Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Bullfrogs in the garden?

This morning as I sat on the steps of the deck and was feeling so grateful to God for the blessings in my life.... a frog croaked!!  A bullfrog croak!
We have a drainage pipe that runs under the front of the garden, and the frog lives in there.
My grandparents lived on a lake, and the bullfrogs would all sing VERY loud late into the night.
I found it soothing, and one of my favorite memories of the time spent up at the lake.
What a wonderful thing to spend time with God in my favorite place, my garden, and to hear a bullfrog croaking!
The simplest things can bring the most joy!

I follow Fifi O'neal (author of many decor books and magazines), and her home and gardens are just lovely. Fifi grows Angel Trumpets in her gardens, and they are amazing!
I finally found 3 plants when we were in Michigan recently.
This one is blooming already.
Hopefully it will grow and be as large and beautiful as the ones in Fifi's gardens.

My daughter, Melissa and I have been finding different kinds of plants for our gardens.
We will try to buy plants for each other when we find something that might work in our garden.
Melissa found these for us a week ago.

We had to put up two trellises for a couple of the roses that are climbing nicely. 

My collection of Coneflowers is growing again.
We planted a few different colors yesterday.
The bees and butterflies love them!

The roses are doing well.
I have found a few Japanese beetles this year, however.

What a delight to find the Hydrangea blooming!
I thought the frost killed it last Fall.

David Austin Bonica rose.

Love these tiny Bleeding Hearts.

Hollyhocks are one of my MOST favorite cottage garden flowers!
I was thrilled to have these to plant a couple of weeks ago.

A friend from church gave me some of her plants, and she wasn't sure what everything was because it was early in the season.
So, I am getting all of these pretty flowers coming up that are adding lovely color and texture.

It's amazing how fast everything has grown and filled in as we have only been here for a year.
It must be a combination of climate and soil.
The gardens in Michigan seemed to take longer to establish.
We had to amend the soil in both locations.
trial and error is the way it goes wherever we live.
Enjoy your time outside, whatever you do out there!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

A week in Michigan!

We are back from our trip to Michigan.
Kayla's graduation party was very nice, and we had a wonderful time visiting with all of the kids and grandkids!
While in Michigan I found some plants that I couldn't find here in Alabama.
This cute little succulent was just an added treasure for my deck.
The pot was found at a thrift store while shopping with my daughter and granddaughter up north.

Our dear neighbor watered the plants while we were away.  By the time we returned home, everything grew so much!

I cannot imagine being away for two weeks!
The bonsai tree looks like a shrub!

The sweet English Daisies came from Michigan. They look perfect next to the Bun that Melissa found for me in Tennessee where she lives.
I have wanted a Bunny for my gardens for a long time!
I was very, very happy when Melissa found this one for me!
The mushroom also came from Michigan.

We are still planting things that came down with us.
These two Peonies were put in yesterday.
The Hollyhock was another find.

A delicate David Austine rose I brought with me when we moved from the lakehouse.

This little darlin' was in the mail when we returned home.
It's a wool felted hummingbird nest made by one of my blogging friends from the beginning of my blogging days.
Faye is a gifted, talented wool rug hooker...lol.
She loves antiques, and gardening just like I do.
We have stayed connected through the years on FB, and emails.
Faye made this for me after I saw the one, she put together recently, and I just loved it!!
Isn't it just the sweetest little thing ever?
She even made the eggs!!
Blogging friends are the BEST!

I am happy to be back in Sweet Home Alabama!
Spending a week in Michigan with our kids and grandkids was wonderful! They warm my heart.
Jim played golf with Ethan and Anson and Kevin. He also spent a day with Todd and his family in Dorr.
I spent time at Kelly's house with the grandkids and we just hung out and laughed.
I had lunch with the funniest person I know...Zelly! She makes me laugh, and cry, and wet myself all at the same time!! Thank you for lunch, my friend, and for a great afternoon!
Melissa, Charlotte and I shopped until our vehicles would hold no more! We rented a house together with the Vallads and had a great week with all of them!
We got to see our daughter Erin and her family at the party. It was awesome to be able to be with them for the afternoon! The girls are beautiful!
Kayla is lovely, and her party was perfect! She has accomplished so much with gymnastics...but most of all...her sweet spirit is what makes her the person she is today. 
I thank God for all the safe travel, and for my family. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

It's all good.

We put in a raised garden this year for herbs and drieds and a few cut flowers.
Everything seems to be doing well.

A friend of mine from high school showed me a picture of this easel and frame for an idea for holding a planter.
Jim put this together for me, and I arranged the petunias in it, and hung the hummingbird house in the corner.
I love how it turned out!
Very cute idea for the deck.
We've been here for a year now. 
Jim pulled out all of the shrubs that were growing in this area shortly after we moved in, and we started amending the soil, and planting right away.
After trial and error, I finally figured out what plants worked best in this climate and soil.

We put in the river rock path after everything was planted, and I am so pleased with the results.

Even on rainy days I love to spend time outside.
Having a covered deck is such a blessing!
The plants that spend the cooler months inside, come out onto the deck for the warmer months.

Plants are still being added to the garden.
I am looking for Hollyhocks, more Foxglove, a few more Delphinium, and also Angel Trumpets, and always more roses.
The Wisteria is finally getting some buds!  I am excited to see what that will look like.
The Hydrangea is also showing some buds....So happy about that!

Having annuals in the garden helps between the perennial blooms.
I try to stagger the perennials, but sometimes you need a little help.
Plus, I love the different colors.

Just like at the lakehouse...my garden lacks a formal touch.  I prefer a Cottage feel in my plantings. 
Everyone has different tastes and preferences.
It's all good.
What do you like best?

Monday, May 15, 2023

Keeping Busy.

It's been very hot down here.
All of the inside plants have been moved out to the covered deck for the season, except for the air plants.
My middle daughter got me hooked on these amazing plants that don't need soil.
I put them in any kind of container I choose, and soak them in water a couple of times a month.
There are many different kinds of plants to choose from.
This is my newest one!

The roses are doing so well right now.
The David Austin roses have adjusted to the climate here.
I was very happy to see all of the blooms this Spring!

I have collected bird nests for years, but in the move, I lost several.  I don't know where they all went?
This one is from a bush next to the deck here. I saw it last Summer, so I let it sit until this Spring to make sure it was abandoned.
I sprayed it with Krylon a couple of weeks ago and brought it inside.
Now I am adding dried flowers to it.

The sweet neighbor girl that plays with our granddaughter when she visits, made me this pretty mud sculpture with my initial on it, and she added a dried rose to it also.

As a thank you, I made her a lavender sachet.

Jim put in a raised garden for me to grow lavender for drying.
I cut a few pieces (on the right) a few weeks ago, with some Salvia.
I will have Sage for wreaths also.
I am hoping the Larkspur comes up.

There are so many lizards in the garden.
They are usually a pretty bright green color.
This one was trying to blend in with the surroundings.

I love using the stamp transfers I found online.
They work on any flat surface.
It's fun to use them on cards and letters, and the sachets.
They are not washable, however.
As you can see, I keep busy now that I can get out in the garden.
I guess I should tune into the weather. Looks like a storm is coming.
Have a nice week!

Friday, May 5, 2023

Memories we learn from.

When my daughters were young our favorite show was Little House on the Prairie.
I even sewed aprons like the ones Laura and Maw wore. 
My middle daughter Erin wore braids, and a prairie skirt with the apron and bonnet I made when she dressed for "favorite author day" in grade school.

Erin read all of the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

My youngest daughter Melissa's girls loved the same books.'
They lived in Howell, Michigan as did Melissa Gilbert who played Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie.

Melissa and the girls were out selling Girl Scout cookies one day, and who do you think stopped to purchase some cookies?!
Laura Ingalls!!!
Well, actually Melissa Gilbert.
Melissa and the girls were thrilled!

What a memory!

We all have special memories, don't we?
Some good, some not so much.
Experiences and situations that will stand out forever in our hearts and minds.
For whatever reason, we go through things that either bring us joy, or sorrow.
Either way, we take something away with us.

Even in the most terrible of circumstances, we learn something.
Being raised by an abusive mother was painful emotionally and physically.
There were many times when I would ask God why he put me in that place?!
I did not understand why my friends had loving moms that hugged them, SAID they loved them, kissed them, and even braided their long hair.
My friends' moms did not call them awful names, or say they were useless, or tell them they didn't care where they went.
There was not a razor strap hanging, that was used  often.

Everything can be a learning experience...even the things that seem difficult.
I knew what kind of a mom that I did not want to be.
I did not want to be like the mother that I had.
I wanted to give my children all of the things that I longed for as a child.

I was not perfect.
I made plenty of mistakes along the way.
I was not, however, going to do those things that I knew would break a child's heart and spirit!

I still mess up.
I don't have it right.
I am not like Maw Ingalls.
God has, however, restored the years the locust have eaten! Joel 2:25.
Praise God!! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Happy May!

This morning I got a call from a blogging friend that I've known for a long time.
Her name is Roxy, and her blog is Living from Glory to Glory.
God knows when we need to hear from a sister in Christ for encouragement, and Godly advice.
What a great conversation we had!

After talking to Roxy, I went outside to sit in the flower garden for a while.
Every morning, my prayer closet (the garden) is where you will find me.
After spending time with the Lord, I start to work weeding, watering and deadheading.

Roses are brought inside to freshen up containers, and some are used to dry for wreaths.

Being in Alabama means a longer growing season, so enjoying the roses earlier is a huge blessing for me!

The flowers that are too far along are added to the wreath around the iron bunny found at the wonderful little shop I discovered north of here!
They will dry, and add more color for later in the season.

The Blue Salvia dries really well with Lavender.  I was happy to find a white Salvia plant recently. 
There will be four Sage plants for me to be able to take cuttings from this year.
Using Sage in wreaths, along with Oregano as a base adds beauty, and fragrance.
Sending you thoughts of Spring and Sunshine where ever you are!!
Happy May!