36 thoughts on “#wordlessonwednesday   #wordlesswednesday  

  1. +Allen Barnella I will let Laura name that blossom.  But will say, bet you have them where you live.  They don't grow where we are now, and we don't have them back home in LA.  There is a variety that grows in LA, but not as lovely as Laura's 😀

  2. Just south of me is the Lilly capital of the world. Smith River, California. They grow 90% of the bulbs for all the Lilly plants sold in the world.
    Is it a Lilly or an Orchid?
    Did you know you can't grow Roses in Hawaii? You can buy them there. They are flown in daily. Cost at $25 each. Or you slip into the Safeway store there. $1.00 or $3.00 each. Much cheaper. Just as good.

  3. Happy Thursday all!  I never imagined this photo would be a cause for puzzlement, but then again, this is not the usual way the flower is photographed.  +Allen Barnella and +Kenny Parnell this flower is…. (drumroll)… an Iris.   

    Big thanks +Peggy M for not giving away the "surprise", lol!

    I've been sharing a lot of iris photos since my recent trips to the botanical gardens, and there are many more to follow.  I've made up this album:

    Or you can visit +The American Iris Society to see some of the great variety and infinite beauty in these lovely flowers.

    Iris trivia – if you plant a lot of different irises too close together, they will revert back to their native blue or pink colors after a few years. 

  4. +Kenny Parnell lilies are my absolute favorite!  I've even tried to plant them but someone always eats them, so this year I'm going to try to see them at the botanical garden instead.  One of my phal orchids just opened! 
    I wonder why roses don't grow in Hawaii?

  5. +Laura Ockel It is an iris, indeed.  A bearded iris at that. May I clarify the issue of planting irises too close together? FYI, irises do not revert back when they are planted together. Unfortunately, this information is incorrect and a very pervasive piece of miss-information that many people refer to but not correct. What does occur? Our friends, the bees, are great pollinators and when they do their job on irises that are planted near each other, they create a new hybrid (first comes a seed pod, then the seeds fall into the soil, and the rest… is history). The new iris could very well be blue, purple or white  — these being very common colors among hybrid irises because many at times are recessive genes within the entire pool gene of  many irises already in existence. Hope this helps clarify it. 

  6. That is wonderful information +andi rivarola and I am glad to finally get to talk to someone with expertise on the subject.  I've heard it from 2 people who had the experience of losing their colorful irises, so I only know of the experience, not the cause.
    So your information begs the question, what happened to the parent irises?  The gardener notices his colorful iris are gone and these new purple and blue ones have taken their place.  I would not be surprised to learn the natural born children are heartier than their frilly bred-for-beauty parents, so perhaps the kids starve out their parents?  What would Freud say, lol!  Or do the parent rhizomes have a limited lifespan?
    Again, thanks so much for your wisdom 🙂

  7. +Laura Ockel Many times the parent plant dies out and the child iris takes over. It is true that the child iris is stronger, not sure why, but I believe it is because the child iris is born in the environment where it was created. I only think this because of my experience growing irises created in other states, let's say Oregon, or Missouri, and they may not be as healthy and strong as one hybridized in California. So, this leads me to believe that, the child iris born out of a seed pod that grows and survives the environment then is stronger… natural selection?

  8. I have an idea that a plant bred for beauty has less resilience than one born in nature… but I don't remember where I got that idea from, so it might not be correct +andi rivarola.  Your reasoning makes a lot of sense! 

    Thank you again so much for the benefit of your wisdom.  Do you know if bearded iris can be grown in Louisiana?  I believe +Peggy M may want to grow some when she goes back there.

  9. Forgot: I tend to agree with you that nature and natural selection tends to put together a better specimen, perhaps not as beautiful, but stronger and a better grower.

  10. +Laura Ockel "I wonder why roses don't grow in Hawaii?" I've heard that is because it is too hot AND humid. They grow great here on the oregon coast where it is fairly humid. They also grow fairly well in the desert. They need a little water and protection from the sun. They grew great in Redding, California where the weather is quite extreme. 110 f in the summer, for a month, to 30f in the winter for a month.

  11. Wow!  what great comments and information.  +andi rivarola thanks for the info on the Greater NOLA Iris Society.  That is at the top of my list of folks to contact when we return home next year.  +Laura Ockel I love your flower emoticon!  Thanks for posting this photo which led to so much new information. Better than Wikipedia 😀 

  12. So many new ideas are coming my way now, that I don't know where to start +Laura Ockel !  +andi rivarola 's link to the LA Iris Society has me wonderstruck.  I never imagined seeing gardens like this outside Japan.  So many of the images of the Besthoff Sculpture Garden could be a scene from one of the parks/gardens we've visited in Japan over the years.  Glad that NOLA is 'only' a 1.5 hour drive from our home in LA!

    +andi rivarola , if you have any info on backyard gardening to go along with the wealth of knowledge of iris, I'd welcome any/all suggestions.  We are one year out from returning home for good (yay!) and have a big empty backyard waiting for us.  It's a blank palette and I'm contemplating raised garden beds and whether or not teak (which we can obtain here and ship home) is a good material for that.  Termites are an issue as is lots of rain so if we put it down, don't want to fuss with changing wood borders after a few years.

  13. +Peggy M Teak is a good all weather wood. That is the number one reason it is used on most boats. As they say. It weathers well.

    If you don't want bugs. Use a wood with tanic acid in them. Such as cedar or redwood.

    I know from experience that redwood will last for too many years. Over 10. It gets stained easily so water stains are to be expected. Think coffee cup ring type stain. Not the oil based protective stains. Even though they do stain very well if you want a particular color. Redwood will turn black or gray depending on the salt content of the air. So you might want to stain it to protect that beautiful red color. Redwood is just not that structural of a wood.

    Cedar is just expensive. Think of it this way. You can buy pressure treated fir (usually some copper solution) or cedar. The fir will rot out first when used as fence posts. Once again, I'm talking from experience. Most of your most beautiful, low maintenance decks are cedar.

    If you really want something that will last way to long and never be effected by bugs, buy that recycled plastic/wood composite decking. Very expensive. Very heavy. Not bio-degradable. That is kinda the whole point. I think they only come in 2×6 or 2×4 configurations.

    There are 4 choices for you now. Listed from cheapest to the most expensive. Almost all will outlast the steel screws or bolts you use to hold them together.

    How does Pepper wood, Bay wood, Myrtle wood hold up there. Same tree. Pretty strong in tanic acid. At least the bark is. Should be readily available in LA.

  14. +Laura Ockel When someone says 1.5 hours of driving. I think 90 miles. 30 miles to the gallon. That is 3 gallons. Even at $5.00 a gallon that is only $15.00 one way. $30.00 for all that scenery and 3 hours of entertainment is cheap for a whole carload.

    Fuel is only around $4.00/gallon here. Even cheaper.

    I would drive my family nuts on long trips. I would randomly pull over. Get out. Pick up a rock. Put it in the car. Get back in and take off. After it cooled down. I would pass it around the car. "Isn't that a cool rock?" LOL "Dad your crazy." "yup. And I've got the keys. And I'm driving. Are you scared yet?" LOL

  15. LOL +Kenny Parnell What fun!  That sounds so like me.  When our family goes out, I'm lagging behind looking (and photographing) everything that catches my eye…which are most things!  In Japan, there are places with beautiful manhole covers. +Laura Ockel check out the one in the upper left at this link


    Fortunately, most are on sidewalks or streets with little traffic.  I'd get the 'Moooommmm', what are you doing now?' and the eyerolls, but hey, I've got great memories 🙂

    Thanks for the great tips on wood.  I didn't realize most boats are made of teak and had no idea one could use cedar for anything but storage chests!  I don't plan to stain the wood – it will stay natural as it will be used for on the ground organic gardening.  I would (pun intended!) get boards that are stackable and that won't be stained.  I've seen some at this link, but think they would not hold up well http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/category/gardening/

    I'll research more on the wood…and also price it here.  We've had lots of rain there this year and our yard needs to be graded as it has a tendency to hold water.  Our two youngest are house sitting and complain how hard it is to mow the lawn.  It's either raining or too hot! I think if it was up to them, they'd cover the whole lot in cement!  Since we will land back in the states mid-year, it will likely be several months before it's cool enough to work outside, so the wood, if we get it here, will be sitting outside for several months.  

  16. +Peggy M Those look like redwood 1 by 10s. Notice how they are peeling away from the posts. The nails aren't holding very well. They do that. Very soft wood.

    Also notice in the corners they used pressure treated fir 4x4s. Green edges, White center. Kind of overkill. I would have used a pressure treated 2×4 ripped down the length. A 2×2 is all you really need. Use lag bolts with flat washers instead of 16 penny nails. Or use the nails and use washers. Hot dipped galvanized will last longer than electroplated galvanized or even stainless steel. Or do like everyone else. Drive in new nails each year.

    We had a 4 ft x 4 ft x 4ft compost box using redwood. Dovetail planks. They had a lip on one side. I think it was supposed to be redwood siding. We just dumped in the grass clippings and organic waste. The thing we forgot to do was churn and water it. It never smelled bad. It would steam in the mornings. It only caught on fire once. Paper bags are not organic waste. I was a bad 12 year old.

    Tell the kids. If they want to live in L.A. California they are more than welcome to pack their stuff and leave. In L.A. they say, "good ol mother asphalt."

    In Brookings Oregon, this busy body came up the street with her notebook. Told my dad that he needed to tell the renters to mow their lawn. It was 'gasp' 6 inches tall and GREEN. Without being watered.
    He said, "Well. Atleast it isn't cold and hard like that house right there." Pointing to the house with a rock garden front yard.
    She said, "That is my house. I have allergies."
    Dad made no reply. I was thinking. If you got allergies, what the hell are you doing living in a rain forest? The worst thing here is NOT the pollen. It is the mold spores that float in the air at night. Lady you need to go back to where you came from. But we just smiled and said we would get right on top of that.
    Tall lawns may look shaggy. But they don't need watering. When it gets a foot tall. Then we run the mower over it. Or just use the string trimmer, then the mower. Who says that all lawns need to be golf course lawns? lol.

  17. LOL, seriously, you had a fire in your compost pile?! +Kenny Parnell If my kids ever heard of that, I'd never get them to compost 😀

    You have good points about the wood.  It would seem like overkill to use teak for raised garden beds, but with all the rain we're getting in Louisiana recently, maybe I should consider building a boat!  My cousin and her husband live along the river and at times their only way in/out is by boat.

  18. It's true +Peggy M – compost heaps will spontaneously combust. The decomposition creates heat as a side effect, so you are supposed to mix the compost with a rake or something periodically to keep the heat from building to a critical level and incinerating the compost. Josh's parents have a compost box, like +Kenny Parnell described, whereas we just had a giant compost pile back on the farm. Maybe because the pile was more spread out, nobody ever flipped it. Occasionally melon seeds would grow into new melon plants 🙂

    Josh was just talking about that the other day. When our bodies break down food, it creates energy for us. When the composting breaks down foodstuffs in a similar manner, it creates energy too, but in the form of heat. When you think of it that way, it makes perfect sense.

  19. +Peggy M those manhole covers were amazing!! I forgot to breathe for a moment.

    I'm always the one in my group lagging behind (obviously). We went to New York and saw downtown with my fellow brocade designer, Kathy, and her husband. Kathy was worse than me. It was absolutely awesome! She saw beautiful patterns everywhere, and we walked around like kids in a candy store, taking in the beauty. Meanwhile, her husband and my Josh were at the end of the block, waiting. Her husband got so aggrivated, lol. Josh knew better, even though we'd only been together 2 years then :~))