Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thoughts-of-Travel Tuesday

I don't know about you, but sometimes blog posts practically write themselves in my head as I'm experiencing something. (In fact, I'm always wishing someone would invent a portable device that translates thoughts into typed electronic text!)

Other times, like this past week, not so much. It's kind of an in-between time in the garden: Bulbs and spring wildflowers are largely done blooming...

...I caught the tail-end of bloom for a large patch of yellow trout lilies (Erythronium americanum) in Redbud Nature Area.

Flowering trees, like this one* in a back corner of my yard, are dropping flowers by the day... [*I'm not sure what it is — cherry? plum? wild crab? — more enlargeable photos here if you'd like to ID it.]

...as is my cute purpleleaf sand cherry (Prunus x cistena).

...and not much else is blooming yet, with the notable exception of early-blooming bearded iris. They're a little shorter than normal bearded iris and bloom about a month earlier. I almost tripped when I saw them, they were so unexpected and lovely!

In this in-between time, my thoughts flutter. Two friends are traveling this week and my niece is at this very minute flying home to Colorado after a brief visit, which makes me a bit wistful. But Spring Fling is only a few weeks away and I'm very excited about that.

Speaking of which (shameless plug alert), if you mentioned to me earlier that you'd like to buy Fun with Winter Seed Sowing in person at Spring Fling, please remind me so I can bring the correct amount. Thanks!

In January I posted a list of dream garden visits, and I've gone to exactly 0 (zero, zilch, nada, none) of them. Trips to Arizona and DC fell through, and now it looks like a June jaunt to Massachusetts can't happen based on my friend's work schedule. I'm feeling fairly certain another friend and I will make it to St. Louis to see MOBOT, though, so keep your fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for me!

To start us off, Fiona is crossing her front paws...

...and Jimi is tucking his tail and paws!


  1. I know what you mean, Monica; some days I seem to have writers' block:) This is definitely an in-between time in the garden: I'm sad to see the tulips fade, but the good thing is that it's almost time to start planting annuals. I'm looking forward to plant shopping--the garden center is about as far as I travel these days:)

    I'm sorry you haven't been able to visit any of the gardens on your list, but I'll cross my fingers like Fiona and Jimi that you will be able to soon. It's so much more fun going with a friend; Beckie and I like to go on little gardening adventures, but now that she is working full-time, it has been hard to schedule any. Thankfully, she has taken off Spring Fling weekend. And please add my name to the list of people wanting to buy your book!

  2. It looks like Jimi has the right idea. I could use a catnap right now myself.--Randy

  3. I was just thinking the same thing as Randy - a nap sounds excellent!

  4. Fingers crossed! Heh, I'm just hopeful to visit my OWN garden enough this year! ;-)

  5. Cutie Pie cats for sure. You'll be traveling soon and I bet you'll have a great time. I am not sure what that mystery tree is, looks like it might be a crab.

    Love your iris!! They do tend to surprise us! And what a nice surprise.

  6. Love your iris.

    Yes, we need some sort of gagetry so that we can thought-type our blogs. Something so that we can take pictures and crop them too! Too Borg-like though I guess, but it would be convenient.

  7. Hallo Monica, ich kreuze auch meine Finger das du deinen Trip machen kannst. Dein purpleleaf sand cherry Baum gefällt mir sehr. Ich hab gestern bei Lowes ein Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald n Gold' Gekauft, der auf zwei Dollar runtergesetzt war, das war ein "lucky brake".


  8. Hi Monica, my toes are crossed for your visit too. Mobot is a wonderful place, so I've heard. I also would love to have your book, put me down for one, please. We are getting excited here as well about the fling. Looking critically at the closet, trying to figure what the weather will be. Any ideas? Jacket, light weight, heavy weight? Rain? Shoes? :-)


  9. Rose,
    My going to MA depends on whether my friend teaches spring semester... it's been kind of a rollercoaster ride as people add (and drop!). He's 3 away from the minimum number and there's one day left for registration. So maybe it WILL work out!! If I make it to MOBOT, I hope you and/or Beckie could meet Carole and me there!!!

    James (also sometimes called Jamie) is the absolutely best role model in the world for napping, cat or otherwise!

    Jimi is a world-class napper, especially as he's gotten older.

    LOL, I know what you mean about visiting your own garden... I have more time this year, but feel I spent too little of the last two in my own garden.

    I adore these early-blooming iris--the color is just vibrant. I do miss the cats when I travel, but they are better off at home!

    Sweet Bay,
    Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!

    "Lucky brake"--also gut dass man da angehalten hat, oder? Ha ha, gefaellt mir! Ich habe die Sandcherry letztes jahr sehr doll geprunt (?) aber sie sieht wieder gut aus. Ich lebe die dunkeln Blaetter. Bei Lowes have is sher viele kleine Nadelbaueme im Herbst fuer $3.33 bekommen.

    I do have many ideas, but only about 0.7% of them involve fashion! HA! (Actually, I'm serious.) This is further complicated by being self-padded, meaning I dress more lightly than most. I'm guessing a lightweight jacket is handy to have, seeing as we'll be out all day and it's cooler in the mornings and evenings. Oh, and you're from TN and used to warmer temps! ;-) Having broken-in, comfortable walking shoes is paramount. Paramount. And a purse large enough to fit a day's eventualities (umbrella, camera, water bottle, snacks, handouts) is probably handy too. (I don't usually carry a purse, so pardon if this seems obvious!) Someone mentioned bringing an extra memory card for the camera, and that seems wise.


  10. Did you say Mobot? I love the Missouri Botanical garden! It was Shaw's Garden when I was a kid and we loved visiting there. I haven't been since last year...sigh. Have a great time! I wish I was going to be in St Louis! There is a very cool store nearby..Gringo Jones. I got the c&l welcome pig there!

    Not being able to get into the garden for a week (rain) has been a blogging handicap!

    I am so glad that Spring Fling is just around the corner!


  11. What a good idea to have a portable device for translating thoughts into typed electronic text! My problem is not ideas - I have too many - it's getting the time to post, and also to visit blogs, which I so enjoy.

    Hope you get some good garden visits in this year, (and then we get to see the photos too!!)

    Wouldn't it be good to have a time-stretching machine!!

  12. Hi dear Monica ~ my head spins like yours, especially now as life twirls around me. I'm sad :( not to be able to join you at SP but my life here rules. I have a feeling that perhaps we will someday meet :) I hope you all take lots of fun photos, not only of plants, but of each other.

  13. I spent some time at two garden centers today and even though I know very little, I had a good time...and it's a busy time here on the pond...I heard the first bull frog today

  14. Nice post today Monica!

    You've got some great plants - and I love the photo of the iris, such a fantastic colour!

    Great cats too.

  15. Sorry about the travel plans that fell through Monica, but so glad you'll be back in Chicago again soon! Spring Fling's just around the corner!

  16. To begin Jimi and Fiona a beautiful kitty cats! I know how you feel since arriving home from AZ I don't seem to be inspired in posting..guess I'm needing some solitary time.
    Your blooms are glorious!! Better days ahead.

  17. Monica! I meant to say "are" I had better not blog today..I'm making mistakes...here and there!

  18. I love the deep purple of your Iris. Very striking! Have fun at Spring Fling, wish I could of attended this year. Too many family obligations, maybe next time.

  19. I can't keep up - maybe if I put more than one subject in a post things would be easier but I have to stay focused on one thing or my mind goes

    oh a um - blank.

    It's raining today - so I'm trying to catch up on visits and replying to comments. Later I just might put out some catch up posts before it really is too late.

  20. If you just get to Mobot that will make up for everything else, I think. I've never been but I've used their info for decades, would love to see it in person.

    Those deep-colored irises are making me reconsider my strict limits on irises...

  21. Die purple cherry sieht ja toll aus. Habe ich bisher noch nie gesehen.
    Schade, dass soviele deiner Plaene sich in nichts aufgeloest haben. Vielleicht klappt es ja ein anderes Mal.
    LG, Bek

  22. I love the kitty pics! They are so sweet looking when they are stricking that pose. My two girls look so innocent when in these positions. Then before you know it, those stinkers are into something...

    At first I was going to say your mystery tree was a plum as it looks so much like the wild one growing in our yard. But once looking at the other pictures on the link, I see they turn green and are really larger then our plums. So not sure about this being a plum. Our plum produces small fruit so I know it is a plum. Ah, such mysterys today...

  23. Fiona is just the sweetest kitty! Jimi is pretty cute too;-) Too bad you couldn't get to DC but I'm sure you will eventually-just keep it on your list. I've never been out to where you live, either...time is 'precious' and so is 'free-time'! Perhaps next year?!

    I'd like to have some trout lilies-they never bloomed this late winter/spring but perhaps next year.

    I will say that your purple-leaf sand cherry is adorable...what a sweet little flower!

    I am sure you will have a wonderful time in Chicago;-)

  24. Monica,

    That trout lily is pretty awesome. Just the foliage is even to make me drool.

  25. Süß die beiden Pelznasen !!!
    Liebe Monica, komisch gerade läuft bei uns eine Dokumentation über die Lüneburger Heide. Ja, sie ist ca. 1 Stunde entfernt von uns und fängt so Ende August an zu blühen. Einfach herrlich! Ich liebe diese Gegend sehr.
    Schönen Sonntag noch und liebe Grüße,

  26. Lovely trout lily. The leaves are like those of our spotted orchid (not in flower yet). That bearded iris is such a deep colour, it's gorgeous. I do hope you manage to get some trips in, we're always glad we've made the effort when we do get to visit a garden.