Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another beautiful morning

Good morning friends,

This morning I went outside while the coffee was perking and sat in a chair on the patio just outside our little library. It was early, cool, breezy and traffic was starting to build up, but instead of it bothering me, it brought back some wonderful memories. Memories of our 60-day back packing trip by Eurail in 1973. DH was newly discharged from the US Navy, and we had decided to take this journey before we headed back home to the U.S.

We visited 9-11 countries, can't remember exactly right now and it was some experience, one we'll never forget. This morning, sitting there I remembered early mornings in different European cities, as we headed out on our daily jaunts. The cities would be awakening, traffic would become heavy as people started out and about their daily business. There were lots of bakeries and you could smell the fresh bread and pastries, coffee, and other cooking aromas, mixed in with the diesel fuel, as the day got under way. Shop keepers would be opening up their shops, sweeping their sidewalks, getting ready for the new day.

These memories started my day today and I am thankful for that experience we had. I've talked with quite a few people over the years and they say Europe isn't what it was when we were there. I'm glad we were there when it was still old Europe, I know seeing McDonald's and other fast food establishments would be very depressing, not to mention modern construction, that has ruined some of the beautiful vistas.

I felt blessed this morning sitting there with memories, inspired to get up, have coffee and get about my daily business whatever it might be. Ready to live in the now, making new memories.

Have a lovely day doing whatever comes your way.



No sooner did I bend over and scratch the soil with the hoe
that I began to unearth bits and pieces ... of my past.

Memories forever rooted in time
were clustered in my garden consciousness
like potatoes,
waiting, crying to be dug up.

I plant flowers and vegetables.
I harvest memories - and life.

Nancy H. Jordan, 1993

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Something Greater

To conquer a piece of earth
and make it as beautiful as one can
dream of it being:
That is art, too.
A man cannot be separated
from the earth.

I come out of the garden every day feeling,
inspired in a way that one needs
in order to convert the daily-ness

of the life into something greater than that little life itself.

Stanley Kunitz

Without Apology or Explanation

In his garden every man may be his own artist
without apology
or explanation.

Each within his green enclosure is a creator,

and no two shall reach the same conclusion;
nor shall we, any
more than other creative workers,
be ever wholly satisfied with
our accomplishment.

Ever a season ahead of us floats the vision

of perfection and herein lies its perennial charm.

Louise Beebe Wilder

Friday, April 24, 2009

Little Pink (or whatever color) Houses

Good afternoon everyone.

It is a gorgeous day here sunny, breezy, and not too hot or humid.

On the way to work this morning, one of my favorite songs started playing and of course I cranked up the volume and sang along. It felt great with the windows open, feeling the wind upon my skin, the music lifting my spirit.

It is called 'Little Pink Houses' by John Mellencamp. Since in this great country of ours, we can for the most part, paint our houses whatever color we wish, I put 'or whatever color' in the title of this post.

This country was founded on FREEDOM. It is somthing we've all been enjoying our whole lives. But, things are changing as bills and laws are being written and put into effect without we, the people's, knowledge or input. We are losing more and more of our freedoms. We are very concerned for our future as a nation and as individuals.

This country was founded on faith in God. Now, those who believe in God are slowly losing the freedom to do so or say anything about their faith.

I am thankful for each new day and the freedoms we are still able to enjoy.

God Bless America
Home of the Brave,
Land of the Free
Little pink houses for you and me.

Some of the lyrics are below and a link to a youtube music video of this song, with great views of this beautiful country we live in. (I wasn't able to embed the video like I have in the past.)

Sincerely ~ FlowerLady


Well, there's people and more people
And there's winners, and there's losers
But they aint no big deal
Oh but aint that America
for you and me
Ain't that America,
we're someting to see
Ain't that America,
home of the free
Little pink houses for you and me


Little Pink Houses video

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

After some rain

Good afternoon blogging friends. We had some much needed rain Monday evening when a T-storm passed over, maybe about 3 - 4 inches. Then more yesterday morning, but not as much. It was just what the plant life needed down here after being in drought conditions for so long.

Here are some pictures after the rains.

Grand Duke jasmine

Red Castor Bean


Thunbergia Shrub



Old blush


Million bells

Mm. Laurette Messimy



How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and the heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Rain in Summer

Monday, April 20, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Good morning everyone. This post is about another gardener's garden. I visited Sweetbay's blog yesterday and was in awe of all the beautiful blooms she has. You won't be sorry with this wonderful showing of spring beauties.

I felt a tad 'green' looking at the beauty that surrounds her, yet inspired at the same time, to keep working on our gardens. While viewing her beautiful photographs, I felt transpired into another world. Can you just imagine walking down or up that winding road in the picture below? Aaaaaahhhhh. You can just feel the stresses of everyday life dropping off your shoulders.

Click on her picture below to visit her post 'Garden Blogger's Bloom Day'.

Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dainty Bess

Thought I would do a post on the sweet rose 'Dainty Bess'. I fell in love with her when I first saw pictures of her in a catalog. I loved her purple stamens. She is one of my favorite roses. I like her singleness also. Have three single roses, Cocktail, Kathleen and Dainty Bess. They have such a simple beauty.

Below is some info from a few websites. Please visit them for more pictures and to check out other roses.


Old Garden Roses and Beyond

Dainty Bess, bred by Wm. E.B. & Daughter Archer, England 1925.

'Dainty Bess' is one of the most beloved of the single Hybrid Teas and it seems to have an eternal place in the inventory of nurseries around the world.

This rose grows as a typical Hybrid Tea; fairly upright growth with large, somewhat sparse foliage. Blooms are in clusters of up to 7 or more on main canes. The striking feature of 'Dainty Bess' is the center boss of mahogany tinted stamens which stand out in striking contrast to the soft shell-pink petals. Fragrance is only slight and disease resistance is no better than most Hybrid Teas, but this is a workhorse of a rose and will perform magnificently given reasonable care. Its a charming rose that deserves to be grown by every Hybrid Tea admirer.

There is also a climbing sport called simply 'Climbing Dainty Bess' which grows between 8 and 12 feet tall.

ARS merit rating: 7.3
Personal merit rating: undecided.
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 6 to 10, zone 5 with considerable protection.
Shrub size: 2.5 to 4 feet tall X 2 feet wide.
Fragrance: 4.0, strong sweet fragrance, a hint of "Old Rose".


The Antique Rose Emporium

Dainty Bess

A personal favorite of the ARE staff, this delightful rose displays large single blooms of a soft silvery-pink on a three to four foot open bush. What makes this rose so distinctive is the ruffled edges of the petals and dark maroonish-brown stamens in the center. Leathery foliage and a delicate fragrance only add to its appeal. ‘Dainty Bess’ is a must for single rose collectors.

3 to 5 feet Z6-9



Comments: One of the few Hybrid Tea singles. A classic that has been grown and in commerce for a long long time. The purple stamens make this rose quite unusual and unique. It grows tall and narrow and upright, and must be pruned to the laterals to make it spread out.

Rogue Valley Roses

Surely, this rose has been hand painted again and again onto china. Its pink blooms with deeper reverse are made memorable by the purple stamens. The simplicity and fragrance are what win us and this rose retains its popularity today. It's parentage is 'Ophelia' and 'Kitchener of Khartoumn'. It is leggy, very upright and light of cane. Looks lovely with lavender growing at its knees.


The pictures below our from my Dainty Bess. I have two of her, as I made another plant from a cutting from the first one. This little rose makes my heart sing.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Good morning friends,

Here it is Friday already. Where is the time going these days? This week flew by. We do errands on Mondays, and I worked inside instead of outside gardening, Monday afternoon and Tues., Wed. I worked on the front patio area, yesterday I cleaned up stuff I had pulled out of that overgrown flower bed Sunday. I'm still not finished with that area, but at least got the walkways passable again.

Since I'm working on my Plum Cottage Creations Etsy shop and needed more storage and surface for working on projects, I thought of getting two of those Sterilite plastic storage carts and putting a top on them, to have a desk like space. I checked them out online and found the 5 drawer carts, which we found at the Walmart SuperCenter here. I am not using the wheels and took the top drawer off both pieces because they were too tall for what I wanted. I then looked around for something to use as the top and we had a piece of granite that is 48" long x14 1/2' deep x 1/2" thick, in our stash of marble pieces. DH polished down the front edge and cleaned the top. I love it.

I had to move a bookcase from the space where this new piece was going to go, so had to do some maneuvering in the bedroom and the living room. Living in a little over 700 sq ft space has it's challenges, that's for sure.

Anyway, after getting the new piece in place and filled up with needlework threads, notecard and photo paper, etc. I worked on the patio so that I would have a nice view out the window. I had already grouped plants there, but needed a focal point. Thought of the statue of St. Frances, but it is too small, then thought of our lady statue and we brought her up to the area, put her in place, then DH used epoxy to put her head back on, as coons had knocked her over where she was before, knocking her head off. :-(

I now have a nice view, and even with the traffic racing by about 18' - 20' behind her, there is a sense of peace in the space.

Today and tomorrow I'll be working at my job so I can rest from my labors here at home.

Hope you all are enjoying your homes and gardens.


Below is the library
where my computer and a lot of our books are,
not all by any means.
This was taken as it was getting light out this morning.

Here I used the flash. Some probably won't like the stuffed birds, but we bought them many, many years ago from a flea market and they are old taxidermy pieces. We had an antique shop at the time, but decided not to sell them since we didn't want to offend or have certain people coming down on us for selling them They make a nice addition in the library in our humble opinion. One is an owl and the other is a hawk. They are both perched on branches that are mounted on a bark background. The over the door piece was part of an old headboard, carved and had been painted black. DH stripped it of the paint and oiled it. We got this piece across the street from our neighobr's trash pile a few years back. Didn't know what we were going to do with it until we did this little room.

This my computer area.
Do we like art?
Do we like books?
How about stuff?

Nah, whatever gave you that idea?

We have been working on decluttering,
but some things we just don't want to get rid of.

Here is the lady out the window, with Duchesse de Brabant roses behind her.

Here she is as the sun is starting to set.

Here she is as it's growing dark.

Life is huge!

Rejoice about the sun, moon, flowers, and sky.

Rejoice about the food you have to eat.

Rejoice about the body that houses your spirit.

Rejoice about the fact
that you can be a positive force in the world around you.

Rejoice about the love that is around you.

If you want to be happy,
commit to
making your life one of rejoicing.

Author Unknown

Monday, April 13, 2009

A New Day

Good morning everyone. I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend. I worked at my job Saturday, but Sunday morning I was out working in the bed you see below. I made our Easter dinner for dinner last night and it was delicious. Roasted lamb with fat removed, slits cut into the meat for slivers of garlic. Gray poupon mustard was spread over the top and sides, fresh rosemary and Italian bread crumbs sprinkled all over. Also served mashed potatoes, green peas, asparagus vinaigrette, and had mint jelly and more gray poupon. We had an Aussie merlot wine also. I had some strawberry shortcake and ice cream for dessert, but neither of us felt like having any.

Back to gardening ~ This brick bordered bed was full of ferns, two different kinds, both hard to get out, and I've still more to do, but that's for another morning this week. It got too warm and I was pooped so I just left stuff where it lay until I get back out there. Today we do our errands so I won't be out there probably at all.

In this bed there is a rubber vine shrub that I may just dig up, not sure yet. It's a real pain, with it's sap and the way it grows. There are some lilies, a Duchesse de Brubant rose, a croton, a Golden Sun rose, Crepe Myrtle, Bleeding Heart (Clerodendrum thomsoniae, red variety), and a couple other things I can't think of at the moment. I want to put a potted Smith's Parrish rose in this bed, plus colorful flowers.

This is Salvia and periwinkles in the main garden.
I've been taking the seeds from the salvia
and flinging them in other areas of this garden.
I love this plant.

This is Penelope, one of my favorite roses.
She's in a huge terra cotta pot in the secret garden.

This is Mutabilis, another favorite.

I'm not sure which rose this is, maybe Laurette Messimy.

This is Duchesse de Brubant. A real old fashioned beauty.

Dainty Bess, smells like cloves to me. She's a sweetie.

Last, but certainly not least, introducing 'Shovel Bird'.
He came home with us from our vacation to NC in 2006.
He was in a road side place in southern GA.
We had passed this place on the way up to NC,
and stopped on the way back as they had LOTS of iron critters.
DH liked this one and he now adds some a bit of whimsy to our gardens.
He is sitting on the roof of our recycle/garbage area at the back of the scullery.
This is the roof area where our outdoor kitty, Tork,
sits looking into our indoor space.
Confederate Jasmine is growing on the lattice behind Shovel Bird.
The shells are ones we've picked up here and there.
The rose cutting is Maman Cochet and I hope she roots.

That's it from humble Plum Cottage gardens.
Hope you all have a great week
and are able to get out and play in your gardens.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Blessings to all

Easter is a joyous time of year.
Winter is over, spring is in the air,
and it is a celebration of resurrection,
not only of gardens,
but of the Great Creator,
the Everlasting Father,
the Almighty God, Jesus.

He speaks to each of us in his own way, in our hearts.
We do not have to belong to any religion,
we don't need to meet with a bunch of people,
we just need to be open to the still and loving voice of God.
He loves each of us dearly,
and cares for each and every one of us.
He gave his life so that we'd be free.
He rose again and is preparing a place for us all.
He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

He will be coming back again.

Below are two songs that speak on these subjects.
The first by Carlos Santana ~ Somewhere in Heaven.
The second is by Gary Moore ~ The Messiah Will Come Again.

I believe that God speaks through music.
May we all be open to and feel the love,
peace and healing of God,
flowing through us each and every day.

Happy Easter ~ FlowerLady




Friday, April 10, 2009

Today's morning blooms

Good Friday, good morning to all of you.
May your weekend be filled with peace, joy and good things.

I went out with the camera to see what caught my eye this morning.
It is overcast, still, and a tad cool.

This is the driveway gate into the patio.
Things have filled in a bit since we first did this project about a month or so ago.
We still have the arbor/rooflet to make over the gate.

This is looking through the gate.

This is some of my patio potted plantings.
Garlic chives in the foreground,
then desert cassia, million bells and walking iris in the next pot.
In the last pot is Jewels of Opar,
and Old Blush roses behind that.

Here are the Jewels of Opar after the tiny flowers have finished blooming.

This is a close up of the desert cassia.

Old Blush and Duchesse de Brabant.

Million bells with an orchid and spidersplant in the birdcage.

This is looking from the driveway at the scullery,
and in through the gate into the secret garden.

Another view.
The newly leafed out tree in the square,
brick/rock lined bed is our Queen Crepe Myrtle.

The purple flowering shrub is Golden Dewdrop, and the rose behind is Crepuscule.

Easter is the demonstration of God
that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.

Charles M. Crowe

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A new adventure

Hello everyone. Hope you are all able to get out in your gardens now that spring is here. I know some of you have had more cold weather, some frost, some snow, but hopefully nicer weather is on the way. We even had chilly temps here for the last couple of nights and it has been great for working out in the gardens during the day. Pretty soon, it will be miserable, so we're trying to get a lot done now while we feel like it.

My new adventure is I now have an Etsy shop. It is empty at the moment as I've been setting up the home page, my profile etc. Learning as I go along. I am nervous and excited at the same time. The economy isn't so hot, but hopefully it will pick up again.

I read a couple of different writings the today, that really seemed just right for what's happening. One was 'Manifest Your Dreams' by Suzanne Falter-Barns.

"There is no magic to creating what you want in life. You simply have to want it, totally, purely, absolutely, and then, more importantly, you have to know that you can have it."

The next writing was by Jo Courdet from 'Go For It Lady'.

"The only thing more dangerous than taking a risk, is not taking it. Maybe, as author Garrison Keillor has remarked, you're supposed to get reckless as you grow older. That way you keep saying yes to life. And perhaps saying yest, not being safe, is the real point of life."

Below is the banner I made for the shop. Our little home is Plum Cottage and this is where we create works of art. Fiber art, photography and whatever else we come up with.

So, if I'm not around as much you'll know why. I'm creating pieces for my shop, along with working in my gardens, helping DH with projects around here, and working part time also.

I have been working more on the front patio area, bringing more potted plants there, so that I can keep everything watered easier.

Jasmine, hoya, roses, angelwing begonias are all filling the air with their wonderful scents.

Enjoy your spring gardens and have a wonderful Easter also.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Gardening can lift our spirits.

Some mornings you wake up depressed, this was one of my mornings. After coffee, I grabbed my camera and headed out to the gardens while the morning light was nice. It didn't take long for my mood to shift once I was out among God's creation. Pretty soon my heart felt lighter.

The first picture is taken by the gate that enters into our front patio area. I have been grouping a lot of potted plants together for easier watering. Plus it helps to block out some of the traffic racing past which would be to the left of the picture. My main garden is to the back of picture where the little white fencing is.

This view is looking back toward the gate. We still have the arbor to make over the gate.

This is a view of my main garden.
The blue bottles are not in the center piece,
they just look like it.

This picture is on the east/driveway side of our cottage. The 'scullery' is on the left and my shed is on the right. There is a door into the secret garden behind our cottage in the wall going off from the scullery. There is Confederate Jasmine growing on the scullery side. A statue of St. Francis is in the corner, and in the large terra cotta pot I just planted St. Vincent's Lilac vine. I can hardly wait for that to grow up the lattice and start blooming.

This is of the east side of my shed, with it's little garden in back and the one in front. We found the old street sign many years ago and recently put it on this shed among the roses and bougainvillea. It reads Plum Tree Rd.

That's it for now.
I am thankful for our little haven.
Thankful to God for his wonderful creation,
that brings joy to my heart. I am thankful for his tender mercies,
and his loving care.



Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have

into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos

to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes

sense of our past,
brings peace for today,

and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie