Sunday, February 11, 2018

Odds and ends ~

Last week after my gardening class I stopped by the local Armstrong's and was very lucky to find some plants that are usually a bit difficult to find in pony packs: Imperial Stock, that's the tall and extremely fragrant variety, I am hoping that it might act like a perennial in my garden, and cleome, which I grew last year and loved.

I also picked up some more common things: alyssum, loved for it's fragrance and rambling charm, some succulents for my driveway median, and another lavender to fill out the lavender walk at the far back of the garden.

It is early in the gardening year I am still cutting back and cleaning up, but a few things are starting to bloom. The flowering pear, a baby still, is looking good and these very dependable succulents are pretty with their coral-pink blooms and foliage.

And across the garden, although the trees are still bare, the lavender is blooming and the first of the alstroemeria flowers are starting to open up.

My final purchase for the week, was a gift to myself of a new cordless blower. I have an electric blower, it is old, heavy and I hate dragging the cord around, subsequently it never gets used. But this new, powerful and light weight blower - it only weighs a little over 5 pounds - is a gem, and makes cleaning my decks, garage and pathways so much easier then sweeping.

I am taking a road trip up to Carmel, California next week to visit my Sister. so I have been rushing to get everything that I bought planted before I go. It is supposed to rain which will give everything off to a good start. Some of my daffodils are starting to bloom, it will be fun to come home after a week away to see the changes in the garden.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A winter highlight ~

In the early months of the year my garden is at the lowest ebb of bloom - the deciduous trees have finally lost all of their leaves leaving bare branches, the perennials, including most of the roses, have been cut back, and it is a bit early for bulbs. Still, it is fairly lush compared to cold winter areas where snow covers the ground.

So, except for our lack or rain I really have no reason to complain, in factI like this much better than the torrid summer...even if I have more color in the garden then.


 there is one exception, and that is my camellias. Planted here many years ago by the previous owners they have become small trees and every year at this time they offer up their beautiful flowers. And my favorite of them all, the white camellias.

The flowers are abundant, in a creamy white with yellow stamens.

Such a welcome sight when everything else seems so bare to me.

When I pick a few to bring in the house I am always reminded that white camellias were Coco Chanel's favorite flower. She enjoyed them both in the fresh and artificial form. It appears that in my fondness for them I am in pretty good company!

Thank you for visiting

I hope the day brings you some unexpected beauty.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A perfect start to the day ~

Every morning is a little different for me depending on what I have lined up for the day, but my perfect morning starts with...


a few minutes of yoga - sun salutations to limber up, clear my mind, and give me an energy boost.

Then out for my morning walk. I always try to get in at least two miles. Walking every day is the basis for all of the other fitness activities I enjoy. A daily walk is so important for good health and it is so easy to do. You don't need a gym or any equipment other than good shoes and it can be a time  to get in a little meditation or listen to a book or music. I like to listen to Coffee Break French podcasts.

Then coming home to Miss Twiggley and a simple breakfast, always with a pot of freshly brewed tea, soft music, I favor Mozart in the early hours of the day, and something else very important - the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle, I feel very deprived if I don't get to do the puzzle.

Everybody has their own routine but for me this is a blissful way to start the day.

It is the simple things in life that make it so enjoyable don't you think?

I hope that your life is full of lovely mornings

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The last flush of bloom ~

 In our temperate climate which grows warmer each year, although it is supposed to be winter, roses are still blooming. Because of the somewhat cooler temperatures the roses although not so abundant are even lovelier now. This however is the time to prune roses in Southern California so it must be done, but it is difficult to cut back a bush lush with flowers and buds.


I take a bucket of water into the garden and as I prune I put the cut roses into the bucket, when I am finished work I have flowers for some of the most beautiful bouquets of the year.

I love this picture, I think I will use it in a greeting card. Don't you think it would be pretty?

The majority of roses in my garden are pink, in a variety of shades. The bushes I pruned on this day were old rose varieties, mostly Tea roses. As you can see they have the multi-petaled flowers and form of many Austin roses, but seem to perform better for me. Unlike Hybrid Teas which like being severely cut back, these roses are pruned lightly, more of a gentle shaping and removal of any deadwood.

I haven't finished pruning but last week on a trip to Home Depot to pick up chicken manure I was pleased to find some really nice roses. Nothing exotic, or special, but some old standbys that I think will be successful in my garden.

So, here are some of the new girls, I can hardly wait to get them in!

 I hope you have a 'rosy' day.

Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A big mess ~

December is the one month of the year that I put all gardening thoughts and work aside.  I just don't have the time or energy to spend time working in the garden and also enjoy the all the holiday preparations and activities.

But in January, well that's when all of my neglect becomes very obvious. The garden is a mess!

Such a mess that it almost seems impossible that I
 will ever be able to get things back in shape.

It is hard to believe that this is how this part of the garden looked just a few months ago.

But I try not to get too discouraged.

 My plan as usual, is to start in one place, clean-up, prune, lay down chicken manure, maybe plant some some seasonal annuals,and then move on to another area. With diligence and persistence this seems to work.

And then I can spend time doing something I love, picking out new


I hope that your new year is going well with lots of plans and adventures ahead.

Thank you for visiting.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

An easy Christmas table setting ~

I wasn't going to do another post before Christmas because I am really running out of time to get everything done. But I set the main table in the dining room for Christmas Eve dinner today and it turned rather pretty so I thought I would share it.

This table seats eight, with the additional leaf it can seat 12, but it gets too crowded, so I set up another table in the living room to seat six more. In recent years it has become the table my grandchildren seem to enjoy - It is a bit more casual.

One of the main reasons I wanted to share this was to show how pretty a table can look using...tacky, I know...paper plates and napkins. The Christmas crackers are a tradition at my house.

I found out that having 14+ people for dinner calls for some adjustments on my time and energy. Washing so many dishes on Christmas morning wasn't much fun. Besides its kind of enjoyable changing the dish pattern every year. This year I choose snowmen.

Whatever you use to serve it on or however you do it...buffet, formal or casual, I hope that your Christmas dinner is fabulous!

~ Merry Christmas ~