The Cool House: flowers
Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts

Monday, April 16, 2012

April to April

The last twelve months have flown by, hardly time to post to the blog what with all the twitter twaddle and facebook folies to constantly update. I knew this would happen, I'm basically lazy so if I can say it in 140 characters or less that's the option I'll take, thank you very much. But on the warmest day of a warm April that succeeded the hottest March ever, preceded by a no-Winter that meant no snow and no photos of 2" icicles hanging from the garage roof (and therefore no threat of decapitation when dragging the trash cans down the drive), I've had time to reflect on the past year. 
Firstly, that Spring-like Winter has meant everything in the garden is blooming a good three weeks ahead of normal. This was last April 16 - in past Aprils we've still been salting the back drive this time of year.

The same view today, the forsythia is over, the hostas are up and the azaleas out. It's also 87F and not raining so big bonus, there!

I even pruned the forsythia the was obscuring the pink azalea but not without a minor oops moment.

What was the tenet about bringing the outdoors in... or making lemonade out of lemons?

The early blossoming Spring holds true for the magnolias, too.

Last year May 5.

This year April 8

Secondly the house is looking more put together, even if all the major renovations finished way back in 2010. A lot has to do with the new placement of art and the way we are using the space. The eat-in section of the kitchen is a spot where we spend a lot of time now we are free to laptop/iphone/tablet roam with wifi, often it seems we don't even bother visiting our offices, we just sit at the breakfast table and do our respective things. Sometimes, though I clear up and it's quite serene

Thirdly, I am still nuts. On one of the hottest August days last summer I swapped the rugs in the den and dining room. On my own because The Guy flatly refused to indulge my crazy one more time.

The orange rug headed back to the den

and the cream rug was dragged into the great room. It felt so good I bought it a couple of new cushions in a mid-century inspired pattern in the sale at Crate&Barrel. It's so much lighter in there that I'm sitting there typing. The newly fixed sliding doors are open and I'm listening to what sounds like a duck in the yard. I'm expecting the fox will appear again tonight. April to April... plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What a difference a year makes

April 29th 2010 - after a cold and snowy winter we've had a warm and rainy couple of months, which means the azaleas are blooming a couple of weeks eariler than last year, the hostas are up and Polly the dog is spending all day outside.

April 27th 2009 - although we had a warm weekend this time last year, the Spring was so cold only the cherry tree was in bloom. This is the same path but shot from the opposite direction, looks so sparse, doesn't it?

We did lose a couple of plants this year (although everything I planted last fall seems to have made it with the exception of the lavender - it still smells good, though!) so I bought a couple of big yellow double-flowered Kerria and this beautiful crimson rhododendron - Skookum.

The Kerria is reputed to be nigh on impossible to kill. I tried my darndest to test this theory by driving them home in the car with the top down in a brisk breeze. Despite the trail of yellow petals I left throughout the village and the confetti carpet in the car they seem to be thriving...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

From vermilion to a dozen shades of grey

A touch of bright orangey-red to brighten your day

while outside the Sound pounds the beach and the rain clouds glower

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

-morphic musing

Is that where snails come from?

If anthropomorphic is attributing human qualities to the non-human, what is ascribing animal-like attributes to a plant?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Geometry, Botany and Design

Pink and Yellow Peony. Beautiful, no? Here's something I bet you didn't know about pink and yellow: they do not "go together". This is a fact handed to me in primary school by, no not the art teacher, the maths teacher who gave me a really bad score in Tessellation because I coloured the triangles in my hexagon pink and yellow. Every mathematician apparently knows pink and yellow do not go together. Pink and blue? Fine. Blue and yellow? A+. Pink and yellow? C. What did I learn about geometry that day? Nothing, in fact my dislike of mathematics was born that day and lasted until I stumbled across the beauty of fractal geometry 25 years later. I did, however, discover I knew more about design than math teachers. And my love of pink and yellow remained, to be irrefutably justified by this photo.
Click photo to embiggen.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

So far...

the weekend has had...

a little of this

a limited amount of that

one of these...

and a lot of...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Red and Gold*

Gorgeous red peony in my neighbor's yard (mine are smaller, later, pink and white). Ruby coloured crimped petals with a garland of gold - perfectly understated elegance.
Speaking of which this is most definitely not!

*OR: The Peony and the PCV

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March Birthday Bouquet

Haven't done one of these in a while but as I'm lacking any inspiration for anything today I present to you the best bloom from The Guy's Birthday Bouquet. Yes, he likes flowers even more than I do. I chose blue, red and green flowers for him but I don't think he's noticed yet, so internets.... Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Part of yesterday's Big Day of Fun. Click'em to embiggen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

White Bouquet

Happy Monday morning!

Friday, September 19, 2008

We got tagged

Living out in the alternate universe of the Incorporated Village doesn't mean you don't have to suffer spray-painted graffiti all over your property.

It just means you know exactly who the perpetrators were. Thank you Suffolk Water.

And if you have two water meters in the yard, one for your house and one for the house next door, that you are "tagged" twice.
I'm luckier than one neighbor, whose beautiful moss stone retaining wall now has an accent of bright blue!
File under: Grrrrr.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Garden Round Up

Let's see what's doing well in the yard this back end of summer

The impatiens continue to pop up all over the yard, some where I had them last year and some in random places that have never seen an annual before. This beauty, however, is in a planter and its petal was pierced by a new bud.

The sedums I planted in early July behind the barbecue are now flowering. They seem to really like the mix of sun and shade back there.

The thyme we planted around the flagstone path? Not so much. There's almost nothing left of it now. That really was a waste of.....yep, time.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Summer surprise

It's not been the best summer here on Long Island. It was too cold to swim in the pool on Memorial Day, too rainy on July 4th and and not warm enough for us on Labor Day either. Three summer holidays and not one swim party, that hasn't happened before. In fact we added it up and The Guy has only been in the pool seven times this season. I've done a little better but we just haven't used it as much as normal. Nor have we barbecued. Rain, hail, cold days, whatever. We look forward to summer all winter and then it's gone in a flash. This year it went in a flash of lightning and earth-moving crashes of thunder.
And yet, some things almost make up for it; like this annual impatiens from last summer that somehow managed to survive the winter (and my weeding and planting efforts in this corner of the yard). I walked out of the back door and saw this blossom amongst the dark glossy leaves of the holly. I guess it's protected back there and with luck, like the hibiscus on the other side of the yard, it will keep flowering until the first frost.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Global warming?

Proof, if any were needed, that 2007-2008 has been a weird weather year on Long Island. This hibiscus, usually treated as an annual here, was in a pot last year but still blooming in November. I couldn't bear to just throw it out so I planted it on a southwest wall and ignored it. It did nothing except throw up some green leaves that got shredded in the various hailstorms we suffered in early August. This morning though something pretty caught my eye, three gorgeous pink tinged flowers on an otherwise scrappy plant.
I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Monday, August 25, 2008


There are hundreds of species of Iris and they one of the most recognised garden plants. Not only beautiful but useful too, the dried rhizomes, orris root, are used in medicine, perfume, gin and as an ingredient in the Moroccan spice mix Ras el hanout.
Iris was the Greek Goddess of the rainbow and the iris comes in hues of blue and yellow, red and even white. The yellow flower is the symbol of Brussels, you see it everywhere there, on public transport, outside hospitals, they even held La fête de l'Iris at the start of May this year, while the fleur-de-lis was the symbol of the French monarchy until the Revolution put an end to that. And the government of Quebec has Iris Linné as its emblem.
These gorgeous blue Iris (Iris Germanica?) came from Trader Joe's on Long Island. They are The Guy's favorite flower, but we don't buy them often because they fade so fast. Luckily, we have this photo and a blog on which to post it, so enjoy!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Hydrangea colour

There's a rich blue hydrangea at the east side of the yard that blooms throughout the summer. In front used to be a patch of lawn 4'x 6' with low-growing junipers on either side. Gradually over the past four years that patch of grass has turned to moss, and although we've removed all the ivy and weeds from that area, it was looking sad and neglected. The blue hydrangea was the one bright spark of colour on that side.

This weekend we decided the lawn would never return and planting another couple of hydrangeas would be more aesthetically pleasing and (once they were in) less labour-intensive. Of course August isn't the optimum time to find hydrangeas at the nursery but we set off on our quest anyway. We found only one worthy specimen, Hydrangea Annabelle, whose 10" snowball heads should be a joy next summer. The Guy planted it early Sunday morning and it almost covers the lawn area right now. By next Spring you will never know there had ever been a minute patch of grass on that border.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I try not to play favorites with my plants but this Hibiscus and its two siblings have bloomed triumphantly since I bought them home a couple of weeks ago. Pretty pink flowers with a fuchsia center, that arresting yellow stamen and dark glossy leaves, how could I not love them? And the name of the variety is Maui, isn't that perfect? It's the nearest I'll get to Hawaii this summer so it's a bonus.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just like dial-up

I think I got the answer to what would happen when Mozilla attempted to set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours: You can't get near their site. I've been trying for 33 minutes now, since the Official Start at 1 PM ET. It's just like the old days of dial-up and the internet, way back in the mid-90s.
While I'm waiting to get onto the download page for Firefox 3 I thought I'd post a photo. It must be all the orange in their logo that got me inspired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ant on a Peony

Or as I named this jpeg file: AntonPeony. Now doesn't that sound like a character from a novel? Anton Peony, debonair designer...

Saturday, May 31, 2008




Pinks. I couldn't resist this Dianthus at the nursery last weekend. The combination of two-tone bright pink flowers and bluey-grey leaves is gorgeous. A girl can never have too much pink, even in the garden.