Saturday, May 29, 2010

Remember Our Fallen War Dead

Memorial Day Vintage Postcard

Memorial Day was first observed after the Civil War. Graves of the fallen soldiers were decorated with flowers and words of remembrance were spoken.

1870-Historic American Sheet Music, "Soldier's memorial day", Music A-2221, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

1867-Historic American Sheet Music, "Kneel where our loves are sleeping", Music B-802, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

1860's-Historic American Sheet Music, "The Soldier's Grave", Conf. Music #368, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

This weekend, take some time to remember those who fought and died for our country.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Memorial Day 2010

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's Blooming?

Spirea x vanhouttei
Spirea x vanhouttei (Bridal Wreath)

Last week I was still wearing a coat and gloves. Today, it's in the 90's! The garden is bursting with color. Some of my favorites have come and gone, like the lilacs and the bridal wreath (above, last week). But the roses and irises have begun to open, and some of my spring bloomers are still going strong!

Here is an overview of some of my garden areas:

Overview, looking north
Side lawn, looking north. I like to keep the grass tall, especially this time of year. It really keeps the weeds away!

Overview of pond garden
Pond Garden. It's looking mighty overgrown!

Overview of shade garden
Woodland Garden

I love the color and textures of the garden! Here are some close-ups of the flowers that are in bloom today (and some close-ups of non-flowers that have beautiful textures and colors).

Thalictrum aquilegifolium
Thalictrum aquilegifolium (Meadow Rue)

Thalictrum aquilegifolium
Thalictrum aquilegifolium (Meadow Rue)

Euphorbia cyparissias
Euphorbia cyparissias (Spurge)

Weigela florida "Varigata"
Weigela florida "Varigata"

Corydalis lutea
Corydalis lutea

Heuchera x brizoides "Bresssingham Hybrid"
Heuchera "Bressingham Hybrid" (Coral Bells)

Amsonia tabernaemontana
Amsonia tabernaemontana (Willow Blue Star)

Papaver orientale "Prince of Orange"
Papaver orientale "Prince of Orange" (Oriental Poppies)

Papaver orientale "Prince of Orange"
Papaver orientale "Prince of Orange" (Oriental Poppies)

Heuchera "Marmalade"
Heuchera "Marmalade" (Coral Bells). I grow this for the leaves!

Lupinus polyphyllus "Russell's Hybrids"
Lupinus polyphyllus "Russel's Hybrids" (Lupines)

Wild onion
Wild onions

Rosa rugosa "Wildberry Breeze"
Rosa Rugosa "Wildberry Breeze"

Rosa rugosa "Blanc Double de Coubert"
Rosa rugosa "Blanc Double de Coubert"

Aruncus dioicus
Aruncus dioicus (Goat's Beard)

Brunnera macrophylla
Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian Bugloss)

Wild Phlox
Wild Tall Phlox

Bearded Iris "Proud Tradition"
Bearded Iris "Proud Tradition"

Bearded Iris "Proud Tradition"
Bearded Iris "Proud Tradition"

Bearded Iris
Yellow Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris
Peachy Pink Bearded Iris

Iris siberica "Steve"
Iris siberica "Steve" (Siberian Iris)

Iris siberica "Steve"
Iris siberica "Steve" (Siberian Iris)

Clematis "Nelly Moser"
Clematis "Nelly Moser"

Clematis (unknown variety)

Geranium sanguinium "Johnson's Blue"
Geranium sanguinium "Johnson's Blue"

Geranium sanguinium "Max Frei" & wild strawberries
Geranium sanguinium "Max Frei" & wild strawberry. I like this color combination!

Ostrich Ferns
Ostrich Ferns

Aegopodium podagraria "Variegatum"
Aegopodium podagraria "Variegatum" (Bishop's Weed)

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the garden today. I'll do another garden post when I get more plants blooming!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Tea

Queen Victoria's Birthday Tea

Kim at The Victorian Parlor is hosting a Tea in honor of Her Majesty Queen Victoria today! Make sure you visit her blog to see what she is serving, and to see what others will be doing with their teas.

Eastlake Teapot

Queen Victoria's birthday is May 24th. Today, I am having the Queen over for morning tea. Come join us!

Eastlake Teacup and Saucer

I've set the table with my most regal tablecloth. Today, Her Majesty will be served on a variety of Aesthetic Transferware pieces, all with English registry marks, of course.

Eastlake Plate with Crumpets

We are serving warm crumpets with butter and jam. Her Majesty will be offered a selection of Tetley and Twinings teas. May I suggest English Breakfast tea?

Tea Selection

Our table centerpiece is a classical sculpture with a truly royal look. I think she looks a bit like Her Majesty herself, don't you agree?

Regal Sculpture

Finally, in honor of Queen Victoria, we will make an extra contribution to our favorite charity this year. We have a particular fondness for the Anti Cruelty Society of Chicago, a wonderful animal shelter where we have always gone to adopt our kitties. I think Her Majesty would approve!

Thank you, Kim, for hosting your tea and inviting us! Remember to rejoin your hostess at The Victorian Parlor today.

Silver Spoon & Napkin

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Eastlake Victorian Gardens: A Squirrel's-Eye View


Hi! My name is Skippy, and I'm one of the many squirrels who call this yard home. The human proprietors were outside gardening all weekend, so I decided it was a great opportunity to sneak into their house to do a little blogging!

All squirrels are welcome in the Eastlake Victorian Gardens, as demonstrated here by my pal Zorro.

Zorro on Welcome Sign

Follow me. This way. I want to show you something...

One of My Trees

Look at these great seeds! The humans think they are feeding the birds, but we know better, don't we? Please, help yourself!

Bird Feeder

Those seeds are making me thirsty. How about you?

Bird Bath

You thought that was tasty? You ain't seen nothin' yet! Come, this way...

One of My Trees

Stay close...

Secret Passageway

Lamb's Ear, by the way. Very soft...

Lamb's Ear

Would you look at that! The humans made a bird feeder out of a little bird cage! The birds love it...

Sparrows in Feeder

And so do I!

Skippy in Bird Feeder

This is the life! Don't you agree?

Skippy in Bird Feeder

See, even the chipmunks are welcome!

Chippy in Feeder

The ground feeder catches the dropped seeds so we don't miss a bite!

Skippy Eating Seeds

Man, I'm thirsty again. Let me take you to the best watering hole this side of Chicago! Over the obstacle course...

Obstacle Course

There it is! Doesn't that look refreshing?

Pond Reflection

This place has ambience! They serve all species here.

Bird Bathing in Pond

This looks like the drinking perch for us!

Drinking Perch

What have the humans done? This used to be one of my favorite trees. I guess it will have to be just a bench now (sigh). Oh well, on to the next feeder...


Zorro! You beat me to it!

Zorro on Feeder


Zorro Hanging from Feeder

Hey, save some for us! That's OK. I know of another feeder...

Zorro Close-up

Uh oh! Caught red-handed! By none other than the great and powerful Seed-Guy! OK, so I've chewed through several finch thistle socks. Big deal!

Nut & Seed Guy!

Seed-Guy says we should use the nice nut box he gave us. Isn't it pretty?

Squirrel Feeder

Or, should I say, "was" pretty. The youngsters couldn't figure out how to open the lid (kids these days!) so they started chewing to get at the nuts. Sorry, Seed-Guy!

Nut Box, Chewed Up

Some of my fellow squirrels (who shall remain nameless) like to chew things they shouldn't be chewing. Come, let me show you another example... over another obstacle course...

Obstacle Course

Over here...

Coral Bells

Look at that! Somebody just HAD to get into the garage to hide a nut! Poor Seed-Guy had to cover the hole with some heavy bricks.

Hole in Garage Door

Well, that's the grand tour! Hope you enjoyed it!

One of My Trees

Want to come back to my place to chill for awhile?

Skippy on Tree

Chew the fat with me and my pals?

Skippy & Friend

I understand, you have to get going. Remember, you're always welcome to my home in the Eastlake Victorian Gardens!

Welcome to the Nut House


Disclaimer: Eastlake Victorian Gardens is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat. All animals are welcome. Even worms.

National Wildlife Foundation Certification

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