Big Contest Announcement!

16 06 2015

DRUMROLL, PLEASE! The person who collects the most stamp-selfie photos for The Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project will win a free gallery wrap canvas (from 12×16 up to 20×30) of an image of their choice from my zenfolio.com site.

FIRST RUNNER-UP receives a set of my beautiful greeting cards (more than 40 to date!).

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

HOW DO YOU WIN? Tell your friends to buy some water lily stamps at their local post office, then shoot a selfie with the stamps (or have someone else shoot the photo of them) and send you the image, which you forward to me via email at dyerdesign@aol.com or through FB. Be sure to give me the full name, city and state of each person photographed.

If their local post office is out, check out another post office or ask your clerk to order more. They can also be ordered online here: http://uspsstamps.com/stamps/water-lilies

THE ONES TO BEAT: Sue Cummings Titterington (27), Kaarvand Ferguson Betty (17), Steve Stroupe (14), Kathy Muchemore (7), Judy Schefcick Martin (7), Martha Biz (7), and James F. Williams (5).

CONTEST ENDS: December 31, 2015 (so that gives you plenty of time to encourage friends and family to BUY THOSE STAMPS–the USPS printed half a BILLION of them, so let’s move some stamps, folks! (FYI: Normal run of stamps is 20-40 million; holiday stamps run half a billion. They expect these to sell well so they upped the quantity!).

Water Lily Stamps lorez

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Tell me a story, win a freebie!

22 05 2009

I would love to hear from fellow gardeners who have the same modus operandi as me I have when it comes to squeezing in just one more plant…or tell your tale about an incorrectly labeled plant, your greatest plant bargain ever, how you handled an overload of tomatoes (or squash, etc.), or when you realized you were a “gardener obsessed.” Perhaps you have had a humorous (or not so) encounter with a garden critter or a run-in with poison ivy. Tell me about your favorite garden or nature experience. Tell me what your garden means to you. Did gardening change your life, improve your health, wreck your relationship, forge a friendship, clean out your wallet or save your sanity?

Vanna, show them what they could win…
The
top five winning contributors will be published on this blog and will also receive a free package of my Polaroid transfer notecards (4-color images printed on cream speckled card stock with contrasting seafoam blue green speckled envelopes—all on recycled paper—and each card is signed). There are 12 different images (see collage below): carousel horse, Canadian maple leaf, sunrise at Cape May, Monument Valley, red rose, tulips, Cape May seagulls, Saguaro cactus, kids on the beach, cactus blooms, Camilla’s lace dress and Canyon de Chelly.

RememberStarOdds of winning are infinitely better than the lottery! You may submit up to five stories and there is no cap on the length (although any entries venturing close to War and Peace heft will be severely edited for publication). Entries will be judged by a panel of my fellow gardeners and authors (all of whom will be compensated—in the form of notecards). Entries will be judged on creativeness, resourcefulness, originality, and empathy/sympathy/laugh/tear-jerk factor. You retain all rights to the stories (and photographs, if included) you submit.

Please e-mail entries to me at dyerdesign@aol.com. Be sure to put “Notecard Contest” in your subject line and include your name and mailing address in the e-mail. Deadline: June 30, 2009

Read more about the Polaroid transfer process and my notecard venture on a previous posting here.

Cards are also available for purchase (in packages of 6, 12, or singles). Inquire within!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Polaroid Cards Collage





Ten for 10

21 05 2009

About a half hour before the Green Spring Gardens plant sale was to close this past Saturday, the Virginia Master Gardeners booth started hawking all of their plants as “ten for $10.” Yep…some of the same plants I had purchased about two hours earlier for $5+, much to my chagrin. Reasonable prices before, yes, but at $1 each—what gardener in their right mind would possibly pass on that offer? Never mind if we’ve run out of space in our gardens—they’re a dollar! Just a dollar! We’ve discovered that some of the vendors do that each year so they don’t have to drag all the unsold items back to wherever they originated…and I am only too happy to help them lighten their load.

My 10-for-10 purchases included:

PrimroseOenothera Lemon Drop, common name ‘Evening Primrose’—a low-maintenance, herbaceous perennial that blooms in full sun from June-September. This perennial is tough, tolerates poor soil, and loves the sun. Bright yellow blooms all summer. Deadheading is not necessary, it’s drought and heat tolerant and grows 8-12″ tall. It can also be grown in containers, where it will trail over the sides. And of course I already have some of these in my front yard garden, courtesy of our friend Micheline, who shared them with us when she downsized houses a few years ago. There was a large bank of these cheery flower blooming profusely in her backyard garden. Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.

AnemoneOne sorta sad-looking (had to rescue it, though) Japanese Aneomone or Windflower (Anemone hupehensis)–-the tag indicates the flowers will be pinkish/mauve, so this might be the variety ‘September Charm.’ This perennial plant bears poppy-like flowers in September and October. The plants reach a height of four to five feet with each flower having five or more petal-like sepals that enclose the golden stamens. The leaves turn wine-red in autumn. Wish this plant luck—it will need it! Photo © Cindy Dyer.


WhiteWoodAsterTwo White Wood Asters (Aster divaricatus)—also known as ‘Eastern Star’—perennial herbaceous native to the eastern U.S. Grows 1-3 feet high with 3/4 to 1-inch white ray flowers that bloom profusely from August to September. The center of each flat-top flower starts yellow then ages to a reddish purple hue. The leaves are heart-shaped, stalked and sharply-toothed. White Wood Asters grow in part shade to full shade, are low-growing and low maintenance, and attract butterflies. They thrive in dry shade but become lush in moist soil. Cut hard at least once in spring to set the foliage back. Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.

Viola striata (other common names: Striped cream violet, Common white violet, Pale violet, Striped violet)—native perennial herb blooms white and purple flowers April through June. Requires part shade and moist, loamy soil. This plant spreads through its rhizomes. Flowers attract bee flies, butterflies (particularly caterpillars of Fritillary butterflies and several species of moths) and skippers. Seeds are eaten by mourning doves, wild turkeys, mice, and rabbits.

MaxSunflowerI should be punished for purchasing another Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani). I bought the same plant four years ago because I thought it would be perfect at the bottom of the steps of our front porch. The plant label purported, “cheery little yellow flowers on 4 ft. stems.” Four feet tall—nice size for the front entrance, right? By the end of the summer, visitors were asking us if we were growing corn in the front yard. We measured it and the tallest stalk was about 12 feet high! I just did some research and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site claims they grow 3-10 ft. high. What kind of wild range is that? (Imagine this scenario: Officer: Ma’am, how tall was the man who stole your wheelbarrow? Me: Ummm…he was three feet tall….then again, he might have been ten feet tall. I can’t be certain!) The plant grows Jack-in-the-Beanstalk high and then very late in the summer it sprays forth masses of miniature (2-3 inches across) yellow sunflowers that are at their most beautiful when they sway against a cornflower blue sky. And if I really want to get some good closeup shots of the blooms, I have to drag out the tall ladder to do so! Did I need another of these plants? No. But it was only a buck! Anyone have room in their garden for it? Photo © Cindy Dyer.

EchinopsRitroGlobe Thistle (Echinops ritro)—Clump-forming herbaceous perennial with coarse, prickly leaves (and how!) with 1-2 ball-shaped silvery-lavender-blue or dark blue flowerheads blooming in early to late summer on rigid branching stems 24-48 inches tall. These beautiful ornamentals grow best in full sun to mostly sunny areas, attract bees and butterflies, are good for cut flowers (and dried bouquets as well), will tolerate the heat and are deer resistant. And yes, I already have one—it’s about three years old and is the size of a small shrub already. I expect a plethora of blooms this season. Photo © Cindy Dyer.

SnowonthemountainSnow-on-the-Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)—I photographed this beautiful annual plant at Green Spring Gardens last year and posted the images on my blog here. A member of the spurge family, it flowers in the summer. Reaching 18-24 inches high, it requires sun to partial shade, and will attracts a plethora of butterflies, moths, bees, wasps and other insects—a veritable photographic smorgasbord! Now I’ll have one of my very own…once I find a place to plant it, that is. Folks, it was just a dollar, remember? Photo © Cindy Dyer.


Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)—This tough native is deer-resistant and provides food for larval butterflies. Clusters of sweet-scented white flowers appear on 1-2 foot stalks in June and July. Whorled milkweed can be found in prairies, pastures, open woods and by the roadside. Learn more about attracting Monarch butterflies to your garden (and purchase milkweed seeds, too) at www.happytonics.org.

Salvia

‘Ostfriesland’ Salvia (Salvia nemorosa)—also known as Violet Sage, Ornamental Meadow Sage, Perennial Woodland Sage—this sun-loving herbaceous perennial grows 12-18 inches high with fragrant violet-blue flowers blooming from summer to autumn. Attractive to bees, butterflies and birds, and deer resistant. I couldn’t find this version in my files or a suitable one to reprint, so I’m showing a similar salvia I photographed at Butchart Gardens. Photo © Cindy Dyer