Last Gasp of Summer

I know some of you are fawning over the onset of fall. You delight in cooler temperatures, sweaters and pumpkin spice. I get it. Fall is generally pretty nice. But I lament for summer. I love the warm, sunny days. I enjoy sipping iced tea by the pool or in the shade and being WARM. Yes, fall can be warmish, but it’s the prelude to cold – the calm before the storm. Ugh. Winter. I truly hate winter.

So, with that in mind, I’m enjoying the last gasp of summer! I’m trying to ignore the subtle color in my dogwood trees and focus on the final rose buds and blooms. Only a few days ago I was in Colorado and came across this gorgeous field of wild flowers. Even as a few aspen were beginning to turn yellow, these cheery flowers were standing tall, keeping up the appearance of a bright summer season. It makes me smile just to look at the photos. Hope they cheer you, too! 🙂

What season brings you the most joy?

 

My Yard as a Battleground

Yep. I am at war. It happens to some degree every year. I plant flowers in my yard and squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks team up to trample them, dig them up, or chow them to the ground.

The first under attack this year is the gorgeous hibiscus on the patio. You never know what will go first. The critters sometimes have different favorites from year to year. The hibiscus have been targets before. But usually it happens at the end of the summer after we’ve at least had a little time to enjoy them and they’ve had a chance to put on some growth. Not this year. I thought I’d purchased decent-sized plants. Yeah, I did. But when branches are constantly gnawed off, they get thin quickly.

I present my case: see the fallen — downed branches, lifeless leaves and stemless flowers. Unfortunately, I have few weapons with which to do battle. A BB guns stands ready beside the patio door. But since any movement alerts the varmints to our presence, that doesn’t do much good. I’ve tried every chemical and trick in the book –– Irish Spring soap, cayenne pepper, human hair, fox urine, etc., etc. These guys are undeterred. In fact, I’m pretty sure they get a good laugh at my expense.

Sigh. So I’m reduced to the ugliest of options. Chicken wire. See for yourself. Isn’t that lovely?! Caged flowers. All the rage. Really.

The ordeal leaves me frustrated, exhausted and envious of the beautiful gardens I see around me. It shouldn’t be this hard to grow a flower or two!

I’d love to hear your garden success stories. Or, if you just want to commiserate, have at it!

Color me Happy

1013304_968049943248254_1796943573890512076_nI’m so excited to see the early spring flowers blooming!! If you’ve followed me for long, you know I am no friend of Old Man Winter. Ice, sleet, snow, cold . . . not a fan. So when the crocus and daffodils start poking up through the ground, I start a happy dance. I have to say, it honestly does affect my mood. What could be cheerier than bright yellow daffodils smiling at you?

Today is gray and dreary, and the entire week promises to be cloudy and rainy. But the patches of yellow dotting my yard and the neighborhood remind me that it’s spring, and soon, there will be no need for jackets and socks. I can trade my boots for flip-flops and my jeans for capris. I say, Bring. It. On!!!

As I’m typing, I can see the magnolia buds swaying in the breeze, perhaps only a few days from bursting with color. Now that is an amazing sight. They are the first to explode around here – which also means they often get nipped. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen, that this early spring is the real thing. Color the landscape, and color me happy!

What is the first sign of spring in your area? Are you seeing it already?

Now This is Eye Candy!

Just got back from spring break. Tons of fun in (mostly) sunny California! Had a great time watching my son play tennis and hanging out at several beaches with the fam and our friend. But one of the best days was when I stole away all by myself to visit the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.P1040675 This place is just amazing. Beautiful. Restful. Peaceful. So many lovely places to just relax, read and reflect. I did all of that, but I also took a bunch of pictures. The wisteria in the Japanese garden was stunning. May have gotten a little carried away in the desert garden. There are some strange and incredible plants on this planet! Here’s a little peek!
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Spring and summer will bloom again!

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P1030777Well, I’ve survived the first full week of January. Whew. Winter is half over. Yay, yay, yay. I really, seriously hate winter. The cold, the travel issues, the dirt and snow mess. Ugh. This morning there’s a light dusting of the white stuff on the driveway, and pretty much no chance of it melting today. Driveway on the north side of a house. Not a good idea.

But as I look out at the leafless trees and brown grass, I remind myself, that this, too, shall pass. It always does. And one of these days, the view will improve, and the yard will look like this again! 🙂

Stay warm and safe out there!