‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Life and Garden Happenings

“The earth laughs in flowers”. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

“To me, a birthday means celebrating the presence of an individual in our lives.” ~ Meena Bajaj

Life Happenings

Good morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you enjoying the first few days of summer.  You may wonder what happened to me last week.  It was a combination of things.  I had a couple of days where I think I was trying to come down with that ugly twenty-four-hour virus.   However,  ginger ale and chicken noodle soup took care of that, but not my energy.   It was also Mike’s birthday on June 17.   To me, birthdays have always called for a celebration. Especially if they are the birthday of the ones we love who make our lives sweeter just by being who they are.

Mike seldom asks for anything special in the way of cooking or baking.  I am fortunate that he likes almost everything and is quite easy to please, other than breakfast food for dinner ~ not his favorite thing.  However, for his birthday, he does love a cheesecake with strawberry sauce.  And he is partial to the cheesecake I make (the recipe is from the old Southern Living Cookbook).  Then, I always try to prepare a nice dinner with a present or two.  All said the festivities seemed to tire me out way more than usual and I am certain ugly Mr. Virus was the culprit.  

“What I am saying is that lovely, whimsical, and soulful things happen in a garden, leaving a gardener giddy.” ~ Janisse Ray 

Garden Happenings

Peaches and Cream Honeysuckle

My garden happenings are going to be a ~ Remember this?  Do you remember about three years ago we removed Gertrude Jekyll roses from our arbor?  They were not thriving,  they would have a slight flush in the spring and then the back spot would arrive and that was the end of the story.  Needless to say, it was not an enjoyable sight.   After a bit of research and considering many factors I ordered two Peaches and Cream Honeysuckle vines.  They have flourished and are not invasive.  Their fragrance is divine and they will bloom again later in the summer.  The photo above is just as they are beginning to open. 

 

Next, the Lavender story.

Spring Planting ~ 2019.

The lavender story began four years ago.  We lost a beautiful purple beech tree and I was in a quandary as to what to plant in its place.  A long story goes with this gorgeous tree but I won’t delve into it today.   I’ll just share the lavender story.  I spent many hours in mourning over my beautiful tree and looking at the place it once called home.  Then it came to me  ~ an Olive Jar with lavender planted around it.  After finding the Olive Jar (Ballard Designs), I went on the hunt for lavender.  Knowing that not all lavender is fond of our winters, I searched for one that would be happy and was promised the variety I selected would thrive and not suffer in our winters.

Late summer ~ 2019.

Late Summer ~ 2020.

Should you be wondering what the zinnias are doing here.  The promised variety of lavender was not pleased with our few nights of 12 degrees below zero.  You know the rest of the story.  Now, I will admit I have a wee bit of a stubborn streak and I did not plan to look at the place where my glorious tree and beautiful lavender had lived.  So to the rescue came zinnias for the summer while I searched and read about every variety of lavender I could find.  Then, my searching was rewarded by a lovely variety of lavender ~ Phenomenal ~ hardy zone 5~9.  Ordered from ~ American Meadows.com

 

“A garden is made of hope.” ~ W.S. Merwin

 

Lavender, spring 2022.

Merwin says, “A garden is made of hope.”  I say, “Yes, and also with a bit of intimidation.”  If you look closely you will see my garden stake that reads, GROW.  I move it about the garden where ever it is needed.

 

Lavender, spring 2022.  Planted in the spring of 2021.

“Flowers are the Romeos and the Juliets of nature!” ~Mehmet Murat ildan

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  Also, I hope you enjoyed my honeysuckle and lavender stories.  Both have perfumed the garden and our home with their magic touch.  I was quite surprised at the vase life of the honeysuckle.  It was a treat, to come down the stairs in the morning and be greeted by its heavenly fragrance. Needless to say, the honeysuckle and the lavender made me quite “giddy.”

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day and a summer of magical days.  Days spent doing the things you love ~ with those you love.

Have a lovely week and be well.

Amour,

Sandra

“Surely the flowers of a hundred springs are simply the souls of beautiful things!” ~ L.M. Montgomery

 

Images:  M.S. Lambiotte, Tumblr

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Sunflowers

“Light-enchanted sunflower, thou Who gazest ever true and tender On the sun’s revolving splendour.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Good morning, dear friends.  I trust this finds you well and enjoying these last days of spring.  Even though many days feel as though summer has arrived, it is still a few days away. 

With summer comes the arrival of sunflowers.  A lovely plant, but often overlooked by gardeners.  Most likely this is because of their size and often a garden does not have space for such a large plant.  Although, there are now dwarf varieties such as Little Becka, Teddy Bear, and Firecracker.  Just to name a few.  Sunflowers not only add beauty to our gardens but the birds and bees love them too.  

“Come with me into the field of sunflowers is a better line than anything you will find here, and the sunflowers themselves far more wonderful than any words about them.”  ~ Mary Oliver

Leanne Potts, writer for “HGTV Magazine,” tells us that, “Sunflowers have long tap roots that need to go several feet into the ground, so sunflower plants prefer loose, well-drained, somewhat alkaline soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.  The bright yellow blooms are like a smile on a stalk. Growing sunflower plants is easy because they’re heat tolerant, pest resistant, and fast-growing. They’re native to North America so they can adapt to conditions in most locations.  You can use them as cut flowers, leave them on the stalk for a gorgeous outdoor display in your garden, or harvest and eat their seeds.”

“Sunflowers are sun worshipers that grow best in spots that get six to eight hours of direct sun per day.  No plant says summer like a sunflower.”

Should you be interested in a few botanical specifics, their botanical name ~ helianthus annuus, common name ~ sunflower, hardiness zones ~ 2 to 11.  In the language of flowers, they signify adoration.  A more recent meaning is a world free of nuclear weapons. 

Additionally, they are the national flower of Ukraine and the state flower of Kansas, known as the Sunflower State.

“A sunflower field is like a sky with a thousand suns.” ~ Corina Abdulahm-Negura

 

“Who knows what may lie around the next corner?  There may be a window somewhere ahead.  It may look out on a field of sunflowers.” ~ Joe Hill

 

“The morning glories and the sunflowers turn naturally toward the light, but we have to be taught, it seems.” ~ Richard Rohr

 

“Come with me into the field of sunflowers is a better line than anything you will find here, and the sunflowers themselves far more wonderful than any words about them.” -From ‘Upstream’, by Mary Oliver

“. . .Which makes it ironic my favorite flower isn’t even indigenous to the British Isles, let alone Yorkshire. I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me, that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.”  ~  Tim Firth

 

 

“Every day I walk out into the world to be dazzled, then to be reflective.” ~Mary Oliver

 

“The sunflower is mine, in a way.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers. ” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

 

“When van Gogh paints sunflowers, he reveals, or achieves, the vivid relation between himself, as man, and the sunflower, as sunflower, at that quick moment of time.”  ~ D. H. Lawrence

Watercolour Watercolor Art - Free image on Pixabay

“Van Gogh’s paintings of Sunflowers are among his most famous. He did them in Arles, in the south of France, in 1888 and 1889. Vincent painted a total of five large canvases with sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’.  In this way, he demonstrated that it was possible to create an image with numerous variations of a single colour, without any loss of eloquence.”  Note:  This information is from the Van Gogh Museum.com  and the photo of the painting is from pixbay.

“Sunflowers are like people to me.” ~ Joan Mitchell

And perhaps, they are to her too.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now in the third month, the sunflower stands not only as the national flower of Ukraine, it now has an additional meaning.  People around the world are embracing the bright bloom as a symbol of solidarity with the beleaguered country.” ~  Antonia Mufarech

 

Dear friends, I do hope you have enjoyed your visit.  

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful and peaceful day.

May your week ahead be filled with joy and kind souls.

 

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

“Like a single sunbeam on a warm summer day, there is an exuberance and brilliance in a sunflower.” ~ Unknown

 

 

 

Images: Tumblr, pixbay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Divine Beauty

” The contemplation of beauty causes the soul to grow wings.” ~ Plato

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Good morning, dear friends.

I hope this finds you well and happily welcoming June. 

We have once again endured some dreadful times and what do we do to soothe our souls during these times?  Many of us pray.  We may seek love and peace from friends and family, or we may read cherished and uplifting words. Or, perhaps, we may do them all ~ I do.   

I will not try to analyze these challenging times, as I clearly do not have answers.  However, I do know what inspires me to move forward and gives me the strength to face another day.  And, that is what I will share ~ the power of divine beauty.

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“This magnetic pull toward beauty is an inclination most of us carry but too few of us acknowledge.  Even if we are aware of it, we seldom honor it as something planted in us for a purpose.” ~ Christie Purifoy

The love of beauty has been with me for as long as I can remember.  This love is not limited to the beauty of the garden, flowers, trees, rivers, and oceans. Or, enthralling words spun together so magically they almost sing.  My love has traveled to exquisite paper-thin china, handmade creations that have warmed homes and hearts for generations, art that can bring me to tears, and the exceptional stories often attached to such beauty.  Stories that may span lifetimes, light-dark rooms, and drive away sadness.  Stories that will also fill, anyone who happens to listen, with exuberant laughter.  Thinking of happy stories during heartbreaking situations is something I believe most humans cling to as they remind us there is still good in the world.

 

“Beauty will save the world” ~ Dostoevsky

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Long ago, I read the words of  Dostoevsky.  They made a permanent home in my brain.  Please understand, that I am not so foolish as to believe that if everyone would plant daffodils or peonies, it would save the world.  I believe there was a greater implication to his words.  Perhaps, his wishes were to inspire the best in each of us and help us appreciate the connection we have to each other.   A message of honor and respect ~ both are beautiful.

As Christie Purifoy writes: “With God’s help, we can pick up the pieces of an old and dying world, and we can make them new.  We can make a place where beauty and peace can take root, flourish and grow.”  I believe in her words and I believe much of achieving success with “picking up the pieces” has to do with how we think, what we focus our minds on, how we treat others, and what we do in our lives.  Purifoy also reminds us that caring for each other, our communities and our homes are holy work.  Now and again, I receive a gentle reminder when something of exquisite beauty stops me dead in my tracks, it is the hand of God who has created the glorious beauty before me.  I pause and give thanks to Him for his magnificent creations and I wonder, “Perhaps in 1854, Dostoevsky was a soul with wings and knew that “beauty just may save the world.”

 

‘Godwinks,‘ for the week of June 29.  Won’t you share yours?  I know you have them.

1) A sweet Facebook message from a friend I have never met, saying I was in her thoughts.

2) Many bouquets of flowers from Mike cut from our garden, just magically appearing here and there in the house.

3) Two new books made their way to me, I will talk about them later.

 

 

Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.

And…

May your week ahead be filled with beauty and joy.  Stay well.

 

“True beauty. . .is the language of God.” ~ Christie Purifoy

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images:  Tumblr

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Memorial Day, 2022

” Memorial Day ~ A day set aside to honor our loving memories of the brave souls who fought for our freedom. . . ” ~ Unknown

 

Dear friends, with all the chaos in our land, Memorial Day rather crept up on me this year.  Certainly, it is not because I don’t feel the day is important.  Memorial Day is one of our honored traditions. To me, it is and will always remain a day of honor, recognition, and gratitude.  A day to say ‘thank you’ to those who made the ultimate sacrifice ~ dying to preserve our freedom.  

Know I wish you and yours a lovely day.  Hug the necks of those you love, and be safe.   

This Memorial Day, I feel it is more important than ever to reflect on our past and present decisions regarding issues that face our nation.  Not just for ourselves, but it is vital for little boys who like to go fishing and dream of becoming a doctor.  And little girls who like to ride ponies and just know that one day they will be president.  To enjoy living in a nation where all children can play, be educated, and follow their dreams ~ whatever they may be.  We have to do better by them.  We sincerely owe them a better and safer world.  We certainly had one.

 

“If peace is a state of harmony, if it is a kind of wholeness or completeness, then we will never find it by running away from broken things and messy places.” ~ Christine Purifoy

 

 

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images: Tumblr and Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ A Garden Stroll

“This magnetic pull toward beauty is an inclination most of us carry but too few of us acknowledge.  Even if we are aware of it, we seldom honor it as something planted in us for a purpose.” ~ Christie Purifoy

Iris ~ Cheryl’s Big Blue (Named for my dear friend who gave her to me.)

Good morning, dear friends.  As I write this (Saturday, 5-21) I am under blue skies, lovely warm temperatures, the window by my desk is open and the birds are singing, the peonies and lilacs are in bloom, and on a gentle breeze, the luscious fragrance of the garden drifts inside ~ all just for me.  Believe me when I say, “I am grateful for every sound, sight, and smell.”  This morning, I hope you will join me for a bit of a stroll in the garden.  You may want to find your coffee/tea before we go.

“I opened the large central window of my office room to its full on the fine early May morning. Then I stood for a few moments, breathing in the soft, warm air that was charged with the scent of white lilacs below.” ~ Angus Wilson

 

‘Madame Lemoine’, a French hybrid lilac.

“I cannot understand why my arm is not a lilac tree.” ~ Leonard Cohen

“Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands:  Perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths.  To creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.” ~ Neil Gaiman

It is Rhododendron time in these West Virginia Hills.  The rhododendron is our state flower and was a favorite of my mom’s.  Along the back of her garden, she had a stand of Canadian Hemlock Trees with native rhododendrons in front of them.  It was truly a magnificent sight.

This is a rather new beauty in our garden, which I believe was planted about three years ago.  This spring she has decided to ‘show off.’  Her name is ‘Bright Eyes.’

“May, and after a rainy spring We walk streets gallant with rhododendrons.” ~ Alicia Suskin Ostriker

“The immortality of Flowers must enrich our own. . .” ~ Emily Dickison, In a letter to Edward Tuckerman ~ Jan. 1874

This photo of the peony and delphinium made my heart sing.  The peony is ‘Faith Fenton.’  She is the most fragrant peony in the garden, plus she is a big girl.  Standing at least four feet tall.  The blooms on the delphinium are as tall as the peony.  I do believe it is because we have had a wet and cool spring. Plants have opened gradually and did not feel rushed.  No one likes to feel rushed.

An up-close photo of ‘Faith Fenton.’  She has a long vase life and does not drop her petals.

 

“And the wind upon its way whispered the boughs of May, And touched the nodding peony flowers to bid them waken. ~ Siegfried Sassoon

Most of our peonies are awake.  However, there are many still in the bud stage.   To avoid their feelings being hurt, I will share a few currently in bloom.  I have referred to peonies as “Queen of The Garden” for so long.  Honestly, I do not think they believe there are other flowers that compare to their beauty.  In all seriousness, in my mind, they are quite special. 

May be an image of flower and indoor In the vase are, clematis~’Josephine, peony~’Command Performance(red),  ‘She’s My Star'(pink), Iris~’Black Knight,’ and Baptisia.  

Peony, ‘Chiffon Clouds.’

Chiffon Clouds’ is fully open and in a vase by herself.  Do notice the darker pink speckles on her petals.  God gave her special attention.

Peony, ‘Red Grace’ and my grandmother’s white ‘Chestine Gowdy,’ and Baptisia.

An assortment of pink ladies.  The iris is ‘Beverly Sills.”  She shows more color toward the peach side, where actually she is pink.

 

“My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.” ~ E. Lockhart

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your garden stroll.  Spring truly is such a magical time of year.  One can leave the garden in the evening and in the morning all sorts of magic has occurred through the night.  The fairies are certainly busy little souls.  
Speaking of magic, I have been thinking of something to add to my post each week, but I am uncertain how to refer to them.  I have thought of several things, ‘Godwinks, Butterfly Kisses, An Angel’s Touch.  You get the idea.  They are special things that may have happened to me or my husband during the week.  In our crazy world, I believe it is important to note such things and share them.  I hope you will share yours as well.  
Also, many thanks to those of you who commented on my blog last week.  I now have my “readers” and am back to normal (whatever that may be).  I love reading your comments and missed being able to reply.
The week of May 15,  2022 ~ ‘Godwinks’
1) As you know I had cataract surgery recently.  Now, this is not major surgery, but our eyes are vital.  The surgery was done in a small hospital about 25 miles from our town.  Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.  My impression of the small hospital was totally amazing, in such a positive way.  Every person we came in contact with seemed only to care about me.  Such was the case with my wonderful nurse.  My goodness, she was well trained, not leaving even a tiny mark where she inserted my IV.  When I was leaving the hospital she met me at the desk and gave me a big hug and told me it had been her pleasure to take care of me.  Oh, but it doesn’t end here.  A few days later, I received a hand-written note from her saying the same and wishing me well.  It was short, but the fact that she took the time was just overwhelming to me.  This beautiful nurse had to be extremely busy, but she thought I mattered.  What a thoughtful and caring act from truly a remarkable soul.  
2)  On another day, I had injections in both of my knees for arthritis.  Now, if you have never had these injections they are not pleasant.  Anyway, we were getting ready to eat dinner that evening and my sweet husband went to the garden and cut a vase full of brilliant yellow irises for our table.  They would make anyone feel better.  He also planted my zinnia seeds after he had been working in the garden all day.
3)  I had a special book dropped in my lap.  It was not recommended to me but it appeared on my screen when I was looking for the name of my lilac that I couldn’t remember.  The book is titled “Placemaker” and the author is Christie Purifoy.  This is my first read by this author, but I simply felt a nudge to order the book.
Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.
May the week ahead bring you love, joy, and kind souls.  Be well!

 

“Sacred spaces need not be perfect, but they cease to be sacred if no one cares for them” ~ Christie Purifoy

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images:  Michael S. Lambiotte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ A Garden Stroll

“This magnetic pull toward beauty is an inclination most of us carry but too few of us acknowledge.  Even if we are aware of it, we seldom honor it as something planted in us for a purpose.” ~ Christie Purifoy

Iris ~ Cheryl’s Big Blue (Named for my dear friend who gave her to me.)

Good morning, dear friends.  As I write this (Saturday, 5-21) I am under blue skies, lovely warm temperatures, the window by my desk is open and the birds are singing, the peonies and lilacs are in bloom, and on a gentle breeze, the luscious fragrance of the garden drifts inside ~ all just for me.  Believe me when I say, “I am grateful for every sound, sight, and smell.”  This morning, I hope you will join me for a bit of a stroll in the garden.  You may want to find your coffee/tea before we go.

“I opened the large central window of my office room to its full on the fine early May morning. Then I stood for a few moments, breathing in the soft, warm air that was charged with the scent of white lilacs below.” ~ Angus Wilson

 

‘Madame Lemoine’, a French hybrid lilac.

“I cannot understand why my arm is not a lilac tree.” ~ Leonard Cohen

“Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands:  Perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths.  To creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.” ~ Neil Gaiman

It is Rhododendron time in these West Virginia Hills.  The rhododendron is our state flower and was a favorite of my mom’s.  Along the back of her garden, she had a stand of Canadian Hemlock Trees with native rhododendrons in front of them.  It was truly a magnificent sight.

This is a rather new beauty in our garden, which I believe was planted about three years ago.  This spring she has decided to ‘show off.’  Her name is ‘Bright Eyes.’

“May, and after a rainy spring We walk streets gallant with rhododendrons.” ~ Alicia Suskin Ostriker

“The immortality of Flowers must enrich our own. . .” ~ Emily Dickison, In a letter to Edward Tuckerman ~ Jan. 1874

This photo of the peony and delphinium made my heart sing.  The peony is ‘Faith Fenton.’  She is the most fragrant peony in the garden, plus she is a big girl.  Standing at least four feet tall.  The blooms on the delphinium are as tall as the peony.  I do believe it is because we have had a wet and cool spring. Plants have opened gradually and did not feel rushed.  No one likes to feel rushed.

An up-close photo of ‘Faith Fenton.’  She has a long vase life and does not drop her petals.

 

“And the wind upon its way whispered the boughs of May, And touched the nodding peony flowers to bid them waken. ~ Siegfried Sassoon

Most of our peonies are awake.  However, there are many still in the bud stage.   To avoid their feelings being hurt, I will share a few currently in bloom.  I have referred to peonies as “Queen of The Garden” for so long.  Honestly, I do not think they believe there are other flowers that compare to their beauty.  In all seriousness, in my mind, they are quite special. 

May be an image of flower and indoor In the vase are, clematis~’Josephine, peony~’Command Performance(red),  ‘She’s My Star'(pink), Iris~’Black Knight,’ and Baptisia.  

Peony, ‘Chiffon Clouds.’

Chiffon Clouds’ is fully open and in a vase by herself.  Do notice the darker pink speckles on her petals.  God gave her special attention.

Peony, ‘Red Grace’ and my grandmother’s white ‘Chestine Gowdy,’ and Baptisia.

An assortment of pink ladies.  The iris is ‘Beverly Sills.”  She shows more color toward the peach side, where actually she is pink.

 

“My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.” ~ E. Lockhart

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your garden stroll.  Spring truly is such a magical time of year.  One can leave the garden in the evening and in the morning all sorts of magic has occurred through the night.  The fairies are certainly busy little souls.  
Speaking of magic, I have been thinking of something to add to my post each week, but I am uncertain how to refer to them.  I have thought of several things, ‘Godwinks, Butterfly Kisses, An Angel’s Touch.  You get the idea.  They are special things that may have happened to me or my husband during the week.  In our crazy world, I believe it is important to note such things and share them.  I hope you will share yours as well.  
Also, many thanks to those of you who commented on my blog last week.  I now have my “readers” and am back to normal (whatever that may be).  I love reading your comments and missed being able to reply.
The week of May 15,  2022 ~ ‘Godwinks’
1) As you know I had cataract surgery recently.  Now, this is not major surgery, but our eyes are vital.  The surgery was done in a small hospital about 25 miles from our town.  Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.  My impression of the small hospital was totally amazing, in such a positive way.  Every person we came in contact with seemed only to care about me.  Such was the case with my wonderful nurse.  My goodness, she was well trained, not leaving even a tiny mark where she inserted my IV.  When I was leaving the hospital she met me at the desk and gave me a big hug and told me it had been her pleasure to take care of me.  Oh, but it doesn’t end here.  A few days later, I received a hand-written note from her saying the same and wishing me well.  It was short, but the fact that she took the time was just overwhelming to me.  This beautiful nurse had to be extremely busy, but she thought I mattered.  What a thoughtful and caring act from truly a remarkable soul.  
2)  On another day, I had injections in both of my knees for arthritis.  Now, if you have never had these injections they are not pleasant.  Anyway, we were getting ready to eat dinner that evening and my sweet husband went to the garden and cut a vase full of brilliant yellow irises for our table.  They would make anyone feel better.  He also planted my zinnia seeds after he had been working in the garden all day.
3)  I had a special book dropped in my lap.  It was not recommended to me but it appeared on my screen when I was looking for the name of my lilac that I couldn’t remember.  The book is titled “Placemaker” and the author is Christie Purifoy.  This is my first read by this author, but I simply felt a nudge to order the book.
Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.
May the week ahead bring you love, joy, and kind souls.  Be well!

 

“Sacred spaces need not be perfect, but they cease to be sacred if no one cares for them” ~ Christie Purifoy

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images:  Michael S. Lambiotte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ When The Flowers Bloom

“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” Anne Lamott

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Good morning, dear friends.  I want to thank those of you who left sweet comments last week on my blog post.  You are special friends and I appreciate each of you very much.  All went well with my eye surgery and hopefully, by next week, I should be back to normal.   

Does today find you with your  “eyes closed, listening to the sounds of spring, looking up at the hectic trees, paying attention, and not missing a thing?”  Certainly, I hope so.  Because spring is too dear to miss a sound or a bloom. 

Spring is a whimsical wanderer, blooming beauty along her path. ~ Angie Weiland-Crosby

While typing is still a bit of a challenge, I thought I would send you beautiful words and blooms.  Simply to send a little joy your way or inspire you to truly open your eyes to all the exquisite beauty of the garden world.  The magnificence is at every turn during spring.  You may discover it on a wee walk in your own neighborhood.  Just imagine, gorgeousness you have never noticed.

 

And now one knows what is behind that brick wall.

“Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.” ~ Bishop, Reginald Heber

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“Flowers rewrite soil, water, and sunshine into petal’d poetry.” ~ Terri Guilemets

Zeze peonies

If a peony is not poetry, I can’t imagine what is.  I have adored them since I was a child and to me, they are the ‘Queen of the Garden.’

They are available in a wide variety of colors, and forms.  There are the singles (such as the one above), the Japanese, anemone, semi-double, bomb, and full double.  When I first began growing peonies (40 plus years ago), I was partial to the semi-double and full double.  Now, that has changed and they all steal my heart.

“The peony was unchaste, dishevelled as peonies must be, and at the height of its beauty.” ~ Robertson Davies

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  Many thanks again, to all who left such lovely comments last week.  I will leave you with a few blooms from our garden that I cut this morning.  May they bring you joy!

Know I wish you and yours a wonderful day and a week full of beauty and blue skies.  Be well.

 Look closely out of the window and you will see the rhododendron just opening.

 

“Open the bloom of your heart and become a gift of beauty to the world.” ~ Bryant McGill

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images:  Tumblr and M.S. Lambiotte

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ When Things Change

“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

earthanthem: “(via Pinterest) Coastal Muskoka Living from homebunch.com ”

Good morning, dear friends.  Thank you so much for your visit and I do hope this finds you enjoying lovely spring days.  

Perhaps, you may have noticed that I am not as quick to comment on your blogs or answer your lovely comments on mine, as I once was.  There is a reason for that ~ I have recently had two cataract surgeries.  The first surgery went well,  as did this last one.   However, after this last surgery, I cannot use my glasses, so reading and typing are difficult.  I won’t have new glasses for a few weeks, so I will try and be a good girl and do all the doctor tells me to do.  And, by the way, I am so very fortunate for my wonderful doctor and our little hospital that is more like a spa.

Things do change in our lives ~ don’t they?    For most of my life, I have been a ‘slow learner.’  By that I mean, I usually go until I drop and perhaps the issue with my eyes was no different.  God knows me and He knows sometimes He has to intervene and place something in my path that  makes me stop for a while and simply ‘just be.’  Thankfully, I see extremely well at a distance.  The colors of my tree peonies seem more vivid than I remember and I can’t wait for the others to bloom.  The weather has been so cool, most are still in tight bud.  I will send photos as they open.

Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.  

And. . .

May your week ahead be full of dazzling spring days.

And. . .

Hopefully, I will be back to normal soon.  Be well and many blessings!

ps.  Many thanks to Rita, Bonnie, Penny, Judee, Jeanie, Pam, Dewena, and Lorrie for your lovely comments on my post last week. 

 

 

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all for their beauty, though few can begin to capture even fragments of their meaning.” ~ Lydia Maria Child

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

Images: Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ The Joys of May

“All things seem possible in May” ~ Edwin Way Teale

Good morning, dear friends.  As I write this on the last day of April 2022,  I think of how fortunate I am to be sitting in my little corner of the world, with the window open and listening to the local bird orchestra playing their tunes.  Our Carolina Jasmine is in full bloom and the fragrance drifting through the open window is divine.  Yes, May is a real joy.  And, truly Edwin Teale spoke true words. “All things do seem possible in May” ~ don’t they?

“The spring is fresh and fearless And every leaf is new, the world is brimmed with moonlight, The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows, I catch my breath and sing.  My heart is fresh and fearless and overbrimmed with spring.” ~ Sara Teasdale

May is a sure sign spring has arrived or at least is moving fast toward all corners of our land.  May does offer so much hope ~ new life, new blooms, beautiful green fields, and blue, blue skies.  Gorgeousness lies at every turn, and is a feast for one’s eyes.

“. . .as I wandered the forest, the green leaves among, I heard a wildflower singing a song. . .” ~ William Blake

 

And if it wasn’t the wildflowers that were singing, perhaps it was this pair of sweet baby bluebirds.  Anxious to see what the world has to offer.

sumbluespruce: “A pair of baby Bluebirds ”

“The foxglove, with it’s stately bells of purple, shall adorn thy dells.” ~ David Macbeth Moir

Foxgloves are a favorite of mine and Mike is especially fond of them.  He lets them go to seed and scatter their seeds where they like.  Then, on a cool late summer morning, he transplants the new little plants to a spot of his liking and takes good care of them until the fall rains.  When May arrives they reward him for his work. He so enjoys watching a bumble bee disappear deep into their trumpets.  I love their freckles.  

And then, along comes the lilacs.  Many years ago, Mike gave me a vintage piece of needlework that said, “You will know it is here or getting near when the lilacs bloom.”  The author was not mentioned but the words are true, at least they are true in West Virginia, where one has learned to place a bit of faith in old garden legends.  

Now that lilacs are in bloom She has a bowl of lilacs in her room And twists one in her fingers while she talks.”  ~ T. S. Eliot 

“I will go into a sweet garden, with fountains and low benches and roses trained over arbors, and find one path ~ jeweled, perhaps, with rubies and emeralds, soft enough for a king’s daughter to walk upon with her little sandalled feet ~ and it will lead me directly to the palace which lies under a spell.” ~Shirley Jackson
 These lovelies are from last year, as their buds are still tight.  The lilacs, however, are currently in full bloom.  
The dining room table full of blooms waiting to be scattered around the house.

“When April steps aside for May, Like diamonds all the raindrops glisten; Fresh violets open every day:  To some new bird each hour, we listen. ”  ~ Lucy Larcom

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  May this glorious month of May provide you and yours with dazzling beauty and great joy.  

And…

I wish you days full of magnificent blue skies, sunshine, and many reasons to “hold your breath.”  Be well!

Violet tree peony, Shimadaijin.

“I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us…” ~ Mary Oliver

Amour,

Sandra

Images:  Pinterest, Tumblr, and M.S. Lambiotte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty ~ A Balm For Our Hearts and Souls!

“. . .Beauty is life-giving and creativity is our birthright ~ and we need these things now more than ever.  They stir our souls and transport us to a place where we, if only for an hour or even a moment, transcend the mire and muck of this fallen world.” ~ Margot Shaw, Editor-In-Chief, Flower

Paeonia (Peony) ~ Raspberry Sunday.  She is about to bloom in our garden.

Good morning, dear friends.  Perhaps you tire of me saying, “I hope this finds you under blue skies.” However, that is truly my wish for all of us ~ every day.  Honestly, I can’t think of a better beginning to any day than to peek outside and see a blue sky. 

My opening quote is from Margot Shaw, Editor-In-Chief of Flower.  The quote is from her column named, The Watering Can.  Her writing is always cheerful, inspiring, and informative.  Should you not be familiar with this publication, I urge you to purchase a copy and then subscribe.  You won’t be disappointed.

“Beauty is a wonderful tapestry embroidered by the many single threads woven together by the unspeakable tender hand of God.” ~ Joseph Jacson K.

image

Mary Oliver tells us, “It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.”  Such true, true words.  However, despite the brokenness, there is breathtaking beauty just waiting for us to admire and appreciate. We need to bask in the beauty, it is a balm for our hearts and souls.

“My garden is my most beautiful work of art.”  ~ Claude Monet

I would like to share something I deem quite lovely.  I do hope you will take a few moments to relax and enjoy it, and carry away something you love. It is not long,  although, I believe it is long on inspiration and beauty.  Perhaps, you will be dazzled by the beauty and find enchanting inspiration.  Visit Here.

garden

While many of you have had the extraordinary pleasure of visiting Giverny, I know many have not ~ myself included.  Claude Monet is one of my favorite artists and his garden design knowledge and plant knowledge were truly amazing.  A gifted soul, who continues to inspire and uplift so many.  

“Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it.” ~ Claude Monet

Dear friends, know I appreciate your visit and I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit to Giverny.  It is my wish that your visit to his gardens was inspiring and a lovely beginning to your day.

Know I wish you and yours a happy and peaceful day.

And. . .

May you find your “Inspiration in Bloom.”  Be well.

image

 

Amour,

Sandra

“Just when I think I am losing my faith and optimism, Just when I think the world has gone utterly insane, Beauty in her majestic manner, intercedes, …And, with her restorative grace,  resurrects my hope for tomorrow.” ~ unknown

 

 

Images:  Tumblr and Pinterest

Information on Monet’s Gardens from, My French Country Home Magazine.

Video ~ YouTube