Flowers, Random

Hydrangea Love

Hydrangea_macrophylla_-_Hortensia_hydrangeaLike many of you, I’m crazy about hydrangeas, and here in Maine one variety or another blooms from spring until late fall.

IMG_1573 (1)The first to appear is the climbing variety.  It does tend to take over if  not groomed which makes my hubby crazy.  If I don’t keep a watchful eye, he will attack with a vengeance tearing them away from whatever they’ve attached themselves to.

A favorite is the lace cap which starts blooming in late June and is still lovely as it fades away in September.  These were almost lost as they were in the path of construction, but I dug them up hoping to save them until they could be relocated.  Now there is a bumper crop!

Summer abounds with blooms, and it is fascinating to observe all their colors.  Though I’m not sure of the variety from which these come, it could be Endless Summer though the colors on each of my bushes is quite different.

IMG_1999This full bodied bloom changes from white to lime as it matures. It reminds me of my great grandmother’s house where outside the window of her living room was a hydrangea with blooms as big as my head.  We called them snowballs and that is how I continue to think of this lovely.

IMG_2007Late August the hydrangea trees begin to show off cone shaped blooms that are first white and then turn to beautiful pink tones.    

IMG_2006When they have turned, it is a great time for gathering stems to dry for use in lovely arrangements.

IMG_2002How lucky am I to be surrounded by all this beauty right in my own yard!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Inner Peace, musings

A Special Place

IMG_1557Roughly 11 miles from home down a curvy road leading to the woods where the only sounds are bird songs is a special place.

IMG_8977Arriving at this little cottage slows my heart and calms my spirit.

IMG_1555I love walking beneath the arbor where the sweet smell of roses perfumes the air.

IMG_1556All around is a profusion of colorful blooms that last until leaves fall and there is a hint of frost.

IMG_1558They are tended by the same loving hands that know all the secrets of my body.

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Carrying outside images in my head, I enter the cottage, take the stairs to the second level and nestle on the massage table beneath a light cover. I close my eyes and a peacefulness washes over me as I await the touch of those hands.

As they begin their work relieving the tightness and tension of muscle and joints, my mind stills.

I breathe. I sometimes cry softly when I remember my brother or a friend or wonder how to resolve a troubling brokenness that from time to time occurs in the family.  The hands stroke my hair with understanding.

Two hours fly by and when they are over I am renewed and so appreciative of those tender loving hands that exist in this very special place.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Flowers, Maine

A Look Around

For the next few months, the hubby and I have left Houston behind for Rockport, Maine. The two places are oh so different with a major difference being the plant life.

rhododendrons/flowersArriving in Maine, the first thing I do is walk around the yard where so many varieties of  blooming plants color the landscape. This year we missed the azaleas but were in time for the rhodendrons to be in full splendor.

lilacs/flowersAlongside them, the sweet smell of lilacs fills the air.

IMG_1365I was pleased to see the viburnum blooming more profusely than in recent years, but they also remind me how important it is to keep them trimmed or they can crowd out everything else.

peonyPeonies are staked thanks to advanced help and are filled with tight little buds that won’t pop for another week or two.  Just the thought of those beauties makes my heart race.

flowers/bachelor buttonTo my surprise, bachelor buttons had sprung up among the ferns.

flowersBeautiful alliums are hanging in there, but it will be only a matter of days before they are done and ready to dry for fall arrangements.

IMG_1355It is too late in the day to do more than look around, but that’s time enough to plan what needs to happen next.  And, with all this beauty, it’s impossible to resist cutting a few blooms to take inside where they add color and joy.  It doesn’t take much to make me feel right at home.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

 

at home, Houston

This Is Houston

Every Houston winter is different, and this one has been no exception.  The first few weeks of 2018 have been colder than usual and mostly gray causing me to stay inside  and focus more on preparing comfort food.

Sadly, there were just enough below freezing temperatures to do considerable damage to yards not designed to tolerate the cold.  Now, much of what is in my yard is cut back to the ground waiting for sunshine and warm weather to bring it back.

As I walked around, I noticed little hints of green that promise regrowth.

Weather here can turn on a dime and today is warm and sunny, perfect for a trip to the nursery to gather a few things for repotting.

For the next few months snapdragons, gerbera daisies and ornamental cabbage will add color to the patio and brighten the gray days that are still to come.

With the planting done, it was a treat to sit on the porch for some leisurely moments enjoying a simple lunch and reading.

Days like this are what make Houston a most pleasant place to be, and I look forward to each one between now and the time we return to Maine’s beauty.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Gardening, Maine

Maine’s Gardens

Folks in Maine like their gardens.  The blooming season may be short, but it is alive with color and texture that enhance the state’s natural beauty.

It is unusual to pass a home, no matter how modest, that doesn’t have a neatly manicured yard and some blooming things.

In addition to individual gardens, there are several public spaces that are delightful.  A popular one is the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.  All the planted material there is what does well in Maine so it’s a great resource.

Botanical GardensThe gardens have something for all ages, and I have to admit that I have a hard time getting past the children’s area.

It is filled with energy provided by vibrant colors and activities that keep kids entertained for hours.

Botanical GardensWhen children need a break, there are quiet spaces filled with games and books.

For overwhelming beauty, there is no place like the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor .

It is full of vibrant color, and the buzzing of bees fills the air.

There are  calm areas perfect for quiet reflection.

Rockefeller GardenThis is a private garden open one Thursday each month from July through early September.  Reservations are required and should be made early as the garden is a coveted destination.

In nearby Northeast Harbor is Asticou Garden, one of the jewels of Mount Desert Island.  Its quietness invigorates the soul.

Most of its blooms are gone by early July, but that doesn’t keep the garden from being a delightful place for a relaxed stroll.

I have been to each of these three gardens a number of times, and each visit is as special as the first.  Should you come to Maine, be sure they are on your list of places to see.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Gardens Galore

Home and Garden Thursday

Gardening

Learning As I Go

I’m crazy for beautiful gardens, but I’ve never been much of a gardener.  Now there is no choice as every area of our yard has growing things that require attention, and that has meant a pretty sharp learning curve for me.

Gardening is a bit of a challenge as much of the growing area is on a rocky cliff which makes footing in some areas rather treacherous.  

Much of the area facing Rockport Harbor is in shade, and I have learned the hard way that not all plants do well without lots of sunshine.  Hostas are one of the exceptions, and right now they are coming into their own. The oodles of varieties make them a most interesting garden addition when it comes to color and texture.

Day lilies are doing their thing, and I do love their vibrancy, 

Peonies have been deadheaded though there is one lone bloom that refuses to give up, perhaps because it doesn’t want to leave its insect dweller homeless.

I don’t know where they came from, but this year dainty forget-me-nots have shown up in every garden area.  Earlier in the summer I was pulling them up, but the task was never ending and I decided to leave them as ground cover.  Their little blue blooms are sweet, but I’m still not sure how I feel about their presence.  Any ideas for getting rid of them?

Climbing hydrangeas bloom through the summer and need little attention other than an occasional trim.  It’s best for the hubby not to be the one who takes on that task as he gets carried away and they get scalped!

Lacecap hydrangeas line a garden path.  They are trouble free which is a good thing.  The down side is they don’t last as long as some of the other varieties which is sad because they may be my favorites.

A favorite part of the yard is what the kids call beautiful land.  Among the rocks, ladies’ slipper, mosses, ornamental thyme and other ground covers flourish.  Best of all, this area requires little maintenance other than some weeding.

Wherever I look there is something of beauty whether it’s lining a pathway

or adding its own unique touch in another garden area.  

Even the unruly, unkept areas that belong only to nature make their individual statements.  One thing’s for sure, I won’t be scaling the rocks to try to get any of it under control.  That’s a lesson learned early on!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Flowers, Gardening

Garden Bounty

While I may not be very experienced  when it comes to laying out a garden and choosing complementary plants, the garden does provide bountiful beauty from spring until fall.

Gardening is a learning process filled with errors and rewards.

The reward comes when the garden blooms making it possible to cut a few stems varied in color and texture.

flowers/rhdodendronThe rhododendrons are all but gone,

peony but coming in right behind them are peonies changing daily from tight little buds

peonyto partially open teasers

peonyto full blown beauties.

They don’t last long, especially if it rains, so I cut them and fill the house where they can be enjoyed.

Their differing colors and textures make each bloom a special gift.  Salvia, which tries to take over my little garden, provides wonderful contrast, and the alium which is past its prime adds an interesting texture.

So grows my garden.  It may not be perfect, but the same is not true for the beauties that grow there. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Gardens Galore