Does this still work? Testing. Does anyone hear me? Whoa, it's been ages since I've posted here. But I think I need to write and share and document again. I feel like I'm drifting these days. Let's see if Mermaids and Moss can give me some focus.
We've been enjoying some beautiful, beautiful spring days these last few weeks. I think everyone is so relieved that winter is finally over. Buttercup meadow is in bloom along with the violets and these pretty Star-of-Bethlehem that I photographed below:
I think the Star-of-Bethlehem are so pretty and I wonder if someone planted a few bulbs at some point in the past or if it was an independent squirrel project. Either way, each year they're spreading further and further across the park under the huge old trees. So lovely. I must remember to order some bulbs this fall. And thank you to Margie for helping me to identify them. She's always so helpful and knowledgeable whenever I have a question about plants.
I'd love to be able to identify this springtime flower, too:
Hello, dear friends. I'm sorry I've been absent... I've been in a sort of uninspired funk these last few weeks. I'm blaming it on the winter. It was entirely too long and too cold with too much snow. Just ridiculous. I'm hoping that if I start posting here again, I'll start to perk up and feel like making again.
I've cleaned off the coffee table and strategically placed the watercolors next to fresh paper in the hopes of inspiring the kids. It's worked. We've been having some nice painting sessions, the three of us, these last few days. The kids are always creating, but their projects usually involve scraps of cardboard and tiny little cut out figures on paper. These creations quickly spiral out of control and add to the general chaos and messiness of our house. I like painting on large, neat, stack able sheets of paper more.
Yesterday, we planted a hummingbird garden. It's similar to the fairy garden that we planted last year. This packet contains Lupine, Zinnia, Hollyhock, Rocket Larkspur and many other pretty flowers. I hope the hummingbirds that visit our garden will be pleased. I can't wait for everything to start growing. We've had such a late start this year. Our grass is so dry and weak and sad looking. I can't wait for lush green.
It's finally starting to cool down and feel a bit like October. Yay! I'm finished with the hot weather. And looking forward to the showers of colorful leaves.
There are signs of Halloween here and there. A few pumpkins have gathered on our front stoop and I haven't purchased a single one. They just appear when you have children. It's magic.
It's time to start thinking about close-toed shoes and stockings and maybe even in investing in a pair of jeans that fit. Maybe.
I've been gathering acorns and bits of nature, the kitten is quite excited about my tendency to bring twigs and walnuts home. My treasures keep disappearing.
The Mexican Sunflowers that I planted from seed last spring have grown unbelievably tall, more than ten feet at least, and are finally, finally blooming. I had no idea what I was signing up for when I planted them because the packet did need mention that they would grow to be more than ten feet tall and have stalks as thick as trees.
And the last couple nights we've had the most amazingly pink sunset-filled skies.
Everyone in the family has been soaking up this spring goodness. Yay! I'm so glad that our garden has been coming back to life. We've been spending lots of mornings, afternoons and evenings at the playground and the nearby parks and gardens. I can't get enough of being outside.
I've been spending most of my free moments filling out forms and uploading files to Getty Images. They've expessed an interest in several of my photos, and so I've decided to give stock photography a try. We'll see. I might be fun. So far, it's a lot of tedious paperwork.
We went for a lovely drive out to Ladew Gardens. And no one got carsick. Yay! We were able to stop to visit the sunflower meadows on the way to the gardens. We'd passed them a couple weeks ago, just as they'd started to really bloom. Those rows and rows of gold are so beautiful.
We visited with the frogs and tadpoles...
Explored the gardens with their beautiful sculpted hedges...
Wondered about these bizarre berries. With a little help from my friend Kristy of Fog and Swell, I discovered that this is a Kousa dogwood. It's funny how I don't remember noticing them before this year. This type of dogwood blooms later and has blooms with four sharp points instead of the rounded notches. I'd noticed these pointy dogwood-like trees everywhere this summer wondering if it really was a dogwood. I think I'll put this tree on my list of options for the front yard, as I spent much of the spring and summer considering planting a tree out front between the walkway and the driveway.
By the way, if you have a chance you should stop by Kristy's esty shop to visit with her amazing sea and woodland creatures. They're on my list of loves.
I love the gates and paths and archways... it's all so very Rebecca, especially if you're able to visit the azalea gardens in the spring. Speaking of dark and mysterious romantic novels, I recently saw the latest version of Jane Eyre and I loved it so much. Have you seen it?
The visit ended with a lovely lunch with friends on the patio. That little cafe really does have the best seating in Baltimore... an outdoor patio surrounded by an ancient stone wall covered in vines and plants with a view of the butterfly meadow. Nice chairs and tables with umbrellas and the most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. It's my daughter's most favorite meal, other than chicken tikka masala.
We have visitors. My sister-in-law and her two children will be staying with us for the next week. They just arrived this afternoon. So, I've spent the last two days cleaning and organizing and doing loads of sheets. Everything looked nearly perfect... for once. But those four cousins made fast work of that and rearranged everything. Oh well. I guess this means they're having fun.
Meanwhile the garden is exploding with tomatoes. And the hollyhocks, these hollyhocks, have started to bloom.
These two seemed to survive the heat and the power outage just fine. Though they've been a bit more vocal [if that's possible] and clingy than usual [I can't close a door without little Zoe frantically scratching to follow me]. My good friend stopped by to care for them and to make sure the house hadn't fallen down. Thank you, kind lady. Maybe I'll treat her to a little Trohv goodness or a night out at Woodberry Kitchen. Yummy.
On the other hand, this little garden grew wild during our absence. The three small tomato plants have become four enormous tomato plants shooting runners with roots across the grass and toward the patio. And, amazingly, they are growing tomatoes. Dozens and dozens of lovely red grape tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes and great big fat tomatoes.
The tiny struggling sweet peas that we planted from seed have finally started to bloom. And, against all odds, some of the lavender that I planted from seed has sprouted and seem to be surviving. The hollyhocks are insanely large... I guess they probably won't have a chance to bloom this season, but I hope they come back next summer. They're really taking over the garden.
My dad gave me these cute toadstools. They're from the gift shop at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio... a really lovely collection of gardens, Chihuly glass [my son calls him the pirate], butterflies and and gorgeous architecture.
I enjoyed a most lovely tomato salad fresh from the garden with black olives, olive oil, salt and pepper yesterday... it just needed some capers. I'm still trying to restock the fridge with all the little extras like dressings and capers and mustards.