doggie" at all!!

Haven't had a Big Mac since November of that's willpower as far as I'm concerned.... But I sure miss them.

Lizzie - That clears things up. I wasn't quite sure. I'll bet you slept like a log that night though!

joared said...

Lovely flower photos!

Annie in Austin said...

Alyssa, most of the things in your post won't grow in Central Texas - including the regular tulips, although some people have luck with the little species types like Tulipa clusiana.
Your artemesia, Lambs ears and tradescantia will make it here and the clove currant would grow in NE Texas but in Austin. It's a native plant, used by Native Americans to make pemmican, so guess that's why it popped up for you ;-]


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Thanks for the horticultural tour.
I am not much of a flower gardener. You make me want to try harder.