Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ABC Wednesday: Rambling "I's"

It's been a couple of weeks since I last participated in ABC Wednesday, so I wanted to catch up today. The letter I is not an easy letter to use, especially when I try to focus primarily on gardening. Today's post is a miscellany of I's, starting with . . .


No, this is not what my yard looks like today; this picture was taken in January. This igloo is actually a dog house which Older Daughter brought home in August. When I asked her about it, she just smiled and said, "Just wait." Knowing her propensity for taking in any four-legged creature who needs a home, I was afraid a new dog would soon be occupying it. However, she flew back home to Arizona shortly afterwards, without bringing us a dog or ever explaining the purpose of the doghouse. I must remember sometime to ask her what she was thinking.

Of course, as most of you know, there is a new dog at our house now. Miss Sophie, however, has sniffed at the igloo doghouse, but doesn't find it to her liking, nor would I dream of leaving her outside to sleep in it. She prefers lying at the foot of my bed at night to sleeping in her crate, but at least that's better than sleeping in my bed.


A favorite "I" word of mine is Irony. I picked up this magazine at the supermarket a few weeks ago--notice the headlines. Why is it that almost any so-called women's magazine always has a quick weight-loss program as one of its lead stories . . . and a picture of a scrumptious 2,000 calorie dessert on the cover?? No wonder I can't lose weight!


There is also some irony in my garden. The only flower I could think of that started with the letter "I" is Iris.

This is an Iris.

This is not an Iris.

In my Bloom Day post on Sunday I showed this foliage which I assumed were "Siberian Iris," or so they were called by the friend who gave them to me. Every spring the foliage appears, but they never bloom----or so I thought. Sharp-eyed Tina pointed out that they look like "Naked Ladies." The more I thought about it, I realized that is in fact what these leaves are, since this is exactly the place where the Naked Ladies surprised me last August.

For anyone not familiar with this name, we're not talking some kind of porn here. The picture above is of Lycoris squamigera, commonly known as "Naked Ladies," "Surprise Lilies," or "Mystery Lilies." The foliage of these lilies appears in early spring, then dies back over the summer, and suddenly bursts into bloom, seemingly out of nowhere in August. The irony is that all this time I've been looking futilely for some small iris blooms, when I had these gorgeous blooms instead. (Incidentally, I suspect the original Siberian Iris fell victim to Mr. Lawnmower Man some time ago, though he's never confessed to it.)

That's it for the I's this week, but now I'm regretting that I missed the last two weeks of letters, especially H. I realized too late that the letter H stands for some of my favorite flowers: hyacinths, hostas, hellebores, heucheras, and hydrangeas . . . just to name a few.

Last spring's hyacinths

Oh well, these beauties will all have their day in the sun very soon.

ABC Wednesday was created by Mrs. Nesbitt; to see more posts you may click here.


  1. I enjoyed your post on the letter I Rose. Funnily enough we have magazines with similar covers on this side of the pond :)

  2. I think your photos for *I* were very ingenious this week! Especially the magazine!
    Lovely pictures.

  3. For someone confessing to find I one of the harder letters (I agree BTW), you had plenty to share!

    I'm also smiling ironically at the walking weightloss plan - I was trying a similar strategy by signing up for the Moonwalk. Alas, I've aggravated a sciatica problem as a result,so no walking allowed for at least 10 days!

  4. So, did your daughter ever explain the doghouse to you?

  5. Fun pictures Rose. I have given up on diets. UGH.. they never work. Or maybe it is me that never works on them. Ha...

  6. Sophie is such a sweetie. I don't think goldens take to dog houses well at all, but your daughter must've known something. The iris is lovely as is the Naked Lady flower. I love the foliage and the blooms. Mine are passalongs from a good gardener, so I love them even more. Hang in there, the iris may yet bloom. Lawnmower man beware! The revenge of the iris may be coming to a screen near

  7. Rose aren't you glad your yard doesn't look like that first picture!?!?!? I had to laugh at the magazine issue. So true, isn't it!?!?

  8. I really like irony, too, and that's a good thing, given how my life has gone so far, LOL! I did finish GLAPPS and aside from the fact that I saw the ending coming really early on, it was still very enjoyable. I've read a lot about Nazis and concentration camps, but had no idea Guernsey had been occupied or that people from there were sent to camps. But the whole book wasn't as depressing as others I've read.

  9. Meant to add, the naked ladies (as well as autumn crocus (Colchicum spp.)) send up their leaves in spring, but they are long gone before the blooms appear in fall--you probably know that, but I didn't for the longest time!!

  10. Anna, They draw you in with the goodies on the front, then tell you inside the magazine that you need to lose weight:)

    Maggie May, I've been waiting for awhile to find a use for that picture:)

    VP, I really couldn't think of any other flowers that begin with I; are there? But then I haven't had time to see your offering yet:) Hope you are doing better!

    Mara, No, she didn't, and I need to ask her:)

    Lisa, I'd blame the diets, except that I never follow them for more than a day. Who can eat just one piece of chocolate a day?:)

    Tina, Do you know anyone who wants a doghouse?:) Thanks for the tip on the naked ladies; that was so funny--I would get frustrated every spring that those "iris" wouldn't bloom. We'll see if they show up somewhere else.

    Susie, Yes, I can do without anymore snow! We've had some beautiful days here; I'm just hoping that spring is finally on its way.

  11. I love irony and also find those women's magazines a great source of amusement. How could you forget those fabulous Naked Ladies/Magic Lilies/Squamigera? I can't get a single bloom out of mine.

  12. Monica, Glad you enjoyed the book. I thought the ending was pretty predictable, too, but the rest of it made up for that. Last year was the first time I'd ever seen the "naked ladies" in my garden, but they are in a hidden spot and Husband said he'd seen them before. I didn't know much about their growing habits until last summer--and then I learned about them from blogs, of course!

    MMD, All those magazines have the same topics every month, don't they--weight loss, reducing stress, getting rid of clutter...Apparently they think we never learn:) I remember your trouble growing these lilies; as I said, pure dumb luck must play a part, as I certainly haven't nurtured mine:)

  13. Rose, The igloo is wonderful covered in snow and your new family member is still adorable. I wish I could keep the cat off the bed...he takes up way too much room!

    Isn't this so our culture...the juxtaposition of rich dessert and quick weight loss. It's crazy-making messages for us!

    Lovely photos today, I loved seeing the iris and the Lycoris squamigera...I hope it's warm in your garden today!


  14. Rose, I'm gonna be dividing Siberian Iris Ceasar's Brother pretty soon. Want a hunk? I'll be more than happy to send you some.

  15. I love the dog house! and your new dog is looking good! I have no buds yet up here...but I am hoping soon!

  16. Honestly, that dog is so cute! How could you ever get aggravated with her?

    I just have to laugh about the Naked Ladies. A neighbor has them, and I used to wonder why her flowers "never" bloomed.

  17. The way you describe your garden is very pleasant and entertaining, as if we are walking with you. Your flowers are very beautiful. Have you got any roses besides yourself? Have a wonderful day!

  18. You are so delightful! As you are each week! You would have had a lot of H's wouldn't you? I love your I's though. How cool that you had your very own igloo in the back yard : ). Just delightful!

  19. Dear Rose.....

    When you speak to daughter please ask about igloo....I am really curious.....

    Sophie is gorgeous....such beautiful are going to have some fun with her Rose....

    The naked ladies are beautiful....I love plants that hold a little mystery....much better than iris as far as I am concerned.......

    Hope you have a less hectic rest of the week.......

  20. Thanks for showing another picture of Sophie- she's a sweetheart!

    I have had the same thought about those women's magazines; another thing I hate is when they list an article in big type on the cover (makes you think it is a big article) but then you finally find it on the third time through (sometimes resorting to the index to find it) and it's only 1 paragraph long!

  21. I like your I's! That family circle mag is funny! I wouldn't have thought about the irony if you hadn't pointed it out. My mum used to buy that magazine when I was little, it has brought back memories :)

    Miss Sophie looks very happy.

  22. I'm jealous that you get Naked Lilies to return in your garden. No such luck in mine.

  23. Dear Rose,
    I have enjoyed having a cup of tea with you this afternoon and catching up. Your post about the flower show was very interesting. I hope you put a rain barrrel in. I love mine.
    I must grow some hellebores. I see them in other's gardens and think they are so pretty.
    I too wonder what happened to all of your crocus...rabbits?
    If I have any around they will eat mine to the ground! I do not know about digging them up though...humm..
    It could be a good mystery...
    "The Case of the Missing Crocus".
    Have a very Happy Spring!

  24. The igloo is fascinating, the flowers are beautiful and surely the magazines are a paradoxical version of 'news'. Great post!

  25. Gail, It has been warm in my garden today, but unfortunately, I didn't have time to get in it--today is Tai Chi/lunch with a friend day:) I try to ignore media messages; my snug-fitting jeans send me all the messages I need. And we already have one cat and one dog who usually sleep with us; if Sophie gets in, we'll have no room at all!

    Marnie, I'm all for passalong plants! I'll send you an email with my address:) Thank you!

    Neva, I don't know what I'm going to do with that doghouse. Sophie is growing so fast; I think she really likes her new home here.

    Joyce, I can't stay mad at her for long--one look into those brown eyes, and I melt:) The funny thing about the lilies is that they've probably bloomed here for several years and I never noticed them before.

    Reader Wil, Thank you for those kind words; I tend to be a bit "chatty." The only roses I have are Knockout roses which are very easy to grow. They will probably show up here whenever they bloom.

    Life with Kaishon, How sweet of you! Yes, I would have had a lot of H's; I didn't even think of them last week:)

    Cheryl, I just emailed some photos of Sophie to my daughter and asked her about the doghouse. As soon as she replies, I'll let you know the answer. I'm curious, too. Sophie likes my garden, I've discovered; we are working on walking AROUND the garden, not in it:) And yes, I'm happy with those lilies, too.

    Laura, Yes! That's another pet peeve of mine...or they have a headline that suggests one thing, but the actual story is quite different. Another pet peeve is having to hunt through 20 pages of ads at the beginning of the magazine to find the table of contents!

  26. Suburbia, It really is true--I noticed while waiting in the checkout line at the supermarket today that all the "women's" magazines had food on the cover with a diet in headlines:)
    Miss Sophie has really settled in here; she's also got me wrapped around her little paw:)

    MrBrownThumb, It must be something to do with Chicago! I know Mr. McGregor's Daughter hasn't had much luck with them either. I take no credit for mine--they must have been here before me.

    Sherry, Glad you had some time to relax today! I would love to have a rain barrel, but they're rather expensive. I remember my grandmother having some years and years ago, but of course they were much simpler then. I don't have any hellebores either, but I recently ordered some, so I hope to have some blooming next spring. As for the crocus, the mystery has been solved! Several of them have suddenly appeared in bloom:)

    Tumblewords, Thank you! I think I could publish my own magazine--the same ideas keep reappearing...of course, I still buy them:)

  27. Always a pleasure to read your ABC posts Rose. :) I'm glad you shared a picture of your beautiful Hyacinths anyhow.

  28. Sophie is slowly working her way into the bed as did our fur babies. lol. If I told the Saint we were getting naked ladies in the garden, he would be standing at the front door with keys in hand ready to go pick some out. lol, I am just joking of course but I found that funny. My dad may have these as he has some lilies that pop up in the fall and I have always called them wonder lilies...

  29. I feel so bad that I am way down the line of comments! But you know how crazy things are this week. :} What a funny about the naked ladies. Sounds judt like something I would do. My grandmother had these and called them magic lilies. Probably thought it very nseemly to call them 'naked. :}

  30. Maybe your daughter was planning on giving you a penguin - it certainly looks cold enough in that photo! ;)

  31. Racquel, I planted even more hyacinths last fall, so I can't wait to see how they all look this spring.

    Skeeter, Sophie has spent a little time on the bed with me in the she doesn't understand why she can't stay there at bedtime:) I always called these surprise lilies; the naked ladies term just makes me laugh. Yes, my husband would probably be looking out the window to see them, too:)

    Beckie, I know you've had a crazy week--I hope you don't wear yourself out! When I first spotted the naked lady lilies last summer, Hubby mentioned he'd seen them there before. This year, with the new garden back there, I will be on the lookout for them in August.

    Chandramouli, Thank you! Hope everything is going well in Plantville.

    J, That's pretty funny--and ironic, since I watched part of "March of the Penguins" last night:) I'm still waiting for an answer from Daughter.

  32. H.I., Rose! I stopped buying those ladies' magazines a long time ago for that very reason. I was always more encouraged to try out a new cake recipe than to try losing weight. Anyway, diets are for those nearly naked ladies in bikinis on the beach not for aging (gracefully?!) gardeners covering up to keep out the sun. Enjoyed your rambles! That Sophie is a cutie.

  33. Lucky you – my yard could still looks like a colony of igloos. You must blog more about the mystery once you talk to your daughter. Sophie is so sweet! What a face! I do love goldens and it sounds like you are very happy with your new addition.

    That Irony post made me laugh.

    Lovely flowers! We won’t be seeing any for weeks, sigh. At least our snow is melting. Thanks for sharing your spring.

  34. I love the Ingenious way you Improvise on your ABC Wednesday posts, Rose ... what intellect! Happy Spring, dear friend!

  35. Whew I sure am glad to see that the snow igloo is NOT a recent image! Spring certainly has sprung in your home garden and Sophie is a sweetie...I applaude you in NOT using the dog house!!Sunning in the AZ sunshine..smiles..NG


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