Friday, November 26, 2010


I started my blog one year and one day ago. And in that year, I have done 305 posts. (Whew!) I have enjoyed the focus on my garden that daily blogging has given me. But now it's time for a change. I have had a part-time job for a couple of months now, so my time is a little more limited. I will miss blogging every day, but I think that's a change I need to make. Working has given me less time in the garden, so I'll need to use some of my previous blogging time to actually be in my garden. I'd also like to be able to spend a little more time visiting other garden blogs because I love seeing other gardens and hearing about different plants. And then there is my other blog, Ruth's Plants, that I would like to work on occasionally as well. So, I will miss talking to you every day, but I will still be here, probably at least every week, and hopefully even more often than that.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day...

Well, Kirstin turned 21 today. It seems not so long ago that she was just my little, bitty baby girl and now she has grown into a beautiful young lady.

I am so very proud of her. And I love her so very much. Words cannot describe what she means to me.

Most of my siblings and their families came to my house for Thanksgiving. The food was delicious, thanks in part to Kirstin's cooking skills, and we all enjoyed being together again. There are quite a few of Kirstin's and Julie's cousins here, including Danielle, who likes Kirstin very much. Actually, all of Kirstin's cousins like her very much.

I love the table decorations I do for the Thanksgiving meal each year. I think the table is so pretty and sparkly. And very Fall-ish. Julie took this poetic picture of one of my candle holders.

One of my favorite flower pots is this "pumpkin," which I found several years ago. Every Fall I plant Violas in it.

I think it fits Thanksgiving Day very well.

Have a beautiful day!
"Thankfulness is the soil in which joy flourishes."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today, as I was hurrying and scurrying about, I thought about the things for which I am thankful. And I came to realize something: they are things that are beautiful to me.

I am thankful for the people who love me. And for friendly people. I am thankful for the wild birds that come to my feeder and for my three dear chickens. For the charming hummingbirds that come to visit. And for many of the creatures that share my land.

I am thankful for clouds. And for the rain that waters my garden. Ah, my garden. I am so thankful for my garden and for the plants that I have. For sunrises and sunsets and seasons.

I am thankful for my blue and white transferware dishes, for my gorgeous fabrics, those in quilts and those yet to be in quilts. I am thankful for my cozy bed, for the bed frame and dresser and vanity to match which I inherited from a great aunt.

I'm also thankful for intangibles like courage and wisdom, joy and peace, when they come into my life. And there are so many, many more beautiful things for which I am thankful. Including you who read my blog.

And I do hope you have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another acquisition...

O.K., so what do you think? Pretty wild, huh? I saw this Variegated False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki') at Southern States a couple of days ago and was intrigued. But I didn't buy it. I was "good" and went home and did my research first. Then I bought it today.

It should grow in my (evil) clay soil. And it is supposed to grow slowly so I might grow it in a container for awhile. (Read: "I don't know where to plant it yet.") It will to produce white flowers, just not many of them. The thing is, and this is what convinced me to buy it, the flowers are fragrant. And I love fragrant flowers.

Yep, those leaves are pretty prickly. And it can get to be a fairly large shrub. However, I am confident that my pruning abilities will keep it at bay.

The new growth is rather colorful, isn't it? And after the blooms, there are black berries for the birds. Even with all these other pluses, it's the mature foliage that I find most interesting.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Watching the chickens go by...

Today in the midst of my frantic Thanksgiving Day/week preparations, I took a break. I sat on the steps of my shed and watched my chickens peck and scratch as they "free-ranged." They spend most of their time in a fenced area to protect them, but there is no greenery left in their yard. So, when I am outside, I will let them out to wander as they will. They like to stay close to me, often following me if I go to the other side of the garden. I find it very cute. And today it was peaceful to just sit and watch my chickens.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


One of the reasons I moved to North Carolina was the Cardinals. I didn't have Cardinals in California and when I would visit N.C., I found them enchanting. Yeah, I know. Rather strange to back up all your worldly possessions and move across the country because of a pretty bird. There were other reasons, too. Really. There were. I do love to see the Cardinals, though. They are beautiful birds. I used to think the female was plain, but the more I see the females, the more I think they are just as pretty as the males in their way. This female was sitting in the Rose of Sharon bush outside my bedroom window this morning. (Just so you know: the clothesline is not as close as it looks in the picture.) Isn't she lovely?

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Japanese Maple...

My small Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) began its life in my garden as a twig brought home from the clearance rack of a big box store. Since it has definitely grown over the past couple of years, I'm guessing it is happy in my garden.

Right now, its leaves are fiery, especially when the sun shines through them. They positively glow and since most of the trees around here are loosing their color, this is one I look for as I go by my garden.

I had thought of planting Violas in the container for the Winter as the little tree goes dormant, but I decided not to because it won't get enough sun where it is for the flowers to do well. So, I'll just enjoy its silhouette for the next few months.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall inside and out...

The trees have been absolutely gorgeous this Fall and I have enjoyed looking at them through the sliding door/window of the dining room. I have a large mirror on the wall opposite the sliding door/window so the trees are then reflected in the mirror as well.

To add the wonderfulness of all this Fall beauty, I found a tablecloth that I love that reflects this season perfectly for me. In a way, it is another mirror to what is happening outside.

And when I would walk into the dining room and see the table cloth and see the trees outside with their Fall glory, it would just fill the room with the colors of this time of year. The trees are not so colorful now, but that only makes me like the tablecloth even more.

It's a little difficult to tell from the pictures, but there are leaves and acorns woven into the design of the fabric. I added my brass candle holders with cheerful red candles and the charming little, glowing pumpkins and it all just makes me smile. Wouldn't it be nice if you could come over and share some spiced cider with me?

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New carpet...

A new carpet? No, not for me. For the ground outside. Most of the lovely Fall leaves are now carpeting the fields and forests after the rain yesterday and the wind last night.

The colors are so beautiful but they don't last long once the leaves have fallen. Soon they will begin their new job of feeding the soil. And so the cycle continues.

I like to look at the path going into the woods at any time of year, but I think Fall is my favorite. It makes me think that somehow there are possibilities; that there is a road not taken.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bad idea...

O.K., so I had been considering not putting any flowers on the back deck for the Winter. What was I thinking??? There is no way I could have made it through the dark and dreary months without some cheerful little Johnnies out there.

I realized this after I had cleared away the Summer pots. It left the spot much too desolate. Really, I have no idea how I came to believe that it would be acceptable not to plant flowers there.

I would love to have gobs of pots here and masses and masses of flowers, but just this one will indeed get me through the Winter. I spray-painted the container several years ago and I think the yellow Violas look very pretty against the blue.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bloom Day November 2010...

"It was a dark and dreary afternoon...", and as I worked in the rain, I kept thinking, how nice that I could come home and post pictures of flowers! I took these this morning before it got so dark and dreary.

The above picture captures basically what is happening in my garden right now. I have a few roses blooming and several different types of Salvias blooming, but the Salvias are starting to fade. Most of my garden is going to sleep. I have planted some Violas to begin to get ready for Winter, but I'll save them for December's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

I've moved tender plants into my greenhouse because we've had a few nights already that have dipped below freezing. The greenhouse looks so tropical and I love the concentration of flowers within it. Thanks for stopping by and please be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens to find more gardeners posting about what is blooming in their gardens today.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beautiful leaves...

I think the Fall colors around my home this year are the most beautiful I have seen since I moved here. They are absolutely gorgeous and have lasted longer than they normally do.

They are starting to fade a little now, but it is still so amazing to see them glowing in the sun. Sometimes the leaves even sparkle in the most glorious way. I wish I could capture their beauty, but the camera really doesn't do them justice. Although, Julie did do a nice job taking pictures for me today.

This morning, Julie and I were walking someplace together and we stopped and gazed up into one of these lovely trees. It was so wonderful to see the brilliant Fall leaves against the incredible blue sky.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A bed of roses...

I found a sleepy bumble bee taking a nap in Ballerina Rose.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yet another Salvia...

Fuzzy wuzzy teddy bear flower? Purple fuzzy wuzzy teddy bear flower?

This Salvia is grown a LOT in Southern California where it is perennial but I don't see it much around here because it gets too cold for it to do as well.

My plant is still in the nursery container and I will keep it in my greenhouse for the Winter. Since there are 2 plants in the pot, I plan to separate them out and put each one into a large container where hopefully they will get very bushy over the Summer. And then they will be gorgeous and full when they bloom next year.

The hummingbirds love Mexican Bush Sage (Salvie leucantha), but I think they have all gone South already so they don't get to see the amazing fuzzy purple blooms against the stunning Fall leaves.

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The next generation...

You know, I usually think of Fall as time when everything is shutting down for the Winter. Annuals are dying and many perennials are going into hibernation.

{heirloom Purple Ruffles Basil}

I'm only partially right about that, though. Many plants are also preparing for the next generation.


This is not only a season of ending but of beginning as well. Plants are dropping the seeds that will sprout in the Spring to bring next year's beauty.

Although most appear somewhat dreary, I love the great promise that lies within seeds.

{Garlic Chives}

Did you know that roses form seeds, too?

{'Ballerina' rose hips}

Most seeds I just let handle their futures themselves.

{Wild Aster}

These Morning Glory seeds, however, I have collected to share with a couple of friends.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Glowing trees...

I think the Fall colors here this year are prettier than they have been the past few years. Right now the trees are absolutely glowing.

The humidity has been really low the past few days and it feels strange to me. I think that's interesting because when I lived in California, the humidity was almost always low and that was what was comfortable to me.

But now, the low humidity is, well, I won't say uncomfortable, but I guess I am definitely more used to the humidity of the South.

The Fall trees - and the calendar - make me think of Thanksgiving. It's coming very soon and I am looking forward to seeing my family.

I haven't planted my new babies yet, but I did put some more Johnnies - yellow ones - in the front porch containers today. I am sure you'll see more of them as other plants fade away.

I love the way the yellow tree looks against the blue sky. I think blue and yellow is such a wonderful combination.

This line of trees grows along the road I live on, but not a part of the road I drive down to get to my house. Aren't these trees gorgeous?

Have a beautiful day!