‘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.



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


Images:  M.S. Lambiotte, Tumblr


14 thoughts on “‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Life and Garden Happenings

  1. Good Morning Sandra! I did enjoy the stories of the honeysuckle and lavender. I am glad they both ended up being successful! I love both of the plants. Enjoy your day.

    1. Many thanks, Penny. The photos of the lavender are just as they are beginning to bloom. They are now a deep purple. We have had it a bit cooler and I hope that you have too. Enjoy these summer days.

  2. Your garden is the ultimate haven and I loved the stories with them. Both the zinnias and lavender worked with your jug but I bet that lavender smells fabulous. And that honeysuckle — I’ve never seen this strain before. I wonder if it would work in the north (I have great trouble with lavender as you might expect because of the climate.)

    Happy Belated Birthday to Mike. I hope by now you have your groove back and energy is flowing That garden is a lot to care for!

    1. Yes, Jeanie, the garden is a lot to care for. I would have never guessed such a small garden would be such care. I believe the honeysuckle would work in your area and I think the lavender would also, but in a pot. One that you could put in the garage in the winter.
      Wishing you happy lake days!

  3. I’m glad you found a lavender to withstand the winters in Clarksburg, Sandra. I’ve always had pretty good luck with a few different lavender varieties, but a sister who lives in the hill section of Charleston not so fortunate.You sure made the best of that area where the purple beech was, in all its iterations.That honeysuckle looks wonderful! Glad you’re over the virus, and happy belated birthday to Mike, a fellow Gemini!

    1. Rita, I am way happy with the honeysuckle and my goodness it is fragrant as is the lavender. When you step through the back gate the fragrance is overwhelming. I will relay your birthday wishes to Mike. Happy summer days!

  4. Happy belated birthday, Mike! Sandra, I am so sorry you have been sick and happy that you are feeling better. The arbor of peaches and cream honeysuckle is gorgeous, I can imagine the beautiful fragrance wafting in your garden. Gardening is always trial and error for us. How wonderful that you found the perfect lavender for your garden, I know it makes your heart happy to walk amongst the stunning blooms. Happy Sunday!

    1. Hello Pam – I will be sure to convey your wishes to Mike. He did have a good birthday. The honeysuckle is grand and I am most happy with it. The fragrance is marvelous. Gardening is “trial and error” for anyone who places a trowel in the soil. But it is such a rewarding hobby when it all comes together. Wishing you happy summer days and I am anxious to see your cosmos when they bloom.

  5. Happy Sunday, Sandra. I hope this finds you feel much more perky than you were last week. I so enjoyed your stories about the honeysuckle and the lavender, and your persistence in locating lavender that will be happy in your garden. I love how you took the empty tree spot, added that lovely pot with the beautiful interim zinnias and now the lavender. Over the years, we have lost a few trees in our small yard–I felt the loss of them greatly. The challenge always is to create other beauty in those empty spaces. You have given me great inspiration in your own stories. So thank you very much. Wishing you a beautiful week ahead. Brenda xo

    1. Many thanks, dear Brenda, for your kind words. A tree is a most special thing and we do grieve for them when they are gone. Wishing you a wonderful day and happy summer days.

  6. I missed you last week. Sorry, the bug got you.
    Lovely post. I love seeing your garden and hearing about your changes.
    I’m going to send you a beautiful video of a lavender field blooming in Provence. It is so pretty. The fragrance must be unbelievable.

    1. Dear Bonnie, the bug did get me. My mom used to say, “If a bug was within a 25-mile radius of our house I was sure to catch it.” I believe she was right. Thank you for your kind comments about our garden and also for the video of the lavender field in Provence. We dream of seeing it one day and the video was beautiful.
      Wishing you happy summer days – stay cool.

  7. Dear Sandra, I enjoyed reading about your honeysuckle and lavender. I can almost smell their fragrance. Gardening sure does require oodles of patience. I’m so sorry you have been under the weather. Take care of yourself. My youngest son had the same thing, and it lasted 2 weeks. I was worried and took him to the doctor. She said her daughter had been sick with the same thing, and it lasted for two weeks as well. My son was very tired and slept a lot which was very unusual. It finally ran its course, and he is much better. Allow yourself time to rest. Take care of yourself. Happy Birthday to your hubby! A cheese cake sounds delicious. Happy summer, sweet friend!

    1. Shannon, the fragrance of the honeysuckle and the lavender is heavenly. The old bug is finished with me and I hope not to see him anytime soon. I slept a lot as well. I have been doing just a wee bit in the garden, reading a great deal, and trying to be good.
      I will convey your birthday wishes to Mike, he did have a great birthday.
      Enjoy these summer days.

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