Something Delicious is Cooking!

“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” ~ Julia Child

Good morning, dear friends.  It has been a while since I have sent you a recipe.  Therefore, I am taking care of that today.  Last week I made Risotto with Peas and Shrimp, for dinner.  And, hungry Mike snapped this photo before his plate was placed on the table.  He thought it looked so delicious, he was going to post it on Facebook.  So, please forgive the kitchen towel, he was interested in what was on the plate, not what the plate was on.   

All this being said,when his photo went on Facebook, several readers asked for the recipe.  Many folks shy away from making Risotto.  It can be time-consuming, with recipes calling for ladle after ladle of hot broth being added and stirred into the risotto.  But this recipe is different, it is made in the oven.

Image may contain: food

The risotto recipe is Ina Garten’s, and I have made it for several years.  It is no-fail and delicious.  The recipe for the shrimp is my creation and is a nice addition to the risotto.

Ina Garten’s Oven Risotto

  • 1½ cups Arborio rice (no substitution)
  • 5 cups simmering chicken broth ~ a 48 oz. box of chicken broth or homemade
  • 1 cup freshly grated (no substitutions) Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced  
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas (yes, frozen)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the rice and 4 cups of the simmering chicken stock in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, (this is where it helps to have another person handy to stir) add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the frozen peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.  Should the rice become too thick and not creamy enough, add a little more broth.  Also, should you have leftovers, reserve any remaining chicken broth to add to the risotto when re-heating.

 

“We may live without poetry, music and art; We may live without conscience, and live without heart; We may live without friends; we may live without books; But civilized man cannot live without cooks.” ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton

 

Sandra’s Sauteed Lemon and Garlic Shrimp

1 pound of peeled and deveined large shrimp with tails on. 

Juice of 2 lemons and zest of 1, plus 1 lemon for garnish

2-3 tsp. of garlic paste

1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped, reserve a bit for garnish

3 Tbls. olive oil

2 Tbls. butter

salt and pepper

Note:  The lemon and parsley for garnish are optional, but add to the dish.

Directions: Once, your Risotto is in the oven, juice, and zest the lemons.  Chop the parsley.  About 15 minutes before the risotto is finished baking, start the shrimp.  In a skillet, large enough to hold the shrimp so they can be easily turned,  place olive oil and butter.  Let this heat until it sizzles.  Add, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic paste.  Stir well, then add shrimp, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side until shrimp is a pretty pink.  Add parsley and stir.

Serve the risotto in your choice of bowl and top with the shrimp.  Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.  If you choose you can add a bit of the lemon broth from the skillet to your dish.  (Hubby likes this)  This is perfect with a garden salad and a white or rosé wine. 

FYI ~ Sams Club (in our area) is now carrying Whispering Angel rosé, a lovely wine.

“The secret of good cooking is, first, having a love of it.” ~ James Beard

 

So, if you are interested in making a special meal without a huge amount of work, I hope you will try these recipes.  They are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews. Bon Appétit!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

 

Image: M.S. Lambiotte

Sunday Thoughts, April 14, 2019

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Good morning, my dear friends.  Today, I would like to share a piece which came to me by the way of my mom.  She included it in a box of irises she sent to me, probably in the early 1970’s.  Mom loved to spend time in used book stores and she found the piece in an old garden book.  Gardening teaches us many lessons and this lovely piece, in my opinion, speaks well to the parallel of the garden to our lives.  It was not titled and the author unknown.  So, I titled it ~ A Gardeners Thoughts.  I believe it to be lovely Sunday morning reading, hope you will think so too.

A Gardeners Thoughts ~ unknown

“For me, gardening is a form of prayer. Most people have an awareness of life and death, but few have an awareness of life, death, and life again. Gardeners do though.

Bulbs come up every spring. Then in winter, it looks like there’s nothing there, no hope for life ever again. Then, Hallelujah! Next spring they’re back even fuller. Perennials ~ same thing.

Annuals have a slightly different lesson. Annuals really do die, but they broadcast seeds before they go. Where there was only one calendula the year before, there will be ten this year, and one day, they will fill every empty space in your garden. Annuals are a lesson in the difference one living thing, plant or person, can make, and how their presence resonates long after they’re gone. There again, the effects are not immediate. There is always the winter. And when you consider the garden as a whole, well, winter is a time to reflect, a time to dream. It gives you time to ask the big questions…

Gardening is an affirmation of divine timing. Some years, in early spring, my enthusiasm takes an ugly turn, and I seemingly believe I can make spring happen earlier than it normally would, if I just work hard enough, if I till enough, compost enough, harden off seedlings earlier than I normally would. In the end, I wind up with twelve flats of dead seedlings. Then I direct seed a couple months later, and with much less effort, everything grows into the full glory it was destined to encompass. ‘To everything, there is a season.’  Amen.”

 

“Who loves a garden, his Eden keeps.” ~ A. B. Alcott

 

 

Wishing you and yours a glorious spring day and week ahead.

And…

May you discover great joy in the beauty and miracle of the season.

Thanks so much for your visit!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Images:  via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Dancing With The Daffodils”

“One daffodil is worth a thousand pleasures, then one is too few.” ~ William Wordsworth

Narcissus ‘Billy Graham’ ~ Division 2 Daffodil, Large-cupped ~ Blooms, mid to late season

Good morning, dear friends.  As you probably guessed this post is about daffodils.  Therefore, as my opening photo, I had to show you my favorite daffodil ~ ‘Billy Graham.’  The beautiful combination of its soft yellow petals and the pink cup is unusual, and to me, very pretty.  You will also notice it has a soft cream halo around the cup.  It is a stunning addition to any garden. 

Daffodil, the flower which symbolizes friendship.

Today, I want to share some of what I have learned throughout my gardening life about daffodils.  Much of this post is information I had the good fortune to learn during the time I was involved in garden club.  Specifically, my experiences from entering horticulture exhibits in flower shows. As you will see, there is much to know about daffodils.  

Now, perhaps you are wondering why I am sharing such detailed information.  Certainly, you won’t need to know this information or need to know which daffodil belongs to which division ~ unless you’re a botanist, daffodil collector (yes, there are daffodil collectors), or planning to enter the horticulture division of flower shows. However, seeing the full range of possibilities is certain to inspire you.  Perhaps you may see a division new to you and decide you simply must have a few.  So, find your coffee or tea and let’s begin our ‘dance through the daffodils.’  I will be anxious to hear those which you have decided you ‘can’t live without.’

“Life is the greatest gift that could ever be conceived … A daffodil pushing up through the dark earth to the spring, knowing somehow deep in its roots that spring and light and sunshine will come, has more courage and more knowledge of the value of life than any human being I’ve met.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Daffodils are divided into thirteen divisions, and in each division, there are many cultivars.  The following is the classification system of the Royal Horticulture Society and is also followed by the American Daffodil Society.  I will explain the divisions and then show a favorite cultivar of mine from each division. Additionally, Miniatures have the same divisions as standards, only smaller blooms, usually less than 2 inches in diameter. Also note, under each photo, I have given the bloom time (Early, Mid and Late season).   This information is important because, if you plan accordingly, you can have daffodils blooming from late March through the first of June. In the south, this would most likely be late February through the first of May. 

Division 1 ~ Trumpet Daffodils ~ One flower to a stem; corona (“trumpet”) as long as, or longer than the perianth segments. (“petals”).

Example: The beautiful ‘British Gamble.’  Just look at her ruffled trumpet.

Narcissus ‘British Gamble’ ~ Blooms Early to Mid Season

Division 2 ~ Large-Cupped Daffodils

One flower to a stem; corona (“cup”) more than one-third, but less than equal to the length of the perianth segments (“petals”).

Example:  Lovey Avalon

Narcissus, ‘Avalon’ ~ Blooms, Mid Season

Avalon is a beauty and always produces an abundance of blooms.

Division 3 ~ Small-Cupped Daffodils

One flower to a stem; corona (“cup”) not more than one-third the length of the perianth segments (“petals”).

Example:  ‘Eliot Ming’

Narcissus 'Eliot Ming' Narcissus, ‘Eliot Ming’ ~ Blooms, Mid Season

Division 4 ~ Double Daffodils

One or more flowers to a stem, with doubling of the perianth segments or the corona or both.

Example: Cheerful ‘Tahiti’ (a favorite of my husband).

Narcissus 'Tahiti' Narcissus, ‘Tahiti’ ~ Blooms, Mid to Late Season

Look closely at the petals of Tahiti.  This photo is wonderful as it shows the petals as they really appear ~ almost like crepe paper.

Division 5 ~ Triandrus Daffodils
Characteristics ~ Usually two or more pendent flowers to a stem; perianth segments reflexed.

Example:  ‘Moonlight Sensation’

Narcissus, ‘Moonlight Sensation’ ~ Blooms, Late Season

Division 6 ~ Cyclamineus Daffodils

Characteristics ~ one flower to a stem; perianth segments significantly reflexed; flower at an acute angle to the stem, with a very short pedicel (“neck”).

Example:  ‘Wisley’

Cyclamineus Daffodil Wisley Narcissus, ‘Wisley’ ~ Blooms, Early to Mid Season

Cyclamineus Daffodil, Wisley

Narcissi ~The Art & Soul of Spring ~ unknown

Division 7 ~ Jonquilla Daffodils

Characteristics ~ Usually, one to five (rarely eight) flowers to a stem; perianth segments spreading or reflexed; corona cup-shaped, funnel-shaped or flared, usually wider than long; flowers usually fragrant.

Example:  ‘Kedron’

Narcissus, ‘Kedron’ ~ Blooms, Late Season

Division 8 ~ Tazetta Daffodils

Characteristics:  Usually three to twenty flowers to a stout stem.  Perianth segments spreading not reflexed; flowers are most often fragrant.  Two stems are a bouquet.

Example:  ‘Falconet’

Narcissus, ‘Falconet’ ~ Blooms, Mid to Late Season

Division 9 – Poeticus Daffodils
Characteristics:  Perianth segments pure white; corona very short or disc-shaped, not more than one-fifth the length of the perianth segments; corona usually with a green and/or yellow center and red rim, but sometimes wholly or partly of other colors; anthers usually set at two distinct levels; flowers fragrant.

Example:  ‘Pheasant’s Eye’

Narcissus, ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ ~ Blooms, Mid Season

Pheasant’s Eye is an heirloom variety.  Appearing in records as early as 1830.  This is a lovely daffodil with petals like crepe paper and a pretty sheen.

Division 10 – Bulbocodium Hybrid Daffodils
Characteristics:  Usually one flower to a stem; perianth segments insignificant compared with the dominant trumpet.  This daffodil has a hoop-like shape and has grass-like foliage.  It is a great selection for rock gardens.

Example:  ‘White Petticoat’

Narcissus, ‘White Petticoat’ ~ Blooms, Mid Season

Division 11a – Split-Cupped Collar Daffodils
Split-corona daffodils with the corona segments opposite the perianth segments; the corona segments usually in two whorls of three.

Example:  ‘Drama Queen’

Narcissus, ‘Drama Queen’ ~ Blooms, Late Season

Division 11b – Split-Cupped PapillonDaffodils
Split-corona daffodils with the corona segments alternate to the perianth segments; the corona segments usually in a single whorl of six.

Example:  ‘Lemon Beauty’

Narcissus, ‘Lemon Beauty’ ~ Blooms, Mid to Late Season

‘Lemon Beauty’ is a stand out in the garden.

Division 12 ~ Daffodils not fitting any of the above definitions.  

I can’t imagine what would ever be in this division, unless it would be a new daffodil not yet named or assigned to a division.

Division 13 ~ Wild species of daffodils without names.

“Daffodils are yellow trumpets of spring.” ~ Richard L. Ratliff

Narcissus pseudonarcissus,Wild Daffodil, Lent Lily, Averill, Bell Rose, Bulrose, Chalice Flower, Common Daffodil, Daffy-Down-Dilly, Eggs and Bacon, Lent Cock, Lent Rose, Trumpet Narcissus, Yellow Crowbell, Spring Bulbs, Spring Flowers, early spring daffodil, mid spring daffodil A clump of wild daffodils.

Most wild daffodils are a pale yellow, with a darker trumpet.  The plant grows from a bulb and the flowers produce seeds.  When germinated it may take five to seven years to produce a flower.   Wild daffodils are not to be confused with heirloom daffodils, such as one may see in the countryside where old homes stand or once stood.   We have an heirloom cultivar ~ Rip van Winkle.  He came from my husband’s great grandparents home place in Western, Pennsylvania.   He appears in records from 1881.  I love his green swirls.

Heirloom Narcissus(1881), ‘Rip van Winkle’ ~ Blooms Mid Season

In closing, I do hope this post has not been ‘information overload.’  However, I wanted you to see examples from all the divisions just in case there was a type of cultivar you were unfamiliar with and would like to possibly grow in your garden.  At the end of the post, you will find reputable sources I have ordered from for years and I believe you will enjoy perusing through the selections they have to offer.   And, you may want to check them out soon, as many of the special bulbs sell out quickly. Should you be in need of a little nudge to begin your planning, I believe you will find plenty of inspiration here. 

And in closing, I opened this post with my favorite daffodil. I will close with my mom’s favorite.  Mom knew her blooms and she always said, “White in the garden is the little black dress.”

Narcissus 'Mount Hood' Narcissus, ‘Mount Hood’~ Division 1, Trumpet

‘Mount Hood’ was awarded the Garden Merit Award by the Royal Horticulture Society and the coveted Wister Award by the American Daffodil Society.  A vase of these daffodils is stunningly beautiful.

“Then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils.” ~ William Wordsworth

Dear Friends,  thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  Most of all, I hope you have seen something new and beautiful you want to add to your garden.  

Know, I am wishing you glorious days ~ “Dancing With The Daffodils.”

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:  Narcissus is the botanical name for daffodil.  The two are used interchangeably.

Sources for Daffodils:

  1. White Flower Farm ~ http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/
  2. Brent and Becky’s Bulbs ~ http://brentandbeckysbulbs.com/
  3. John Scheepers ~ https://www.johnscheepers.com/
  4.  Old House Gardens (a wonderful source for heirloom bulbs and plants) https://oldhousegardens.com/

Images: catalogs of White Flower Farm, John Scheepers, and Old House Gardens

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ April 7, 2019

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Good morning, dear friends.  As you know, my ‘Sunday Thoughts’ are something I consider lovely for us to tuck away in our hearts.  An image or thought we can draw from if our week becomes weary.  My post today is a piece I read many years ago.  To me, it is awe inspiring. I treasure it and hope you will too. (Be sure to read my notes at the end of this post.)A single daffodil

“One at a Time,” by Jaroldeen Edwards

It was a bleak, rainy day, and I had no desire to make the drive from the beach to the cold mountain at Lake Arrowhead where my daughter Carolyn lived.  

A week earlier, she had called and insisted that I come see the daffodils some woman had planted at the top of the mountain.  So, here I was, reluctantly making the two-hour journey.

By the time I saw how thick the fog was on the winding road toward the summit, it was too far to go back, so I inched my way up the perilous Rim of the World Highway to my daughter’s house.

“I am not driving another inch!”  I announced.  “I’ll stay and have lunch, but as soon as the fog lifts, I’m heading back down.”

“But I need you to drive me to the garage to pick up my car,” Carolyn said.  “Can’t we at least do that?”

“How far is it?”  I asked cautiously.  “About three minutes,” she answered.  “I’ll drive.  I’m used to it.”

She grinned.  “This is a detour.”

We were back on the mountain road, in fog like thick veils.  Nothing could be worth this, I thought.  But it was too late to turn back.  We turned down a narrow track into a parking lot beside a little stone church.  The fog was beginning to lift a little, and gray, watery sunshine was trying to peek through.

Carolyn got out of the car and I reluctantly followed.  The path we followed was thick with old pine needles.  Dark evergreens towered over us, and the mountain sloped sharply away to the right.

Gradually, the peace and silence of the place began to relax my mind.  Just then, we turned a corner, and I gasped in amazement.  From the top of the mountain, sloping down for several acres across folds and valleys, between the trees and bushes, following the terrain, were rivers of daffodils in radiant bloom.  Every hue of the color yellow ~ from the palest ivory to the deepest lemon to the most vivid salmon-orange ~ blazed like a carpet before us.

It looked as though the sun had tipped over and spilled gold in rivulets down the mountainside.  At the center of this wild color cascaded a waterfall of purple hyacinth.  Throughout the garden were little meditation platforms graced with barrels of coral-colored tulips.  And, as if this bonanza of color were not enough, over the heads of the daffodils Western bluebirds darted and frolicked, their magenta breasts and sapphire wings like a flutter of jewels.

A riot of questions filled my mind:  Who created such beauty ~ such a magnificent garden?  Why?  Why here, in this out-of-the-way place?  How?

As we approached the mountain home that stood in the center of the property, we saw a sign:  Answers to the Questions I Know You are Asking.

The first answer was One Woman ~ Two Hands, Two Feet, and Very Little Brain.  The second was One at a Time.  The third, Started in 1958.

As we drove back home, I was silent.  I was so moved by what we had seen I could scarcely speak.  “She changed the world,” I finally said, “one bulb at a time.  Just think.  She started almost forty years ago.  And the world is forever different and better because she did a little bit with consistent effort.”  

The wonder of it would not let me go.  “Imagine ~ if I had had a vision and had worked at it, just a little bit every day for all those lost years, what might I have accomplished by now?”

Carolyn looked at me sideways, smiling.  “Start tomorrow,” she said.  “Better yet, start today.”

Daffodils at Gibbs Gardens

“Flowers are love’s truest language.” ~ Park Benjamin

 

Wishing you and yours a day of joy and peace.  

And…

Every time you see a daffodil, I hope you will remember a lovely piece of inspiration tucked away in your heart.  

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Notes: 

“One at a Time,” is a true story.  Ms. Edwards did not disclose the name of the woman who created this magnificent garden or the location.  In 2004, Ms. Edwards wrote a book about her experience and it is titled The Daffodil Principle.  

Jaroldeen “Jerry” Asplund Edwards (1932-2008) was born in Alberta Canada.  She was a wife, mother of twelve,  grandmother, and author of twelve books.  She received her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brigham Young University and in 2002, she was also awarded the Distinguished Emeritus Alumni Award from BYU.

Images:  Pinterest

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ March 31, 2019

“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. 

 

I am going to look around at all the flowers,

16 тыс. отметок «Нравится», 299 комментариев — Janne (@jannelford) в Instagram: «Hope you've all had a lovely weekend We've spent most of it outside and I even managed to plant a…»

and look up at the hectic trees.

I am going to close my eyes and listen.” ~ Anne Lamott

 

To hear the hum of bees.

 

And, the symphony of sweet birdsong.

55 Unique Images Of #Birds That You Will Love!

 

Dear Friends, Wishing you and yours a beautiful and peaceful day.

And remember to…

 

“Try and pay attention to the spring.”  It is such a beautiful gift.

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Images: ~Pinterest and Tumblr.  Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colors of Interest

“Home is the nicest word there is.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Our home, Maison de Jardin (The Garden House), circa 1939

 

“Good morning!” The bird says to you. “Good morning!” The bird’s friend says to you. “Good morning!” “Good morning!” “Good morning!” ~ unknown 

Dear friends, the birds are so happy to see you and I am too.   Isn’t it wonderful ~ we have another new day to greet?  I do hope you are seeing sunshine, blue skies, and signs of spring.

“My home. It is my retreat and resting place,” said  Michel de Montaigne.  I believe those words to be true for all of us.  And, now that spring has arrived, we are anxious to fluff our nests, open the windows, and say goodbye to winter.  Our dear home receives so much light and when the sun shines through her many windows it certainly brings to the front the things which need my attention.  Sound familiar?  I enjoy our home (our ‘retreat’) looking happy and fresh, not tired from winter, and I imagine you do also.

So, do you have spring projects in mind?  Perhaps, you are thinking of painting your front door a lovely new color, or there is a chair which has seen one too many winters and is in need of reupholstering.  Maybe you have thoughts of a new wall color for a room, or you have decided the pillows on your sofa are tired.  For each of us, the list will be different.  All this being said, today I thought I would share some pretty colors I have found to possibly give you a bit of inspiration.  A fresh color can give energy to a room and to you. 

Without further chatter from me,  find your coffee and let’s begin.  Remember, as you go along, this post is not to show you designs or styles it is about color inspiration.  And, you will see at the end of each color segment, I have added something from Mother Nature.  I always go to her for inspiration.

“You can never go wrong with a little pink…a lot works too.” ~ Dana Dalgetty

sweetcribs: “Girly? Yes. Acceptable? Yes. ”

 I am a little smitten with the background color of this sofa, love the toile also.

Image may contain: living room, table and indoor

Pink just makes this room smile.

Five of the very best double peonies you can grow, this value collection of classics will provide pleasure in the garden and in the vase for years to come.

 It is hard to surpass the many shades of pink offered by Mother Nature.

“For still there are so many things that I have never seen:  In every wood, in every spring, there is a different green.” ~ J. R. R. Tolkien

♥

 Green is nature’s color and there is a shade of green that will be happy in every room and with every color.

♥

The color green symbolizes balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. It’s the symbol of prosperity, freshness, and progress.

Become your own florist: Create luscious flower arrangements at home

I love the many shades of green in this arrangement, especially in the leaves of the Aucuba.

“How lovely yellow is! It stands for the sun”. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

I remember the first yellow room I ever saw was when I was a freshman in high school. It belonged to a family friend and had been des...

 

 “Live in rooms full of light.” ~ Cornelius CelsusWith such a bold yellow sofa, it's a good idea to limit your pillow picks to various shades of blue. The contrast is totally punchy, but the effect is so classic.

“Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.” ~ Roman Payne

Iris, Pandora.  Named for the lovely lady who gave her to me.  Pandora is pure sunshine.

“Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the deity to be a source of delight.” ~ John Ruskin

michellersmithinteriors

Blue is my favorite color.  All shades of blue speak to me, but I am partial to the soft French blue, such as the door below is wearing.

“There is no blue without yellow…” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Just in case you have plans to paint your front door, the French believe blue on outside doors and shutters sends away evil spirits.  

Image may contain: table and indoor

This room certainly gives inspiration for color selections.  From the background color of the wall covering to the many colors of pillows.  The lovely emerald green is a color which captures my attention.

“Oh! Darkly, deeply beautiful blue, as someone somewhere sings about the sky.” ~ Lord Byron

 Again, Mother Nature shows us such lovely shades.

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  And, perhaps you have received a bit of inspiration for a project you may be pondering. If you are uncertain about a color you would like for a specific project, take a trip through your local garden center and soak up the blooms.  You are certain to fall in love with a color that will make your smile.  Coral Charm peonies Peony, Coral Sunset (see note at the end of this post)

 

“What a desolate place would the world be without flowers.”  A. J. Balfour

 

Wishing you glorious spring days. 

And, may you…

Créer de la beauté, devenir inspiré  ~ Create Beauty, Become Inspired!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:  Pantone’s Color of The Year, 2019 ~ Living Coral

“Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature.” – The Pantone Color Institute

Images: Michael S. Lambiotte, Pinterest, Traditional Home, Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ March 24, 2019

“The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it.” ~Gene Amole

lsleofskye: “Morning View ”

“As morning dawns and evenings fades, You inspire songs of praise…” ~ Paul Baloche 

Presque Isle Sunset by Christopher Lane Photography Lake Erie, Pennsylvania

“Thank you is what each and every one of us should say when we see either a sunrise or sunset.  And when we do that, maybe, just maybe the world will start to become a better place.” ~ Anthony T. Hincks

 

Thanks so much for your visit.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day and week ahead.

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Images: via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Sweet Spring ~ You Have Arrived!

“Came the spring with all its splendor, All its birds and all its blossoms, All its flowers and leaves and grasses.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Arrangement by, Kate Holt.  Flower (see note at the end of this post)

Good morning, dear friends.  It is wonderful to see you and I thank you so much for visiting.  

Well, the day many of us have been waiting for has finally arrived ~ the first day of spring.  There are such glorious days ahead, full of blossoms and blooms. I do love the way spring seems to gently unfold.  Therefore, allowing time for us to savor the days and moments.

“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.” ~ Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

It is a glorious sight to see a carpet of blooms at the base of old trees.  It is almost as the blooms are saying to the trees, “Look what we did for you.”  Surely, such a beautiful sight makes the trees happy.

A drive in the countryside will present lovely meadows which, overnight, have become a ‘riot’ of color.

And so… “Spring has come again. The Earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

While there is a boldness to many spring blooms, which after a long winter can certainly be a welcome sight, there is also a softness to many of the blooms as well ~ a little whisper.

Image Tulip Angelique, a favorite and beautiful in a mass planting.

“I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace… Their faint, delicate scent is refinement itself; and is there anything in the world more charming than the sprightly way they hold up their little faces to the sun. I have heard them called bold and flaunting, but to me, they seem modest grace itself, only always on the alert to enjoy life as much as they can and not be afraid of looking the sun or anything else above them in the face.” ~ Elizabeth von Arnim, Elizabeth and Her German Garden(1898)

‘There is another sort of day which needs celebrating in song the day of days when spring, at last, holds up her face to be kissed, deliberate and unabashed.  On that day no wind blows either in the hills or in the mind.” ~   E. B. White

In the springtime, parks and botanical gardens everywhere are in full bloom.  Truly, dressed in their finest, saying to their guests, “Welcome!”

Such places offer the soul a respite from the chaos of the world.  

“Thoughts, rest your wings.  Here is a hollow of silence, a nest of stillness, in which to hatch your dreams.” ~ Joan Walsh Anglund

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”  ~ Khalil Gibran

For me, one of the many joys of spring is the flowering trees.  Flowering spring trees are breathtaking.  And, none more so than the cherry tree.  I am especially fond of the weeping cherries.  Cherry trees are works of art.  They grow in such a lovely way and seem to know the exact point at which to bend or turn, thereby, creating magnificent beauty.

While Japan is beautiful year-round, the few weeks each spring when cherry trees across the country explode with blossoms is a particularly pretty time to visit.

” In the cherry blossom’s shade, there’s no such thing as a stranger.” ~ Kobayashi Issa

japan-overload: “by Kaz@pdx_nrt ”

“He that planteth a tree is a servant of God, he provideth a kindness for many generations, and faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.” ~ Henry Van Dyke

“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” ~ Charles Dickens

In closing, one of the most precious joys of spring is new life.  Not just in plants and blooms, but in the dear creatures who share the earth.   It is pure joy to see them in their environment, frolicking along at the side of their mothers.  So perhaps, take a walk in the woods on a pretty spring morning.  The glory of Mother Nature is waiting.

Wishing you a lovely and enchanting spring.  Days filled with beauty, birdsong, and all the sweet things that make your heart flutter.

And…

May the angels always walk beside you.

 Tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes.” ~ William Wordsworth

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:

Flower |House|Garden|Lifestyle ~ Should you not be familiar with Flower – give yourself a treat, https://flowermag.com/

Images ~ (Via Tumblr) Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

Be sure to check the event section of this blog, it has been updated.  There are many lovely events happening in various towns and cities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ March 17, 2019

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time ~ a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” ~ Adrienne Cook

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, dear friends.  I do hope wherever you may be, you have a view of beautiful green.  Isn’t it is such a glorious sight to see our land as she ‘once again,’ trades her winter brown for magnificent green?  The beauty of the green countryside is certainly a sight to treasure.  

wanderlusteurope: “Pillaton, Cornwall, England ”

“Ireland is a land of poets and legends, of dreamers and rebels.  All of these have music woven through and around them.  Tunes for dancing or for weeping, for battle or for love.”  ~ Nora Roberts

pagewoman: “ Wishing Bridge, Gap of Dunloe (Dún Lóich) Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland by Sartori42 ” Wishing Bridge, Gap of Dunloe (Dún Lóich) Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland 

“For ’tis green, green, green, where the ruined towers are gray.

And it’s green, green, all the happy night and day;

Green of leaf and green of sod,

green of ivy on the wall,

And the blessed Irish shamrock

with the fairest green of all.”

~ Mary Elizabeth Blake

On this special Sunday, I hope you have plans to celebrate the day.  The Irish immigrants have made significant contributions to our country and other countries as well.   We are fortunate to have in our view(directly across the street), a lovely stone cottage built in 1934 by Irish stone masons. The Irish have also given us wonderful food, beautiful music, and dance.  So today, let us be grateful for all the hard-working Irish people, their skills, and their many talents.

Wishing you and yours a day of joy.

And…

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow.
May the soft winds freshen your spirit.
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you.
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

An Irish Blessing

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Images: Via Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Friends Of The Garden

“The garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature.” ~ Jeff Cox

judithdcollins: “Visit a Storybook Garden – atlanta homes & gardens ”

Good morning, dear friends.   This time of year, when I am dreaming of all the beauty about to unfold, I find myself so anxious to see my old friends.  Beauties I dearly love and many have been with me since we had our first home.  So, won’t you step into the garden, they are anxious to meet you.

“Then my heart with pleasure fills And dances with the daffodils.” ~ Willaim Wordsworth

Would it be spring without daffodils?  Certainly not.  I love all daffodils, but I will admit being partial to a few.

Fortissimo, shouts spring.  In musical terms, a fortissimo marking indicates ‘very loud.’  And, the daffodil, Fortissimo (appropriately named) is loud.

Daffodil (Narcissus) Barrett Browning - Longfield Gardens

Lovely Barrett Browning ~ her bloom nods like a bashful girl.

I do love the softness and frills of British Gamble.  However, something so lovely should, in my opinion, have a more suitable name.  Perhaps, Priscilla,  Apricot Dreams, or Elegant Lady?

Daffodil (Narcissus) Tahiti - Longfield Gardens

And here is my husband’s favorite… Tahiti.  Tahiti is a full double daffodil and a vase of them is a lovely sight.  Tahiti is also a strong and sturdy daffodil, not prone to flop.

“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” ~ William Wordsworth

Ah, there are so many friends who return each year to our garden.  They sing and flutter about, each with their own unique beauty.  My heart truly loves them.

loriedarlin: “via http://gardenofgod.tumblr.com/post/145129648672/black-capped-chickadee ”

“A birdsong can even, for a moment, make the whole world into a sky within us, because we feel that the bird does not distinguish between its heart and the worlds.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

 

thetwilightgarden: “radiant by Molly Dean http://www.mollydean.com ”

“Butterflies…flowers that fly and all but sing.” ~ Robert Frost

 

Singing a happy song | Robin bird chirping singing | John MacTavish | Flickr

“My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.” ~ Terri Guillemets

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.” ~ Beverley Nichols

eat-to-thrive: “Sweet peas 🌸🌿 ”

Sweet peas are a favorite among my ‘old friends.’  I’ve never been without a stand of them.  Stop a moment, surely you can smell them. Their fragrance is soft as is their appearance.  To me, they are a girly flower’, ever so romantic.  Sweet peas symbolize blissful pleasure and are lovers of the cool early spring days.  Our seeds went into the ground on February 24.  They should be in bloom in May.  In the part of Virginia where we used to live, we were zone 8a.  There, I planted them in the fall so as to bloom in mid to late March.  Summer comes early to coastal Virginia.

“You will know it is here or getting near when the lilacs bloom.” ~ unknown

The fragrance of lilac drifting through the air is a gift from above.  I suppose lilacs are especially dear to me because I lived for many years without them.  While some varieties will grow in the south, they are really northern girls.  Quite happy in harsh winters.  

“Flowers are God’s thoughts of beauty taking form to gladden mortal gaze; bright gems of earth, in which, perchance, we see what Eden was ~ what Paradise may be. ~ William Wilberforce.
The iris ~ the exclamation point of the garden. During their blossoming, they seem to call out and exclaim, “Look! Over here!” ~unknown

Stairway to Heaven is a beautiful friend.  She is absolutely an ‘exclamation point,’ standing about 40 inches in height.  Irises represent faith, hope, courage, wisdom, and admiration.  Specific flower colors attach further meanings to the lovely blooms. 

“The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty ~ the peony.” ~ Henry Mitchell

shorenaratiani: “Lovely red peony ” Peony, Red Charm

Peonies are my dearest of old friends.  We have been friends since I was a little girl.  Many in my garden have been with me for over forty years.  Friends, I am eager to see and greet every spring.

Peony, Courage (notice the speckles on the petals)

Peony, Gardenia

“A rose is a rose, but a peony is a friend forever.” ~ unknown

 

 

“Springtime flowers bloom like colourful arrows piercing their way to the sun.” ~ Terri Guillemets 

nordicsublime: “ Alnwick castle gardens - rssing.com ”

In closing, I want you to know my ‘old friends’ thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and I hope you enjoyed meeting them as well.   As the spring days unfold with blue skies and sunshine, may you enjoy many lovely hours with your ‘old friends.’
Wishing you a beautiful day!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Special Note:  The event section of this blog has been updated.  There are many wonderful events happening.  Check this section, one may be near you.

 

Note: Images ~ Michael S. Lambiotte,  Atlanta Homes,

Tumblr ~ Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment