Friday, April 26, 2013

Iris of Whimsy...Part 2

Spring has finally decided to arrive here at the Whimsy Gardens!!!
The temperature today just may reach into the lower 60's,
and water is pouring off of the roofs from the melting snow.
Soon, I hope, I will be able to see the earth
and the emerging leaves of my gardens!
Traveling a bit back in time to March of 2012, it was then I created a post showing some
of the Iris of Whimsy Gardens.
Today I thought I would show a few more images I have taken in my gardens of one of my
favorite garden flowers...
the iris.

~ Cracklin Burgundy ~
Tall bearded
 Year registered 1981

This is one of the first iris I introduced into my gardens in the mid 80's (after my grandmother's heirloom blue), and is a gorgeous deep red!

~ Unknown Heirloom ~
Tall bearded

The Wabash iris I showed in March 2012 was found growing in the middle of
a clump of this iris's rhizomes, which was given to me by a friend
who had found them growing wild on an abandoned site.

~ Unknown Heirloom ~
Standard dwarf bearded

This very hardy iris which grows no larger than 11 inches tall was found growing
in an old farmstead garden.

~ Unknown ~
Miniature dwarf bearded

Who knows what one will find at a yard sale!
A few years back this little iris was one of those finds.
It is short on height but still produces good sized blossoms.

 ~ Appleblossom Pink ~
Intermediate bearded

This is one of 5 new iris I added to the Whimsy Gardens last year.
The blooms are gorgeous and smell a little like grape pop!

I can't wait for the snow to go, the earth to thaw, and my gardens to come alive again!

~ A wonderful whimsy day to you! ~

Friday, April 19, 2013


~ Minnesota April 19, 2013 Snowstorm ~
Many of you are probably enjoying warm spring breezes, the joyful sounds of birds singing,
 the sight of green blades of grass and spring flowers, possibly even a chance to
dig in the earth of a garden or two...
for those that live in northern Minnesota, winter has chosen to be stubborn this year.
We should be able to hear the joyful sounds of birds singing, feel some warm spring breezes,
possibly even see a few blades of green grass and a spring flower here and there.
Alas, instead we have had 3 major snowstorms
here in the last 2 1/2 weeks, with snow flurries many of the days in between
and winter cold temperatures to go with.
Yesterday's predicted snowstorm began as a storm with 4-6 inches,
as it got closer it became 8-10 inches,
but it was never predicted as 16-20 inches which is what this area received!
The above image is what I saw as I looked out the bedroom window this morning!
(The blotches on the image are wind splattered snow spots clinging to the window.)
~ Snowstorm at Gardens' Keep April 19, 2013 ~
I grabbed the camera and headed to our front door.
When I opened it, this is what greeted me...17+ inches of fresh snow!
(DH had already made a trail to the firewood pile.)
The Duluth airport has now recorded 115.3 inches of snowfall for this season,
and since our snowfall has been a bit greater than theirs
that means...
we have more than our share of snow for this season!
Winter push up and move on!
It's time for Spring!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


~ Baby Sparrows ~
~ Newly Hatched Robins ~
( This nest was built on top of our 3 foot high phone box!) 
~ Baby Robins ~
Nature always seems to balance itself out somehow. If Spring comes early one year,
it seems to come later the next.
Last year Spring came very early to northern Minnesota, one of the earliest on record.
In contrast, this Spring is taking its time, peaking its head out ever so slowly.
One day it snows giant sticky snow clumps that cling heavily to branches, weighing them nearly to the ground. The next day the sun shyly peaks out from great gray clouds,
just enough to slowly melt the heavy white covering deposited on roof tops,
vehicles, trees, and anything else that stood out under the early Spring sky.
Nothing can be done to speed the coming of Spring,
but oh how I long for its warmth, the smells of the earth coming alive,
the beautiful singing of birds that have returned to raise their young,
and the sight of lakes shimmering, reflecting the beautiful blues of warming skies.
Nothing can hurry Spring,
but to remind me of what awaits when it arrives, I look back on images captured last year.
Gardens' Keep flourishes with life, and the cedars I planted years ago
are favorite nesting spots for both Sparrows and Robins.
Above are images of baby birds in three of the eleven nests I discovered last year! 
I wonder, how many will I discover this year? 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Early Spring in Minnesota

~ Early Spring Snowstorm ~
This is what I see outside today...5 inches of new snow from an early Spring snowstorm
(and still it's snowing).
The snowflakes are so large,
and on closer view I see what looks to be more than 50 snowflakes clinging to each other.
Spring 2013 seems to be coming very slowly to northern Minnesota.
Many are anxious for warmer weather,
as am I.
Upon looking back into my diary
 it is surprising to see that Spring 2012 had made its appearance to us
by the middle of March.
On St. Patrick's Day we were spoiled with temperatures in the middle 70's
no snow on the ground, frog croaking, butterflies fluttering past,
 and Spring birds singing. 
The ice on local lakes had all but melted away 10 days later. 
Spring 2013 appears to be weeks away from the sightings written above!
Thankfully, even though this winter still persists
the Gardens' Keep greenroom has burst into welcoming shades of green.
Potted geraniums, daylilies, and heirloom iris
have joined the resident sage and primrose plants with blooms
in blues, purples, pinks, red, wine, and yellow,
their sweet scents wafting throughout Dragonfly Cottage.
~ Gardens' Keep Greenroom ~
The plants in the greenroom are such a welcome sight to eyes weary
of barren trees and winter snow,
and provide reassurance that as the days lengthen and the sun strengthens,
Spring truly is on its way!
~ Wishing you sunny, warm, whimsical days ahead! ~