Sunday, May 28, 2006

Brave New World!

The yellow warblers come every year to nest in the little blue cottage under our porch. This year they raised three babies and Shannon was home to catch this little one on the brink of its first flight. This is number two on the perch and he bravely flew all the way to the windmill on his first try. (number 3 is peaking out behind and was not nearly as brave or eager to leave as the other two).
I was outside yesterday afternoon and heard the hawks calling to their babies, so I ran to grab my binoculars and sure enough, the two baby hawks were practicing take offs and landings in and out of the nest. They are the only birds I have noticed that fly back to their nest several times before leaving for good. They are so graceful and beautiful in the air. They are also very large babies! They look like giants beside the little warbler babies.
We spent the afternoon enlarging that round flower bed to match the size of the the windmill. Dear husband and I realize once again, we are not as young as we used to be! It was hot out, but a breeze blew making it bearable and even enjoyable. I will post a picture once it is finished, (if it doesn't kill us in the process)
Tomorrow is Memorial Day and I am always reminded of the great sacrifice so many gave for the freedom I have to plant a garden, watch the birds hatch or a million other things I am allowed to do without fear. We are planning to cook burgers, enjoy family and wave the flag with pride!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Garden Tour

This has been another beautiful weekend! The weather is cool at night but getting summertime hot during the day. We are really short on rain this month and the sprinkler is on to give the flowers a needed drink this evening. A friend and I spent Saturday on a garden tour in the small but lovely city of Minden. This is the first year their garden club has sponsored a tour and it was a huge success. We started out early since there were five different gardens to see. I included a picture of one of my favorites. One was a cottage garden with lots of whimsy and yard art. The other favorite was a manicured yard with a woodland side garden.

Of course once we finished the tour, we had to make a stop by the garden center for a take home souvenir. (that means a plant in case you are not a gardener)
I always find a new or unusual plant on these tours and this one was no exception. At the cottage garden, we saw a sweep of blue flowers in the front and when I found out it was Lespedeza I was surprised. I think my Dad used to plant that as a cover crop! It was really pretty in bloom. Another new plant to me was Ardisia Crenata. It has dark green foliage and a cluster of beautiful dark red berries that hang from under the leaves. It was used in a woodland garden and the red berries stood out like lights among the green background. Of course, that is what we chose to purchase as our souvenir.
My friend did a little research and found out this is a tropical, shade loving plant that has almost become invasive in Florida......just my luck! I am going to plant it anyway. If it takes over, I guess I will just have to move.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day has been especially special this year. Friday, when I came home from work, my son-in-law and daughter had cut the grass and the yard looked so nice, but as I turned the curve into the driveway, this bed caught my eye! I have wanted a windmill for some time and they, along with dear husband got it for me and set it up in the flower bed for me to see when I came home. I was so surprised and delighted!
The only drawback is now I will have to make the flower bed larger to compensate for the size of the windmill, but that is a drawback not to me, but alas to poor husband who will have to dig it out for me! He may be sorry he ever thought of this. (He also gave me a neat cultivator tool that will come in handy when I add more plants to the bed)

As wonderful as this gift is and as much as I love it, it is not the best gift. Having my daughter and son-in-law living back in Louisiana is the best gift I could have ever received. I am blessed to have a wonderful mother myself, a wonderful mother-in-law and an wonderful daugter, husband and son-in-law. What more could I want?

Friday, May 05, 2006


"When I see wild roses on a fence line or smell lilacs in bloom, I'm a kid again. When I hear the coo of a mourning dove or hear the whistle of a steam engine, I still feel young. The sharing of a rainbow in spring, admiring a lovely sunset, or watching birds in the yard takes me back to my childhood." (Amy Edeker from "The Sixty")
For me, it is the smell of honeysuckle and the whippoorwill song. Unfortunately, we have no whippoorwills around here and it has been years since I've heard one. Their sound always reminds me of spring planting time, sitting on the front porch with the whippoorwill calling and waiting for the sound of the tractor coming from the field. That meant Daddy was coming in for supper. Spring evenings on the farm were always filled with sounds of nature and the flash of fireflies and watching the rabbits in the yard doing what we called the "rabbit dance," hopping around snacking on clover.

The smell of honeysuckle always brings a feeling of happiness. In our little community, we have a great place to walk. The walking path is five eights of a mile and passes a prayer garden, an open field filled with wildflowers, crosses a small creek (really just a drainage ditch but creek sounds better) and has a fence row filled with redbud, crepe myrtle and you guessed it, honeysuckle. It is blooming now and everytime I pass by and smell the sweet blooms, my thoughts go to my childhood and memories of playing outdoors with my sisters. It was a time of sunshine, fresh air, swinging on the tire swing, playing house with jar lid dishes and honeysuckle flower arrangements.
Most gardners view honeysuckle as an invasive pest, and I admit, I don't like it in my flower beds, but hopefully, I will always have a vine on the fence somewhere. Childhood memories are welcome from time to time.