It Must be Spring

 

“…I waded out into the midst of the glorious field of gold. All the ground was covered, not with grass and green leaves, but with radiant corollas, about ankle-deep next to the foothills, knee-deep or more five or six miles out…Sauntering in any direction, hundreds of these happy sun plants brushed against my feet at every step, and closed over them as if I were wading in liquid gold. ~John Muir

A sure sign of spring here in the golden state is the brilliant show of our native California poppy (Eschscholzia, californica) blooms brightening hillsides, meadows, roadways and landscapes of all kinds. With delicate cup-like blossoms and feathery foliage, these colorful beauties start adding vibrance to our days in February or March and often last into June.

Glorious fields of gold, indeed!

Happy spring!


Love Sweet Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day, as well as all that’s going on in our world, I’m sharing some recent heart finds and some of my favorite quotes on love. Let’s make a pact to be extra good to each other. Let’s hold the people we love a little tighter and tell them how much they mean to us. Let’s go out of our way to help and be kind to everyone we encounter. Go Be Love; the world needs you.

“May my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home. May we walk together through all things. May you feel deeply loves. for indeed you are. May you always see your innocence in my eyes. I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give.” ~Marianne Williamson

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” ~ Mother Teresa

“The world is absolutely starved for love. In whatever way you can, and wherever you can, go and feed some people.” ~John Pavlovitz

“Do a deed of simple kindness; though its end you may not see. It may reach, like widening ripples, down a long eternity.” ~Joseph Norris

“What is done in love is well done.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

“Your body is away from me, but there is a window open from my heart to yours.” ~ Rumi

“All that is worth cherishing begins in the heart.” ~Suzanne Chapin

“Where there is great love there are always miracles.” ~Willa Cather

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller

“When you seek love with all your heart, you shall find its echoes in the universe.” ~Rumi 

“You will see in the world what you carry in your heart.” ~Creig Crippen

“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” ~ Rumi“And I say to my heart: rave on.” ~Mary Oliver

Happy New Year

At the sound of the trolling midnight bell

a brand new year will begin.

Let’s raise our hopes in a confident toast,

to the promise it ushers in.

May your battles be few, your pleasures many,

your wishes and dreams fulfilled.

May your confidence stand in the face of loss

and give you the strength to rebuild.

May peace of heart fill all your days,

May serenity grace your soul.

May tranquil moments bless your life

and keep your spirit whole.

~Author unknown

Wishes to you for peace and comfort and joy in 2018.

Cheers!

Counting On Nature

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in tune once more.” ~ John Burroughs

It had been a day of constantly wiping a runny nose, rocking and comforting my 15 month grand daughter who was feeling miserable and irritable from her first cold. I bundled her up in a warm blanket and we stepped out the front door and onto the porch. “Let’s go see what’s happening outside.”

The rain from earlier in the day had let up, clouds were still heavy and low. A hint of woodsmoke filled the air and mixed with the fresh chill that November air brings. Quails were calling to each other in the brush beyond the creek bed. A squirrel scampered up an oak, chirping as he moved jerkily. Baby girl calmed and quieted, looked around. I wiped away her tears. Bright red Toyon berries hung low and glistened from the recent soaking. Autumn leaves that were still clinging on trees and shrubs danced in the gentle breeze, as a new brilliant layer of leaves carpeted the ground. Off the porch I stepped with this sweet one cradled in my arms. “Let’s go for a walk around the yard, love.”

We moved slowly just taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of the late afternoon. Listening, looking, soaking up all the gifts that this November day offered. Mother Nature enveloping us and working her peace and magic.

It was no more than ten minutes that we were outdoors but our spirits were  lifted and our moods were refreshed, just as I knew they would be. Soothed and healed once again, all courtesy of nature.

 

Celebrating Fall

“Autumn, the year’s last loveliest smile.” ~William Cullen Bryantimg_6534“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all” ~Stanley Horowitzimg_6443“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~Albert Camusimg_1905“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ~Lauren DeStefano, Witherimg_1902“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” ~John Donne
img_1811“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.” ~Humbert Wolfe
img_1799“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”~Joe L. Wheelerimg_1750“And I rose in rainy autumn and walked abroad in a shower of all my days…” ~Dylan Thomasimg_1731“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” ~Anonymousimg_1727“I am rich today with autumn’s gold.” ~Gladys Harpimg_1657“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” ~Lee Maynardimg_1718“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” ~Samuel Butlerimg_1721“Or maybe spring is the season of love and fall the season of mad lust. Spring for flirting but fall for the untamed delicious wild thing.”~Elizabeth Cohenimg_1796“There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood- Such of manner, hint of mood; And my heart is like a rhyme, With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.” ~Bliss Carmen
img_1803“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ~Jim Bishopimg_1903Wishes to all for a lovely autumn season.

Sunflower Cottage

“…But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye. For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall, you’ll find the tool and potting sheds which are the heart of all…”~Rudyard Kiplingimg_1827Here it is!img_1472Remember a few weeks ago I promised a post about my new garden shed? Welcome to Sunflower Cottage!

Wanting the paint and the style to match our home, but also wanting a bright pop of color for the door, I really don’t think it could have turned out any more perfectly.

Last fall I began looking in books, magazines and on pinterest for ideas for potting sheds. It was a bit overwhelming, but when our friend who built the structure for us started asking questions about how it would be used and what was most important to me, why then it all came together easily. Inside is a roomy potting bench, lots of shelving, and a pole to hang baskets and dry herbs from, and with the light from the two windows (three counting the window in the door) and a water source right outside the shed, I didn’t feel a need to have electricity or plumbing installed.

Here’s a bit of a peek inside.img_1526 img_1410I’m still organizing and finding the best places for everything, but I’m already so happy to be working in this charming and cozy little storybook cottage, just as I knew I would! A gardener’s dream come true, for certain!

Porch Sweet Porch

“I return to my front porch to find the place where the air smells sweeter and the sun feels warmer than at any other bend in life’s long road.”~John Sarris

Hello good friend! Welcome to the porch. It’s just ahead.IMG_9240Take one step up.IMG_9243Here we are!IMG_9113Come sit with me in the comfiest rocking chairs around. Here’s an iced tea.IMG_9114Let’s catch up on everything and try and make sense of life’s ups and downs. We’ll laugh and maybe cry, smile and listen, share and nod. Just being with you brings me comfort and joy! IMG_9244IMG_9121Amidst our conversations we’ll hear the songs of the birds, the whispers of the leaves, and the whirr of the hummingbirds.

I’m so grateful that in this big wide world we found each other. Aren’t we lucky? Come back soon!

Glorious Hills of Poppies

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair. ~Susan Polis Shutz
IMG_8607IMG_8620IMG_8622IMG_8649IMG_8610IMG_8612IMG_8643IMG_8635A week and a half ago we had the pleasure of going on a poppy hike facilitated by the American River Conservancy. The hike was on private property in Coloma which had spectacular views of the American River below us and hills of happy poppies everywhere we looked. Bill and Robin Center were so generous, leading groups of us on their trails, sharing their wisdom, and providing a delicious spread of appetizers and desserts afterwards under the shady oaks. Being surrounded by nature’s beauty in Coloma is something we won’t forget. We are so grateful for the experience!

Nearly Spring!

 

IMG_7773“The year’s at the spring

And day’s at the morn;

Morning’s at seven;

The hillside’s dew-pearled;

The lark’s on the wing;

The snail’s on the thorn;

God’s in His heaven-

All’s right with the world!”

~Robert BrowningIMG_7958“A wizard must have passed this way

Since – was it only yesterday?

Then all was bare, and now behold,

A hundred cups of living gold!”

~Emma C. DowdIMG_7720“A little madness in the spring is wholesome even for the king.”

~Emily DickensonIMG_7933“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.”

~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

IMG_8116IMG_7971“Spring is nature’s way of saying Let’s Party!”

~ Robin WilliamsIMG_7920Everything is blooming recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. ~Ranier Maria RilkeIMG_8077IMG_8067Wishing you all a week of blooms. Go out and take in all the beauty surrounding you!

 

The Fever

“She turned to the sunlight

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbor:

Winter is dead.”

~A.A. Milne, When We Were Very YoungIMG_7776IMG_7848IMG_7980Trips to four different nurseries within a week. Vases filled with Daffodils and Daphne throughout the house. Checking on each and every plant and tree to see how it fared during the winter. Soil under my nails. Yep, I’ve definitely got it. Spring Fever!

It’s only late February but the high temperatures have been hovering in the high 60s and even 70s for a couple weeks now. I’m really hoping March brings much more rain, but right now, well, right now I’m loving all these bursts of color. Right now, it feels like spring is bustin’ out all over!

Here, the Weigelias are just beginning to leaf out. IMG_8083I’m filling pots with colorful Primroses, Pansies and Violas.IMG_7702IMG_7969The air is scented with the heavenly fragrance of winter Daphne. Is there a sweeter smell in February? Not in my book!IMG_7977A row of blooming flowering plum trees heralds our arrival along our driveway.IMG_8081And a hedge of tall Photonia brightens up the yard with shiny new red leaves.IMG_8082Flowering Quince and Forsythia are putting on their shows,IMG_7830IMG_7968while graceful Hellebores nod hello.
IMG_7846Oh, I know it’s still early, but I can’t get enough of these happy harbingers of spring. What’s blooming in your gardens right now in late February?

“Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.” ~Gustav Mahler