Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras Colors....Purple, Gold, & Green..Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler=Let The Good Times Roll

Today is Mardi Gras Day but I could not go to New Orleans this year for the biggest street party in America as I usually do. However, the spirit of "Laissez les bons temps rouler"="Let The Good Times Roll" is always in my spirit. The 3 primary colors of Mardi Gras are purple for JUSTICE, gold for POWER, and green for FAITH. Rex, the King of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, selected these colors back in 1872 and they have been used ever since then. Trivia: Later Louisiana State University adopted the purple and gold of Mardi Gras for their colors, and Tulane in NOLA selected the remaining green then added blue. For Mardi Gras season I love these 3 colors, but they cannot compare to the beautiful red and blue of Ole Miss the rest of the year.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mardi Gras Goes To The Dogs: Krewe of Barkus Parade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRH7ajmxGFU Back in the "good ole days" when we had our apartment in the French Quarter, the Mardi Gras season was full of a jillion parades all over New Orleans, and being a "dog parent" one of my favorites was always the dog parade put on by the Krewe of Barkus. It raises lots of money to help animal rescue shelters. I did not make it to this one last weekend but above is a video of it from You Tube. Just click the arrow and enjoy watching it! The parade dogs are dressed in cool costumes and usually their owners are too. Despite many expensive registered dogs parading, the "Queen" can only be chosen from those females adopted from an animal rescue shelter.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Does Hebe Give You The Heebie Jeebies?

These are some photos I took of the lovely Bloom Fountain in Vicksburg. It was installed in 1927 near the city rose garden thanks to a bequest of $6,500 in the will of Louis Bloom. The statue is of Hebe, the Greek goddess who personified the eternal beauty of youth. (Is this Vicksburg's "Fountain of Youth"?) Hebe is pronounced correctly two ways: "Hebe" as in "Hebrew" or "Heebie" as in "Heebie Jeebies". Hebe was the cup bearer of the Greek gods on Mt. Olympus serving them ambrosia carried in her pitcher from the cup in her hand at their heavenly feasts. (However only plain water drips from the cup in her hand at this fountain.) In addition, Hebe was the patron goddess of young brides and also the attendant of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. TMI I know but I like trivia. Some people who stare at Hebe's face of the Bloom Fountain statue think her eyes and expression are strange which makes some viewers nervous thus giving them the "Heebie Jeebies". Personally I like her serene gaze. What do you think?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Refreshing Rain: Wet Pansies For GBBD

I have accepted the invitation from Carol at May Dreams Garden to join her Garden Bloggers Bloom Day so this photo is my first submission of something blooming in our little cottage garden. It was so good to get a rain here as we have had an unusual dry spell for February. My pansies got a nice drink and shower. With wet faces they are kind of cute I think.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Vine For Valentine's Day: Think Green

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved ones! Here are some photos of the lush green Valentine Vine growing on my patio trellis in July, 2008. Because of its heart shaped leaves it is called by many names such as: Valentine Vine, Heart Vine, Air Potato, Air Yam, Bitter Yam, and "blankety-blank" by those in south Florida and the tropics who hate it and find it to be an invasive pest and noxious exotic weed. Here in central Mississippi I love this rampant vine perfect for shielding and screening the west side of our patio from the scorching afternoon summer sun. Our frost and winter stop it from growing out of control. I suppose it is a plant that you either love or hate depending on how you use it. In Africa the fat "potatoes" that grow on its vines high in the air are eaten after boiling to remove the poison.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Japanese Magnolia Blooms In The Afternoon Sunshine on 2-12-09

This Blog Is Dedicated To The Memory Of My Beloved Sister, Lynn

This is a picture of my sister, Lynn, taken not long before she passed away in 2007. Because she lived far away in Montana and had become very ill, she was not able to visit Mississippi so I created this as a private blog in 2006 just for her to see what I was doing and growing in my garden down here. Today is Lynn's birthday and she would have been 68 years old. She was my only sister and was a close friend all my life. She was only 18 months older than me. I miss her dearly but I know she is in a better place now free from all her years of pain and suffering. This little orphan deer that my father found in the woods about 1946 became our pet and we named him Bambi. We raised him on bottled milk and he was much fun to play with. When he grew up he answered the "call of the wild" and voluntarily returned to the woods where he was born. During our childhood on our family farm we always had many pets like this litter of puppies. These old faded black and white photos are over 60 years old, but the happy memories I shared with Lynn are as fresh as yesterday. How time flies!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Some Sweet Spring Signs!

My first two King Alfred daffodils opened this past weekend to signal spring is near. This sleepy little Ultima Morpho pansy has finally awakened from her winter slumber.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Candlelabra Tree: Senna Alata: A Lotta Seeds Started

This afternoon the weather was wonderful and in the 70s and I started some Candlelabra Tree seeds from a bunch of pods I collected and dried from last summer. This fast growing tropical plant can grow into a small tree in one season here, and I love it as do our butterflies. It is called many names such as Candlelabra Tree, Candlestick Bush, Golden Candle Tree, Emperor's Candles, etc., and in Latin often classified as cassia alata or senna alata. It makes a lot of seeds and I will share babies from the flat I planted today.

Every Gardener Needs Chocolate Chip Cookies and Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'

After all the hard work of taking this photo of my patch of ajuga reptans 'Chocolate Chip', which is one of my favorite ground covers, and noticing the newly emerging dark chocolate chip sized spring growth, I felt dog tired and just had to go inside for a snack of my favorite Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies. To curb my craving, I took my chocoholic diet pill. Since I am both a plantaholic and a chocoholic this satisfied me temporarily.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Farfugium Japonicum 'Gigantea' The Leopard Plant

Norman Winter, a Mississippi horticulturalist and writer, wrote a feature article named "Leopard Plant Is Made For Shade" in today's Southern Gardening column. If you would like, click on the blue colored link above to read it. I have just a few of these strange plants that I got from a nursery in Washington state. Mine are not the spotted variety that gave rise to the name "Leopard Plant" but rather the solid green 'Gigantea' type with large dinner plate sized leaves. I like them only for the foliage and not for the dinky and weedy yellow flowers, and I have found they love dense shade and lots and lots and lots of water. For some silly reason I get a kick out of saying the Latin name "far-FOO-gee-um jah-PON-ih-kum". Perhaps I am remembering my fun classes of high school Latin years ago. My favorite courses were Latin, algebra, and geometry. To brush up on your Latin pronunciation of the botanical names of plants, just click this blue colored Fine Gardening magazine audio index link to hear whatever you want to scroll to.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Pretty Patch of Purple Pansies

Photobucket As I try to THINK SPRING I remember the saying "Hope Springs Eternal" so I am HOPING these very late planted yellow daffodil bulbs will get a growth spurt soon and bloom this coming spring. My plan was to have a bright combination of colors in this patch. I also know you can't hustle Mother Nature who does as she pleases so I will just have to wait to see what happens.