Mysterious Weed

After being away for a few weeks, we came home and was pleasantly surprised that our garden was still in full bloom. We had lots of rain this summer, plus we asked our friend to water our plants if needed, while we were gone.

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Not just the flowers, but the vegetables as well were blossoming, like the tomatoes and the pepper.

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But besides the flowers and vegetables, the weeds have also grown tall. There are areas that the weeds are crowding the other plants, that it even started to look like a weed garden. No, I’m not talking about the illegal “weed.”

When we looked closely to a patch of our garden with overgrown weeds, a peculiar plant was among them. We thought it was just a tall weed, but it wasn’t.

It was corn!

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It’s kind of puzzling how those corn plants got there, for we definitely did not plant them.

We know that a corn field is not too far away, could the wind blew some seeds when the farmers were planting their crop? Or maybe a bird drop a corn kennel there? Or maybe the chipmunks? Or could it be the leprechaun that planted them? Who knows?

After clearing the weeds, we decided to keep the corn and not pull them out. After all, they have ears of corn on them already.

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Maybe next year, we’ll plant corn in our garden on purpose. This is Iowa anyway, the corn center of the entire USA, and perhaps the whole world.

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Not too long from now, we’ll be harvesting our own corn. Unless the leprechaun (lepre-corn?) get to them first.

 

May Flowers

You may have heard before, the saying “April showers, bring May flowers.” I can say that we did have a lot of April showers this year, and it even continued through May. But it surely brought in the flowers.

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Yet it take more than just April showers to grow these flowers. To this I add, the labor of a very competent and diligent gardener. Here is my wife weeding and preparing a patch of soil back in April.

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And here’s that same patch today.

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Here is the master gardener again, down on her knees at work. Of course I helped. Is taking photos counts?

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Look at the picture below. Can you spot the small rabbit? So even the bunny is admiring the flowers. Or maybe, the bunny is just eyeing what’s for breakfast, much to the dismay of my wife.

IMG_2907But as the month of May is about to end, these May flowers, especially the peonies, are drooping and about to bow out.

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So the master gardener, harvested them before they fade out completely into the summer’s night.

IMG_2915She placed them in a pitcher, so for a moment, we can admire them for a little longer. Here it is, her labor of love.

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Now that I have posted them here in my blog, they surely will last far beyond the month of May.

(*photos taken with an iPhone)

Flowers for My Daughter (Reloaded)

Six years ago, I had this post (see original post here):

Flowers for My Daughter

Today is my daughter’s 12th birthday. And this is her first birthday to be away from home and from us, as she is currently with my relatives in California for a short vacation. Besides greeting her over the phone, I also did send her flowers.

It just seems yesterday that my little girl was just playing in the dirt and picking wild flowers and dandelions in our yard. She will collect the dandelions and put them in a cup with water, and then she will give them to mom.

I think it is interesting that she finds beauty in the dandelions while I find them a nuisance weed that needs to be killed at all cost, even if I use enough herbicide to poison a whole town. That just prove that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Now, my little girl is not little anymore as I want to believe. Where did time go?

I know not very long from now, boys will be giving her flowers for her birthday, for Valentine’s, and for no occasion at all. I just want to be the first one to do so. And when that day (that every father dreads) comes, when she will walk down the aisle with a bouquet of flowers in her hands, I hope she remembers who gave her, her first flowers.

If you do the math, then you’ll deduce how old my daughter is now. Time really flies. I still have a hard time believing this too.

In a few months she will be off to college and will be leaving home. There will be one empty room in our home. No one in that room that I would nudge out of bed if she won’t get up even after her two alarm clocks went off. No one to gently remind to hurry up if she’s taking her sweet time in the shower. No one to holler to to get out of her room and come down for dinner. No one in that room that I would say good night to. And no one from that room that would answer back “Good night Dad.” No one to……..

Sorry. Maybe I’m just over reacting. Or maybe I’m a hopeless sentimental fool. Is it full moon?

But even if she’s away and not home anymore, I still can send her flowers, right? Just like before, when she turned 12.

Today, I just did. Even if she’s not away.

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(*photo taken with an iPhone)

 

Where have all the snow gone?

Where have all the snow gone,  long time passing?

Where have all the snow gone, long time ago?

Where have all the snow gone?

Gone to melting everyone.

 

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Hope they’ll spring soon everyone.

IMG_2504(*Post is inspired by the seasonably warm February we are having these couple of days. It reached 60º F yesterday. Average temperature this time of year here is in the 20’s. Photo taken today from the driveway.)

 

Tenacious Flowers

It’s May. And this month is known for flowers. Here are some that are found in and around our home.

There are flowers that are beautiful yet delicate, and we proudly display them for all to see.

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roses in the mantel shelf

There are flowers we have planted that we are excited to see as we wait for their yearly blooms.

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Alliums in our yard

Then there are flowers that are thought to be difficult to grow and bloom, as they need tender loving care.

orchid by the window

orchid by the window

But this time of year, there are also flowers in our yard that we neither like to display nor are we excited to see them bloom. In fact, we don’t want them to come out at all. They are not delicate, and in contrary they are tenacious and difficult to kill.

I am talking about these pesky dandelions.

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our front yard

Dandelions are considered weeds by most of us, and we hate to see them especially in our manicured lawns. Yet they thrive despite all the herbicides we use to try to eliminate them.

But do you know that there can be benefit of having dandelions in your yard? Really? Yes, really.

Dandelions can attract ladybugs who in turn can keep other pests population, like aphids, in check. Their long taproots can aerate the soil. They can also be eaten, as in salad, or drank, as in tea. Studies have shown that they are rich in vitamin B, C, D as well as iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. Those chemicals I mentioned are not from the pesticides we spray them. Those are good elements.

Even though dandelions are mostly unwanted flowers, one can argue that they can be beautiful too. I remember when my daughter was still a little girl, she used to pick these yellow flowers and put them in a small cup and give it to her mom. Even a bouquet of “weed” flowers can be a precious gift.

But it’s not their natural beauty that necessarily inspires me. It is their tenacity. Their persistence. No matter how hard we try to squash them, poison them, suffocate them, kill them – they still find their way to live and grow year after year. Or at least in my yard.

If only we have the same tenacity for life as these lowly dandelions. No amount of opposition, challenges, and discouragement can tramp our will to survive and thrive. We will persist whatever the circumstances may be. A lesson we can learn from this oft maligned “pest.”

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our “dandelion garden”

I know I have already called the lawn “doctor” to get rid of them, but now I’m having second thoughts. Maybe I’ll be organic and let them grow. Maybe I can convince myself that I’m cultivating a dandelion garden. However they will spread rapidly and through their airborne seeds they can even spawn the nearby perfect lawns.

My neighbors will not be impressed.

(*photos taken with iPhone)

Purple Blooms and a Dead Hummingbird

Late last fall, my wife planted Allium bulbs in our front garden. We wondered if the timing was right and if those bulbs will survive the harsh winter.

Well, we don’t have to wonder anymore. Here they are in full bloom.

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They are really gorgeous and we like them very much. Plus, they complement our scenic front view.

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It is interesting to know that onions, garlic, shallots and these purple flower balls are all in the same family, the Allium family. These Alliums are called Purple Sensation but also known as Persian Onion. These onions are attractive and does not make you cry.

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As I was admiring these flowers, I saw this poor little creature in our walkway – a dead hummingbird. Even though it is dead, you can still see its beauty, with the colorful sheen in its feather. What caused its demise? I can only speculate. Perhaps it got drunk by too much nectar.

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This beautiful bird albeit dead, is a reminder that there exist an unpleasant side of life. But we should not dwell on the bad part, instead we should focus on the good.

In fact, we can find beauty in almost everything. Even on this abandoned purple socks on this lonely gravel road where I run. I went too far, huh?

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I don’t want to end this article with the abandoned purple socks, so here are some purple blooms again, this time in our backyard. Believe it or not, these too are in the family of onions. They are known as Purple Chives.

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Life is like these purple blooms in so many ways. Beautiful  and precious (even if how lowly they may seem, like onions!). Yet fleeting, for here now, gone tomorrow. Let us admire and appreciate it, while we can.

(*all photos were taken with an iPhone)

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Related Articles:

April Morning

Raising Topiaries

Broken Wings

Fly Robin Fly

Of Flowers and Photographs

These lovely flowers will wither in a few days. The beautiful sunny day will soon turn into night. Even the hanging evergreen wreaths in our windows will not last forever, even if they are called “evergreen,” but will one day lose all its needles. And this picture-perfect photograph, will fade into memory.

Someday, just like the flowers, our strength will also wane. Our eyesight, like a sunny day, will grow dim. Our hair will turn gray, that is if we don’t lose it all first, like the needles of the wreath. And just like a faded photograph, our memory will one day, lose its sharpness.

But unlike flowers, our love will last. And like what old photographs do, we will leave an enduring legacy.

Here’s to us – happy 17th anniversary my love.