Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Irish Garden

Facebook is famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) for their quizzes. They are quirky and a total waste of time. That doesn't stop me or thousands of others from taking them now and then, however. You can take a quiz that tells you what season you are (I'm Summer), what flower you are (Nigella), and where you should be living. I took that quiz yesterday:

"You belong in Ireland. You love the countryside and you want to spend your life being surrounded by green. You love small towns where you can relax in the pub and have a chat, and several pints! Sunny destinations aren’t important for you, you’d rather be in this beautiful country, where the people are chatty and down to earth and where culture surround you everywhere you go.”

Okay, let's go! Well, in reality, that's not going to happen, so how about a little bit of Irish in my garden? Not in time for St. Patrick's Day - not in my garden - it's too cold yet on March 17th for much to be blooming besides snowdrops and crocuses. But later there will be Oxalis.

Oxalis is better known as the shamrock plant, because it has three leaves on its foliage. That's what we're familiar with, and some of the Oxalis plants have interesting foliage. That, combined with their delicate flowers, makes for a fun and garden-worthy plant.

Often called Brazilian Butterfly Plant or False Shamrock, the burgundy leaves of Oxalis triangularis (subsp. papilionaceae) are in sharp contrast to the pale lavender flowers.

The Iron Cross (Oxalis tetraphylla) is the one better known to be the "good luck" shamrock. These amazing little bulbs just keep producing leaves and flowers all summer long if you let them soak up the sun and give them plenty of water. Both bulbs are tender to our zone, so I have to be sure to bring them in for the winter, but they store well and have performed year after year for me.

And what garden would be complete without a leprechaun? They can be elusive, you know, but when I saw the rainbow over Max's Garden one day, I just knew he was somewhere nearby.

Ah, yes. . . here he is. . .

Hemerocallis 'Leprechaun Eyes'

And more eyes!

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

On this St. Patrick's Day, I will be spending the day in the garden, as it is unseasonably warm and will be near 70° F. It's my favorite kind of day. I hope you enjoy yours, too.

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

~Irish blessing~


Bob said...

That's a purty rainbow over Max's Garden! I like it!

Unknown said...

Gee, the answer for the quiz sounds like it was written for me - not to mention I've always thought I'd like to go to Ireland.
Your pictures are beautiful.

Connie said...

Great St. Patrick's Day post, Kylee!

I love growing Iron Cross oxalis in an old enamelware container I have, but I usually forget to bring the bulbs in for the winter. Sometimes they survive to the next year, but I'm certain they won't this year, as winter was brutal.

Muum said...

I love st paddy's day ! a great day to think of my ancestors (but isn't everybody Irish today?) and eat something tasty... more mint fudge brownies, anyone??? better than corned beef, I'd say! love your rainbow!

Roses and Lilacs said...

That is a perfect St Patrick's Day post. I hope you are enjoying and just maybe you'll find that pot of gold.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Fun post and nice to see Oxalis again. FB told me to move to Ireland too!

Cathy S. said...

Oh you had to show us that beautiful
Iron Cross flowers, now I'll have to plant those bulbs! (since I have
lost most of mine) Those Rudbeckia's
are just amazing. ;)

Jeph said...

Happy St Patty's Day!

I just came across your blog last week, and have it saved so that "just as soon as I get more time" I can come back and browse it.

Only getting much time to sit and just wade through a new blog isn't always easy. Maybe I'll just start with the daily new stuff!

You have a great blog, with BEAUTIFUL pictures! I'll definitely be getting inspiration from you, PLUS it'll hopefully help me remember/identify what some of the plants are that I've put into my own garden/flower beds. We just bought a new construction house a year and a half ago, so the ground was basically hard clay and blank slate. I've been working to add new stuff all the time - I don't do very well with the "blank slate" look and want it to look like it's been here for a long time already. I'm sure I'll be putting in more trees, more shrubs, more fruiting plants, more perennials, more "freely self-seeding" stuff, etc this year...so, again, your site will be great inspiration.

I'm over here in Rootstown, near Ravenna, Kent, Akron etc in NE Ohio - probably not TOO far from you (are you also zone 5?). Like you, we're having a beautiful day today - sunny and warm with the birds, bugs and I believe even frogs chirping away.

I've got the first of the crocuses and pansies in bloom right now, with more plants budding or pushing their way up out of the ground every day.

Thanks again for such an entertaining and educational blog!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What a great post! I love your oxalis!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kylee, this is a great post. I too would like the Ireland life style. Happy St Patricks Day.

garden girl said...

Perfect St. Patrick's Day post Kylee. Your photos are gorgeous!

joey said...

A beautiful post, Kylee. Our day here was also a gift. Warm hugs for a Happy St. Patrick's Day! (BTW ~ although had not practiced in years, gave up my license since my pencil-tip pruned finger still has no feeling).

Becca's Dirt said...

Thank you for such lovely photos. The rudbeckia and iron cross is just beautiful. Gorgeous colors. Have a good day - I think most of the country will be basking in some sunshine - hope you are.

Sylvia (England) said...

Kylee, you are luck that Oxalis is not winter hardy. They are lovely plants but so invasive in my garden. I do like your pictures, temps me to get the purple oxalis!

Best wishes Sylvia (England)

Kerri said...

I'm late with my St. Patty's day wish, but yes, wasn't it glorious? Our Kylie (oldest daughter) came up from the city for a 2 day visit on the 17th and it was wonderful!
I planted some oxalis last fall. I wonder if it will prove to be hardy. I didn't realize it might not be. Time will tell.
Aren't you lucky to have a leprechaun? :) And those green Irish Eyes are hard to resist!
Wonderful, wonderful rainbow pic!

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