Saturday, November 12, 2022

Nanho Blue Butterfly Bush

Nanho Blue Butterfly Bush
I try not to focus on any particular plant as it may not do the property owner any particular favor simply because I am so damn fond of it - it may not fit their landscape or the application.

Yet, I recently told a provider I needed two more Nanho Blue Butterfly Bushes and he said, "I'll order ten to keep in stock. I think you are eating these."

I planted several over the last year. The first one I planted was in a 3-gallon pot. I used it to cover the corner of a home to add contrasting color to a plant bed I had designed.

The new plant was due to receive an ample amount of morning to mid-day sun and the property owner has become quite the master of irrigation.

Within a season, his Nanho Blue had reached a height of about six feet and four feet wide and projected forward, toward the sunlight, about four feet. It was and is, still gorgeous. I'm on the property often and have needed to prune it three times. So, in the proper location and environment, it is not low-maintenance, but the Nanho Blue is damn well worth it.

I originally chose a whimsical, but wimpy trellis to support and train it to. It wasn't long after that when I had to provide something more substantial. Short of some vines and the occasional Sunshine Ligustrum (another beautiful favorite), this Nanho Blue is one of the fastest growing plants I have ever experienced. With its branching habit and its tendency to cascade, it will easily consume a fair portion of your plant bed or garden - not a bad choice at all, real estate-wise. 

I wish I could provide a better photo of the plant. The blooms actually range from a light blue to a violet here in the Midlands, from my experience. I haven't seen the deep purple color, which is fine with me. Considered deciduous, the loss of foliage is not long.

To me, the Nanho Blue is a feature or specimen plant best suited against a foundation or centered (or cornered) in a plant bed (with support) facing sunward.

On the flip-side, I can't wait to a find a property with an arbor or other structure (or perhaps no support at all) and the proper sun path, to install one of these smack dab in the middle of one's yard. They truly are beautiful.

With some proper pruning, they are easily manageable.

And, so many flying insects and pollinators love them.

In the proper location, you will never regret; yet, enjoy a Nanho Blue Butterfly Bush on your property for many, many years.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Happy Veterans Day!

"Thank you for fighting" to all our brothers and sisters currently in the United States military and those who served as I did.

I rarely if ever say, "Thank you for serving.", but rather, "Thank you for fighting." Occasionally I will hear back from someone who may not serve or have served in a combat role, "I didn't fight."

Well, it's all about the fight, or when not, about the projection of power and peace through strength. Whether supply, clerical, medical or whichever role, it is still about the fight and preparation and support of. In fact, many of these key elements end up in harm's way and make extreme sacrifices.

If you took the Oath, you joined the fight.

Happy Veteran's Day! 

Enjoy yourselves.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

A Huge Loss Blooms Immensely

My brother, Greg, passed away this month, 20 years ago.

My mother and/or I have placed a flower arrangement on the altar around this time of year for many years while also placing Poinsettias at the altar during the Christmas holiday. He, Greg, was born on December 17.

I saw this arrangement from afar this morning at service at Bethel United Methodist, our church. I thought it beautiful, but had not approached it.

After church service I went to retrieve it to be placed in my mother's home. (She typically donates these offerings to others.) I was tearing up...the beauty and the memory overcame me.

I was in awe as this is one of the most beautiful arrangements of plants and blooms I have ever seen. The mix of flowers, foliage and placement seems naturally-planned, superb. I deal with plants in natural settings and landscapes, not afforded these situations, but I can do nothing less than admire those who master arranging plants in this fashion, so well.

My brother's middle name was Coy and there is nothing coy about this floral arrangement, nor was my brother, yet both have this bold, but pleasant aura.

My exit from the church was impeded by many others who wanted to see the arrangement "just a little closer" and this continued into the parking lot.

My mother spoke with Sheryl, Bethel's Administrative Assistant, requesting fall colors while Sheryl also recommended bright colors because the backdrop for the apse is dark. Together they nailed it and De Loache Florist capitalized further to create this gorgeous arrangement.

There are still a few buds readying to flower and we'll gladly wait. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Forest...The Truths

We met one another long ago, unknowing, just searching. 

Our times together were real, as far as we knew.

We were honest, as far as we knew.

The affection was real...that, we knew.

Our time together was short-lived; yet, time never ceased. We thought.

In that wonderful sunlit forest we met. 

It's also where we another.

Filled with affection and adoration, it's where we left one another.

That sunlit forest 

She told me that forest will out-live us both, but that forest will remains ours.

She said that forest will be there for us, forever.

So true.  

Saturday, September 17, 2022

The Mornings...The Changes

This wonderful orb, this planet on which we live, its seasons...the life it provides.

Fall may be figurative at this time, yet it is coming, perhaps upon so many, so late, and for others, not soon enough.

Times of harvest

Times of new blooms

Times of changes of color

Here, the chill is noticed before dawn - not much thereafter.

When the metal lawn furniture has a chill before sunrise.

Or, the dew has returned when wet doesn't necessarily equate to overwhelming humidity.

Is September the sign of Autumn?

It is in the plant world, somewhat.

Many plants will begin to retreat, shed and cower, more so in late fall or winter...readying for next Spring.

There was a time when we did so as well. We relaxed.

And, our spirits...we renewed relationships, routines and expectations...expected the unknown...embraced such.

We are now afforded the wonderful mornings and anticipate the comforting changes.

Coffee becomes more satisfying in the morning and wine even more so approaching the evening. The chill warms us.

Family becomes friends and friends become family.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

The FriendShip: A Wonderful Organization for Seniors - Volunteers Needed

My 93-year-old mother fell a couple of years ago. She was actually on her way into an exercise class (one of several similar activities she performed each week) when she fell.

There was mention of hip replacement at the hospital, but the doctor said her tissue, muscle and bone were in good condition so hip replacement was not necessary.

The safety and assistance modifications were made to the home and a medical alert device was installed.

Months later she fell and damaged her femur. We tend to monitor her more on special days as she tends to prefer falling on holidays. The first fall was on her birthday and the second on Halloween.

The femur was repaired and has healed, but the woman will not remain idle.

Fortunately, a friend introduced her to The FriendShip. I know what they mean to and have done for my mother, but please click on the link to see how they may benefit you, a friend or a loved one.

My mother receives help from the family and friends, but we believe this is another form of assistance and friendship she benefits from greatly. I have met many of these volunteers and these are usually events I enjoy and/or are persons I admire. 

They have taken her shopping - grocery and fun shopping, to the bank, walked with her outdoors or at the gym at Eastminster Presbyterian Church (not associated with The Friendship).

Occasionally they will be on a planned trip and then ask her if she would like to do anything else. She is a very likable and warm person and still has a since of wit and humor, so perhaps this influences such offerings.

Not certain if planned, but it seems that monthly they have some social event, perhaps with a theme, topic and/or guest speaker.

A few weeks ago, some of the volunteers and members went to see "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris". As much as I watch classic movies with my mother, she definitely enjoyed this recent release.

Our mother has phone conversations with the Services Coordinator, Eleanor Stein, once a week or more, depending. Eleanor appears to be willing and tireless.

We are also trying to put a friend, much younger than my mother, in touch with The FriendShip. Although usually lucid and cognitive, she now needs assistance. We feel she is with a less-caring and less-personal service who may be overcharging her. We hope she will accept and join The Friendship.

Our mother and the family are so thankful for The Friendship. They offer so much for such a reasonable fee.

This is just one of the reasons I am asking that you consider volunteering if you have the heart and the time. I want to see this organization grow and continue for a very long time for not only our mother, but other seniors as well.

If you are interested in volunteering, I am certain you will want to view the entire website, but you can begin by going to their VOLUNTEERS l Opportunities and Application page.

Thank you. 

Doug Ingbretsen

Friday, July 22, 2022

Ploetry - Forgiveness


I heard you as I lied on my back,

In that tall field of grass.

As the sun cut through the dew on the blades of green.

Your voice carried over, over me as I rolled over,

On to a pillow of comfortable reeds awaiting me.

You were near - the shadow you cast.

I sunk deeper into the bed of grass.

I was excited, you, here at last.

For all wrongs, I was forgiven. I thought.

Although I should have been on mine, 

You were on your knees.

Forgiveness, so often sought and rarely granted,

I cowered and hugged your thigh as you stroked my hair.

I sunk deeper into the grass.

While I rose to see your face and eyes; and your eyes were

Telling me I was wrong;

My heart fell as you fell in my arms.

I was wrong.

You forgave me.