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Beauty lessons from the garden a new w ay to experience who you reall y are

Gardens. Connection.  Beauty.   Everyday is an opportunity to connect deeply within.  The plant kingdom helps us to sense and feel the beauty that is present deep within us. These photos and thoughts invite you to see, feel, explore your beauty, your creativity and your unlimited potential.   We are made of the same divine substance, even though we are different forms. Quiet the mind, take it in and fall in love with YOU.

Brave New World June 18, 2012 So far this week, I’ve met a baby snapping turtle and a baby praying mantis. Whenever I am in the garden I discover newly-opened flowers, hear new sounds and feel lots of excitement.  Let me introduce you to the newest residents on the farm.

This 1 inch long praying mantis hatched recently. It will be 6 inches long at maturity and live 8-10 months.  I am so glad that I was able to scope out this creature during my garden play-work.   A quick game of hide and seek and finally, I captured the image.

This snapping turtle is now the newest member of the pond. Two weeks ago, its Mom was scoping out a place to deposit her eggs.  Afterwards she scooted off to the pond to resume life on the bottom of the pond.  This baby will instinctively find the pond.

One day, it was just this swallowtail (butterfly) caterpillar attaching itself to the side of a barrel.

And the next day it was this butterfly cocoon.

More youngins’ coming. Nest preparations are in order.

Emergence June 25, 2012 Continuing with our theme of last week (Brave New World), let’s look at the new things coming up this week in the garden.

I love Elephant Ear (Colocasia) plants for their giant sized leaves (remember Dumbo’s ears)? They make the garden look tropical and provide shade to the perennials that live alongside them.   I dig up the tubers immediately after the first frost of the season and store them in my root cellar.   I replanted them just 2 weeks ago in these containers and now they are emerging and ready to grow quickly.

This is what they looked like last Fall. Pretty amazing and fun to look at too.  A nice conversation piece also.

The first eggplant of the season. If you like Sicilian eggplant as much as I do, here’s one for you.   Look at that beautiful purple color.  Sicilian eggplant is milder tasting.  I love it grilled; we slice it into 1/2ʺ″ thick pieces and coat it with a little bit of olive oil.  Look at the lilac-colored flower just above the eggplant.  Its flower is very similar to the flowers of tomato, potato, and pepper.   They are all in the nightshade family of plants, hence the similar looking flowers.

The Eastern Swallowtail cocoon is still hanging in, but beginning to change color and form. Note the slit on the top half of the cocoon (or chrysalis).  I check it everyday now.  I don’t want to miss its transformation into a butterfly.  Remember Eric Carle’s children’s book “The Hungry Caterpillar”?  I still love the book and its beautiful message.

Another favorite from the vegetable garden. Zucchini.  Those yellow blossoms are big, beautiful and edible.  Fry them up!  Before long we’ll be deluged with zucchinis and if you come visit, we’ll probably sneak some zucchinis into your car for you to take home to enjoy.

Almost Ripe Pickins’ June 29, 2012

These blackberries aren’t ready yet, but they sure look good enough to eat. This photo looks like an old-fashioned farm scene.  With the hot weather we’re having, they’re sure to ripen fast.

These are gooseberries, and ready to eat. I munched on a few this morning and they were delicious, sweet and firm.  The stems are very prickly so I picked the fruit carefully.

Asian pear trees are easy to grow. They do not require the care that apple trees need.  Asian pear fruit have a similar shape to apples when mature, and the flavor is a mixture of an apple and a pear.  The fruit will be ready for picking in a few weeks.

This is the fruit of the wild raspberry growing in the woods. They are usually not sweet, and rather tart. However they make for a great fruit tart when you add a sweetener to the fruit.  Isn’t the plant beautiful to look at?  The neon-green colored leaves are a lovely contrast to the berries. Here’s hoping you are growing your own fruit in your plot, or picking at the nearest farm or farmers market.  Happy Eating!

Relief July 20, 2012

The garden was just as grateful as I was to receive this week’s rain. It was much needed and it gave me a break from constant watering.  Even though I was consistent with hand watering, plants perform better when they receive rain from the clouds.  Here’s an annual flowering vine called Balloon Vine or Love in a Puff (Cardiospermum halicacabum) that held on to the rainwater for as long as it could.  Since it prefers moist growing conditions, it required constant watering during the dry period.  Note the lime-green seed capsules, hence its whimsical common names.  Reminds me also of the elliptical shaped seed capsules of the impatiens plants – kids just love to pop them.  Cardiospermum is used herbally to treat skin disorders.

Garden Harvest July 22, 2012

Cooked beets, crushed blackberries and basil florets for dinner tonight.  It is so great to pick vegetables and fruits from our garden and then cook them.  Sometimes I pick directly from the plant and get my fill, especially when I am working in the garden.

Happily, Raindrops Kept Falling on My Head Today August 11, 2012

A rainy day. I got soaked walking the dogs.  The dogs weren’t as excited about the rain as I was and were anxious to get back inside the house.  I could just feel the elation from the plants as today’s slow and steady rain was being  absorbed by the roots.  This rain came just in time.   Tomorrow is mulching day here at the farm, and it is great that the soil will be nice and moist.   The blanket of mulch will help keep the soil moist and weed free.

Autumn is not far off August 16, 2012

The American Goldfinches are here. I find them usually feeding at the Echinacea flower- seed heads.  The birds also dislodge seeds from the seed heads and those seeds get scattered throughout the garden.  The males are brighter (yellow) colored than the females.  Thankfully I planted loads of Echinacea (also known as coneflowers) in the gardens.  Echinacea seeds are winter-hardy and germinate easily in the garden the following Spring.  I find lots of Echinacea seedlings everywhere.  They are keepers!

Irresistible August 17, 2012

Blackberries from the garden. Â Need I say more?

Pink Beauties August 29, 2012

The hibiscus shrubs keep on blooming and blooming. I’ve been greeted by these lovely ladies for over a month now.  The leaves have been chowed down by many insects this summer, yet the flowers keep on blooming.  Incredible perseverance.  Hallelujah!

Thistle & Praying Mantis August 29, 2012

The praying mantis is well camouflaged as it explores its way through the Amsonia plant. It is agile and dart-like with its precise movements.  The praying mantis eats a lot of bugs in the garden and this year there are a lot of bugs.  Thankfully, praying mantis’ help keep the garden in balance.

The thistle flower is beautiful. The thistle is considered a weed in the garden, rather invasive also.  It has notched spiny leaves yet it creates a magical-looking flower.  In the wildflower meadow, I leave it be.  Looks like a firecracker.  Cotton candy puff.  A pink universe.  Isn’t imagination great?

White flowers September 12, 2012

These lovely white beauties are among the many flowers that are blooming now. As the hot summer passes, the cool and moist nights of the impending Fall season are bringing out a beautiful flower display.  The acidanthera flower is wonderfully fragrant, as is cimicifuga and nicotiana (also known as flowering tobacco).  The hosta variety is named ‘Guacamole’ for its leaf color, and its fragrance is also delightful.  Acidanthera is in the gladiolus family of plants.   Cimicifuga is also known as Actaea racemosa or commonly, Black Cohosh (used in women’s herbal formulas).  Allium is in the onion family, therefore when one snips the flower, an oniony aroma will linger for a while .  I love adding a fresh spring of mint to my drinking water, the flower adds a bit of delicacy.

Feeling Good September 25, 2012

Zinnias. Yellow, red and pink.  36ʺ″ tall, reliable bloomers from summer into fall.  In my opinion there are no summer flowers that command the feel good response as much as zinnias.  I have brought zinnias to friends, family and a rehab-facility nurses’ station and all unanimously say, they are such ‘happy’ flowers and they make the gift-ee very happy.  My summer garden is incomplete if I don’t grow zinnias.  So I make it a point to grow them every year.  I’ve always felt a special kinship with zinnias.  It dates back to childhood, even though I did not garden outdoors when I was a small child.  However the flowers must have imprinted a love early on that I have carried with me since then.  Do you feel the same way about zinnias?  Is there any other flower that occupies a special place in your heart?

The Leaves Have It September 25, 2012

I don’t recall in past years that the blueberry shrubs were first to change leaf color but this year, it has. Un-retouched photo, this is the real deal. The other shrubs and trees will be joining in shortly, with the month of October just around the corner.  So the blueberry shrubs are in the spotlight again.  We had wonderful tasting blueberries in June and July.  The birds will agree too – they had a good share of the berries too.  Lots of gratitude abounds here for the abundance of fruits and vegetables this year from the garden.

Dahlia Beauty October 10, 2012

The Fall garden would not be complete without these magnificent flowers. These dahlias are in peak performance right now, in full bloom and towering over me at well over 5 feet high.  They are planted in early summer as tubers 6ʺ″ deep in the soil and require healthy and well-drained soil to guarantee vigorous growth and many blooms.  I order my dahlia tubers from Swan Island Dahlias in Oregon.  I request late delivery (late May-early June) so that I can plant them right away when the soil has warmed up sufficiently.  Dahlias come in so many colors, bloom sizes and heights.  My absolute favorites are the “dinner plate” dahlias averaging in size from 8-10 inches across the flower.  Dahlia tubers are not winter hardy, therefore I lift the tubers out of the ground immediately after the first frost and store them in my root cellar in peat moss in a cardboard box. How do you feel when you see this beauty in the garden?  Does it remind you of your own beauty? Of course, I love each dahlia flower growing in the garden.  Each flower is so delicate, intricate, perfect, beautiful, ethereal, grounded, joyous, sensuous, miraculous and love-filled.

Before The Frost October 13, 2012

I spent most of yesterday cleaning up garden beds. I also cut flowers to bring indoors in anticipation of a frosty night.  This collection of flowers includes dahlias, Mexican sage and hardy ageratum.  The Mexican sage flowers are a beautiful shade of purple and are velvety to the touch.  Because it is a member of the sage family of herbs, the leaves also have that same characteristic sage-y smell. The cut flowers now sit in an antique vase on my kitchen window.  I do not lament that the outdoor flower season is coming to a close.  I like that the gardening season is giving way to a quieter and restful season. All of the indoor plants have been brought inside too and they are looking mighty fine.   As the outdoor garden begins to rest, the indoor plants continue to provide a connection to the garden world.

Bird Heaven October 24, 2012

The birds know where to find good eats. They come here to feast.  The American Robins are eating their way through the winterberry shrubs (deciduous hollies).  In their mad fly-throughs for edibles, some berries fall on the ground and then other wildlife get to enjoy these berries too.   I also grow other berry producing shrubs such as Beautyberry (Callicarpa) (small purple berries), Aronia brilliantissima (red berries) and Viburnum setigerum (tea viburnum).  When I originally planted these shrubs I thought that the winter landscape would be enhanced by these berries, but they don’t last long enough into the winter.   I’ve discovered that the winter landscape is just as beautiful when it is denuded of its leaves and berries.  I hope you are enjoying the wonderful display of Fall leaf colors. This Fall I am finding that I am so captivated by the range of yellows, oranges, reds, coppers and deep purples in the landscape.  Which color in the garden is getting your attention?

The Reds October 26, 2012

Red. Power.  Beautiful.  Earthly.  Palmate.  7-lobed. An incredible range of Fall colors. Watercolor reds blending with oranges, wines, browns and hint of yellows. It’s a riot of color out there. Everyday a new color announces itself. Hail Fall!

The Buddha in the Garden November 4, 2012

The Buddha represents to me peace, calm and contentment. His presence certainly contributed to the peace and calm in the garden as Hurricane Sandy travelled across the area.  I took this photograph from inside the house.  I am so grateful that the gardens fared very well.  We lost 1 sassafras tree, but to its credit, it will allow new sassafras saplings to grow unobstructed.  It’s always nice to know that the Higher-Ups are looking after the gardens too.

At the end of the day November 8, 2012

After the hurricane and yesterday’s snow, we are rewarded with this beautiful band of yellow against the blue sky. The leaves on the trees are few, the bare trees are now almost exposed to the weather elements.  Magical moments are still here and calling for our attention.  So glad I looked up to greet the almost evening sky and be gifted with the beauty that Nature provides us with.

Thankful For… November 23, 2012

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for the wildlife that come to visit and entertain me. This squirrel must be just as thankful for easy pickings, easy reach and easy-going home-owner. I am thankful for the beauty of this red-headed woodpecker that returns every year to this feeder.   Love its colors and the beautiful design on its feathers.  I am thankful for just-picked parsnips from the vegetable garden.  Cooking them with home-grown sweet potatoes, olive oil and sea salt.  Just delicious.

A Look Around December 5, 2012

The warm sun brings a few surprises to this fine December day. (1) The Great Blue Heron waits perfectly still at the pond’s edge for the right moment to capture its next meal.  Note its erect posture.  (2) The suet block attracts many guests (desirable and un-desirable), but what a delight when I get two different woodpeckers at the same time feeding at the station.  (3) Horticulturally speaking, a tenacious dandelion in bloom today, as well as a volunteer viola plant.  The redtwigged dogwood shrub and the yellow-twigged dogwood shrub add color to the almost-winter landscape.  Abloom and flying in December – all’s well.

As Outside, So Inside December 19, 2012

This is Pelargonium, a perennial geranium growing just outside the sunroom. The cold weather has intensified its leaf colors.  It fits right in with the season’s holiday red-orange and green colors. Certainly an eye-catcher with its brilliant colors.  Multicolored leaves are just as appreciated in my garden as are flowers.  The winter landscape is not so drab after all.  There are always magical finds in the garden.

Here’s an indoor plant, Croton, growing in the sunroom. Though the croton and geranium are physically separated by the window glass and are members of different families, the color resemblance is uncanny.  I imagine that they exchange winks at one another when I look the other way.  Plants communicate with one another, of course.  Plants communicate with us too.  If we quiet our mind and enter the stillness within, we can feel what they are saying.  No words necessary.

Bright Lights December 25, 2012

A snowy Christmas Eve. Bright Christmas lights twinkling everywhere in the neighborhood.  It is very pretty and magical. I was in the garden earlier today putting away clay pots and came upon this swiss chard plant.   This variety is aptly called ‘Bright Lights”.  It is growing outdoors in a pot, still braving the cold and producing edible leaves.  Check out how the combination of leaf contour, prominent stem and venation look like a tree.  The colorful stems are just as pretty as the holiday lights.  Daytime lights and nighttime lights color our days this lovely holiday season.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Winter Reds January 12, 2013 The winter landscape is anything but drab. The reds are there, but you do have to scope them out. Ground-feeding red cardinals standing below the birdfeeders, red-orange footed mallard ducks in the pond – standing on a thin sheet of ice, red fruiting lichen growing on rotting, moist wood and red barked maples and shrubs — all silently vie for attention.  These aren’t screaming, in-your-face bold reds like summertime flowers, but they are just as appreciated.  Magical finds, I’d say.

Mossy Artwork January 15, 2013 In the shadier areas of the garden, moss and lichen grow instead of lawn. This week’s damp, raw and foggy weather has certainly plumped up the moss on boulders and tree trunks too.  I really like the mossy patterns and the bold green color. The boulders are the canvas, the moss the paints.  It is wonderful to get drawn into this beauty, drawn of course by the Master Artist, Himself.

Here’s Lookin’ at You January 17, 2013 I’m so glad these birds felt comfortable enough that they didn’t fly away when they noticed I was eyeing their every move in order to get the right photos. They gave me their best shot.  Superb beings of flight.  And their colors are so special.  Hip hip hooray to the red avian friends!

Shade of Grays January 31, 2013

I was looking out the window and noticed the beautiful harmony of winter grays in the landscape. The rocks in the dry creek looked so alive to me. I never noticed that before.  The gray colors against the snow and ice brought out the contrast between white and black and all the grays in between.  Even the dried leaves lent its own personality to the composition.  That’s why I love the winter landscape so much.  Looking at what is in front of us with complete presence and focus allows us to discover new things.

Snow Art February 11, 2013

A walk in the back woods the day after the snowstorm.  Animal tracks on freshly fallen snow and the shadow of the trees provided by just the right angle of the sun exposure. Nature’s artwork at play. Can you feel the stillness, the beauty and the peace in this landscape?

Blanket of Love February 14, 2013

It was a beautiful morning to wake up to. Lots of snow cover on the trees.  As the sunlight streamed in, the snow melted quickly.  Nonetheless, the blanket of love got the day on the right track.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Partners-in-Bloom February 25, 2013

These orchids have been hanging out with me for many years. They’ve adapted well to their sun-room conditions and reward me with spectacular, long-lasting blooms.  Of course they prefer their original rain-forest habitat to my sun-room.  In late spring, I take them all outside and set them down to luxuriate under the shade and protection of the multi-trunked Japanese Maple tree.   In late Fall I bring them all back into the sunroom.  In February, they share their beautiful and unique flowers with me.  We are indeed partners-in-bloom.

Spring Crop March 11, 2013

No, not my kids. Down the road from me is a goat farm. I had to stop and say hello to the new kids on the block. Certainly brings a smile to everyone I show this photo to. We may consider a goat or two on the farm to help us with some weed control. And they are good looking. They’ll match my red barn too.

Knock-Knock March 18, 2013

Knock-Knock. Who’s there? Bluebird. Bluebird who? Bluebird of happiness. It’s all around us. Beauty, joy, love. It’s within us, it’s outside of us. Our world reflects what we see and feel in ourselves. Be the beauty, joy and love that’s within you. Allow others to see and feel it within themselves.

Seeds and Seedlings March 31, 2013

Here are some of the seeds I’ve recently purchased for the 2013 garden season. The packets are so attractive, they are worth keeping just for inspiration.  High Mowing Organic Seeds and Hudson Valley Seed Library are two seed companies that I like to support because of their commitment to sustainable agriculture.

I started these tomato seedlings from seeds at the end of February. I wanted to get a head start and these plants are certainly growing fast.  They will need to get up-potted to larger pots soon.   They won’t be planted in the garden until May 15.  

Today I scattered more poppy seeds throughout the garden. I am also soaking sweet pea seeds in water so that I can plant them tomorrow.  Sweet peas have a hard seed coat and soaking them in water for 12-24 hours before planting hastens germination.  Are you familiar with the scent of sweet pea flowers?  They are heavenly. Husband planted onion sets and parsley seedlings in our newly composted garden beds.  Also planted seeds of heirloom Chioggia beets, Amish sugar snap peas and mesclun lettuces.  A very productive day in the garden.  Now a gentle rain is falling.  Excellent timing.

Spring Yellows in the Garden April 12, 2013 Despite the mini heat wave and rain this week, all is full spring ahead.  The yellow-flowering plants blooming in the garden are so enchanting and confirm that the presence and beauty of the natural world is always there to help us ground, connect and heal through the situations and circumstances that come along.  From top to bottom, Corylopsis (shrub), Forsythia (shrub), Daffodil (bulb) and Mahonia (shrub) in their full flowering glory.

Nodding Heads April 16, 2013 The flowers of Scilla (spring bulb), Hellebore (spring flowering perennial) and Clematis (climbing Spring/ Summer perennial) emerge from their budded state and proclaim their reverence and gratitude to the Mother Earth for her nourishing love.

Falling in Love, Just Because April 24, 2013

It’s like falling in love with every flower I see. Everyday now, in the garden, something is blooming. The colors in the garden are glorious.  What do you think of this tulip color?  Are you in love with this color just as much as I am?  Sometimes words need not be spoken.  It is OK to be with the feeling and enjoy the stillness.  There’s an understanding between flower and human.

Natural Tweeter April 30, 2013

Under the Japanese Maple tree, hangs a small, red birdhouse that is home to this house wren. This house wren is a small bird, measuring 4.75ʺ″ in length and a 6ʺ″ wingspan.  What is especially delightful about this bird is its birdsong.  It is described as a “familiar loud, bubbling song”.   I personally love its sound – it is playful, giggly and melodious.  This bird is very busy building a nest and it’s amusing to watch it maneuver the little twigs it finds through the small hole opening.  All the nest materials are locally sourced too.  Recycle, renew, re-use spoken here.

Dressed in White May 6, 2013 White blossoms everywhere. The Thalia daffodil flowers are beginning to fade but you can still see its beauty and purity.  I love the name Thalia too.  Thalia means good cheer and joyful.  It speaks well of this lovely daffodil.  

The white flowers of the Dogwood tree are regal with its elegant petals and raised center. Birds love to eat the mature fruit of the Dogwood trees.

What do you think of this Beach Plum shrub?  Its white flowers are numerous and yes it thrives in a seashore location.  Since it is a native shrub, it was destined to enjoy growing here too.  The beach plum is related to the rose family and produces an edible fruit.

The Poncirus tree, with its green spines, green stems and fragrant flowers is a major conversation piece. Its twisty appearance attracts a lot of attention.  The Poncirus tree is a member of the Citrus family, originally from China and is hardy in this area.  Its yellow fruit have lots of seeds and are sour tasting.

The gardens at Windward Farm feature many trees and shrubs that produce edible fruit for humans and wildlife. I like to think that there’s enough growing here for everyone. Not featured here are the numerous crabapples in bloom now.  Crabapples also produce fruit that linger on the tree.  Masses of crabapple flowers create a lovely background and make this spring truly beautiful.

Purple Possibilities May 13, 2013

As I scan the garden, I notice these Allium flower buds beginning to open. I am reminded of a quote attributed to author, Anais Nin ”And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”.  A meaningful, daily reminder to willingly open up to one’s inner beauty and wisdom, to create new possibilities for oneself and appreciate Nature’s lessons.

Visible/Invisible May 24, 2013

A gray, rainy morning, all the better to see the spider web’s silken threads weaving all around the allium flowers. The red, heart-shaped leaves of the redbud tree, Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ hover above the alliums.  This is a beautiful grouping of plants and colors and the spider web threads connect everything together.  Indeed, everything in life is connected too.

Going Within June 4, 2013

Peonies are in bloom in the gardens right now. The blooms are huge, the flowers come in many different colors and they are truly show-stoppers.  This variety is so seductive, inviting you to come in closer to study the intricacies of its frilly petals and internal organs.  Imagine, when we look inside of ourselves, we are just as beautiful as this flower.

Feeling Good Society June 5, 2013

Poppies everywhere. I sprinkle the poppy seeds everywhere I see a bare spot in the garden beds in late winter/early spring.  I forget about it and then magically the plants appear in places I don’t even recall broadcasting seed.  The ultimate gift – the colorful crepe-like petals yoo-hoo me to take notice of the beauty that the natural world gives so freely.

Containers in the Garden June 8, 2013

No matter how much in-ground gardens I have to tinker with, the love affair with containers is very strong. Instant gratification – it can be easily watered with a watering can, access is easy, soil is warmer and encourages quick growth, and it can be moved all around.  Glazed pots, fiberglass, plastic, clay, hypertufa, metal, wood and cement all do a fine job of growing a variety of plants.  I use many containers to feature my collection of sedum, those wonderful small, succulent plants that do great in tight growing quarters.  Since they have fleshy leaves, watering is not a daily requirement.  Their flowers are colorful and so pretty.  For those of you who have a sunny space to devote to containers, grow vegetables!  Yes, vegetables grow very well in containers too!

This raised bed on wheels features lots of vegetables: tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, basil, marigold, parsley, lettuce, swiss chard.  As the plants grow, I will trellis the tomato, zucchini and cucumber plants.  This type of growing vertically is featured in the book, All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

Goumi Treats June 13, 2013

Looks like a miniature apple. It’s not.  It is a goumi berry from the Eleagnus multiflora shrub.  It is native to China, Korea and Japan and is now sold here at specialized nurseries.  I have 6 multibranched shrubs, all 6ʹ′ tall by 4ʹ′ wide now.  The berries are in abundance now, and each day that I am not outside eating them, the birds claim their fair share.  The berries are initially tart tasting but have a sweet finish.  Having an edible garden means that I don’t have far to go to find vegetables and fruit that are ready for picking and eating on the spot.  Snow pea pods, sugar snap peas, celery, lettuce, dill, cilantro, mint and goumi berries are ripe, ready for picking and eating.   I spied some developing mulberries on my dwarf mulberry shrub today.  Can’t wait to taste those soon.    I am a strong advocate of growing your own food as much as you can and supporting your local farm or CSA.  Whichever way you get your food, your awareness of its source is critical to your health and well-being.  Choose well.

Red Hots June 15, 2013

There I was this morning, strolling through the gardens when I remembered my little red berry treats. Must have eaten about 50 berries. It brought me back to memories of myself as a small child delighting in picking berries right off the shrub or tree.  Yummy!  Do you recall as a kid eating the candy Red Hots?  The spicy cinnamon-flavored red candy?  Well, goumi berries are tart tasting but then develop into a sweetness that beg you to stay close to the shrub and eat some more.  Nature’s candy at my fingertips.  Yummy!  Come on over and taste the goumis before the birds and I finish them off.

Summer Whites June 18, 2013

Summer whites with golden yellow centers. The perennial favorite of all flowers.  Pure, clean, strong and upright.  A reliable bloomer in the garden.  No fanfare, just content with its simplicity, but clearly a winner.  Blooming just in time for the official beginning of summer this week on June 21.  The growing season has been blessed with a nice combination of sun, rain, warm daytime temperatures and cool evenings.  The next wave of blooms will be brought to you by the yellows, pinks, reds and blues of yarrow, coreopsis, stokesia, hydrangea and coneflowers.  Love all this movement and flow in the garden.

Opening to the Light June 24, 2013

Every day flowers in the garden open and reveal their beauty. Â Every day we have the same opportunity to open to the new day and remember our own divine radiance and beauty.

Pink Bonnet July 2, 2013 I have to laugh. This poppy flower looks like a pink bonnet to me.  Awkwardly reaching for the sun is probably what’s happening.  The poppies this year are enjoying an extended flowering season due to the rainfall and I am the celebrant here.  I do not physically plant a lot of annual flowers, I scatter them freehand and where they land is where they go to town.  Poppies make people feel happy. Those gorgeous blooms, the crepe-paper texture of its petals and the magical dome-like centers are why they are so favored here.  Even the seed heads are ornamental.  As the seed heads ripen to a golden tan, I come along and snip the heads containing thousands of seeds (really!) and save all the seeds for next spring’s seed-scattering ritual.  

Summer Day July 10, 2013

The coneflowers (Echinacea) are in bloom everywhere you look. I planted them in select spots and they were so happy growing there that they formed a colony of coneflowers in a very short time.  The sweep of coneflower color across the landscape is arresting.  Check out how the orange-y color of the center of the flower matches the orange-y spots on the butterfly wings.   They are a perfect match for one another. I am so glad that the bees and butterflies are finding their nectar throughout the gardens. They are a perfect match for me too.  I love the magic of the butterflies flitting across the gardens and I am certain that the butterflies and bees feel right at home here.

Beauty Lessons From The Garden  
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