Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Poppies

My poppies bloomed this morning. I brought these flowers with me from my garden in Wisconsin when we moved to Michigan two years ago. They spent the first winter and spring in the yard of a rental house, and I transplanted them to the back fence of our property when we bought a house last year. We've been together a long time. Now and then, I'm tempted to buy more, but I never do.


quinn the eskimo said...

I hope you get some bees visiting. All hive, no garden - makes for a dull buzz. They're gorgeous.

Gotta say, we're in climate hell here. Nobody's seen anything like it. The cold just doesn't stop. 25 again last night. Big hail last week. Highs at 50 instead of 70.

So when you all are out in your gardens, take some extra deep breaths for me, willya? Enjoy it.

Billy Glad said...

It has just begun to warm up here. I wonder how the last couple of winters have affected people in the Midwest's view of global warming. Our winters seem to be getting worse. It's very strange to read the evidence piling up about the effects of global warming at the same time you're suffering through what seems to be the longest, coldest winter in recent years.

We don't have enough flowers to make it worth a bee's while to spend time around my place. In Wisconsin we had them, I'll tell you. I had a big hedge, and there was a hornets' nest in it, fastened to one big, vertical branch. I got the crazy idea that I could take my limb pruner and reach in there and just clip the limb right below the nest. I had never seen bees swarm before. Miraculously, I wasn't stung even once, but I was moving, man.

So next year I hired two college guys to trim the hedge. I warned the there was a hornets' nest down at one end. No problem. They got their pickup and lowered the tailgate, and one of them stood on it, trimming the top of the hedge while the other one moved the truck slowly along the hedge. I was inside the house, and all of a sudden didn't hear the hedge trimmer going. So I went out and the trimmer was on the ground and the truck was gone. I thought oh jesus one of them cut himself and started looking for blood on the ground and on the trimmer. Nothing. Then here comes the truck and they both pile out, cursing and hollering and attacking the hedge with cans of some kind of hornet bomb. I hid in the house until it was over.

quinn the eskimo said...

"So next year I hired two college guys to trim the hedge."

Line of the week. Still laughing.

GirlfromtheBronx said...

Billy, a gardener! Who knew. Next, he's gonna tell us he can make a mean gumbo!

Love the poppies!

Sofeesha said...

Nice colors. Nice flowers.
Compliments from Sofeesha.

Billy Glad said...

Now, everybody who grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast can make some kind of gumbo. And I actually can make a Louisiana style shrimp gumbo that anyone would immediately recognize as the gumbo they serve around New Orleans. Fresh tomatoes, fresh okra, cajun spices, heavy on the thyme, the vegetables stewed carefully for an hour or so.

My mom, who worked and had three kids and a husband to feed every night, would stop on the road coming home from work and buy a couple of pounds of shrimp maybe 1 or 2 hours out of the Gulf off the back of a pick-up truck, chop up an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic. She'd throw the onion and garlic in a pan with a tablespoon or so of oil, get them glassy looking, then add a pound of frozen okra and two little cans of Hunts tomato sauce, a couple of cans of water, salt and a lot of black pepper. Bring it all to a boil and let it boil until the water was gone and the sauce was back down to about 2 cans of tomato sauce, then throw in the shrimp and let the water the shrimp gave up boil off. Whole deal, including rice to serve the gumbo over and some hot bread, took maybe 20 or 25 minutes.

When we entertain, I make the "authentic" Louisiana gumbo folks can recognize.

When we eat gumbo ourselves, we eat my mom's.

Of course, it's never as good as hers was, because we can't get those shrimp up here.

quinn the eskimo said...

Ok ok. Next thing you're gonna tell us is you can tap-dance.

GirlfromtheBronx said...

Oh Billy, you're killin' me. What I wouldn't give for some of that gumbo! That brings me to the lyrics of the Hank Williams song I heard all the time when I was a kid. And you know how you hear things and think you know what they are. And then later you find out it was something else. I just always thought it was:

Jumbalai corn fish pie at the dayo,
Sun of a gun I'll have fun at the at the bayou

Anyway, just looked it up and found:

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file' gumbo
'Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

quinn the eskimo said...

Goddammit, Billy.

Marion says transplanting poppies is REALLY hard, and to do it twice is ungodly good, and I should speak to you with a great deal more respect.


Billy Glad said...

Here's the strangest part. There are two plants, but they're really the same. Before I left Wisconsin, I divided a plant into two, figuring maybe one would survive. You take a shovel and shove it right down the center of the plant. Dig it up in two pieces and pot them separately. Both halves survived the moves. But they're getting older. Not as big and not as many flowers every year. I'm going to grow more this year from the seeds of these two. Something about them I like.

You know the flowers can't last even a day off the plant. Like cherry blossoms. Ephemeral events. If I can find the new Smithsonian site, I'm going to send them the pictures and the date they bloomed. Haha!

Billy Glad said...

Part of the garden in Wisconsin. Be sure to click on the image to blow it up. At first, the mice and zhrews ate the poppies. Little junkies. Then we got Princess Zyema, the velvet kitten. She is a fierce hunter and protector of poppies.

Tom Manoff said...

This is a true story, though some won't believe it. A few days I took pictures of my pond. I also dropped the camera. It won't download into the computer. That's why I didn't post it.

Billy Glad said...

"My pond ate my camera?"

This comment no doubt relates somehow to your delinquent assignment.

Tom Manoff said...

No way to prove it. The damn picture is on the camera and won't download.

Meantime I need the damn thing. I have to send it off for repairs. But how long will that take? Seems like I'll have to buy another camera while I'm waiting. Maybe move up in quality.

I wouldn't want to let down the bloody hive.

quinn the eskimo said...

It'd probably be best if you took another picture of the pond. The first one was for our enjoyment. This one'll just be for our records. Make sure you shoot black & white, shoulders & head, maybe lay a tape measure down beside it.

I never trusted that lying place of carp.

quinn the eskimo said...

Pretty gorgeous garden in Wisconsin, by the way.

Anonymous said...

They are magnificent and noble and obviously want to live with you.

A suggestion: uou need to buy them a new outfit, they deserve it. The white daisies that you had growing with them in Wis. were quite nice, but I have a much better suggestion. They NEED one or two nepeta (catmint) plants in front of them. Google it, but know that the pics don't do it justice. They have their best flowering at the same time, right about now, gives a sea of intense glowing lavendar blue all at once, spreading, flowing, which will sit only a little higher than the daisies under their blooms. It's the kind of incredible color that you can't capture in photographs, and it looks stupendous against any large blooms of a different color. The contrast will be hallucinatory.

I put a catmint under (in front of) an orange glowing rose and liked it so much I went and got another this year to put elsewhere. Runs about $10-15 for a 5 gallon. It reblooms later in the season, too, but not as strong as this time of the year. The foliage by itself is pretty nice. The catalogues say they are 3 ft. high, but don't let that scare you, that's not true, what they really do is sort of spread out, you'd have to hold them up to get that measurment.

And, as the common name of the plant says it, Princess Zyema will go crazy over it, cats really do adore "catmint."