A Sunday Thought

“When one gets quiet, then something wakes up inside one, something happy and quiet like the stars.” ~  William Butler Yeats

 

Wishing you and yours a glorious day.  One of peace, beauty, and joy.

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note:  Image~viatumblr~I do not claim ownership of this photo.

 

Random Discoveries!

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful. “ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good Morning Dear Friends!  I do hope this finds you enjoying these summer days.  My post today was created while gathering information for another post. And, I thought you may enjoy seeing some of the things I came across.  Many of the thoughts and photos, I hope, may inspire, bring back fond memories or simply make you smile. 

“He who loves an old house never loves in vain.  How can an old house used to sun and rain, to lilac and to larkspur and an elm above, ever fail to answer the heart that gives it love?”  ~ Isabel Fiske Conant (see note at the end of this post)

This photo of the man working on a painting of the pretty homes reminded me of something quite special.  We had lived in our current home around three years and on one spring day, while I was outside, I noticed a lovely young woman sitting on the front steps of the home directly across the street.  She was sketching our home. When she saw me, she immediately came over and introduced herself.  She told me she was sketching a few of the old homes in town for a collection and promised to let me see ours when it was finished.  Several months later, she rang our doorbell only to gift us a gorgeous, detailed black and white etching of our home.  Needless to say, it is a treasure.  Truly, unexpected joy!

And, this beautiful spot ~ such a lovely way to begin the day or perhaps take a moment’s rest. 

“Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine.”  It does, doesn’t it?

“Flowers can change your day, try some.” ~ Matthew Mead

    

“I love flowers, I’d love to have the whole place swimming in roses.” ~ James Joyce,

Oh, I can’t fail to mention a huge discovery at our home this week, ripe tomatoes!  Which translates to ~ Mike’s Tomato Salad.

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” ~ Lewis Grizzard

Mike’s Tomato Salad

5 large tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped

half of 1 red onion, roughly chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 large clove garlic, minced

Feta cheese to taste

Directions:

Whisk oil, vinegar, parsley and garlic in small bowl.  Season with salt/pepper to taste.  Pour over chopped tomatoes and onion, mix well.  Let stand at room temperature or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours, allowing for flavors to blend.  Sprinkle with the desired amount of Feta. 

I hope you have enjoyed my ‘discoveries’ this week.  I want to thank you, my dear friends, for following along.  Know how very much I always appreciate your comments and the time you take to post them.  They are sweet music to me.  And, as summer seems to be moving right along, I will leave you with the thoughts of Debasish Mridha ~ “Go slow, my life, go slow.  Let me enjoy the beauty of silence, serenity, and solitude.”

 Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Note:  The poem by Isabel Fiske Conant, was stitched for me by my lifelong friend, Janet.  Much love went into the stitches and I am ever so blessed to have such a dear friend.  The piece proudly hangs in our foyer.

 

Images~ Pinterest, Tumblr, Traditional Home

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.

 

 

Summer Blooms !

“And so the seasons went rolling on into summer.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Summer is in full swing in West Virginia and when it is hot in the mountains ~ it is hot!   Although, I know I shouldn’t complain as many of my southern friends would likely trade spots for a while.  Anyway, yesterday morning while it was still somewhat cool, camera in hand, I went out to try and capture a few photos of ‘summer blooms.’  Other photos in this post have been taken during the last few weeks.  Please be patient with my photography skills, I am still learning.

This is a special daylily, to us.  Its name is ‘Tribute to Mike.’  My husband’s name is Mike and he loves red, so of course, this beauty had to have a home in our garden.  It is a prolific bloomer, and I am especially fond of the size of its bloom and its yellow/green throat.

“The light is amber, the air still; the daylilies have folded in on themselves.” Elizabeth Berg

I do not know the name of this pretty girl.  She was shared with me by my former neighbor and dear friend, Cathy. Don’t you love her colors?   

Large and ruffly white daylilies can be difficult to find.

This one is a favorite of mine and her name is ‘Snow Queen.’ I purchased her several years ago from a daylily nursery in South Carolina. Roycroft Daylily Nursery ~ visit here

“Dragoons, I tell you the white hydrangeas turn rust and go soon.” ~ Carl Sandburg

Clearly, Mr. Sandburg was not familiar with Annabelle hydrangeas.  They do not “turn rust” and they do not “go soon.”  Annabelles are hardy in zones 4 through 9, and their blooms are fabulous.  They open in a chartreuse green, turn white and then back to chartreuse.

Annabelle’s beginning to set on blooms.

Annabelle’s in the morning fog, opening in their chartreuse color.

 

Look who I found enjoying breakfast ~ a sweet Honey Bee.

 Honey Bee invited Bumble Bee! 

In the language of flowers ~ Presenting someone with a bouquet of hydrangeas means you are expressing your gratefulness for the recipient’s understanding.  I love that.

Full Bloom ~ Annabelle Hydrangeas

You probably noticed this guy in the photo with the Snow Queen daylily.  It is an oak leaf, leather leaf hydrangeaThe texture of the leaf is wonderful and is magnificent as a foundation on an appetizer tray.  The blooms open as a creamy white changing to a lovely rose pink.  In the fall, the leaves are a gorgeous scarlet red.  This hydrangea gives you quite a lot during its growing season.

 

Gardeners are known to experiment a little and here is one of mine ~ hydrangeas in urns.  This is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of hydrangeas if perhaps your gardening space is limited.  Now three years old, they live in the garage after the first frost until mid-March.  On mild winter days (above freezing) they enjoy a little drink of water and in the spring they love their drinks of fish emulsion.  But note: Mike refers to them as “Divas.”  Because, if they do not have their water in the morning they scream ~ really you can hear them.   And if you don’t hear them screaming you will certainly see their unhappiness by their extremely drooping leaves.

“The poppies hung Dew-dabbled on their stalks.” ~ John Keats

My treasured poppies from France.  The seeds were sent to me by a friend in Normandy.  They were on her property when she purchased her home, which is over 200 years old.  They like to seed themselves and always surprise me in the spring with their chosen, and often unique locations.  Such as, between the walkway stones.

In doing a little research about these poppies, I believe them to be an antique rose poppy, an heirloom variety.  They are rare.

Delphiniums symbolize cheerfulness and goodwill. They are used to communicate encouragement and joy, as well as remembering loved ones who have passed. Delphiniums are also the official birth flower for July.  There are four main colors of delphiniums and their colors symbolize different meanings:  Deep blue ~ symbolizes dignity.  White, pink and light blue symbolize youth and renewal.

We almost didn’t have these beauties to enjoy this year.  A bunny, who I was so happy to see in our garden, decided to make his home with us.  One morning, Mike came in from the garden only to tell me, “Your bunny has eaten to the ground two of your delphiniums.”  After tasting a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, the bunny decided to move on.    

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed our ‘Summer Blooms.’  Please know how much I appreciate your visit and comments.  Always feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding any post.

Wishing you beautiful summer days! 

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same fields, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Fourth !

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.  It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.” ~ Ronald Reagan

 

On this most important and special holiday, let us remember all of our veterans as well as our active service members.

Wishing you and yours a happy Fourth of July.  Enjoy your celebrations and be safe!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note:  Image~ Via Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts

“There is nothing more beautiful than nature early in the morning.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.” ~ Unknown

“Away, away, from men and towns to the wild wood and the downs ~ To the silent wilderness, where the soul need not repress its music.”Percy Bysshe Shelley

“A land of fragrance, quietness, and trees, and flowers.” ~ John Keats

 

 

Wishing you and yours a most beautiful and peaceful day!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note:  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.

Images~ ViaTumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Where Flowers Bloom ~ So Does Hope!”

“None can have a healthy love for flowers unless he loves the wild ones.” ~ Forbes Watson

Do you love wildflowers?  I have always enjoyed seeing them along the roadside, but recently I find myself giving them more attention.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?

The many years we traveled over the mountain roads and into the state of Virginia, I always loved to see beautiful blue chicory along the roadside.  I would think of my grandmother and how, during the Depression years, they would grind the chicory roots and add them to their coffee.  Doing so would make a pound of coffee go further, coffee was scarce and expensive during the Depression.

Wildflowers seem to pop up in the most unique and often unlikely spots.  To me, it is as if God is saying, “I would enjoy seeing something lovely there.” 

One such wildflower I especially think of in this manner is Fireweed.  Fireweed is a native plant growing in zones 2 through 9.  It earned its name because this plant is often the first to appear in areas where there have been dreadful forest or wildfires.  And, in Great Britainit has also earned the name Bombweed due to its rapid appearance on land which was bombed during WWII.  It rose from the ashes of London’s bomb sites, appearing in sidewalk cracks and in alleyways and became a symbol of the city’s resilience.  Given the name Bombweed and or London’s Pride, it is now Greater London’s county flower.  God knew the people needed a ray of beauty and most of all ~ hope.

“As I wander’d the forest, the green leaves among, I heard a Wildflower singing a song.” ~ William Blake

QUEEN ANNE’S LACE,  BY MARY LESLIE NEWTON

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has washed her lace (She chose a summer day)

And hung it in a grassy place
To whiten, if it may. Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has left it there,
And slept the dewy night;
Then waked, to find the sunshine fair,
And all the meadows white. Queen Anne, Queen Anne, is dead and gone
(She died a summer’s day),
But left her lace to whiten on
Each weed-entangled way!

 

“Wildflowers are the stuff of my heart.” – Lady Bird Johnson

The cultivation and protection of native plants, and scattering their beauty along the Texas highways was the passion of Lady Bird Johnson.  She brought wildflowers to the front and center, with many states adopting the Texas highway wildflower program.  We learned from her to pay attention to unexpected beauty in unexpected places.  And we were ever so proud of her and her teachings when she founded National Wildflower Research Center along with Helen Hayes in 1982.  The center was later renamed the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1997.  It is the signature piece of Mrs. Johnson’s environmental legacy. 

Sunset on a field of Texas Bluebonnets

Wildflowers can remind us of special childhood summer days.  I remember being with girlfriends on a summer day, picking a few buttercups and holding them under each other’s chins and laughing until our sides ached.  Saying, “tickle,  tickle under chin ~ if you love Billy (or whoever) you will grin.”  Life was so simple then.

Summer Memories

“When a child brings a bouquet of dandelions, do you know how much they are worth?  All the stars in Heaven and all the jewels on earth.  When a heart is feeling lonely, or a soul is in despair, a child’s bouquet of dandelions can bless and fill the air.” ~ Unknown

While many may run screaming at the sight of just one dandelion in a beautiful lawn (my husband included), dandelions are the first food source for the bees in the Spring.  And, if the greens are gathered when young and tender, they make a wonderful salad.  But mostly, to see a field full of their cheery yellow blooms in the spring after a long winter ~ oh, it is a joyful sight.

“The Bluebell is the sweetest flower that waves in summer air.  Its blossoms have the mightiest power to soothe my spirit’s care.” ~ Emily Brontë

Bluebells are my favorite wildflower and we have a lovely patch of native West Virginia bluebells growing in our garden.  They truly signal spring in the Mountain State. 

“Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.” ~ Gerald DiNerval

Every state in our beautiful land has their own gorgeous native plants.  But truly West Virginia is a wildflower paradise, and the magnificent Blackwater Falls area of the state is home to the annual Wildflower Pilgrimage every May.  This special event is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and West Virginia Garden Club, Inc.  

The most prized, of all West Virginia wildflowers is the Pink Lady’s Slipper, an orchid which grows wild in cool, bog-like forests throughout the state. This wild orchid is named because of its enormous pink flower which somewhat resembles a moccasin or a slipper. They are considered one of the rare treats found in mid-spring.  Nature enthusiasts from far and wide travel to West Virginia for the chance to spot one.  Blooming in early May-June, they are often found along trails in the Monongahela Forest or lesser traveled trails in our many other State Parks. They can be found beneath the lush canopies of Rhododendron, near bogs and streams, and basking in the dim light beneath trees.

Red Tipped Trillium, often spotted in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia.

Large-flowered White Trillium found in shady, damp areas all throughout the mountains of West Virginia.

Beautiful Wild Phlox in varying shades of purple and also white, show themselves along the roadsides throughout the entire Mountain State in early summer.

While I have only slightly touched on the multitude of lovely wildflowers, I hope you have enjoyed a few from the Mountain State, along with others.  And the next time you see an area of pretty wildflowers, perhaps you, too, may think ~ “God’s handiwork, He strategically placed them for our enjoyment.” 

“When nature writes poems” ~ Unknown

 

Wishing you a most beautiful day, and wherever you roam may you see wildflowers along your way!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note:

The title of this post ~ “Where Flowers Bloom ~ So Does Hope,” is a quote from Lady Bird Johnson.  The following is the quote in its entirety: “Where flowers bloom, so does hope – and hope is the precious, indispensable ingredient without which the war on poverty can never be won.”

Images~ Pinterest, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Beautiful Days of June

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses.  The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” Maud Hart Lovelace

Good morning, everyone!   I do hope this finds each of you enjoying a glorious June morning.  Until recently, the month of June was not a month to which I had given much thought.  Other than it signaled the end of a school year, it is my husbands birth month, and it is the beginning of summer and hot weather. But lately, at every corner and page I have turned, all I see are beautiful thoughts and images of June.  So, this morning I would like to share some of what I have found with you.  

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery

P. Allen Smith’s Arkansas home ~ Moss Mountain Farm

Oh June, that we desired so, across the river thy soft breezes blow sweet with the scent of beanfields far away, above our heads rustle the aspens grey, calm is the sky with harmless clouds beset, no thought of storm the morning vexes yet.” ~ William Morris

Is it because I am older and have more time, I have taken notice of such gorgeousness? Beauty, in any form, has always commanded my attention, but never before have I connected so much beauty to a single month.  Most likely, June has always arrived finding me still intoxicated by the fragrance of loads of peony blooms and, therefore, my vision has been blurred.  It really is my only excuse.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explode and every sunset is different.” ~ John Steinbeck

“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.” ~ Gertrude Jekyll

June truly has such magnificent beauty.  This beauty has inspired the writings of volumes of lovely words, by marvelously talented souls.  Great love and romance also seem to blossom in June and the month provides the most perfect ambiance for weddings and special celebrations.

“…ambrosial June-inspired blooms, sun parasol days, poetic moons.” ~ Unknown

And as Julia Child stated, “A party without a cake is just a meeting.”  And, we never want our parties to be “just a meeting.”  So, I thought you may enjoy the beautifully decorated Lemon Elderflower Cake ~ it is a cake worthy of a royal occasion.  It was the choice of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their wedding cake. (link for the recipe is below)

Lemon Elderflower Cake  ~ Recipe, Visit Here ~ https://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/entertaining/lemon-elderflower-cake?soc=sharefb

Most importantly, regarding this glorious month, do take time to enjoy the beauty.  Sit, snooze, listen to birdsong and the laughter of children.  Take a drink of anything and everything which is blooming.  Bask in the magnificence of these precious days and notice every detail.

Rest is not idleness on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock

“A delicious June afternoon of mellow, glowing sunshine is all I needed to uplift my spirits.  Out in the garden, the trees swayed in a gentle breeze and the flowers jiggled merrily and looked like they were dancing.  I sat quiet in the dappled light of a row of bowing elder.  All was calm and unruffled, with only the sound of the leaves whispering things and a wood pigeon cooing in the coppice.  I wrapped myself up in a blanket of pleasant thoughts and set Time  free from his watch.” ~ Flora Turrill

Thanks so much for your visit and perhaps you have been inspired, just as I was, to see June through new eyes.  

Have a most beautiful day!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

“And what is so rare as a day in June?  Then, if ever, come perfect days.” ~  James Russell Lowell

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enchanting Foxgloves

“The Foxglove, with its stately bells of purple, shall adorn thy dells.” ~ David Macbeth Moir

Foxgloves, by Kelly Louise Judd

Good morning, everyone!  Today finds me thinking of Foxgloves (Digitalis).  They are, in my opinion, one of the many lovely and enchanting plants of the garden world.  To me, they are gorgeous, with their little bells and speckled throats.  But, where and when did they get their name?

If you look closely at the painting by Kelly Louise Judd, you will see the fox has little bells on his feet.  In Scandinavia, it is believed that the foxes wore these little bells on their feet so as not to make any noise, better equipping them to raid the henhouse. Hence the name ~ Foxglove.  Additionally, in Scandinavia, it is believed that fairies taught foxes to ring the little bells to warn other foxes of hunters.

“Be inspired by spires in the lovely month of June.” ~ Michelle Cook

Flower folklore also holds the thought the name Foxglove is said to come from the original term which was ‘Folksglove’ with folks originally meaning fairies. They are often referred to as fairy petticoats or fairy gloves.  Additionally, in the book English Etymologies, published in 1847, the following is stated, “In Welsh, this flower is called by the beautiful name of maneg ellyllon, or the fairies’ glove. Now, as every one knows, these little elves were called in English ‘the good folks.’ No doubt, then, these flowers were called ‘the good folks’ gloves, a name since shortened into foxgloves. The plant is called in French, gantelée (little glove); in Latin, digitalis, and in German, fingerhut (thimble). It is worthy of remark, that the Greeks appear to have called it by a name which is different from the above, but not inappropriate, the trumpet flower.” 

There are numerous stories about the Foxglove and many feature fairies wearing their bells as hats and gloves.  It is said the fairies live inside the flowers and the reason their spires bend so gracefully is they are bowing to all beautiful beings who pass them.   Folklore also says that Foxgloves keep evil at bay when grown in your garden, but are considered unlucky when brought into the house.

“With modest blush in bosky dells, hangs her dewy purple bells; So softly nodding in the breeze, the blossoms seldom fail to please; But woe to him who rashly sips, ~ There’s poison on her glowing lips!”   Foxglove, From The Book Of Flowers; Or, Gems Of Flowers And Poetry, 1836

While the Foxglove is gorgeous with its lovely bell blooms, they are poisonous to humans, dogs, and cats.  And considering this, one should exercise caution when planting where children play or animals roam.   

Even though the Foxglove is poisonous, medicine is made from it to treat heart issues. Digoxin is a chemical found in the foxglove plant. It is a drug that increases the force of heart contraction and also slows the conduction of electrical impulses through the heart.  Digoxin is currently licensed to treat heart failure and certain heart rhythm issues.   Odd, isn’t it, that a wonderful and powerful medicine made from a plant, which has saved thousands of lives is poisonous? 

“The flowers were dressed in nothing but light.” ~ Mary Oliver

You may or may not believe the stories of fairies and Foxgloves, but I can tell you Foxgloves invite other lovely guests to your garden.  Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bumblebees, just to name a few. Your garden will be buzzing with the beauty of brightly colored wings and enchanting flying creatures.   If you enjoy photography, this is a golden opportunity to sit quietly and snap photos of your special visitors.  From early summer these beautiful flowers will spire upwards creating an unmatched charm in the garden.  Often growing in groups, these short-lived plants will add fantastic height and self-seed freely if given the right conditions.   In the spring, new plants will often not appear until the ground is warm, so be careful as you go about early weeding.

A spot with a bit of dappled shade is perfect for these flowers and is what they love best.  Although, they will do well in a sunny location if provided with regular early morning watering.  Foxgloves are biennial, which means that the first year they will not flower but build a nice cushion of leaves. Then in their second year, they will put on their show of color and gorgeous spires, often reaching over four feet in height.  Their colors will be in shades of pink, purple, yellow and cream.

In closing, perhaps if you have not grown Foxgloves, you will give them a try.  Along with being beautiful, they are deer resistant, something I know is important for many gardeners.  And you just never know, fairies may visit your garden!

Thanks so much for your visit, know I love reading and appreciate your comments. 

Wishing you a beautiful day and weekend!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Images:  Via Tumblr and Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring at Maison De Jardin

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose, I would always greet it in a garden.” ~ Ruth Stout

 

Welcome to ‘Spring at Maison De Jardin ~ The Garden House.’  This morning,  find your coffee and come along for a bit of a garden tour and catch a glimpse of the beauty of spring, as she unfolds in the hills of West Virginia.

“Spring drew on and a greenness grew over those brown (garden) beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.” Charlotte Brontë

Always the first to greet us in the spring are the beautiful blooms from our pink tree peony, better known as Princess Cathy.  This fabulous peony was given to me by my dear friend, Cathy.  She had raised her from a tiny seedling and when she moved she said, “I don’t want to leave her with strangers.”  Cathy purchased her at a random plant exchange and did not have any information on her other than she was a tree peony.  I thought the name Princess Cathy to be quite suitable. 

“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.” ~ Audra Foveo

 

The next peony to bloom is Red Charm.  As well as being lovely in the garden and in the vase, Red Charm is also an APS (American Peony Society) gold medal winner.  Her form is a bomb.

 

“Irises… rising beautiful and cool on their tall stalks, bursting upwards, wordlessly, into the light.” ~Margaret Atwood 

 

Iris,  Silverado ~ a favorite of mine.

Elegant and tall iris ~ Stairway To Heaven

My mom’s beloved iris ~ Laced Cotton.

Iris, Beverly Sills (pink) blooming beside Col. Owen Cousins a white peony just opening.   Also, just opening is a vivid pink peony, Douglas Brand.  In this photo, you will also see Green Velvet Boxwoods, Dee Runk Boxwoods (vertical along the white fence) and  Hinoki Cypress by the pink irises.  Please excuse the boxwoods, they have not had their spring clip and do not look as tidy as usual. 

Did you know according to flower folklore, in olden times the peony was revered?  It was thought to be of divine origin having emanated from the moon and it was believed to have the ability to glow at night, chase away evil spirits and protect homes when planted nearby.  If this is true, our home should be well protected. 

And, along comes Faith.  Faith Fenton is a big girl (about 4 ft. in height)  and requires support.  If you look closely at the photo you will see an iron support in front of her.  It is called an Embracer and is a wonderful item.  They work well for our large Casa Blanca Lilies and other plants which require support.  I purchased them (large size)  from Campo De’ Fiori.     
Here you will see another photo of Faith Fenton, the deep pink is Karl Rosenfield and the yellow blooming beauty is an Itoh peony, Bartzella.  An Itoh peony is a cross between a tree peony and a herbaceous peony.
Peony ~ Bartzella
“Making a garden is not a gentle hobby for the elderly, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire.  It is a grand passion.  It seizes a person whole, and once it has done so he will have to accept that his life is going to be radically changed.” ~ Mary Sarton
Spring at Maison De Jardin has not been all about peonies and blooms.  There was much hard work done by my husband, Mike.  Such as spreading mulch, the planting of a new bed with lavender, placing the olive jar, carrying stones, and several flats of plants.  
“As rosemary is to the spirit, so lavender is to the soul.” ~ Unknown
Soon the daffodil foliage will die back and, hopefully, when the summer sun shines on the lavender plants they will spread and bloom.  If you may be wondering about the blue/green object which looks like a Praying Mantis, that is exactly what it is.  A copper Praying Mantis I named Thelma.  Thelma was made by an artisan on the Eastern Shore of Maryland many years ago.  She stands on a steel rod, which enables her to bob around as the wind blows, proudly protecting the garden.

 

As you leave this morning,  you will see part of the front garden ~ home to more peonies (Old Faithful, Paul Wild, Raspberry Sundae, and Renato).  Also, you will see a mature stand of Baptisia, often referred to as False Indigo. Baptisia is treasured by floral designers and is gorgeous in an arrangement with peonies. The front garden is enjoyed by many who pass by.  When people stop and comment, it reminds me to remember we plant a garden not only for ourselves but for others as well.  

 

“Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years.” ~ Unknown

I do hope you have enjoyed your visit today and by chance, if you have fallen in love with a particular plant or peony, I have tried to provide names of many for your shopping ease (see note at the end of this post).  However, if you have questions regarding any part of this post, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Do come back soon ~ when the hydrangeas bloom!

 

Wishing you a most beautiful day!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Note:  Most of our peonies have been purchased at Adelman Peony Gardens ~ visit here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day ~ Across Our Land

“For you have been called to live in freedom…use your freedom to serve one another in love.” ~ Galatians ~ 5:13

All across this great land of ours, we are observing Memorial Day Weekend.  A time we have set aside to celebrate and say thanks to all military personnel and their families for the sacrifices they make or have made, for our freedom.  It is especially a time we honor and remember our fallen heroes. 

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”  ~Joseph Campbell

Americans everywhere will be waiving the Red, White, and Blue.  From coast to coast, ‘Old Glory’ will be flying just about anywhere she can be placed to fly.

There will be parades, picnics, and family gatherings. (recipes, visit here.)  And ceremonies with the reading of names of fallen heroes in small towns and big cities.  National Cemeteries, to the smallest country cemetery, will be decorated with flags.  Memorial Day ~ a time to remember, honor and celebrate.

So, as we go about our celebrations of this special time, let us remember that while our country has its share of problems and issues ~we are “The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave.”  And, in the words of former President, Ronald Regan, “No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.” 

 

In remembrance of all veterans as well as active service members, I wish you and yours a most beautiful Memorial Day Weekend.  Enjoy your celebrations and be safe!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Note:  In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, Belgium a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now-famous poem called ‘In Flanders Fields’.  After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance.

 

Photos: Pinterest