For days now we have been buried in fog-like smoke stemming from several fires near here and the big ones in WA/ OR. The silver lining lies in the cooler temperature it brought, but the air quality keeps me inside as much as possible. I miss walking around the neighborhood and enjoying the summer flowers various neighbors grow, but it brightens my heart to look out a window and see snippets of color in my own backyard.
It’s otherwise a very brown world out there right now.
For I don’t know how many months now, Indy has joined us in bed somewhere between the hours of 2:30 and 5:30 in the morning. In the beginning we would wake up enough to cuddle him for a few minutes before putting him back in his own bed, but somewhere in there we stopped waking up.
At last count I have 78 irises! I just spent 2 days hoeing out the weeds. On retrospect, the smarter thing to do would have been to spread that out over at least one more day, but it’s DONE and I beat the rain! Sometimes victory feels like sore muscles, that’s all. Sometimes, it’s totally worth it.
I knew I had two early varieties (they bloom 3-4 weeks before the others), but I’d forgotten about a third and it turns out one from my mom is also an early bloomer.
Early Purple Dwarf (real name unknown)–from the iris-loving neighbor down the road (3rd week of April)
Early Dwarf Purple
Early Mountain Minis (real name unknown)– These pretties were on the mountain property and I brought some with me when we moved. Up there they only got about 6″ high and were the cutest things. I still think they’re lovely, but once here they grew into dwarfs! The longer growing season and warmer area lets them get up to 16″, so not technically mini anymore. (bloomed April 25)
Early Yellow Minis (real name unknown)–also from the neighbor down the road (April 29)
Early Tall Purple–from my Mom (April 29)
The irises are earlier overall this year and all the new ones have set buds. So excited to see what they turn into! (If you want to catch up on the garden’s currently known inhabitants, check out the Iris Garden Tab.)
In other plant news, the other day the Dearliest surprised me with a stellar wave petunia. The aptly named Midnight Sky:
It has a lovely, mild scent (I didn’t know petunias could smell?) and is definitely up there as a favorite with everyone.
In not-plant news, I updated my A Word on the Corona Virus II post. I have decided to not shy away from sharing information I believe to be important, but I don’t want to bog down the blog with such posts. I will instead let it be known when something new is there, and you can choose whether or not you want to click.
I recently acquired a lovely starter. Its “yeast-free” claim is a little misleading, I believe, and should rather be labeled “commercial yeast-free.” The organisms in it are caught outside, and to my knowledge there is no way to separate out natural bacteria from wild yeast in this process. Therefore, it does have yeast, but it’s a very different yeast from the Red Star you get in the store. For that matter, it’s very different from the yeast you catch from your kitchen air for a traditional sourdough starter. You can read more about it at the link if interested.
It’s similar to a sourdough starter in some ways. In fact I’ve heard “sourdough starter” and “natural yeast starter” used interchangeably on quite a few websites, though having spent time with both I personally feel there is a difference. Continue reading →