Sunday, May 18, 2014

May Flowers, Indoors and Out

Today's plan was to lock up the wooly ewe and shear her before her wool got wet again in today's rain. The first part of the plan worked splendidly. I fed grain while Johnny snuck around behind and closed the make-shift panel gate, tying it closed with twine. Then he went to church while I confidently did chores.

When morning chores were done, I took the sheep shears to the sheep. Well, I started to. I had not got inside the pen before Matilda (as some visitor named our lone ewe) charged the gate, broke the twine and fled. There is no way to catch Matilda when she is outside a pen. She may be heavy with wool, but she's still ten times faster and more agile than I am.

To be honest, I was not looking forward to shearing that enormous sheep. I grabbed a camera instead of shears and took photos of flowers. Sunday is my day of rest anyway. Or it became such after Matilda's escape.

Rhododendrons everywhere in western Oregon this spring are spectacular. We only have two but they are covered with flowers.

Years ago, friend Velta and I went through an Iris phase: we planted many different varieties in our respective gardens. Both of us found out that iris do not like to be smothered in grass, which is what grows best around here. So the iris became mostly leaves and no flowers. Last year I made an effort to clear the weeds away from their feet. Either this happens to be a very good year for iris, as it is for rhodies, or my efforts paid off.

Lots more is blooming along with the iris. The Snowball bush is loaded with white flowers.

Columbine is thick and colorful in my flower "meadows".

Spring starts out with yellow flowers, mostly, it seems, but purple seems to be the dominant color right now. Even the chives carry through with that theme.

As does the Silver Moon clematis, just beginning to bloom against the house.

Inside the greenhouse, warmer colors predominate. Like this just-beginning-to-bloom orange geranium.

And the orange begonia...

May is the month that most of the orchid cactus (epiphyllum) bloom.

The amaryllis have been blooming for some time, mostly red ones. But this variegated plant has several blossoms open now.

Pink geraniums seem to be always in bloom somewhere in the greenhouse.

The most exciting flower of all doesn't look like much, but produces delicious babaco papayas. After the plant broke last year (, I stuck three stem pieces into pots and now have three towering babaco papaya plants. A few papayas are beginning to enlarge.  They take a long time to mature, but it will be fun to watch them grow. And when they're ripe, we'll make babaco papaya ice cream again. (

I should probably thank Matilda-the-sheep for giving me a day off to admire the flowers.

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