Purpose driven flower beds … Gladiolus: The Dark Knights

In the beginning...

In the beginning…

I.Love.Flowers. I do. Over the past 6 years I have created quite a few flower beds (10 beds, actually!) because like Claude Monte I need flowers every day. ūüôā

then came the first bloom

then came the first bloom

I am still learning and deciding which styles I like for beds, and how to display the flowers in the beds; i.e. in groups or dispersed throughout, one color / color theme or a mix of colors. I also like the idea of a ‚Äėcutting flower‚Äô bed, where the flowers are purpose grown specifically for cutting.

every stage of growth shows something new

every stage of growth shows something new

This particular bed (photo at top) was created with the intention of using it for planting squash.¬†¬† I wanted to grow squash on a trellis. Maybe you‚Äôve seen pictures on Pinterest of how lovely that can look? So I killed the grass with newspapers (that is shorthand for explaining how to kill grass without chemicals: cover with newspapers for minimum 3 months), dug up the soil, added compost, let it sit for a season and then it was all set for planting. ¬†The only problem was that we weren’t set for building a trellis (yet).

gladiolus with supports

gladiolus with supports (calendula in the bottom left photo)

The squash lost out, because I decided that I was going to fill the bed with the 40 Gladiolus which I had bought the previous year. Of all 40 bulbs, not a single one bloomed in the containers I had planted them in. ¬†I was hoping¬†that maybe in some nice compost and enough room they might be happier and I’d get a few flowers.

the blooms are quite large

the blooms are quite large

What a turn-around those bulbs had after I planted them in the bed.  They have been blooming since mid-July and it is now mid-August and they still looking all showy.

growing a bit sideways

growing a bit sideways

About the colors… I like purple in the garden, and the picture on the package is purple and burgundy and nothing at all like the purple and red colors which have bloomed in my garden. ¬†It reminds me too much of Christmas! ¬†But never the less, I love them.

we get a lot of wind!

we get a lot of wind!

Can you guess which way the winds blow at our house? ¬†The poor stems were fighting a loosing battle. ¬†I’m not sure how much help our supports are for them either, since they are still leaning forward! But they continue to bloom and they are simply stunning.

between the bloom size and color and hardiness, I love these guys!

between the bloom size and color and hardiness, I love these guys!

perfect flowers

perfect flowers

cuttings from the garden

cuttings from the garden

I have indeed cut stems and put them in a vase a few different times.  The stems are so long that after the lower flowers die I can cut the stem a second time and continue with all new blooms at the top of the stem.

2nd half of the stems!

2nd half of the stems!

showy from across the garden, too

showy from across the garden, too

I really like how they stand out across the garden.  Unusual colors for my garden, but I can make them work.

Purpose driven gardening, I like that. ūüôā

In Peace,
Dana

Contentment… and a perfect visit to the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin!

National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin

A slightly tilted photo of one of the glass houses at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin

Contentment. Do you ever think about whether or not you are content? It is something I’ve thought about a lot over the years. These thoughts on contentment all first started while¬†I¬†was in the throes of really struggling with my strong-willed toddler. ¬† I attended¬†a parenting course in the hopes of finding a magic solution to the challenges I was facing.

one of my favourite flowers... peony

one of my favourite flowers… peony

Turns out the main discussion in this course was¬†actually about contentment.¬†When the teacher started talking about contentment¬†I had too many “yes, I’m content, BUT…” thoughts in my head and more importantly, in my heart.

National Botanic Gardens

Gladiolus

I wasn’t “there” yet; that place where you find peace no matter what the circumstances are. ¬†It would take me quite a few more years to be able to feel contentment.

National Botanic Gardens

National Botanic Gardens

My life has been so full and I just feel so fortunate, even through the many ups and downs.

National Botanic Gardens

Iris

Recently I was lucky enough to steal away for an hour to the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin. (http://www.botanicgardens.ie) It was a perfect afternoon for a relaxed stroll through the gardens.

water lily

water lily

The weather was amazing; warm but not hot, sunny but not too sunny to bleach out photographs!

statue in the gardens. National Botanic Gardens, Dublin

statue in the gardens

I love this statue.

Best Night Ever Sign Best Night Ever closeup

Their faces sure look content to me!

unusual daisy-looking flower

unusual daisy-looking flower

It was just me and my camera, and we had a ball together!

inside a glass house

inside a glass house

I was following two elderly ladies on part of my walk. Not in a ¬†stalking kind of way, but simply because I entered the garden behind them. ¬†I loved their conversation about the different flowers and where they source their own flowers, and the new varieties! ¬†O.K., maybe I was eavesdropping a little bit! ūüôā

interesting color combination

interesting color combination with this bearded iris

I was enjoying my time of peace in such a gorgeous garden.  That is when a wave of complete contentment came over me.  I even sent my husband a text about it!

These remind me of pretty birds flying together...

These iris remind me of pretty birds flying together…

I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing.

Lamb's ear: these colours remind me of winter.

Lamb’s ear: these colours and textures remind me of winter.

I know I’ve said it before, but I have the most amazing people in my life. ¬†I actually had a motto for a while: “People First”. ¬†I think at the time I was struggling with some issues, and the clarity came when I started saying “people first” to myself. ¬†So simple, but so important.

National Botanic Gardens

National Botanic Gardens

I’m happy with the decisions I’ve made over the years, especially with regards to being a stay-at-home mom, working from home, and finally working outside of the home. ¬†I’ve done it all, and I have¬†enjoyed it all. ¬†I’m not saying it was a piece of cake, but it was all worth it.

heron by the water

heron by the water

herron

heron

Life is still full of challenges but along the way I’ve managed to find my inner peace, my contentment. ¬†What a huge difference that makes!

geranium

geranium

geranium

geranium

Being content doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying to improve myself, or work with less effort in the many projects I’m involved in. Not at all.

foxgloves

foxgloves

fox gloves in front of fern

foxgloves in front of fern sculpture

fern sculpture

fern sculpture

It does mean I have a much better attitude about everything!

from the rose garden

from the rose garden

I hope you’ve found your contentment, too.

In peace,
Dana