Tag Archives: Lily

Planting Before Father’s Day and After

Iowa Tiger Lily

Iowa Tiger Lily


Iowa Tiger Lily

Lilies! They abound in the garden right now—especially the tall native Iowa Tiger Lily, commonly seen in ditches around the state. I planted some in my gardens so I can enjoy them up close—and they are my favorite lily. They are pretty, large and very hardy—compared to hybrid lilies which seen likely to fade in a few years, these lilies are tough.

And they spread, which is there one downside. Anyway, some recent garden pictures here in my Facebook floral gallery.

The Friday before Father’s Day, when plants went on sale at a local HyVee Drug Store, I picked up some comfort plants. None are new to my gardens, although some represent species that have died out. In past years, for instance, I had some nice Hollyhocks, but have not seen them for several years. I keep trying to plant new ones, but seem to have trouble getting these started—still, two Hollyhocks were among the comfort plant purchased, along with two Foxglove, two Butterfly Flowers (a kind of Milkweed) and two Shasta Daisies.

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To make room in a fairly sunny area (all of these are sun-loving flowers), I dug out some native Tiger Lilies, which ended up moved to other backyard gardens.

And today, more than a week later, I saw some inexpensive peony roots at a farmers market in Hiawatha, and bought one. More lily relocation was done to make room.

My wife is convinced the new peony looks terrible, and she is right, but my experience with transplanted peonies is that the tops often die, but that doesn’t mean the plant won’t come back. Anyway, I hope this one does because it’s supposed to be pink—a color of peony I like, but don’t happen to have in my gardens.

We had plans to add a new garden in back this summer, but it looks like that project may get put off. Time is getting away, as it often does. Still, it always feels like an act of hope to put new flowers into the garden—so here’s hoping for future Hollyhocks, Peonies, Daisies, Foxglove and Milkweed!

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What’s New? A Garden and a Furnace …

the garden plan

The garden plan–edging bricks and purchased plants laid out.

Today, two nice gentlemen from a local plumbing and heating outfit arrived to replace our furnace.

It’s been OK for us for 10 years, but two years ago we had to have the blower serviced, and considered it a sign. The furnace that we had was the one which was installed when the house was built in the mid 1960s, so it was time for an update. It will take a few years, but the efficiency of the new one means that it will lower our heating bill enough for a not-outlandish payback time.

It should also give a boost to our AC, which will now have a new furnace blower to work with, and hopefully have a bit more effect as hot weather is again due.

Anyway, blog fans, the furnace is not all that was new. While they worked inside my basement, I worked in my backyard.

I’ve lost the battle of the front garden, for now. Earlier, I blogged about putting in a garden at the edge of the rocky area in front, but Audrey has vetoed the idea. She accuses me of wanting to eliminate all yard and turn our lot into a giant garden.

I suppose there is some basis for her attitude, although she describes the planned front garden as a “giant” excursion into the yard, which is not what I had in mind.

Be that as it may, she OK’d a new back garden in a corner of the yard by the chimney. There is an area there where grass doesn’t grow, and we planted bulbs last fall. So Tuesday night, we bought some edging bricks and plants at Menards, and as other men installed the new furnace, I put in a new garden.

I laid out the area. Then, I dug a little trench for each brick and pounded it into the ground. I left them only about halfway into the ground—I’ve used these edgers before. Not only do they sink a little with time, but there’s more useful in partitioning off a garden if they are not flush with the ground.

What did I plant? While, like the French police official in Casablanca, I rounded up the usual suspects. We purchased two pretty day lilies for the front, sunniest part. It’s really a mostly shady garden, but day lilies, while they do need sun, do seem to do well in partly shady areas.

We also bought what my pal Steve Haviland called on his garden blog a bush that is “beyond common.” A hydrangea. We have one blue one in our lower yard that stubbornly has not bloomed much, but this year is finally in flower. Both Audrey and I agreed that we liked the blue color and would not mind it in the upper garden.

We also bought a coral bell and a bugleweed. In spring, this area should have daffodils, crocus and tulips—it will be mildly sunny since the trees will not have leafed out. Then, later on, the lilies and hydrangea can bloom.

Audrey suggested getting some hostas, but we didn’t—yet, in the end, I did divide and installed some plants from our other gardens—another day lily, a native Iowa lily, and, for the shadiest back corner of this new garden, a fern, a hostal and some lily of the valley.

First, I dug up what little grass was in this spot. Then, I collected my donor plants from other gardens and from behind our fence (the fern and lily of the valley are back fence escapees from near our back garden, not actually form our gardens), then I planted. After that, I mulched and watered.

And when I was done, in the afternoon, surprise, surprise, so where the furnace guys.

The install, which was to take until 5, was wrapped up a little early. As was my garden.

The finished garden

The finished garden.

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Hollyhock Dreams and Lilies in Glory


Hydrangea in shade of oak in back in bloom.

My shy Hydrangea in back has bloomed and has pretty blue and white flowers, as you can see above.  Lilies are also in glory, as seen in this Facebook gallery.


Wiki Commons image of Hollyhock, from Wikipedia “Hollyhock” entry.

This week, I planted four Hollyhocks. I used to have pretty black Hollyhocks in back, but bunnies finally ate them all gone, sadly. These that I planted are yellow or white or red (Menard’s doesn’t distinguish colors). I planted one in the front wall garden and three plants in back.

I don’t know if they will bloom this year—many in town are in bloom already—but I hope the Hollyhock returns to my gardens. I miss them.

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Tune for Tuesday A Day Late: The (Borrowed) Bicycle

The wife's bicycle

My wife’s bicycle. I don’t have the bike shoes to ride Jon’s, which is stored in my garage, and the junk bike Ben brought home is not yet ready to ride, so, since my bike is lame with a broken spoke, I rode (and, I’m sure looked ridiculous) on this one today.

Well, blog fans, I’m sure I’ll write later on my bike blog about today’s commute—in the morning in Jon’s car and this afternoon on a borrowed bicycle. Mine is in the shop and not back yet.

As it turns out, Audrey’s ridiculously small girl’s mountain bike felt really fast to me, so I was going to post “Faster Than Sound” from “High Spirits”  as the Tune for Tuesday on Wednesday this week, but I didn’t find a YouTube video of that particular song, so we’re stuck with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Also, FYI, I noted some Iowa lilies in bloom on the way, and these large Asian lilies bloomed in my garden. Stella De Oro have been around for a while, but other lilies of summer are starting to kick in. I’m sure the ride this afternoon, while it will feel a bit awkward, will be flower fun!

Asian lily

Asian lily bloomed today in my front garden. Others are budding and won’t be far behind.

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Flowers of Summer


Petunia in planter

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We (mostly Audrey) refinished the deck over the Fourth of July weekend.

Then we (all me, this time) installed some railing planters that Audrey’s sister Paula removed from the porch of their new house in Omaha. We (all Audrey, this time) planted petunias from HyVee Drug store in them, and the refinished deck indeed looks festive.

Day Lily

Love this peach colored day lily that started blooming today

So, some petunia images and what is blooming in the garden right now.

Yellow Asian Lily

Yellow Asian Lily


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A Lily and a Bee for Father’s Day.

Bee in the back

Bee on hedge type bushes in back


First lily blooming in my garden for Father's Day.

My daddy was a gardener, but more into vegetables than I am. Still, his last garden at the final house he and mama owned in Muscatine was pretty heavy into rose bushes and other flowers.

Today, part of what I did to celebrate Father’s Day involved a quick photo tour of my gardens to see what’s blooming or about to bloom. Below are the results.

And, if you want to learn more about my daddy, see another memory note on my biking blog.









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