Friday, December 23, 2011

A PLETHORA OF REDS

It's almost Christmas! I just can't resist sending out some of my lovely red daylily seedlings that bloomed for the first time last summer. I don't know why I like the vibrant reds so much but I do! Maybe it's because I was a red-head (actually auburn) and in my era, red-heads were never allowed to wear red!

Red is such an alive color...especially the Cardinal and Cranberry reds...those are my favorites. It (red) is very difficult to capture with a camera..so just expect the reds to be even more vibrant!This first one(above) is out of my GRAND PALAIS seedling and another seedling named 'Blueprint' out of BIG BLUE on one side.

This one with all it's "Christmas Finery" is garden-named "Cub Scout" out of (CRITICAL MASS X BEAR CLAWS). It's a real favorite of mine!

UPDATE: Now registered as ABLAZE IN GLORY and is available in my Spring 2013 introductions. You

 may see more information by going to 

www.gardenglory.net 

And of course, no American could leave out santa so I will show you this one (below) out of (SANTA'S HELPER x "Cub Scout") which means it is a child of "Cub Scout".





This daylily  above was so beautiful the first time I saw it that I garden named it "Impressive". It is out of JOAN DERIFIELD X UKN(possibly LEXINGTON AVENUE or COLLECTOR'S CHOICE) I am hoping to line it out this spring for a possible 2013 introduction. 

UPDATE: Now Registered as IMPRESS ME, "she" will be available in my Fall 2013 selection of Introductions.


and now for the last pic, a plethora of reds...sort of like all the presents under the Christmas tree with all the beautiful wrappings!The beautiful one in the center is not yellow at all,,think ivory white with a vivid red eye and thick red ruffled edging.

  
MERRY CHRISTMAS and GOD BLESS! 






Wednesday, December 21, 2011

THE REASON

Hi everyone..I was sent this from someone over the internet, and I personally think it is one of the better things sent so I wanted to share it with you!

Jesus is Better than Santa
Santa lives at the North Pole.  JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh.  JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year.  JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies.  JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited.
JESUS stands at your door and knocks and then enters your heart.
You have to stand in line to see Santa.  JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa says "You better not cry."   JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.
Santa may make you chuckle but JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree, JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.
It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas.
Jesus is still the reason for the season.

GIFTS GIFTS GIFTS

It's the time for giving....actually and unfortunately many think that this is the only time for giving...well maybe you should include a Birthday Gift, or Anniversary gift into the mix also. But giving works a lot better if we have an attitude for giving all the time. It sounds idealistic, and it probably is for the normal human being...but it works.
Genuine giving reaps so many other gifts. The gift of friendship, the gift of trust, the gift of love...for everyone loves a gift, whether the think they deserve it or not.

I was at a Women's Bible Study Christmas get-together yesterday and all 8 of us were to bring a food to share and a gift(or gifts) to share. We had such a great time of sharing, laughing, fellowship and prayer. I went there quite insecure, because my gifts are never very great...not only that, for whatever reason, my huge box of Christmas wrapping paper had somehow disappeared. I had managed to have purchased Dollar Tree gift bags so a least they could be brought in a lovely container...but the numerous small presents inside were colorful sheets of tissue paper. We played a game where we  passed the presents around from the right to the left, depending on the story the narrator was giving. When the word LEFT was mentioned we moved left and RIGHT mentioned, we moved right, moving continuously. My presents were quite heavy and I was actually worried that the "cheap" Christmas bag would break! I had brought gifts of, 4 wonderful Salvation Army Thrift shop books(my favorite book store!), quite a large can of Double Mocha Cappuccino, 2 small boxes of Dollar Tree chocolate Raspberry thin mints, a lovely winter scent white candle, and two pewter finished fancy photo frames.It WAS heavy! So when the game stopped, whoever had another person's gift in front of them, that was their gift.We proceeded to open the gifts, one person at a time and it was astounding to see how many times people said..."that was JUST FOR YOU"! ..The gal that received mine just loved her things, especially the double mocha Cappuccino! I was relieved, for many gifts had been opened before mine, and I knew I had selected mine with love, but I also knew that they were less than what the others had given. Why should I care? Well if would be worse if I didn't care! It's funny that even at my age, I get concerned about image when it comes to gifts and such. It isn't that anyone puts me down...I just need to remember to be happy that I am able to give ANYTHING! When I compare it to the rest of the world...I am so blessed! I NEED TO REMEMBER THAT! And not just financially, that's for sure! Our freedom that our ancestor's fought for, under Christian principles, is our number one blessing. What a GIFT THAT IS!

I had shared two pictures earlier of my Christmas village from 2009 and I want to share one more pic. This is sort of an overview of the dining room and how The Village managed to invade it! Good thing we celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving at my sister's in the Twin Cities! I would love to hear from others if you enjoy Christmas villages as much as I do..I would love to have a room set up with it all year long! I just love the Architecture and all the scenarios portraying numerous stories in the village setting.


Speaking of GIFTS..I received a really neat note from a fellow hybridizer today, who has inspired me for a number of years. About 5 years ago I had written to her about her introduction ALIQUIPPA. she was in her seventies at the time and that alone inspired me to think I had the possibility of many more years ahead for breeding those beautiful Daylilies! What a GIFT! 
Then, just this summer, I saw a first bloom out of a seed that had ALIQUIPPA as it's pollen parent and I almost "fell apart" it was so beautiful! I had purchased the seeds through the infamous Lily Auction and the seller was selling a set of seeds from various pollen parents..they were all good parents, how could I resist!! I guess others resisted, because my bid was only $6.50 for 50 seeds!! I have NEVER gotten that good of a deal before or since! What a GIFT! Truthfully, the Lily Auction is a real betting game, and with the seed purchases, one can always justify it for the good genetics you will have to work with, at a minimal cost. Unfortunately the gambling can bring a lot of losses also, so one has to really convince oneself that it is something you "need"! I am anxious to see what other treats will be showing themselves out of the seeds  from that seller. Miss Priss was out of only 4 seeds! Please check "her" out towards the bottom of the page. 

Being that it is Christmas time, I thought I would share one more Auction delight....out of 5 seeds: only one made it through our harsh Wiconsin winters..the cross was (CRITICAL MASS X BEAR CLAWS) and I really wanted the BEAR CLAWS genetics because I couldn't afford BEAR CLAWS, the plant. So now I share with you what we have garden-named Cub Scout for obvious reasons.  I have never seen a fluorescent red( I have seen fluorescent green and orange etc. but never red) Well, this one is fluorescent! Unfortunately the pic doesn't truly capture it...Like all daylilies, they are much prettier, up close and personal! This was another true GIFT and I share it with you all now! It is going on it's forth year and and has given us some beautiful vivid red seedlings last summer. 




Miss Priss (PREMIER SURPRISE X JERRY NETTLES sdlg) X ALIQUIPPA


 Miss Priss ( a real pristine clear pink tone). Because I was sending the hybridizer this pic today, I noticed that one of the pics was taken on my  Birthday-ANOTHER GIFT! So I am going to share that pic with you today, also:


When one really stops to think about it, each day is a NEW GIFT, and how we approach it makes all the difference in the world. If we approach it with Thankfulness and Faith, Believing that with God ALL things are possible, enabling us to get through every crisis and calamity that is dealt us, we will make it and come through it, wiser and gentler, willing and wanting to give good gifts to others, wanting to Bless them as we have been Blessed by the Father Himself...Who Gives us a brand new day to enjoy the GIFT of life, and to use it correctly.
You can probably guess by now that I wouldn't neglect mentioning the greatest GIFT ever, Jesus Christ, the Savior, ..born to us this day in the City of David...who is alive and well and sits at the right hand of God the Father, desiring us to receive Him as a free GIFT a GIFT of life eternal IF we only Believe. The Amplified Bible expands the "Believe" in the Hebrew : to rely on, to stick to like glue..in short, if we depend on , rely on and love Him enough to have a true relationship with Him and obey Him, instead of doing it "our way" , He is Faithful and Just to forgive us our sins, so that we may live with Him forever! THAT'S A GIFT!! NONE BETTER!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'M DREAMING OF A SPRING GARDEN

It's been over 10 years now since I left our FOUR SEASONS GARDEN CLUB up in Cambridge Mn. It was such a joy in helping to start that club (as part of the hours needed to become a Master Gardener). I really miss that club. One of the fun parts of the "job" was to organize the Christmas Party. My friend Trudy and I came up with some songs to sing (our own version of Christmas Carols) that evening. I just came across the lyrics of some of them and thought I would share them with you.

       I'M DREAMING OF A SPRING GARDEN (to the tune of "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas)

   I'm dreaming of a spring garden

     Just like the ones I've seen in print
             With Azaleas blooming
             And Butterflies Zooming
         To flutter on a bright Peony.

   I'm dreaming of a spring garden
   Landscaped like ones that I adore
 May my plans bring success and more
 And may all the gardens bring rewards.

We sang these "Carols"  every Christmas for a few years....I have no idea if they are singing them anymore!
Here's another one: 

      TWELVE WEEKS OF GARDENING (to the tune of "The twelve days of Christmas) 
  In the FIRST  week of Gardening - my soil gave to me:
             A mass of bright, green weeds.
             Two muddy puddles and
             Three rows of planting,
             Four hours of watering,
             Five seeds a-sprouting,
                Six hours of weeding,
             Seven bugs a-munching,
                Eight hills of gophers,
               Nine hours of mulching,
          Ten more days of sweating,
            Eleven crows a-robbing,
           Twelve bushels of harvest,
           And a turkey in an oak tree....

and just one more (we came up with 9 !!)

     OH, GARDEN CLUB (to the tune of "Oh, Christmas Tree)

        OH, Garden Club,  Oh Garden Club,
         Each season's always special

        With plantings, tours and projects,
            accomplishments a-plenty

        Oh Garden club, Oh Garden Club,
          Each season's always special.

You can tell by these lyrics what a special club we had and how much they understood gardening!  
Just to help me to remember that  summer is just a few months away, I want  to feature one of my favorite seedlings from this last summer. It is out of COSMIC SENSATION X SEIZE THE NIGHT and it is a deep purple with a really white toothy edge...we garden-named it "Dark Clouds".


I hope everyone is having a special time getting ready for this wonderful time of the year. AND KEEP ON DREAMING OF THAT SPRING GARDEN ....!!! Please feel free to share these with whomever you would like...hope you enjoyed them!

           


   



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CASTLES IN MY LIFE


My early life began in an apartment..actually I think it was a duplex..on Garfield Ave South in Minneapolis, Mn.
My Mother had told me my bedroom was the hallway! Now that I am an adult and have experienced a lot of adjustments in my life, I can fully understand why I was given the hallway. As a child, I felt that my older sister was the favored one, because, after all, I was deemed to the hallway...how ignorant when we don't have perspective!! In reality, that was the Castle in my life at that time....

                   APARTMENTS : No true ownership and waiting for a better opportunity. I have had many apartments since, moving from one location to another, always looking for something better or prettier, the wishlist goes on and on.






                 OUR FIRST HOME: 45th and Unity N, Robbinsdale, Mn. A 1008 sq ft rambler with a LONG hall dividing it down the middle. 
                 POOR FLOOR PLAN
                 LACK OF FORESIGHT  the hall took up valuable square footage (I just redesigned that exact floor plan with some design foresight and reconfigured the door openings into the bedrooms and acquired another bath because of that).

                     I relate that house to marriages that are:

                  Like a MARRIAGE OF DESPERATION-
                  one that seized the opportunity, before counting the cost.
                  one that didn't take stock of any potential problems
                  and when, after the wedding, reality sets in, eyes were opened,
                                     AND disappointments set in.

                 THREE APPROACHES to a marriage like that:
                                1. SETTLE IN and just hope for the best
                                2. WAIT AND SEE if things get better and
                                     if not, divorce, and hopefully,
                                     someone else will come along...
                                                  OR
                                3. STAY COMMITTED, RESTRUCTURE (remodel, adapt)
                                     your hopes and aspirations, LETTING GO of your  EXPECTATIONS
                                     for perfection and SEEING the reality that NO ONE IS PERFECT..
.
                                     and LET GO and LET GOD change you as He changes the other 
                                     person, most likely, behind the scenes, as we are growing and developing 
                                     character in the process.
The process can be very painful (just like tearing out the walls of a poorly placed hallway) but the RESULTS can be very worthwhile and meaningful. 

With COMMITMENT two can grow and work out the marriage issues, becoming rooted and wanting the VERY BEST for the other person. You  may need to stretch yourself, and even adjust your wants and desires, but AS LONG AS THE FOUNDATION IS GOOD AND RIGHT, the rest always falls in line. 
For some, it may take years, but if, during the process you quit allowing yourself to grumble and complain (remember the Israelites went through the wilderness for 40 years when it should have taken only days-but they needed the Lord's blessings for that to happen-). 
While you KEEP LOOKING UP, looking for direction and strength, 
God WILL DO THE REST.
 You will find new opportunities, new interests, and most of all, new desires both for you and your spouse and your God. Your home, your marriage, can, in fact, become the Castle in your life that God intends it to be! 

PS...we were at the Unity Ave house for about 3 years, when an opportunity came up for us to have that home in the country(one of my husband's heart's desire which he shared with me when we were dating). That's the Rogers house which is the one I referred to as being the disaster house! I bet you can hardly wait!!!


                               

CHRISTMAS VILLAGE III

You might have just seen the wonderful architecture that was represented in my Christmas Village posts. I think that  was what first brought me into the wonderful world of Christmas Village collecting...and did I collect! I remember the beginning VERY WELL! Actually there was an earlier beginning when my sister had already developed a wonderful Dept.56 Village and I looked forward to viewing it every year. Little did I think I would ever be able to achieve something like that(cost prohibitive for me), so just made it a point to enjoy hers.

BUT along came my friend Margaret.....I had just been released after 3 weeks in a nursing home after recovering from a broken hip. It was either early Dec or late Nov and she encouraged me to go shopping with her (which we did quite regularly..) so I didn't need much encouragement...and she made it really easy, 'cuz , at Wal-mart they had wheelchairs with large baskets in front of them and she wheeled me wherever I wanted to go! 
Of course we had to go to the Tree Trimmings area so I could buy my one special ornament for the year. Well..I forgot all else when I came across a bevy of Christmas Village ENTICEMENTS, or at the least call it opportunities because  they were only $9.97 each for some of the nicest and most interesting buildings I could actually afford! We proceeded to fill the basket, for after all, I NEEDED a village, not just one or two  would do! Now many years later (I think that was around 1998) I have over 100 village buildings and have given many away..as gifts-their choice- and besides, then I could find EVEN MORE possibilities to add to THE VILLAGE. Needless to say, the fascinating figurines and gazebos and gates and walls certainly got into the collection also. A few years ago, when I realized I had no more space to store them and no more expansion space (rooms) to put them in, I stopped buying any more. I have to confess, the "thrill of the hunt" was a lot of fun...and the temptation was still there..so I had to make a point of not even going to that area so that I wouldn't yield to that temptation.

There's certainly a spiritual lesson there, if one wants to see it! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CHRISTMAS VILLAGE II


This little vignette reminds me of all the hustle and bustle that Christmas brings to our lives. I intentionally put some humor in this scene as the man who just came from the Antiques Shop has his gifts piled so high, he just might run into the Restaurant Chef carrying his Turkey Trophy to the shop owners who have to eat as they work (much like people in our society today, I would say!).  The scene wouldn't be complete without the Christmas Carolers singing away! The background shows the large hill behind (just like here in our town) where the houses and buildings literally climb the hill. These three buildings overlook the afore-mentioned wharf, mentioned in an earlier post. Many of the rocks you see, lining the edges, are those I have collected out of my gardens down here along the Mississippi River.
Posted by Picasa

CHRISTMAS VILLAGE


Posted by Picasa Every year  I look forward to putting up my Christmas Village..
I end up taking one day to assemble the foundations and landscaping stuff and also get all the buildings and people upstairs from the lower level. Then I expect to put all of it in order the next day.....because it gets to be such a PRODUCTION I try to start just after Thanksgiving and take it down the end of January so that I can enjoy it longer than normal people would have theirs up. Putting it in order doesn't really describe it, because I take another week or so of reconfiguring  all the houses and the shops and the people and the trees and the bridges etc. etc....enjoying every moment of it, creating stories in my mind, designating certain figures to be those special people in my 'real ' life, while making up a fantasy town/ village/ city all at the same time. Just an armchair city Planner, I guess! In this Christmas Village (from 2009) I took over the Dining Room and made a "peninsula" for the waterway..love that boat..even though they didn't scale it correctly..it's still fun to use! Right in front of the "ship" is the wharf... hopefully I can find a pic of that to share as it is a very busy wharf!

The last two years, circumstances haven't allowed me to create my annual village, so when I knew I had these photos and the wonderful memories, I decided to share them with you. It has done much for my inner self as I reminisce and "re-fantasize"  as I look at these photos. This Village  represents my idea of a river town (like we live in) and all the skaters at the "rink" remind me of my own Dad who loved to skate...I was more like the lady that was falling down and being helped up in the photo. I also have a figure of an artist with a red umbrella doing a "plein air" painting out there in the cold.I always had to use that figure as I love art and have dear friends that are artists....so it represents them in my mind. Oh, also, I decided that every skating rink needed a bakery nearby  so when they got cold they could go in and get their hot chocolate and donut! The imagination goes on and on..PS if you want to see a closeup of the pic, just click on it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

August 2011 seedlings


Posted by PicasaHere is a pick of seedlings planted in August 2011 where "new" weeds are starting to grow on the left where it had been tilled up about 4 weeks earlier. that part didn't get planted last summer, so we put down landscape cloth over it to wipe out the weeds for seed planting this next early May.

NOT SILK FLOWERS !

Pretend this is a daylily speaking. It would holler, scream, yell, or at the least, declare " I AM NOT A SILK FLOWER!"

 Now for the thousands of Silk Flower lovers (and I am one of them) they have an integral part in our lives. I have a good Florist friend and  excellent florist I might add, who for the most part has stated that "silks" were a necessary part of her business, but she much prefers "fresh flowers" (florist lingo). Just this past year, she acquired "silks" that were so real that EVEN I couldn't tell they were silk..even close up......I had to touch them to know. Now that's a good replica of the real thing! "Silks" don't have to contend with weeds or sunlight or lack of water. "Silks" don't have to be hovered over or coddled..maybe a bit of dusting but that's all.

Now with daylilies and all other live plants, that's a different story. Because I  love to hybridize daylilies, speculating and anticipating what the flower will become once it "escapes" out of that little black pearl, I do almost coddle them. Actually, I just put them in the refrigerator vegetable drawer until the following spring (or as in last summer, they didn't get planted until August). After the seeds are stratified they really only need 3 weeks, but because of my colder zone 5A they bloom so late in the season they can't go in the same year. The following may  they get planted in rows, with special markers stating the breeding cross so I can observe the characteristics of the plants once they are in flower. So here I was coddling them (well actually hand watering them from the rain barrels and then applying mulch to give them a better chance at staying moist until germination (which builds up the soil for the years to come) and keeps them from heaving out of the ground when the Spring weather vacillates between thawing and freezing.  the spring weather of thawing and Then I spot all the weeds that LOVE the coddling also, so now I have to drop all the coddling until I get those awful, vigorous weeds out of there.

 I tell myself "Nancy, FOCUS on the weeds!" Down bends the back, aerobics in motion, straddling the rows, stretching as far as I can reach without tipping over, happily and victoriously ridding the bed of all those horrible, persistent weeds. Oh what a relief it is...until a few days later, and especially after a rain, MORE weeds pop up! At that point, I can just 'hear' the daylilies saying, "We are real flowers with lots of other pretty flowers surrounding us BUT now there are weeds  growing underground and you can't see them and they will be sprouting and showing their ugly heads soon, competing for our beauty!". "We want to flourish but the weeds are distracting us and taking all our nutrition and moisture so we can't become what we were meant to be when we were just  little black pearls". "I know, maybe some fertilizer will do the trick, or more sun, or warmer soil".."maybe we can out-grow the weeds!"
                     But the truth is, as the Master Gardener already knows, without proper care (weeding) AND nourishment (fertile soil) AND proper location, a plant will never grow as it was intended to be.

The truth rings out, that unless we as human beings, don't bother to take care of the weeds in our own lives we can and will have as much difficulty as the daylily to become what God  intended us to be. As any seasoned gardener well knows, if  plants  in the garden are left alone, then both weeds and trees will invade and are allowed to grow until the plants will eventually give up and become so puny as to not be seen among all the encumbrances....and unfortunately , some plants eventually die out completely.

As the human race so easily portrays:

We tend to blame God..we want Him to weed out all the unnecessary things in our lives..we want a quick fix to the situation....we just wish He would wave His magic wand and everything would be OK (for the moment, at least!). Then, when everything starts going smooth (or so it seems) at that time, MORE WEEDS come!
                                                                               
Weeds of Distress
Weeds of Disappointments
Weeds of Bitterness
Weeds of Fear
Weeds of Anxiety
Weeds of Unbelief

The list goes on and on.....

But God....
gives us the tools to dig out the weeds of our lives....not just gloves to keep out fingers clean, but digging tools to get down and serious about even finding all those underground Weeds (ie; SIN) that hold us back,  that holds back from the very best  that God has to offer. Just as a gardener uses the right tools to eradicate the weeds, so do we.... but for us, it is the Word of God, the Bible.

It makes sense;
 He the Creator, the
 Master Gardener knows us so well....

He tells us not to let the sun go down on our wrath...but do we?..yes..way too many times.

He also gives a warning that if we do, the devil gets a foothold.

He tells us Vengeance is His..but we justify the vengeance as: "they deserve it" etc. etc. ...all the time the devil's getting a stronger and deeper foothold in our lives....all the time that awful quack grass that is SO HARD to get rid of grows deeper and longer, breaking off when we shallowly weed it out, multiplying  double when we just pruned it because of not giving it the proper weeding. It's not easy!

The proper weeding for Quackgrass Sins is:

 " Forgive seventy times seven"....we think we are good if we forgive even seven times!

It's not easy ....to be" meek instead of standing your ground",

 to "return a blessing when you are cursed".

The principles seem so difficult, but they are so perfect...because they work! But we will never know the results of good thorough weeding unless we obey what Jesus told us..and that means obeying with Faith, not with apathetic, half-hearted obedience. That's weeding the Quack grass the wrong way and more Quack (Sin) will follow, twice as bad if not even more so!

I admit, that in the natural it doesn't make sense when our Maker, The Man Who created us, tells us, unequivocally," LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS"- BUT IT DOES!! Even when you think you have done the best and most consistent weeding you have ever done in your life, the weeds will come back...that's human nature.

 BUT if your life is mulched with LOVE, not the feel-good love, or the conditional love, but the lasting love..the love that:
 Turns the other cheek
  Lets God do the judging
  Goes the second mile
   Prays for your enemy.......the list of God's Ways goes on and on......and the weeds of sin come out so much easier....

He is waiting for us to apply what we know....then we will  we can reap the blessings God has been wanting to give us...
                                                            AND
so that we can be a blessing to others,
true Salt and Light to a darkened world,
bringing to them Jesus with skin on,
being His hands and feet to our brothers,
                                          our neighbors,
                                          the poor and needy...until He comes again.

We can't possibly do that, without it feeling like a burden unless we see ourselves as needing to rid out selves of our own weeds so that we are free to soak in the Sonlight and the Showers of Blessings He intended for US to have, when we were once only a tiny pearl of a seed in our Mother's womb.

We are not silk flowers...but alive and waiting and looking to be all that we can be, flourishing like fresh flowers in His Kingdom!