Monday, February 20, 2017

My little life...

Mornings are pleasantly cold, and we are still stacking wooly blankets on favorite sitting areas and beds for extra coziness and warmth.  Dark clouds and rain have hung over our woods for a while, but right after mid-day things start to pleasantly change around here... and it is almost as if by then the sun starts to wake up and all of a sudden remembers what his duties are—to warm the earth, and shine upon my little soul in a thousand blessings... 


And thus, I've been living my days outside again; enjoying my surroundings, touching the earth, and dancing with my wild nature. I have started spring cleaning my favorite place on earth; painting every flower pot and garden furniture I can take my hands on, as I'd do every year at the end of winter, and I'm almost done getting all the roses ready for the upcoming season; cleaning up the area around them, fertilizing and adding new soil.


It is so amazing to me to see all my rose bushes fully clad in new shiny green leaves already.  It's hard to believe this is only February!  Which brings to mind the fact that we are pleasantly three months ahead in the growing season from my gardens at the house in the roses, where I had to wait until May to start seeing the first few new growth on my dear roses... how did my garden-lover soul endured this back then, I don't know.


The pond is all done now.  We have installed the liner and have lay all the stones around it and in it... overlapping them among each other and using smaller ones to fill those sizable gaps.  It is so nice to see the water level not dropping any more!


Today we brought home ten little goldfish that we're hoping will survive the grasps of raptors, at least until spring arrives... soon we'll be adding aquatic plants and maybe a koi or two too, then I will sit down and wait for the frogs, tadpoles and snails to find their home here.  Right now the area surrounding the pond is unfilled and bared of vegetation, but soon all those big leaves of the Elephant Ear plants will be gracing flowing waters, and the huge lime green pom-poms of the Annabelle hydrangea will reflect their shapes on dancing waters again.  I'm hoping that the Astilbes I planted around the pond last year and never saw, will thrive this year, and I'm thinking I need to do something with that bridge... like mosaic it, or paint it?  


A few months ago this winter I finally got to meet our new neighbor across the street, Don Manuel, a 70 plus year old retiree who in many ways reminds me of my father and who's always working on improving his home; doing this or that. I love to see him digging a new trench around a flowerbed or working on whatever new project he's on from across our little white cottage whenever I'm outside. The other day, Don Manuel decided to change every single door in his home and yesterday he offered me to take as many of his 'old' doors as I wanted... and how could I say no to an old door?  I picked a small double door, separated them and painted them in Lagoon blue to match my old shutters and garden furniture. I then placed them on each side of this window, and brought this statue to the pond.  Behind her I will be planting some of the Hyacinth Bean seeds I collected this fall from the vine on the front porch. I can hardly wait to see this lovely vine producing its dark crimson red foliage and deep purple flowers on this corner of the pond...


Can you believe this is the same angle of the pond as in the previous pic...
only in summer!




You can hardly see the wall


I'm thinking I should remove the irises out of there and find a better place for them where their beauty can be better appreciated.  But that will be later, when I start dividing hostas and lilies...


I'm also planting more Creeping Jenny around the pond.  I like how this ground cover grows long enough to cover the sides of the pond almost to the water; blending it to its surroundings... and I think I should come out more often at night and see if perhaps I can finally hear the mermaids sing...


I'm excited and can hardly contain myself whenever I think about my garden and the magical feelings brought by the growing season.  I'm determined to planting more flowering shrubs in containers and have started with a lovely Azalea Formosa.  I want a camellia or two, and if I knew it will survive, I'll also plant a lemon tree too!  


I'm still trying to find the time to start working on the dresser I have sitting in my garage, and I know I need to do this soon, but the garden has kept me busy and light-hearted, and dizzy with excitement I haven't been able to think of working inside.  Life is so beautiful and unpredictable.  We must find the time to enjoy every little moment that's given to us.  Find the time to love more, to listen more, to pray more... so like the season, we can grow in spiritual fruits... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A diary...

Monday

And the sun is been warming up the land strongly, and I have been taking my plants outside a little bit every day to have them acclimatized.  And I have find out that the precious bougainvillea I'd given it for dead is pretty much alive and it is now putting out precious little leaves on every spiky branch.  I also started spring cleaning the garden, little by little removing debris and mountains of dead leaves that's been accumulating throughout the winter on flowerbeds and such.  I have also started painting flower pots, and the other day I finally planted all those bulbs I had purchase a months ago, which were already putting forth shoots already in their bag.  Now I need to add new soil and fresh bark on every flowerbed, and I'm thinking that a new cloak of pea pebbles on the beautiful pea pebble paths may be needed.  


Last Sunday we finally bought the pond liner that's so much needed to finally keep the pond functioning effectively and looking like a real pond.  Our pond is concrete and aside from the fact that it has a leak, and that the water level drops considerably, I had never liked that we chose to painted it white instead of black.  If you have a pond, you'd know that any other color that's not black looks pretty nasty once the coating of algae starts to grow on the pond walls. You can't keep the algae off... it is normal and healthy and should be left alone. But against any color, it looks bad. That's why pond liners are usually always black. The black will not be so dark once the water is in and the algae starts to grow.  I can't hardly wait to start working on that project!




Tuesday

I have planted my two first pots—unconventional flower pots I should say... for this time I didn't planted flowers, but vegetables!  And I am at awe at myself for opting to plant vegetables instead of flowers as this had never been my preference, nor had it ever cross my mind to embellish my flowerpots with vegetables... but when we visited Charlotte, SC I was amazed at the lovely flower pots and window boxes people everywhere filled with vegetables and herbs—rosemary, and chard; and they looked amazing and exotic, particularly the chard with its beautiful deep green leaves and red stalks.  




And thus, I have opted to grow vegetables in containers to embellish my backyard porch, which I want to turn into an oasis secret garden of sort with all kind of containers and such... 



I'm wondering if palms would adapt to this area.  I see people everywhere in Fl growing lovely palms in containers, and I want one, or two, but don't know what to do with it in the winter time.  The huge, beautiful Macho Fern I bought last year didn't make it outside.  I had this idea, or had read somewhere before that these plants can endure harsh winters, and thus I left it outside, but that was not the case.  How lucky of you those girls in FL that you can grow all those lush, exotic tropical plants and have them all year too.  One day I will move to FL and will have an amazing tropical secret garden.   Magical things have come true for me time after time after time, so yeah I believe in dreams coming true... 

  

More more, many more containers to go here... a Macho Fern, a palm or two, birds of paradise and a lemon tree.


I raked more leaves and debris off the flowerbeds and added new soil to containers and beds where all the newly planted bulbs are.  The vinca is now almost out of the flowerbeds in its entirety.  Last fall I started the pulling work and have finished now with what was left.  Never again would I chose vinca for the ground and only use it in containers... they are the most annoying invasive plants ever if you leave them on the ground.  They grow unruly and messy looking as summer progress, and will take over everything for sure.  My garden will look so much cleaner and prettier without them!

Wednesday

I continued with the spring cleaning project in the garden today; removed mountains of leaves and yucky stuff and painted a few more flowerpots.  How did all those dead leaves got blown away the previous spring and the previous and the previous I don't know?  Where did they go?  I'm sure this place was not looking this disheveled last spring, when the sun was shinning strong and flowers were starting to bloom.  Nature never ceases to amaze me with the way it has about making things appear, disappear and reappear in the garden.   Keeping this place looking like a formal garden it seems just such an impossible thing right now.  So much debris!  So much unwanted stuff accumulated between, over and under every corner!  And is one supposed to be spring cleaning a wood anyway?  Because it seems that's what I'm doing.  Such an impossible endeavors trying to keep this wild woodsy place a garden... 


I had quite the miserable night last night in relation to the issues that are affecting my health lately.  Why do bad nights seem to never have an ending?  It is almost like living in some eternal lapse of time when all you see and all you feel is daunting darkness all around.  Around you, and over you and inside you, and you feel as if your body and mind are not yours; they've been rip stolen from you, and with the eyes of your soul you see those parts of you hanging from the fingertips of some strange deity without a face.  Morning light seems so far away. 

This afternoon the Fisherman decided to work from home and when he was done we went outside and trimmed off some of the bushes and bramble that were pushing against the walls at the end of the garden, already trying to get in.  And then, out of the spur of the moment and the sunshine and warmth hugging our souls came this determination of working on the pond.  One of the biggest projects we had planned for this spring, and almost done now.  Out came every stone big and small, all the debris and trash accumulated there over the winter.


Now, we let dry and start working on installing the liner... I can almost see it—the water sparkling and fish swimming!



Monday, February 13, 2017

This and that and another birthday celebrated

I want a Cheshire cat to live in my garden forever.  I want to hide a star in a Byzantine jewelry box decorated in jade and black velvet, and hold it on the palm on my hand whenever I want.  I want to open my magical jewelry casket every time my soul's light is weak and see my star erasing all darkness away.  I want a magical orange tree in the heart of my garden with fruits that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them, and I want to be a famous girl drummer.  A bohemian-style wild hair kind of a girl drummer, dressed in crystal embellished frocks, over-the-knee boots, fringe-adorned dresses, and velvety shawls.  In another dream, I see myself in a totally different light.  I'm holding a shinny violoncello between my knees. The body of the cello gently resting against my chest, whilst I balance it between my knees; eyes closed, head turning towards where the music leads... same Stevie Nick's knee-high boots and bohemian layers style, but instead of the wild girl drummer, I'm a passionate melodious, gentle cello girl.  Oh yes, I'm pretty sure I am two women in one...   


The Fisherman is having another birthday today, so we celebrate his day and Valentine's Day in one day, which it really is the same to me in representation of love, and what love really means.  It's pointless to decorate the little white cottage for Valentine's Day.  I find this practice tacky in every way, and instead try to gather all these meaningful thoughts in my heart and keep them there for the rest of the year... endurance, friendship, acceptance, forgiveness, romance, passion, and partnership—this should be an everyday thing, don't you think so?  The initial intensity of love may lessens with time and age, but what grows up around it is a huge amount of shared experience and fulfillment that can seem to eclipse that intensity.  Love then becomes more exciting, passionate, hilarious, fulfilling, etc., all the time.  It is not magic.  But it is!

I love when in the morning the sun slides this way and this other way on the horizon until it finally rests upon this corner of our little white cottage... the light streaming through the windows on this part of the house has the power to create something beautiful, and magical in me.

  
Mornings are still cold around here, and for more that I want to get outside and start working the soil, I must wait.  If it gets a little warmer this afternoon, I will start removing dead leaves and debris from the flowerbeds.  In the mean time, I will continue drawing beauty and strength from my little jungle inside the house... all those houseplants and potted plants winterizing inside the house; which I should say, are doing wonderful, and growing greener and suppler everyday. 

  




The Fisherman got me some little lights the other day... I'm lighting up the inside of the kitchen shelves.  I need more lights for the upper shelving, but I'm already loving all that aqua coming to life and pretty dishes that now I can see.





A few weeks ago I bought a bunch of bulbs that I should be planting anytime soon.  It may be a little early in the year for this, but every store I go to are already packing shelves with perennials and bulbs, and it's hard to contain oneself when you are a gardener or a garden lover and winter becomes too long... 




I've been working on a few projects inside the house.  Last months I found these large lamps at our local thrift store and brought them home.  I had big plans for them.  


And thus, they got glamorized a bit...


To match with my living room decor...


Perfection!



I hope you're enjoying each moment with a joyful heart.  Don't think that everything is peachy-happy in my life, because it isn't.  Having to deal with chronic pain and discomfort seems to be my everyday cup of tea lately, but I still believe that positive emotions, faith in an ever-powerful everlasting God, love, purpose, determination, and humor boosts disease fighting immune cells... and there's joy.

See you soon!






Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mrs. Whaley's Charleston Garden

Yesterday while the Fisherman was at meetings all morning I decided to go out for myself and lose my soul in the old cobblestone streets of Charleston.  I cannot love this city anymore I already do, for I have been forevermore enchanted, and my heart sits under the spells of courtyard gardens, historical churches and haunted cemeteries.  Detailed iron ornamentation wrought by hand or cast graces each home and gate, grilles, shutter guards and foot scrapes and window boxes and potted plants graces each entrance, each window, each wall.  I needed to go back to Mrs. Whaley's old house on Church St.  And so I did, and this time I was graciously invited to go into the walled garden where Mrs. Emily Whaley spent so many hours of her days embellishing the world for whoever wanted to see... Even in winter time, the garden holds an enchantment to it that draws you to God and Nature inevitably.  Azaleas carpeting mossy walls are already putting up buds, and camellias bushes as tall as trees bend with flowers in beauty I had never seen.  Green, wet mossy charm encompasses every spot, every statuary coming to life under a perpetual sleepiness and peaceful quietness that make you walk as if soaring low.   Here are some images I hope you'll enjoy!  Come on... let's go in!


If you are intrigued enough to look this book up on Amazon, here is the link.
 


I only had to read a couple of sentences about it before I put it in my basket.  I can only tell you what an absolute delight it is.  Yes, it is mostly about the garden, but it is also full of anecdotes and recipes and general advice.  It is a small book and would make the most excellent gift to any person who enjoys anything to do with gardens.

I'll talk about the most eccentric, yet beautiful cemetery I discovered while on my walk in another post... See you soon!


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