All About the Flowers

It was a lovely day yesterday. The wind finally died down, and I believe the warm weather has arrived...for a few days, at least. Along with the rest of the entire population of the United States, we made our way to the garden stores to stock up on annuals for the season. But don't worry, we were on the hunt for some perennials too. This turned into quite a fiasco. 

We first stopped off at a local garden center on our crusade to replace our blue clematis. We found plenty, but I was especially taken with this particular clematis known as Mrs. N. Thompson. This isn't my photo, but one I swiped off the internet.

Isn't this gorgeous? When I saw it, I completely lost interest in the dark blue ones we were seeking, although they had those too. So we picked up one of those along with a cherry tomato and a trellis, and we made our way to the checkout. There, we found five lines, each at least ten people deep. The payment system at the garden center was down. After waiting without moving for about 15 minutes, we decided this was going to be a lost cause, and so we replaced our items, and moved along. We'll try again today. In our experience, the clematis sell out fast, so you'd better get them while you can. The whole payment system thing was rather disheartening. Hopefully, they'll get it working again today, but we'll call ahead.

Okay, so our clematis hopes dashed, we headed down the road to another grower to see if we could find some hanging baskets. They had the most beautiful dahlias in pots.

Dahlias are my favorite flower. I was mightily tempted, but then considered whether I really wanted to dig these up each fall. I'll need to give this more thought, and so I bypassed them in favor of the hanging baskets.

We got a bad case of the cough syrup syndrome looking at these, but finally decided on this bright red one...

And this one.

Both of these have some other colors mixed in too. They're hanging out on the deck now, but I forgot to take a picture afterward. I'll get one when I make my next little walk around.

But wait...just what is she talking about with this "cough syrup syndrome?" Well, as I've mentioned before, it's a disease Mike and I made up. Have you ever walked into a pharmacy for some cough syrup? There are so many kinds! Plain cough syrup in 15 different brands. Cough syrup with decongestant in another 15 different brands. Cough syrups with expectorants in another dozen brands. Cough syrups with decongestants AND expectorants in twenty brands. Throat lozenges and cough drops. What's a coughing person to do? I'll tell you what we do. We usually leave without buying anything. We can't make up our minds. Fortunately, we were undeterred by so many choices yesterday and forced ourselves to choose something

Okay, and then finally, we were on to our local megamart, where they have the best prices on annuals. For this year's potting pleasure, I chose geraniums, gerbera daisies, marigolds, impatiens, and something else I can't remember.

Oh yes, and some chives, and a cherry tomato. That should hold us for the season. Except we tried calling the original place about the clematis, and their payment system was still down. We'll call again when they open this morning. We might have to go elsewhere. I'd hoped we could purchase it online for curbside pick-up, but that particular clematis isn't listed on their website.

Okay, so when we got home, I noticed one of the red tulips has opened. So pretty. There are a few more of these getting ready to bloom.

We unloaded all the flowers to the greenhouse and hung the baskets, and then I went to work sewing the binding onto the Sundress quilt. Of course, I had a lot of help with this. Smitty was dismayed there was nothing but frilly dresses on this quilt. He's waiting for the day I make a quilt suitable for handsome Mancats.

And then I went to work machine sewing the binding to the edge. This is my second most hated task of quilting. My first most hated task is sandwiching.

When I finished that, Sadie helped me tidy up the sewing room. She keeps her paws off the rotary cutter and pins, but she folded all the fabric and helped put it away. Don't believe me? A picture is worth a thousand words...just look at that tidy sewing room.

Okay, and then I was absolutely thrilled to find one of the cantaloupe seeds had sprouted. These are so late to the party, I was beginning to wonder if I'd actually planted any seeds in these little pots.

Okay, so here's something straight out of the Jetson's. It's a Litter Robot. A Facebook friend told me about this. Mike is the chief pooper scooper in our house, and so I showed it to him, and he bit. Ours arrived yesterday. 

So, basically, kitty pees or poops. The robot waits 7 minutes after the kitty leaves (to give it time to clump), and then it rotates and dumps the little clump into a bin below. When the bin is full, a light comes on to alert a human to dump it. I'm told it needs dumping about every three days. Also, I'm told it doesn't smell. If you want to see how it works, you can watch this video:

Both kitties have already used it. It wasn't me or Mike, so it had to have been the kitties. I figured this out through process of elimination. (Get it? Elimination? OMG...I'm so punny.) It's too soon to say whether this is the answer to our pooping prayers, but you can be sure I'll keep you updated. Honestly, how could I resist?

Okay, so by day's end, I'd turned the first corner on the quilt. I don't mind the hand-sewing part at all. 

So, in addition to trying again to get the desired clematis, we have grocery shopping to do. Our list is short since we're going camping next week, and the food is already prepared for that. When we get home, I'll get to work planting the annuals. There probably won't be much time for sewing today, but I'll get some of the hand work done. There's always time for hand sewing.

Before I go, please remain calm. I've received word that Google's Feedburner is going away. If you're an email subscriber, this pertains to you. I'm on the hunt for an alternative way to email posts directly to you, and I'll keep you updated. The change won't happen until July, and I sincerely hope I'll be able to find something. After a cursory review of alternatives, it seems all of them require a monthly subscription, and I'm not willing to pay for anything. I'm hopeful of finding a free service. Let's not get whipped up about this just yet. I'll keep you informed of what I learn as I go. It's far too soon for anyone to elevate their blood pressure over this. Deep breath. 


Barbara said...

Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound. ~ Edwin Curran

Julierose said...

That is one gorgeous clematis--such rich colors....hope you can get one tomorrow...cold, rainy and windy here today--feels like Feb. --wish it would warm up. It probably will turn around and get humid and hot over one night!!
My azaleas are ready to burst into bloom--one little mauve-colored bud has opened just a teeny bit. And the iris are sending long leaves up...so despite this cold holding on, Spring has come...
Are you going to hang your Sundress piece?--it is just too gorgeous to fold away......;)))
Hugs, Julierose

gpc said...

Oh my gosh, now I have clematis envy; that thing is gorgeous, it puts all others to shame. I sure hope you can snag one. And the binding on your sundress quilt is adorable -- I have never used a flowered binding. Of course, I have never made a flowered quilt, but whatever, I LOVE that binding so, just as you converted me to stripes, I will now figure out some way to use flowers. You are a good guru. I got one of the early pooper-scooper litter boxes for my daughter and her cat and she were both happy with it. She is not a careful housekeeper so it was not a purrfect solution, but it was better than it had been. Yours is way cool looking, clearly for hip cats only.

Frog Quilter said...

Hey Barbara, your patterns are posted and should reach you Monday. Enjoy!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Always love the flower photos - you have made some beautiful choices. It will be a while before plants are out or able to plant them - keeping it simple. Blogger just loves messing with us, leaving to our own devices. Heck, I got a letter (3 weeks to get here) from our electric supplier who branches to other resources. My provider is no longer with them and I need to chose another OR read my own meter and call in the reading. WTF!!!!

Darlene of Creative Latitude said...

living in So. Cal., I'm a wee bit jealous of all the beautiful flowers you can grow in your area of the country. Those clematis are absolutely stunning, as all your flowers. I saw the notice about Google getting rid of the feedburner, but didn't have time to read it thoroughly, much less research. I hope to leverage on what ever you find out. Sadly, I fear Google has given up on blog land.

Dorothy said...

I get you through Feedly. I think I use to get you through Bloglovn' which is a pain in the you know what. They seem to keep "us" up to date on everything and then all of a sudden I was no longer getting anyone's blogs that I had signed up for through them. Bonnie Hunter is switching to them.
Since you know the name of the clematis, can you Google to see if it is available at a local nursery? I love it. I just bought 2 new white ones

SJSM said...

Lovely flowers in your stores. I have not looked for ornamentals as we are changing the landscaping in our back yard. Everything but the vegetable garden will be dug up. We are taking out the grass as 1) it turned to California burr in the last drought and 2) water has become so expensive and is going up again. I’m not fond of a $300-$400 to water bill. 3) we need a new deck as the current one is falling apart. I’ve looked at those litter robots and am a little hesitant as I have one cat with loose bowels. Reviews state that is a disaster for this machine. Otherwise I would have tried it long ago. I am interested in Mikes review. The witchy stitchery is hard to see traced out but I’m so looking forward to your working on the piece. And you are closing in on that lovely sundress quilt. Nice!

MissPat said...

I don't have much success finding clematis at nurseries around here. I probably wait too long and only find ho-hum varieties that are scraggly looking. I checked out an online source recommended by several IG gardeners and their offerings are beautiful but, $35 - $40 a pot.
Don't write off the potted dahlias. Either winter them over in their pot or treat them as an annual. I've had one in the same pot for 3 years. Hopefully it's still alive, but if not I've gotten my money's worth out of it.
As far the email notifications, I've decided to not worry about it until July. I'll either find another way or will greatly reduce the number of blogs I follow (yours will definitely be one of them).

Elaine530 said...

Man! Those flowers are gorgeous. Love thedahlias.
I chuckled when I read that your least favorite things in quilting were sandwiching and doing the machine stitching the binding. I feel exactly the same. I have several finished tops waiting to be sandwiched. Someday.

Joni said...

Such pretty flower friends you found! Cough syrup syndrome made me laugh and laugh! I started dahlias in the green house that I picked up at Bi-Mart and they are gorgeous. I have a raised bed that is 100 x 5 feet, with about 60 dahlias and a few other perennials. I do not take them out in the winter unless it is to divide them. I mulch over and we have never lost more than a few from harsh Willamette Valley winters. I replenish the beds with mushroom compost from Yamhill, every other year. This year I am growing delphiniums in the greenhouse and echinacea cheyenne mix for a friend's fall wedding. So fun! starts of beans, peas, cabbages, early tomatoes, spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, lettuces, celery, buttercup, zucchini, delicata are now planted in the raised beds. Will start rototilling the main garden space in a few days. What a beautiful April we are having! I just started a feedly acct, all is well!

QuiltGranma said...

Cough Syrup Syndrome... I have that kind of indecision when figuring out which UFO to get back to.