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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Around the yard

April 23, 2012 | 2:03 p.m. CDT
John Hall shares pictures of the flowers blooming in his backyard.

John Hall is an avid photographer in Columbia and a regular contributor to From Readers.

A quick trip was taken around portions of the yard Saturday afternoon. It isn't easy to predict when what is blooming will be gone. Age will cause the blooms to disappear as will wind, hail, insects, four-legged creatures such as deer and pedestrians walking down the sidewalk helping themselves to whatever is to their liking. Believe me, I've had it happen. I've told "takers" in the past to hang on if they like something and I'll dig up that particular plant and they can have it, root and all.

Even a novice will recognize the peonies, yellow roses and various varieties of iris. That turned out almost to be the residual of frost. The temperature was around 37 on Saturday morning, and I had the tomatoes all tucked in their bed. The bed being located in the basement.

If you look closely at the buds of the peonies, or those that have bloomed, you'll see holes in the bloom covering. The first couple of years I raised peonies I was unhappy since they would bud but wouldn't bloom. Mother had given me the peony tubers and she couldn't understand why they wouldn't bloom. I told her I did everything possible to help them. She asked what I was doing to them. I talked about planting at the correct depth, fertilizing them and spraying them. She exclaimed "spray them?" At that point I knew I had done something wrong. She explained to her stupid son that if I sprayed them I'd never have blooms for I was killing off the ants which in going for the good stuff on the plant cut the pod cover which allows them to bloom.

The last photo was the "guard frog" at a local plant nursery. I finally figured out that my butterfly bush wasn't going to produce this year. The first clue I had was that there wasn't a shoot on it and when scraping the bark with my finger nail it didn't reveal any green. So, I bought two Ruby Red Butterfly bushes to replace one that looked like the morning after a long night on the town. I don't think running over it last fall with the lawn mower did it a bit of good. It's kinda of like spraying peonies, you have to live and learn. Most of my life I've just lived and learned very little.

If I have worn you out with photos of iris this spring be of good cheer, I probably won't be sharing any more of them. However, I know some of you had a great time changing your computer background every time a new set came out.

By the way I was inspired to pull up this video

Yes, this is a screwed up year. The hot days of March and early April had everything set up for the kill. When frost came last week it caused the Sycamore tree to think it was October and down came the leaves. I'm a bit leery of planting tomatoes but come hail or high water they are going in the ground in the next ten days.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how.