Mums The Word

Its the time of the year that you see chrysanthemums popping up all over gardens in the Northeast. In some zones, all mums are hardy perennials. In Pittsburgh you will see two types and hardy ones will be marked as winter hardy in nurseries.

With global warming though our winters are becoming milder and even non hardy mums may winter over. So we will leave ours in the ground until spring and see which ones survive. The colors are very vibrant for weeks.

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Mums The Word

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Gerbera Daisy

We always considered Gerbera daisies to be annuals. However the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the plant is hardy in zones 8 to 11. Although Pittsburgh is a Zone 6 we have had very mild winters due to global warning and our daisies now seem to be perennials. I hope it is another mild winter so I can see this flower again next summer.

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gallery.

Gerbera Daisy

Multicolored Dahlias

Dahlias have always been one of my favorite summer flowers. They are perennial plants native to Mexico and related to sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum, and zinnia. I always thought they were only one color but these are a beautiful multicolored variety.

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gallery.

Multicolored Dahlias

Plant Gladiolus for Bright Summer Color

Gladiolus is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the iris family. It is sometimes called the sword lily and is a beautiful addition to any summer garden. If you plant them in the Spring they will bloom in Summer. Plant them again in the summer and they will adorn your fall garden.

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Summer Gladiolas

Special Day Lily

In Western Pennsylvania day lilies grow wild by the road side. They are always a plain orange color. They naturalize so vigorously that some people think of them as weeds and pull them out. They are available in a wide variety of colors. We tend to eschew the very popular Stella D’oro variety and plant different colors. I love the dark purple and red day lilies. This year we planted this one not knowing what color it would be and got this pleasant surprise.

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Special Day Lily

Köln Waterfront Church

Köln (Cologne) is the largest city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Köln survived the largest bombardment of any city in Europe by the Royal Air Force In World War Two. It was nearly destroyed in the process but has been thoughtfully reconstructed. This waterfront church is a example of the reconstructed city.

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Köln Waterfront Church

Cathedral Garden Köln

We toured Köln with Claudia, a truly awful guide. Most of the guides we had on our Viking River Tour were exceptional but not Claudia. She was so awful we eventually turned off our headsets and strolled behind her. We got tired of hearing her psycho babble about World War 2 and how awful the Americans were. Köln was the most bombed city in Germany and the destruction was truly awful but we wanted to learn about the culture of the city, not a faux history lesson on the war. Once she pointed to a picture of Eisenhower and refereed to him as General MacArthur, her knowledge was not only prejudicial but inaccurate.

However she did point out one thing we might not have noticed on our own. This is the beautiful terrace garden and sculpture along the back of the Cologne Cathedral. Pretty on a gray rainy day but probably wonderful in the Spring and Summer.

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Cathedral Garden Köln

Cathedral Garden Köln