Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long's Gardens

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting this iris farm, smack in the middle of the city of Boulder, Colorado. Located near the intersection of Broadway and Iris (natch!), it is open to visitors for several weeks each spring (now through June 8th) when the iris are at their peak bloom. You are welcome to wander the grounds and enjoy the 103 year old farm site, dig your own iris, or order iris to have shipped to you in July or August. Check out their website here for more information.

Although the farm doesn’t seem to have as many fields in production as it used to (and that may just be my own perception), I still had a great time wandering the grounds with my camera. Patina was my watchword!

Enjoy the tour….

Thursday, May 15, 2008

But Wait, there's....

“It was as if someone had poured tons of coffee and milk into the ocean, then switched on a giant blender. Suddenly the shoreline north of Sydney were transformed into the Cappuccino Coast.
Scientists explain that the foam is created by impurities in the ocean, such as salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed. All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles.”

I remembered seeing this some months ago and was able to Google the original story (click here for the complete article and more wild photos). Although my pond doesn’t have any decomposed fish or seaweed in it (aaaaak!), flowers, pollen and seeds from the adjacent maple and ash trees do contribute to the “junk” and particulates in the water. The abnormally windy weather we’ve experienced this spring (and increased fish activity, as Ayana suggested) may be the “whipping” factor that stirs up the foam.

Anyway, it’s been fun. Thanks for your comments!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More...fabulous foam!

I finally caught the fabulous foam stuff early today. this is how it looks before the marbleizing patterns come into play.

A comment on the previous post suggested that the fish spawning may be contributing to this foam off but, frankly, when the fish spawn it SMELLS---and I really haven't noticed that. Thanks anyway, Ayana. One more piece of the puzzle!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Swirly Whirly

The foam phenomenon on the surface of our pond is just one of springtime’s magic acts. I don’t know what causes it, although it seems to be connected to the drastic changes in temperature that we experience this time of year (case in point: today 80 degrees F, tomorrow snow). I’ve also heard that it may have something to do with protein levels, although the presence of plants and fish are not a factor.
Whatever the cause, I love watching the marbleized effect on the water’s surface as the koi shimmer below.

Do you have foamy stuff on your pond? Do you know what causes it? Do tell.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Meet . . . Cercis!

Last week I went to Denver Botanic Gardens on a photo safari and was immediately drawn to all of the beautiful blooming Cercis canadensis, or eastern redbud. These small trees, hardy to Zone 4, are native to the Eastern US but are also found as far west as Texas and Northern Mexico. They are fairly adaptive to our alkaline soil, but it must be moderately moist and well drained; try planting in a slightly raised area in well amended soil (Unfortunately, I have not been successful growing Cercis canadensis here in the sandy soil of my home garden.) Cercis canadensis is one of the few flowering trees for our area that tolerates light shade.
The distinctive pinkish purple flower color is beautiful paired with any Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) or white flowering ornamental trees like Malus, Prunus, or Amelanchier. However, keep it away from brick buildings with any kind of orange cast---the clashing colors are horrific!

Keep your eyes open the next few days and see how many Cercis canadensis you can spot! These photos were taken in DBG's Japanese garden.