Sunday, April 8, 2012


" Behind A Wall" 
I own a solace shut within my heart.
A garden full of many a quaint delight
And warm with drowsy, poppied sunshine, bright,
Flaming with lilies out of whose cups dart
Shining things
With powdered wings.
Here terrace sinks to terrace, arbors close
The ends of dreaming paths; a wanton wind
Jostles the half-ripe pears, and then, unkind
Tumbles a-slumber in a pillar rose,
With content
Grown indolent.
By night my garden is o'erhung with gems
Fixed in an onyx setting. Fireflies
flicker their lanterns in my dazzled eyes.
In serried rows I guess the straight, stiff stems
Of hollyhocks
Against the rocks.
So far and still it is that, listening,
I hear the flowers talking in the dawn;
And where a sunken basin cuts the lawn,
Cinctured with iris, pale and glistening,
The sudden swish
Of a waking fish.
Amy Lowell


Thought I would share the bounty of my sister's gardens! Yesterday we all got together for Easter and a birthday. These beautiful bouquets were my hostess gift!
Beautiful Cabbage Roses with Pink Scented Geraniums from Virginia's Garden
Betty's Famous Sweet Peas

Planted some sweet yellow mums that look like daisies and have a dark spot in the shape of a heart in the center. More bulbs are popping up, including some new varieties of daffodils. The irises are loving the cold weather at night and the lilies are growing!

Inside the greenhouse the tomato plants wait patiently. The toad lilies are shooting up and the almond tree is as happy as can be. Quite mild last night so didn't even have to put the heater on.

Baby chicks are growing and growing. We now have fourteen, a mix of Americauna, Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Golden Sex Links and Barred Plymouth Rock. 

We tasted our quark and deemed it delicious! Can't wait to make another batch. Also, a shout over the fence to Aunt Ruth for that killer Easter egg recipe we posted yesterday. We made chocolate-covered Easter eggs with lemon and tangerine zest filling...major yum!

Since most of us won't be able to attend (but boy, would we love to!) I thought I would share what is going on in the Netherlands right now. It is the Floriade. It is being held in Venlo, a small city on the Netherlands eastern border with Germany. 
 What's the Floriade? It is the once-in-a-decade world horticultural exposition. Along with the major draw, the flowers, there will be more than 100 participants, often countries or regions, setting up displays showing off some of their best known foliage.Individual contributors fund their own displays, often with the help of local businesses eager to show off their country's best.
Some, like China, have built whole pavilions devoted to the latest national trends in plant care and display. Folding chairs that look like tulips when they snap shut offer a place to sit down and take it all in. Germany's province of North Rhine-Westphalia has funded a wooden structure of sloping angles, reminiscent of recent Scandinavian architectural designs, with its highly crafted display concealing miniature manicured gardens, unexpected vistas and beanbags for visitors to sit on. A Greek garden is simplicity itself with a grove of gnarled olive trees planted in rocky soil.
There are children's activities, places to shop, bulb packages that match the displays so you can replicate them at home (delicious!) and contests. One of the innovation restaurants serves food featuring produce grown on the premises, including strawberries in at least a dozen varieties. White asparagus, a regional specialty, is grown in a crypt-like structure with this creed above the door:
"Here lies buried the white queen, yet she should not at all be mourned for such is her life's desire and end."

But of course the biggest hit is the flowers. You are not going to believe it when I tell you what they are offering! In all, 1.8 MILLION bulbs have been planted across the exposition's 108 acre grounds. That's as well as the complementing 190,000 perennial flowering plants, 18,000 shrubs, 15,000 hedge plants and 3,000 trees.
Don't worry about missing the plants or flowers in bloom. When one field of bulbs has begun to fade, gardening SWAT teams will toil through the night to uproot and replace them. In addition, whole gardens of perennials have been planted in such a way that new blooms will unfold in different patterns and rippling colors as spring makes way for summer and fall. There is a gondola ride so you can view the breathtaking vista from the air in its entirety.
Floriade runs through October 7 and is counting on upward of 2 million visitors from the Netherlands and Germany alone, plus gardening aficionados, flower fans and businesspeople in smaller numbers from every corner of the world. <sigh> Don'tcha wish you could go and see it all?

 Federal Employee Evaluation Comments

These quotes are from actual federal employee performance evaluations:

Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.

I would not allow this employee to breed.

This employee is really not so much of a has-been but more of a definite won't-be.

Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet.

He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.

This young lady has delusions of adequacy.

He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better.

Got a full six-pack but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together.

A gross ignoramus - 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.

He does not have ulcers, but he is a carrier.

I would like to go hunting with him sometime.

He has been working with glue too much.

He would argue with a signpost.

He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.

When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.

If you see two people talking, and one looks bored, he is the other one.

A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.

A prime candidate for natural de-selection.

Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.

Gates are down, the lights are flashing but the train is not coming.

Has two brains: one is lost and the other is out looking for it.

If he were any more stupid, he would have to be watered twice a week.

If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you would get change.

If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.

It is hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.

One neuron short of a synapse.

Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.

Takes him two hours to watch 60 Minutes.

The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

Answer tomorrow

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LTC James said...

I ***LOVED***the federal employee evaluation comments! I know SOOOO many people who qualify for MOST of them!

Virginia said...

Hey, I made the big time! Glad you featured my flowers!