Monthly Archives: May 2016


It’s Derek’s favorite flower. When he told me he liked them best, I confess I didn’t even know what an iris was or what it looked like. I remember him getting a picture out on his phone to show me some that he’d planted at his parents.

Ever his favorite flower, he always get pictures of them every year. He asked me to get some with the good camera too. They’re so beautiful! I hope you enjoy!

Iris come in two sizes: regular and giant. These are the regular size. Don’t ask me the names of them; I’m afraid I don’t remember.

All I remember is that these purple/gray ones above are affectionately known in the family as “Aunt Wanda’s” from whom they came. I’m not sure even Derek remembers their proper name any more!

White irises hold a special place in my heart. They partnered with white lilies to be our wedding flowers. I can’t look at them without a tinge of sweet nostalgia! Nearly twice as big, these guys fall into the category of giant iris.

Such rich color can be a challenge to capture on camera! God’s works are amazing.

These three hadn’t opened yet, but they are now. Their pictures will follow soon. The white with the purple ruffles is my personal favorite.

Another regular iris. The smaller ones make up for their size by being hardier and more prolific.

Is it blue? Is it purple? Is it gray? Ah! I say lavender, but technically this is blue iris. The color is so soft, I could look at it all day.


COMING 2017! This is a row of new iris Derek put in this year. The colors on the picture ranged from breathtaking to really wonky. It’ll be interesting to see what they turn out to be like next year.



Filed under God's Creation, Uncategorized


We’ve been asked a few times what Derek’s landscaping work looks like. So I thought I’d post a few pictures and let you see this current project he’s been working on for his parents.


This is the front of the house. Derek put in all these plants that you see.IMG_0979

A closer view of the front — Day lilies, roses, tulips, and several other bushes Derek would know the name of if he were here! (I like those big furry-looking bushes under the window!)


The south west corner of the house.IMG_0983

This is a newer edition on the west side. The bushes towards the wall are magnolias, more day lilies, the spiny-looking one is a tiger-eyes sumac. Derek designed and laid the brick and rock himself. (Needless to say, I was IMPRESSED! I could never do that.)IMG_0985

The north-west corner and more of the west wall. The tiny tree right on the corner isn’t a tree, but a lilac! Hostas line the north wall.IMG_0992

Close-up of the hostas, and at the very end is a bleeding heart.IMG_0993IMG_0994

More of Derek’s brickwork; he laid most of the rock too! (My favorites are the variegated hostas with the white on them!)


A wind break of arborvitae. (Haha! I can’t believe I spelled that right on the first try!) As you might be able to see, Derek is still working on mulching around them with wood chips. Boy, will it look nice once finished!


The east side of the house is the most flowery! It’s a menagerie of colored iris, a peony, hostas, lilies, phlaux, and many more I’m forgetting. I’ve got to get you a picture of this bed when it’s blooming! IMG_1011

The line of brick is a new edition — it supposed to make lawn mowing easier without all those corners. Derek planted a few extra lilies you see there on the end. You can never have too many lilies.


What would you call this? A center piece? It’s an old plow in the middle of the lawn Derek landscaped around. A double mock orange is on the right. (Can you believe the flowers smell like juicy-fruit gum?) A lovely pink rose is on the left side, and there’s a smattering of decorative grass that comes up along the edges. It’s so cool!!!!


Another “center piece.” It was supposed to hide the well, but SOMEBODY threw in an antique lawnmower in the middle. I enjoy the bushy ever-green in the back. The dogwood with the lighter leaves has had better days — it just got a seasonal haircut.

So there you have it! When Derek isn’t gardening, this is what he enjoys doing in his free time — landscaping.


Filed under landscaping


After a fluffy, snowy, cold Iowa winter, it’s impossible not to be happy when spring arrives! Though, sometimes it’s hard to tell when Spring is actually here. Derek’s grandpa says it’s snowed in April and May before! For the moment, spring is here and we’re enjoying every minute of it!



Pots on the front porch waiting to be planted. They didn’t have to wait very long. I think Derek filled them with tender, young daisies and gaillardias yesterday! We just discovered today a few volunteer dill plants have made their home here. How did they get in there?



IMG_0885Speaking of flowers, Derek surprised me on Valentines day with a pile of flower seed packets that we could plant together. I’ve always wanted a flower garden, and I love cut flowers so much! Here’s the little plot Derek plowed beside the vegetables for it. All those flags you see are places where he’s laid in trumpet lily bulbs, daily lilies, Asiatic lilies, tiger lilies, and more!

Last night, we spent the last waning hour of dusk (and some of the full moon!) planting daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips all in bloom. It’s wonderful to have some color already!


I don’t know if you remember the honey berries? Well, they’re BLOOMING!!! Modestly, because they’re so young, but blooming indeed! Maybe they’ll be a few to sample this year.


Derek is very close to finishing out his rows of berries this year. The raspberry rows need a few to fill in where others have died. And here you see the blueberry rows, freshly mulched in pine straw. They still have some time yet before they start producing.

(Notice the adorable, baby pine cones? I confess I ferreted a few away into the house to save as Christmas decorations for next year. Pine cones are wonderful!)


The rhubarb has been up for week now. It won’t be long until I can bake with them. (Which reminds me, I should get my rhubarb recipes collected together. Do you have any you’d recommend?) Just this week, the first tasty asparagus came up. After a long winter, garden fresh asparagus tastes SO GOOD!! There’s a vegetable I wouldn’t mind being overwhelmed with.IMG_0916 IMG_0917 And finally, the peach trees. Aren’t those blossoms beautiful? I could stand for hours looking as blooming fruit trees. Last year we had a few peaches. I wonder what we’ll get this year? I can’t wait and see!


Filed under Uncategorized