Aging Gracefully | Hydrangea

Look at those mauve-y petals speckled with the colors of a luscious cabernet sauvignon.
This hydrangea flowerhead not quite past its prime was too exquisite to toss in the trash.

There is beauty in old things if we pay attention.

And a day older…

And a couple days later, almost completely dry while still retaining elegance and charm…

I recall this sonnet by Shakespeare which makes me realize that I actually DID pay attention in class, at least that one day…

That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnet 73)

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Glad-iolus to See YOU!

This hot spell is a catalyst for all of my blooming bulbs. Here are the first two gladioli who decided to flower together in shades of pink.

All pink, ALWAYS.

Stargazer Lilies

A few months ago, I rescued a wilted and sad little Stargazer Lily from the back of a clearance shelf at the nursery. If I remember correctly, I paid a dollar or two for a one gallon plant.

I thought to to myself, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” and brought it home with the hope of bringing it back to life with love and care.

My efforts were rewarded this week with a dozen or more heavenly perfumed pink blooms, perfectly timed for tonight’s full moon.

Stargazer’ lily (Lilium orientalis ‘Stargazer’) was developed in the late 1970s as a cross between Lilium auratum and L. speciosum to intentionally create a flower with upward-facing rather than drooping flowers. The tips of the flowers are “reflexed”—meaning that they curve back toward the stem—and they sport long, showy stamens.

They are among the most fragrant flowers. With a diameter of six inches or more, they have exceedingly showy blossoms—there is nothing subtle about ‘Stargazer’.

FYI…Like all lilies, ‘Stargazer’ is toxic to cats.

April’s Garden Beauty

From April’s angst to something a little more palatable and because I try to always look on the bright side, these are some photos I took to cleanse my brain while the rat guy was disinfecting the shed. I carefully avoided that area…

Delosperma Cooperi – succulent ground cover against a backdrop of insane ceanothus with some (I think) Cape Daisies and Creeping Aloe.

Pride of Madeira.

A baby pomegranate!

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly caterpillar on my Palo Verde tree.

No rats here! Just peace and serenity.

A Whimsical Flower Garden Bouquet For ME!

Tomorrow might be all about the original Angel Boy as it’s his birthday, but today is all about me, so I walked around the garden and picked all the flowers blooming in early spring to celebrate myself.

Back in 1981, he was already a week overdue on March 22. I had walked my dogs, Sabrina and Beowulf, early in the morning where I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell down.

Other than being annoyed at my huge bulky belly that got in the way of everything, I didn’t think about it. I felt fine.

My mom came over to take me out for lunch and shopping, two of my most favorite pastimes (then and now). I remember exactly what I bought. She wanted me to have a pretty nightgown to commemorate the birth of her first and only grandchild. In fact, I still have that little rose sprigged lacy cotton gown, mainly because I never throw things away and besides, it’s a lovely reminder of that day with my mom.

As we were eating lunch, I excused myself to use the restroom. When I returned, I said to her, “It’s so weird, I don’t know why my pants feel like I wet myself.”

Well, my mom who NEVER freaked out, was always calm, freaked out, “Your water broke. Why didn’t you tell me? We need to get to the hospital. When did this happen?” “What other symptoms do you have?”

I told her about falling earlier in the day and she deduced that I had partially ruptured the placenta. I don’t remember much about driving home except for her repeating, “You might have introduced bacteria, you might have introduced bacteria. Why didn’t you say something sooner?”

Stubborn as I am, I did NOT go to the hospital right away, although I was having slight labor pains. I wanted to take a shower and walk my dogs again.

She and Daddy-to-be called my doc who agreed that I needed to get to the hospital to be safe.

I was extremely upset because for nine months I planned to have my baby at home with my mom attending. She was an amazing nurse, had worked for many years in labor and delivery and had brought home a sterile delivery kit, kinda sorta like Call the Midwife.

The fact that there was even the slightest chance that my baby was in danger caused my mom (and Dad) to refuse to allow me to play the role of Earth Mother and stay home. I had planned to have all my animals surround me to participate because their little brother or sister (we didn’t know) was being born.

I had to reluctantly agree with them that it wasn’t all about me, plus the vaginal mucous plug or “show” had started to separate from the cervix which meant actual labor was progressing. We arrived at the hospital about 7pm.

I’ll save the rest of the story for tomorrow, because after that day it was NEVER all about me ever again–it’s always and will forever be about my Angel Boy.

Here’s me on March 22, on that final walk, taking a break with my beautiful Sabrina, a couple hours before going to the hospital. I’m really happy to have this photo. My sweet Sabby looks so old.

I’ve shown this pic to my other Angels and they get a kick out of seeing their Daddy inside Grandma’s body before he came into the world. “There’s Daddy!” And “Grandma, you love Border Collies so much, don’t you?”

But not more than you guys. Nope. Never more than you, my Angels.

Fragrant Freesias

These are the first fragrant freesias of spring. (I like alliteration.)

#WordlessWednesday

Holiday Flower Photo Shoot

Happy early Hanukkah! It starts tonight at sundown which is closer to 4pm now after that ridiculous time change.

Things are super dry here in SoCal and there isn’t much color in the garden but I have a spectacular Christmas cactus that decided to bloom on Thanksgiving. Also called Zygocactus, it’s really a Schlumbergera hybrid.

I’ve had this one for quite a while…

I found a pure white African violet at a local nursery and that’s the new addition to the fam. I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing and fun Sunday!

Sunday Blues

It was hot again but not quite as hot as the previous day. I took a break from yard work and gardening projects to lie on the deck and gaze up in wonder at the pure blue sky.

I turned my head a bit to the right and this yellow coreopsis was my view so I had to snap a pic.

Butterfly Breakfast

Look at this orange butterfly feasting on an orange zinnia!

I’ve never seen it before and I was so excited to learn this is a Gulf Fritillary or passion butterfly (Agraulis vanillae) They’re “longwing butterflies”, which have long, narrow wings compared to other butterflies. Gulf Fritillary is the only member of genus Agraulis. From Wiki.

#WordlessWednesday

An orange butterfly represents passion. An orange butterfly sighting can remind us to stay focused on or follow through with a plan or project until it’s complete.

The orange butterfly is associated with the sun, life, and consciousness. Spotting an orange colored butterfly can signify that a new dawn of healing and heart transformation is about to occur for someone who has been depressed or anxious.

Orange colored butterflies have also been associated with courtesy, friendliness, and liveliness.

Seeing an orange butterfly reminds us to stay positive.

Having an orange butterfly land on you or fly near you means that joy will soon come into your life in some unexpexted way.

An orange butterfly can also encourage us to be more socialble or outgoing, or seeing one can indicate that a visitor will soon arrive, or an invitation to a social event is coming–especially if the butterfly is flying inside or around the home.

Many believe that an orange butterfly represent rebirth. Seeing one often leads to a shift in perspective on something. https://www.butterflyinsight.com/orange-butterfly-color-meaning-and-myths.html

#WordlessWednesday

Nothing Rhymes with Orange

Is it true? Is there no word that rhymes with orange? Here’s what I found…

“Orange has almost no perfect rhymes. The only word in the 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary that rhymes with orange is sporange, a very rare alternative form of sporangium (a botanical term for a part of a fern or similar plant).” Lexicohttps://www.lexico.com

Anyway, here’s an orange zinnia.

I had planted a whole row but my garden bunnies LOVE zinnia flowers. I watched them eat every single one EXCEPT for this plant.

Photos taken at different times of the day; intense color versus sort of washed out by the sun.

Zinnias

Zinnias, stout and stiff,
Stand no nonsense: their colors
Stare, their leaves
Grow straight out, their petals
Jut like clipped cardboard,
Round, in neat flat rings.

Even cut and bunched,
Arranged to please us
In the house, in water, they
Will hardly wilt—I know
Someone like zinnias; I wish
I were like zinnias.

–Valerie Worth