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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sweet Land of Liberty

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”

~Dwight David Eisenhower
 
 
 
 
Wishing you a safe and Happy July 4th dear friends.

 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bee-ing Busy

The bees are busy dutifully collecting pollen from the new blooms.
I used to be afraid of bees, since when I was a young girl, I was stung,  and the fear had stayed with me into adulthood.
Years later I have realized their importance in the growing cycle and welcome their return to the garden, with a heedful smile.
 
 



Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry
Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.
His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.
His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!

~ Emily Dickinson : The Bee (1830)
 
 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Taking Flight

Life's toughest challenges bring the greatest rewards.
 
 



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rabbit Tails

We've noticed an abundance of wild rabbits hopping around the garden this year.
Some years they are a scarcity, but this year we seem to be sharing our plot with mama and baby rabbits galore.
Of course there's a daddy rabbit somewhere close by, but he seems to be a travelling man.




 
'Once upon a time there were four little rabbits and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter.
They lived with their mother in a sandbank, underneath the root of a very big fir tree.'

~ Beatrix Potter :The Tale of Peter Rabbit
 
 
 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Unfolding

“How does the meadow-flower its bloom unfold?
 Because the lovely little flower is free
 Down to its root, and in that freedom bold.”
 
~ William Wordsworth 
 
 
 


 

 
 
Coneflower: Wild Swan
 
 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer's Bounty

The wild blackberries are covering the canes......
Ripe for the picking, they accompanied me at breakfast this morning .
Sweet summer treats.
 
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Selfie

Mum, is this my good side ?
 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Weaving Their Way

The Morning Glories have made an appearance, just in time for Summer.
This Grandpa Ott variety returns year after year, without any assistance from the gardener.
The vines wrap their tendrils around the weathered-wood fence and grace us with beauty all summer long.
 
 
 
 
The vines are prolific , the flowers a sumptuous Royal Blue trumpet with a contrasting purple star.
A Strikingly beautiful combination.
I can't help but smile each time they catch  my eye.
 
 



 
 
 
 

THE MORNING GLORY

Was it worth while to paint so fair
Thy every leaf - to vein with faultless art
Each petal, taking the boon light and air
Of summer so to heart?

To bring thy beauty unto perfect flower,
Then, like a passing fragrance or a smile,
Vanish away, beyond recovery's power -
Was it, frail bloom, worth while?

Thy silence answers: "Life was mine!
And I, who pass without regret or grief,
Have cared the more to make my moment fine,
Because it was so brief.

"In its first radiance I have seen
The sun! - why tarry then till comes the night?
I go my way, content that I have been
Part of the morning light!"



~ Florence Earl Coates ( 1850-1927 )

Friday, June 19, 2015

And The Rains Came

Mother Nature heard my plea and sent rain to this lush Tennessee valley today.
A gully-washer of a rain.
If you listened carefully you could hear the trees and flowers, heaving a big sigh of relief, their      roots and foliage drinking in every last drop of moisture.


 
 
 



 
 
 





 
The world is wet today
luxurious, damp, drenched
drops hug the leaves,
anoint the still budded lilac blossoms
before their blooming
rich purple and plum
made richer by their watery skin
New leaves under the weight
droplets heavy, hanging
bowing the white pine needles
undersides exposed to drink
drink in the morning
hushed in the rain
temperature near the dewpoint
sprouts of just planted flowers
eager from the parched soil
new puddles bloom too
on the ground, the driveway
collect and gather
without the smell of summer rain yet
tears splash and spread
silent shimmers, heralds, messengers
in the spring rain.
 
~A Spring Rain : Raymond J. Foss

 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hardy Blooms

Each year despite the lack of rain for days on end, we are graced with prolific blooms on the Rose of Sharon ( Hibiscus syriacus ) bushes.
This particular bush was a volunteer, a single seed or two carried by the wind or possibly a bird.
It is also a second generation plant, the original bush belonging to my husband's mother who shared it's propagated beauty from her garden to ours.

Oftentimes they are considered an invasive plant, since they tend to spread so easily, but we enjoy their endless blooms, and tend to agree with the A.A. Milne quote.....
“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”    


 

 
 
 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Knee Deep In June

 



Tell you what I like the best --
'Long about knee-deep in June,
'Bout the time strawberries melts
On the vine, -- some afternoon
Like to jes' git out and rest,
And not work at nothin' else!"

~ James Witcomb Riley : Knee Deep in June

  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Slice Of Sunshine

If your looking for a quick, unassuming dessert one of my favorites is Frozen Lemonade Pie...
Refreshingly cool, and what could be more simple to make !
The perfect treat on unforgiving HOT days.



Ingredients:

1 large graham cracker pie crust
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 6-ounce can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 12 ounce container of Cool Whip, thawed
candied lemon peel for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

Beat together condensed milk and lemonade; fold in Cool Whip.
Pour into pie crust. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours until firm.
Makes 8 servings
Enjoy !

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hotter Than A Pepper Sprout

We seemed to have transitioned from pleasantly warm days, to HOT.
Days in the nineties with high humidity makes outdoor activities a challenge, calling for lots of drinking water, and the wearing of light clothing.



We are under a heat advisory for the next few days, 95 degrees, if you can avoid staying outside especially for long periods of time, then it is best to do so.

Even the birds have taken to their nests.........



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"Heat, ma'am! it was so dreadful here,
that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones."

Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Royal Lace

It's the time of year when the hedgerows and meadows,  are once again filled with wildflowers.
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
This wild version of the carrot is one of the most common and best known "weeds" we have.
It is hard to imagine what a fallow field would look like in summer without the white flower heads bobbing in the breeze.
 
It is thought that the carrots escaped from the gardens of the early European settlers in North America having thrived in the wild to become what we know as Queen Anne's Lace.

 

 
The roots can be eaten just like a small pale carrot if harvested while still young and tender. Pull up a plant anywhere and smell the root. You will find it smells just like a carrot.

The leaves have been eaten in times of hardship, but it is not recommended today, since it can be mistaken for similar looking very poisonous species such as hemlock and fool's parsley with unpleasant results.
 
It is so called because the flower resembles lace; the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace. The function of the tiny red flower, colored by anthocyanin, is to attract insects.

 
 
The plant is commonly referred to, as Cow Parsley ( Anthriscus sylvestris ) in Great Britain.

 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Moving On

The nest on the front porch wreath was originally built by Mrs. Robin two years ago.
She raised four babies inside and promptly left, with nary a wave goodbye.




Along came Jenny Wren, she moved into the nest, and added a few touches of her own. She has occupied her little place amongst the flowers for going on two summers, and we as dutiful hosts,
are careful not to burn the porch light, after she's settled in for the evening.

Lately the nest has been abandoned, for a more exotic location amongst the porch ferns.
I'm not certain if it offers a cooler habitat, or as with most of us ladies, she's just tired of the same old decor.
Hopefully when the weather cools, she'll choose her nest once again.

 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Make Hay While The Sun Shines

The rains have finally stopped, and the sunshine has returned, at least for now.
Do you know how tall the grass can grow when you skip a few lawn-mowings ?
Infinitely so........





   Blue skies and sunshine and finally a chance to return to the garden.


 
 


 
 Farmers are trying to get their hay baled.
  Baling wet hay is just asking for trouble.
 
 





I like to dot solar-powered lights and whimsical pieces between the flowers and plants.
This sweet little bird faucet lights up at night, and looks like bubbling water is flowing from it's spout.
Whatever your plans this weekend, I hope they are filled with sunshine and flowers ~