Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Happy Flowers

From laudably determined commentor Watergirl:

I didn’t get to garden much this year because of my broken ankle, but at least I had some happy flowers to look at through the windows and from the porch.

The windflowers were my happy surprise this spring. I had planted the windflower bulbs last fall, not knowing for sure what they would look like. They really popped, and they are such happy flowers — I am planting more this year.

This was the best year ever for my hydrangeas. Not sure if that’s because we got a lot of rain early or if they finally came into their own after being in place for several years, but either way, I’ll take it! For all those weeks I was stuck inside with my broken ankle. I cold at least look out the french doors and see some happy flowers on the side of my house.

It was also a great year for my mandevilla. I overwinter it every year, but this year I put it on the opposite side of the house so I could see it every time I looked out the window. (see ankle, broken) You can’t quite tell from the photo, but the flowers start out the palest of pale pinks, and then turn white with the yellow centers once they open fully. Pale, pale pink flowers are some of my favorites.

If I had to be stuck inside, I at least wanted something pretty to look at, so my very first (non-doctor) outing was to the flower center where I bought 9 double impatiens to plant in one of my huge flower pots. You can’t tell from the photo, but the colors range from white to pale pink to a slightly brighter pink. Not sure why they came out looking so dark in the photo, but I am clearly not best photographer so I’m sure that has something everything to do with it.

It was a thrill when I finally got mobile enough to make it out on the back porch. I have included two photos of views from my porch. One of my Rose of Sharon’s croaked over the winter, and I replaced it with this one.

I gave my gardening this year a special code name: Operation Keep Everything Alive. That was the best I could hope for, so I ordered a million soaker hoses and three 4-way splitters for my outside spigots to water the parts of the yard I couldn’t get to, and I was eventually able to hobble around and hand-water the flowers that were on my side patio, which were pictured here.

Happy to be in a better place now, and I have a zillion plans for what I want to do for next year.

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

78 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures are beautiful 😍

  3. 3
    Lapassionara says:

    Love these. That hydrangea looks very happy.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m putting in some windflowers this year.

  6. 6
    satby says:

    Watergirl, you have such a beautiful yard and flowers! I think you did more with a broken ankle than I did this year! Glad you’re all recovered.

    Today should be the last mow down of the season (yay!!). We’ve had enough light frosts that the most pesky bugs are gone and it will be a sunny 55 tomorrow after I ‘m done teaching a soapmaking class at a local non-profit, so more cleanup and weed removal are on the chore list. All the roses and new this year shrubs are covered for winter, so the only other thing is to plant the bulbs that arrived yesterday. All are going against the fence in front to naturalize into the front yard (eventually).

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    Windflowers are so pretty, and your flower garden must bring you so much joy.

    @Raven: Bohdi is always relevant.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    @Raven:too cute for words

  9. 9
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    What’s going on in my garden is yellowjackets. I’m hoping to find a way to deal with them that won’t involved killing some of the iris i inherited from my dad.

  10. 10
    biff murphy says:

    lovely garden. was watergirl the person who blogged and posted “random empty places” if not does anyone remember that? thanks

  11. 11
    satby says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: yellowjacket traps can be effective, but if there’s a nest you need to do this or get an exterminator. I did the dust only, it eventually killed them all but it took a month. If I had to do it again I would follow the protocol I just linked to. None of it will hurt the iris rhizomes.

  12. 12
    satby says:

    And I just want to thank Mazedancer for the food donation to the feral and rescue kitties my group has. One especially timid young feral that I have been trying to lure into a trap (I temporarily gave up) has been coming around and got so excited when he heard me open the can that he walked right between my legs to get to the bowl. Huge breakthough! Thanks again.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    Once again I am unable to see pictures. Help, Alain!

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    I think I’d like to be buried in WaterGirl’s years. It’s so peaceful.

  17. 17
    Raven says:

    Note that incredible central Illinois black dirt!

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I think I’d like to be buried in WaterGirl’s years.

    That would be… different.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m not going to ask. I would want her home overrun by all the tourists.

  20. 20


    That would be… different.

    That’s our Baud!

  21. 21
    Schlemazel says:

    Watergirl – those flowers look lovely thanks for sharing! Hope that ankle is better than new

    We got ‘snow’ yesterday. imagine a mostly sunny day with a tiny minute of a few raindrops in the middle. only they were snowflakes. It did not survive contact with anything & would not have amounted to more than a little dandruff if it had. But out here on the tundra it was a reminder of what is to come.

  22. 22

    I took my morning spin through the news sites and am now properly depressed, so I raced back here. Flowers are better. There’s beauty in the world after all.

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    Now the picture situation has self-rectified.

  24. 24
    Immanentize says:

    Watergirl, such lovely flowers. Enough to keep a smile on anyone’s face. Or put Baud in mind of dying….

    The Immp went to see Brockhampton last night. He was on the floor right near the stage. He came home happy, soaked with sweat from dancing, and shouting because his hearing was shot. Ahhh, to be young again.

  25. 25
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: I need to do a final mow, but not today — it’s raining right now. No frost yet — too close to the ocean and the city, I guess,, but maybe tonight we will get a first light frost (supposed to go to 34). I can cover the last pepper plants for another week…

    Why do you cover the roses? I planted some this year, but had no idea I should?

  26. 26
    Immanentize says:

    @Amir Khalid: Do you really think God had nothing to do with it? Every day we observe miracles and yet we do not believe😈

    ETA. I hope you understand I am joking. Just felt the spirit of the Baptists for a moment.

  27. 27
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: well, that’s how I learned to protect them: a Styrofoam rose cone over each plant, but reading this article suggests I only had to deeply mulch them. We have freeze-thaw cycles almost all the way to January and I worry that the cold and wet will rot for the roses, so I cover them. And any shrubs less than a year old or still small. I’m probably way overprotective. Edited: damn, autocorrect made that almost incomprehensible.

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Ahhh, to be young again.

    No thanx, I barely survived it the first time.

  29. 29
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Hi, guys – a momentary check-in while I bide my time at the International (snicker) Departures lounge at Maun International Airport in Botswana. It is almost, but not quite, a chicken and goats terminal. The plane to Cape town is late, and the bathroom door To The men’s is broken, but that’s OK as there seems to be a local water shortage.

    Anyway, I’ve had a lovely time on safari – sent a bunch of photos to Alain and have a bunch more to give – last few nights were completely connection free as we were in the Kalahari, some in tents, but last night under the Milky Way. Met bushmen, saw the Big Five in the wild, had a meerkat climb on my head. Took Bush flights to and from dirt strips. More info coming when I arrive Capetown.

  30. 30
    satby says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: safe travels, can’t wait to see the pictures!

  31. 31
    debbie says:

    Beautiful flowers, WG! I know the situation with the ankle sucked, but to get to see views like that all day long is a pretty good deal.

    Wind storm last night knocked out the internet. It was back on this morning, unlike the power to half my apartment (again). If Honus or OH are here: Last week, the landlord checked outlets and appliances and said everything was reading okay. I didn’t have a problem again until this storm last night. The same half of the apartment is out again (stove, furnace, fridge). I noticed they’re all on one side of the circuit box in the basement. Would this be that Leg 280 thing you were talking about? Would this be the electric company’s or landlord’s responsibility?

    And while I’m asking questions, how long will food keep in the refrigerator if the door stays shut?

  32. 32
  33. 33
    debbie says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    What part of the country are you in? I’m in Ohio, and I didn’t see a single yellowjacket this summer. They were the bane of my summer existence ten years ago in my last apartment. I wonder if their “territory” has moved elsewhere.

  34. 34
    debbie says:


    I love Oscar!

  35. 35
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: You need a real electrician. But yes, that would be a voltage surge on one leg of the 220.

  36. 36
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: Roses are hard work! These are volunteers that I transplanted from the back of my yard when I took out trees. Hmmm. Nature may have to decide this one… Can’t I just put a SATBY box over them?

  37. 37
    Schlemazel says:

    Most fridges are good for 4 hours if you don’t open the door. reezers are good for 24-48 hours. Both depend on how full the unit is. The more mass they have the longer they will stay cold (does that argue for not cleaning out the fridge?)

    Of course not everything in the fridge will instantly go bad after 4 hours but if you start getting toward 4 you may want to see if you can get some ice in there.

    I hope you don’t have to go that long

  38. 38
  39. 39
    MomSense says:

    Beautiful flowers, WG. Your beds look weed free which is also a very happy sight.

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Holy shit what an awesome adventure!

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I hate when other people live a life that was meant for me.

  41. 41
    Immanentize says:

    After looking at some YouTube viddys — I am wondering whether I can use my larger tomato cages upside down, lined with cardboard from boxes, stake them down over the roses and mulch up to 16″. No unrecyclable foam that way? I’m going to check it out later…. I’ll get back to you jackals on the rose cone project in the coming month.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    debbie says:


    Rats, it’s pushing 10 hours at this point. Thanks.

  44. 44
    MomSense says:


    Now that’s the way to see a concert. My oldest took my youngest to a Dylan concert. A lot of reading glasses in the audience and nothing wild happened.

  45. 45
    Schlemazel says:

    Oh man I am sorry. Hey, if something needs to be cooked it should still be OK, sealed jars of stuff, pickles, condiments, jam can take it.

    About 10 years ago we bought a gas generator because our sons neighborhood was hit by a tornado & they went over a week without power. I just found out this summer he has never run it since then & when we needed it it would not start!

    If this happens a lot and you have a couple hundred bucks to spare you might consider buying one just large enough to run the fridge. Of course you have to also have an outdoor space (patio or deck) where it can run. But if you do get one run it every couple of months just to prevent it from doing what ours did

    EDIT: Those times are from super careful folks (red cross / civil defense) so there is some leeway in them. 2.5x maybe not but hopefully it is not a complete loss

  46. 46
    debbie says:


    I’m in an apartment in an old building. I should have thought to put food in my car trunk last night. Gah!

  47. 47
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Windflowers are so cheerful. Everything else is lovely also, too, WG.

    Happy Sunday, jackals.

  48. 48
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Raven: Of course it’s relevant! Or, what JPL already said.
    Thanks for the parade pics; they’re so cute and it looks like everyone had a great time.

  49. 49
    Ken says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sometimes it’s a suicidal squirrel bridging one side of the transformer, but debbie’s case does sound more like something inside the building.

  50. 50
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: I went to see David Byrne this summer. The audience was weirdly split between the reading glasses crowd and young artists and hipsters. It was kinda cool.

  51. 51
    Barbara says:

    @Schlemazel: We used our car to run a little generator that kept our fridge running after the derecho a few years ago when our power was out for 104 106 hours.

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: Have you flipped the breakers in the basement back? Just find the tripped breakers — they will look like they are still in the right place (usually to the left) but not quite all the way. Push them to the right one at a time, count to ten, then push them left again. They may well stay in place and your power will be back?

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ken: Heh, a couple months ago I heard a loud “POP!” and everything went dark. Thought the fusible link on our transformer had blown again. Nope, just an overly ambitious squirrel. It blew all the power tho, both legs.

  54. 54
    debbie says:


    Yeah, I’ve done that a bunch of times…just in case. No joy. The switches never tripped, but last week, it seemed to help; probably just a coincidence.

    AEP is still repairing lines from the outage. I put in a report and will wait to see what they say, then I’ll yell at the landlord.


    At my last apartment, squirrels got into the phone box a number of times, knocking out service. The line would go dead; I’d call and tell them to check for squirrels. They were always skeptical at first, but I was always right.

  55. 55
    Schlemazel says:

    That would have worked here I know. Why does that crap never occur to us until AFTER?!?

    We have used our unheated garage a couple of times when the temps permit.

  56. 56
    Schlemazel says:

    I have a 110v inverter that plugs into the 12v on the car. I should check to see how many watts it could deal with & what our fridge needs. That is a good idea I never thought of!

  57. 57
    waratah says:

    Water girl your flowers are lovely. I have a soft spot for the pink double mother grew beautiful ones and told me to just break off a pice of the plant and stick it a pot and it will develop roots. She always had several pots started for her and to give to friends.

  58. 58
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: I didn’t know if you had access to the 220 breakers or just the landlord (didn’t mean to sound so directive)

    Meanwhile, I have ordered those two books you recommended about the concentration camp issue through inter-library loan. I will let you know what I find, and thanks again!

  59. 59
    jeffreyw says:

    We had a killing frost this morning, the first of the season. Here’s a very young Homer instead of a dead flower.

  60. 60
    MomSense says:


    It is cool. That’s what the local music scene is like, too. Young and old all enjoying craft beer and good music together.

  61. 61
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Never really considered wind floweres. You’ve encouraged me to try some. Lovely pics. I’m a bit concerned that the squirrels seem to be preparing for Armageddon. They even dug up some daffodil bulbs and they NEVER mess with daffodil bulbs.

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    @Gelfling 545: It’s when the squirrels start stocking canned food and weapons. That’s when you have to worry.

    ETA the squirrels in my neighborhood are unusually fat this Fall.

  63. 63

    Watergirl, everything is lovely. And even with a broken ankle, you managed a beautiful flower display. Thanks for sharing them.

  64. 64
    WereBear says:

    Love me some windflowers.

  65. 65
    Kay says:


    My middle son took my youngest to see Modest Mouse and the youngest said “it was younger people and then people like you”- that second group were clearly the lesser. I let him go on a school night and this is the thanks I get.

  66. 66
    Immanentize says:


    people like you

    Covers a lot of ground there.

  67. 67
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: some of mine just have big boxes, the ones with a southern exposure. I figure it’s better than nothing, and that wind drying the plants is at least as destructive as cold.

  68. 68
    satby says:

    @satby: Your second thought will be great, but I’m too lazy for all that contruction. Boxes or cones, a brick to hold them down, and done! And the cones can be used multiple years.

  69. 69
    WaterGirl says:


    I think I’d like to be buried in WaterGirl’s yard. It’s so peaceful.

    My yard is your yard, Baud! You are cordially invited to spend eternity here, but you might want to come earlier than that so you can at least enjoy some porch time before you croak. Fine print: o croaking allowed, not for at least 50 years.

  70. 70
    WaterGirl says:

    Thanks for all the kind words, everyone! I overslept by about 2 hours (!) and I have a meeting in 5 minutes, so I will just throw everything else here in this comment. (without links) I’ll be back later to read more carefully.

    Notice that Baud got his own reply because, well, Baud.

    MomSense, have no fear, while the beds might have been weed free early on, the evil thistle has gone wild. Lots of extra work coming up next year because of stuff I couldn’t do this year. Anyone who wants to help, there’s free room and board and plenty of porch time to admire your work. :-)

    For anyone who is inspired by the Windflowers, you might consider ordering from ColorBlends. Windflower bulbs come in packs of 100 — what you see in the photo was 100 bulbs. They are so tiny, you can plant multiple bulbs in each hole. h/t to satby for the original ColorBlends recommendation.

    I remember the “random empty spaces” thread, but that wasn’t me.

    Happy Sunday! (I can say that because I woke up too late to even check a single bit of news.)

  71. 71
    Kay says:


    They’ve gotten older and smarter so they don’t do this anymore, but he has this unbearably smug friend “Mack” who likes and plays old music, which he thinks is very edgy. So Mack would play something like Johnny Cash and look at me and say “Johnny Cash”. I know Mack. Everyone knows.

  72. 72
    J R in WV says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Wow! Sounds like quite an adventure! I thot we were adventurous going to Baja California, but we stayed at lux resort and on summer camp cruise ship, but with a bar. Not so very adventure compared to chickens and goats international airport !!

    Kalahari desert, Bushmen, Big Five in the wild… just too cool. Safari. Maybe on your photo sets you could mention who you arranged your travel with? I’d love to do that with a group someone I know has done it before successfully. If you know what i mean…

    WaterGirl: Nice flowers! our wildflowers have to trek out of the wild woods into the beds… you would be surprised how many do just that over the years.

  73. 73
    opiejeanne says:

    @satby: The raccoons or maybe a bear? took care of the very large hornets nest in our cedar a couple of months ago. My husband just never remembered to take care of it so I was grateful to whichever critter knocked it down and tore it apart, and ate the larvae.

  74. 74
    opiejeanne says:

    @Immanentize: If you’re in a climate where it freezes, cut your roses back and mulch them heavily, enough to bury the graft with about 3″ of mulch.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    opiejeanne says:

    @WaterGirl: Beautiful garden and thanks for the tip. I’ll check on that bulb source for next year’s garden.
    It’s just about too late this year to plant anything because I’m still not enough of a Washingtonian yet, not enough moss on me, and I get too cold trying to garden once the weather shifts like it has. It’s 50 right now but there’s no sun. Yes, I am a sissy.

  77. 77
    opiejeanne says:

    @satby: It was a cool-looking thing, not even 7 feet off the ground. I wanted him to spray it after dark and then bag it but he was reluctant and I didn’t push. We came outside one morning and it was torn to shreds and dragged all over the garden. We had a bear in the neighborhood about then so I figured that’s who had gotten it. It could have been a raccoon but he would have fallen out of the tree with it, the branch it was hanging from was so tiny.

  78. 78
    debbie says:


    I use wasp/hornet spray to kill cave crickets. I’ve noticed that most of the bottles of spray I get don’t come close to spraying 20 feet away, like they claim it will. I wouldn’t depend on a spray in your situation.

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