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

Gardenia #WordlessWednesday

This was my mom’s favorite and sometimes I’ll get a plant so I can remember her by their fragrance, even though I’m sooo allergic.

I used to think gardenia and camellia were the same flower, but I learned that the gardenia is known for its intense perfume; less so the camellia. I never knew that!

Here’s to you, the original Charlotte, the first gardenia bloom on this hot summer’s day…

Midnight Lily

This Odessa Calla Lily (Zantedeschia rehmannii violacea) is dark as a moonless night. In shade, the deep purple bloom is nearly black. Today, sunshine illuminates the royal purple curve of the petals. It’s one of my favorite flowers, especially since it thrives in the hot summer sun of rain-deprived SoCal.

Spring Garden Tour

I took a look around and thought it’d be fun to share my other gardens at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

The little side yard next to the driveway…See the gigantic ceanothus to the left of the flowers? I thought it had died and now it’s taking over that entire space.

.

This is one of my favorite places; a rose arbor with a hideaway pond/waterfall along with chairs and a table, perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea.

This sweet smelling herb garden under the bedroom window is starting to bloom, too. Sage and flowering borage, also known as starflower:

Borage
Edible sage

We haven’t had any measurable April showers that would bring May flowers; such is the life of a SoCal garden. We’re halfway through the month with no rain in sight. We’ll need to enjoy these flowers until the summer heat and drought turns everything brown and drab.