The Bloom Before the Berry

Ok, guys, these are strawberries!

The bloom that precedes the berry


I could gaze for hours at these beauties.  But alas, there is life to be lived and there are responsibilities to be met. If you were here with me and perhaps not as enthusiastic as I about these… STRAWBERRIES(!!!), you just might grow slightly annoyed.   For at every single pass, I find that I must squat down in a position redolent of… ricepicker haha! to get a good look at these low-growing beauties, and a completely unconscious and particular, “Mmm, mmm, mmm,” gurgles up my spine and through the vocal folds.  How spectacular are the miraculous orchestrations of nature, big and small!

I had been meaning to make it out into the garden with my camera to share with you how it’s been progressing.   I finally got to it – this is for those of you whose flowers haven’t begun blooming and for those nature-lusting city folks.  I hope you derive some vicarious pleasure from these pix!

So, last weekend, I was able to squeeze in some time in the garden.

Mabu and I are gardening, while post-surgery, the little wire-y baby must be confined in a baby pen.

Excuse the graininess of the shot – J snuck it in with his ipad unbeknownst to me!  Look at how Mabu and I are sharing loving eyes haha! Post-surgery, princess Pupusa is sunbathing in the baby-pen.  I got these young’ns potted up.


Most of what you see above is Rudbeckia – really easy to get started from seed, and the ones I started last year kept growing through the winter months.  This variety is called “Prairie Sun,” and they will sport a bit of green in their big and happy blooms.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed I won’t have to wait until 2013 before these guys will show me their stuff. I’ve got a ton of these babies – anybody want some?

Some old Platycodon seed that I never got around to starting germinated really well for me.


AKA “Balloon Flower.” These were from Park Seed, harvested in Japan.  If they can endure the heat here in Vegas, they will be a cool pink, providing some fresh color to a sizzling summer garden.  I’m waiting to see which seedling seems the strongest in each pot before heartlessly snipping it’s weaker brethren. Mean mean mean.


Mmm mmm mmm!  Look at the veining! How the stamens complement and enhance the petals and vice versa!  The crocus is in full bloom now, but is somewhat hidden by the brussel sprouts plant about which I’ve been writing so much.

Brussels gone to seed

See the bee?  This is quite overgrown now, but I’m leaving it because it is completely covered with pollinators.

Iris Bud

I planted this Iris bulb last fall, hoping for some drama in the garden this spring.  Guys – this is black!  I think it’s called “Midnight Treat” – iridescent and gorgeous already. Imagine what’s in store for us when it’s in full bloom.

I underplanted with a few scabiosa that I also started from old seed.  You know, “pincushion flower?”

Black Scabiosa

Not the standard lavender or pink color – these are also going to be black, a variety called “Black Knight.”  One of the benefits of starting from seed, if you’ve got the patience, is that you can grow unique beauties like this that you’ll never find at the nursery.  Another benefit is that you save tons of money!  Black iris and black scabiosa? Mmm mmm mmm!

With the use of Walls-O-Water, I was able to give a few tomatoes an early start.  This one above, “Green Zebra,” has flowers unlike those I’ve seen on other budding tomatoe plants – very interesting.


I couldn’t help myself at the nursery – I picked up this verbena and I think it’s going to be very happy in the hottest, sunniest part of my garden, right next to a lime green succulent.  Only having been in the ground a few days, it’s already starting to trail. I think it’s going to provide some nice interest at ground level.

I will leave you today, folks, with documentation of a surprise visit we received a few days ago!  No, not human.

Ducks in Our Pool

Look closely.  How many creatures can you see?

Yes, one of the neighborhood cats is hiding behind the fence, I’m sure making those funny noises cats often do when they spy on birds. It must be mating season, because males are fiercely guarding females down by the pond, and pairs and trios are flying overhead all the time.  Probably how they ended up here. I found this whole scenario very entertaining.  J and I were spellbound, just like the cat.

I never tire of the iridescent head feathers on the drakes.  The loving couple took time to groom themselves here.

But later we learned that they had used our pool as their toilet.  Ugh.  And I’m always cleaning up that dang cat’s turds, too!

Well, that’s all for now.  I’ve been working on a cardmaking video that should be ready for y’all on Gratitude Friday.  Keep your eyes open!  This time I use masking techniques for a nice final effect!

Oh, and before I sign off, check out the friend I found in the ether.  Malou over at Going Dutch is enjoying a profusion of tulips right now! Her pix are gorgeous and sure to inspire!


2 thoughts on “The Bloom Before the Berry

  1. Pingback: Peep peep peep! | contadina k

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