Blossoms of July

These (not mine) bluey-blue hydrangeas are amazingly beautiful.

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So is this dogwood (also not mine).

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But my own very rosy red hydrangea gift is special and belongs to me!

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That’s it. Nothing more to say, but enjoy the 4th!

Symmetry and Succulents

For me, when hell breaks loose all around, there is solace in symmetry and succulents.

My happy place. No matter what.

Garden; verb and noun.

Breathe.

Happy Saturday!

fullsizeoutput_dfdI love these little matching pots from Daiso. They kinda sorta remind me of Chanel quilting. The plant saucers, also from Daiso, were meant to hold ginger and wasabi for sushi.

fullsizeoutput_dfbNothing but a round sunny yellow plate with a variety of succulents, but they bring joy.

 

View at Medium.com

Hot summer day in the garden

Really hot for the beach…

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And probably super crowded, too difficult to maintain proper social distancing, so I’m here:

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with a couple friends …

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and some mulberries that aren’t quite ready…IMG_6688

along with some pretty pretty flowers…fullsizeoutput_df1fullsizeoutput_df2I’m enjoying all the lush and colorful garden because pretty soon no matter what I do, the grass will turn brown ‘cos we probably won’t have more rain until next winter and the dry hot SoCal Santana winds make watering a futile effort.

An evolution of blue

Since I’m pretty much a (willing) prisoner here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells just like we’re all enduring stay-at-home orders,  I decided to create a positive mindset and find the beauty inside and outside these four walls and my infinite garden.

Today, the sky is blueblueblue with occasional puffy clouds so I thought I’d focus on blue.

Cerulean, ultramarine, the shade of a Ceylon sapphire.More like a periwinkle blue, but still BLUE.

The blue of agapanthus, also known as Lily of the Nile, from bud to flower.

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After the caterpillar

May2020butterfly1The view from my kitchen window in the early morning light.

A perfectly symmetrical Monarch sunning herself on grape leaves.

Saturday.

 

(Taken with my Canon Rebel T3i)

Rock Rose

I love roses of all kinds but this one has nothing to do with Rowdy Rosie; a nickname I acquired in another life during a brief stay in Steamboat Springs. (Read about it here: https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/07/02/the-story-of-rowdy-rosie/)

This one’s a hardy garden rose that does well in drought conditions.

Cistus is a genus of flowering plants in the rockrose family Cistaceae, of which there are about twenty varieties.
It’s a perennial shrub found on dry or rocky soils throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal through to the Middle East, and also on the Canary Islands; they do really well in my SoCal garden.

I’ve had really good success propagating them, too. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Snip 6-inch cuttings off stems that have not yet flowered.
  2. Remove lower pairs of leaves, keeping only the topmost one or two pairs at the crest.
  3. Dipping the cuttings in powdered rooting hormones spurs root growth.

Perfect for a hot summer garden with no rain in sight.

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My love’s like a red, red rose

Robert Burns, of course.

I’ve been posting a lot about the beautiful flowers in my garden because I know how short lived it al is and I want to enjoy it while I can…soon the hot sun and blistering Santa Ana winds will dry up all the lush blooms. We had so much rain this season that it really looks like a floral fairyland at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

Another day, another rose, a very red one, not yet open.

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A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

O my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
O I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

 

And almost completely gone but still drunk with a dancer’s graceful elegance:IMG_9191

 

Self-isolating roses

All the rain we had in SoCal a couple weeks ago caused my roses to grow like crazy.

Planted at least six feet apart in order to comply with all social distancing orders, here’s a couple of little bouquets displayed in a Waterford crystal sugar and creamer, just because…

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…and my magical secret garden with a working windmill…

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…as well as an afternoon visit for snacks from Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, also complying with social distancing directives!

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I hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend!

Life Cycle of a Rose

Not about ME, haha,  but check out this most delicate ballet pink rose I’ve ever grown in the garden here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

The life cycle up to this point has been about a week long journey.

Just picked. The fragrance is so light and delicate. The very essence of a rose.

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The petals are starting to open a tiny bit more in response to the sun and being indoors.

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See the outer petals beginning to turn color? Still beautiful, though.

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This morning, in her full glory at five inches across. More discolored, faded, and less pink petals.

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Sweet rose. Almost at the end of her life, she selflessly shared all the joy and beauty she had to give. Soon, her petals will fall to the table and she’ll be gone.

How did this all get so depressing? Just like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Sheesh. I need to lighten up!

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And now this, the finality and death of a once beautiful and vibrant rose.

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Shaking off THAT doomed train of thought, here are more roses that I left unpicked in the garden.

Buds. Babies.

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I love the peach and red dual tone of these roses.

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Peppermint striped climbing roses. Very spicy fragrance.

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Finally, a rock rose, California native.

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All the rain we had in SoCal made a joyful garden.

Happy end of April and almost May, everyone!

 

Gangsta Butterfly

Rain of any kind in SoCal is something to be grateful for because for a brief moment, we can enjoy green and lush hills and gardens.

Now that we’re back to sunshiny blue skies again, I took pics of the lawn ‘cos it’ll never look this velvety smooth again.

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Even though I have the flu or some version of it in spite of a flu shot, no way would I miss spending an entire day working in the garden. Dirty hands, twigs in my hair, muddy shoes. HEAVENLY.

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But I wasn’t alone.

This happy gangsta butterfly not only followed me everywhere I was, but sat on my head for a few marvelous seconds, too! It’s too bad I couldn’t snap a pic but it was impossible, so you’ll have to trust me. Fluttering and flapping wings all around my face and head. And listen to the birds! So much joy.

Was there a message or a lesson the butterfly was attempting to convey? Or maybe just a shared joie de vivre?

We can coexist in peace, my friendly Mourning Cloak butterfly.

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Yes, s/he was upside down or maybe I was upside down? It’s all in your perspective. Totally LOVING the apple blossoms.

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Knowing that our rains are brief, all the plants put their best foot forward. The rosemary is a riot of blue flowers and bees.

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Bees, so many bees!

 

Happy all planets direct and Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse tonight!