Posts Tagged ‘roses’

Work in Progress

We are getting back to normal at the Bass household these days.  Our visit from Glenda has come and gone already.  That is hard to believe.  The following weekend was a visit from my husband’s brother.  Both he and his wife were down, but wife was at a class reunion and brother got to have some free time.  So the brothers enjoyed a morning of kayak fishing in our sweltering heat.  Still, the water was beautiful as always.

Meanwhile, I am working on a new blogging project that I will share soon.  I’m making some changes, but this time change is good.  I can’t wait to fill you in.  So for now, I’ll just share a few pictures/sites that I love.

You know we love our chickens.  Owning chickens (or CHOOKS as they are called in Australia) has become a popular hobby.  Anytime I see someone’s coop and yard, I have to save the picture.  I love our set up and will look for some pictures I already have on hand.  In the near future, I will take some pictures of all the upgrades that have taken place in our yard and house.  It all looks so great!

This is one of my favorites.  I’m not sure where I found it, so unfortunately I cannot give credit where credit is due.  Love, love, love the roses and chickens together.

Then there is this entry from Heather Bullard’s site.  Heather is the senior editor of Flea Market Style magazine.   Check out their new blog at the link.  She is also an accomplished photographer, so all the pics are her own.   She and her “man” visited Santa Monica and found this set-up behind a store they visited.  So charming!!  She says that the children of a family come in daily to tend to the hens.  How sweet is that?.  Click on the link to see all the pictures from her post.  You will want to add her sites to your favorites to visit often.  I have!  We have said that our next coop (when would we need a next one?) would be a walk-in type and this is great inspiration.

Sbcoop1

I had intended to show our own pictures next, but I believe they are saved in my other computer.  So I will wait and take current pictures to share instead.  While you wait, here is our kitty….Gracie Allen Bass.  She is sitting on top of the opened chicken coop door, but appears to have her eye on something in the distance.  She is our miracle cat who survived a near fatal dog attack a few years ago.  She has even had one of her hind hip sockets removed as a result, but seems good as new these days.  When we have had a few rainy or chilly days she looks to maybe have some arthritic pain there though.  She is a beauty!

If I hadn’t started painting, I would have raised chickens. ~ Grandma Moses

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All Grown Up

Almost every day is filled with something wonderful and something not so wonderful. 

Here are some of my wonderful moments so far today:  My granddaughter, Kloe, gave me a sweet soy-milky smile while wrapped in her daddy’s arms as I kissed her forehead goodbye this morning (I kissed my son’s forehead too.)  My husband brought home a beautiful pint of blackberries from his walk to the grocery store.  All day I have been thinking of delicious ways to enjoy them and was once again reminded how I love that we can walk to the grocery store.  At lunch today, I began reading a beloved book, A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach (more on that later).

Here are some not-so-wonderful moments.  While sitting in my truck at lunchtime, enjoying my beloved book, I noticed how old my arms are starting to look.  Scars on my hands and some new cuts from pruning dead wood from my roses add to the damage caused by growing up in the Florida sun.  It was a not-so-gentle reminder that I’m almost 50.  (I still have 3 years to go, but my husband likes to call it almost 50.  Thanks, dear.)  Then I glanced again at the cover of A Way to Garden and noticed my favorite part:  the author’s hands look like my hands did this past weekend, covered in dirt with dirt embedded in my nails.  It has taken me almost three days to finally get the last of the dirt out and it doesn’t even bother me!  (So did I categorize this correctly after all?) 

In my constant struggle with my weight and how I really want to live, I feel defeated that I give up on my attempts to eat gluten-free/vegan.  It is truly what I want to eat and be, but it is an effort when I am the only person in my household who embraces it.  I am encouraged to be that, but I am the only one to eat that way, so that means two different meals or variations of a meal.  I don’t have the energy for all the prep and the result is that I will not be presenting my best self to my long-awaited friend.  (I hear my husband telling me that I am too hard on myself.  Yes, I know and I know that only I can make it happen.) 

And finally, I have just learned that a dear colleague where I work has died.  He was sick for about a year.  His quality of life was not good, so does one feel sad or silently rejoice that he is now in peace and with the Lord? (Perhaps both?) When a friend said to me, “Why does this always have to happen to the good ones?”  I found myself saying, “We will all have our day.” 

When I hung up the phone I thought, wow, I feel like an adult….all grown up to know that I will not live forever on this earth.  I pray I will live forever elsewhere, as I pray this gentleman does as well.  I even feel comfortable expressing my wishes for my own end.  I want to be cremated with some of my ashes scattered at the Bass Harbor Head Light on the coast of Maine and the remaining planted in the ground with a new tree in someone that I love’s yard; be it my son’s or one (or more) of my grandchildren’s yard.  I am hoping that it will be a long time off and that all my grandchildren will be all grown up with yards of their own and can say “That’s Grandma’s tree.  She is planted there too.”  This may gross some people out and may greatly upset my mother, but I really don’t want to be buried in a cemetery taking up space where some trees and flowers could be growing instead.  And NO FUNERAL!!!  I want a party, if the living feel there must be something.  It is depressing enough that a loved one has passed, but to have everyone endure a week or more of preparation so everyone can stare at my casket and weep?  No thank you.  When a friend died a year or so ago, we all met up by the beach to honor her love of the beach.  It was lovely. I want that.  Eat, drink, and be merry.  Shed a tear if you feel you must, but be outside enjoying all of nature…the trees, the birds, the flowers, the water — all the things that I love.  Play my favorite music.  And just to save my mom from the phone call that I know will follow this post, No, Mom.  I am not sick.  I am fine, just all grown up.  I love you very much and will see you soon!

And so while we all speak of our friend’s death, we also prepare to welcome another colleague’s granddaughter who is in the process of being born right now.   It is a continuum. 

So bascially, in their own way, all the moments have wonderfulness in them.  Even those originally considered not so.  When one can have these thoughts, see the good and accept the not so good, but carry on nonetheless….that is pretty wonderful. 

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”  …Unknown

“If growing up is the process of creating ideas and dreams about what life should be, then maturity is letting go again.”    …Mary Beth Danielson

 

Picture Day, revisited…

Sharing the bounty from the garden:  big bouquet of herbs (basil, dill, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, thyme), small bouquet of flowers (roses, jasmine, salvia, lavender), and eggs from the girls.

Some pretty spring sweeties still holding on.  These only get morning sun, then spend the rest of the day in the shade.

Front porch vignette.

The black urn was filled with violas.  A seed or two dropped into the pot below and viola!  The urn of violas have already said goodbye, but this one is still holding on.  Very sweet.

We are in high gear getting ready for our Australian guest.  Painting, painting, and still more painting going on still.  Hopefully this weekend will see it to the end.  So tired…

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

Stopping by Wood on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

Where my heart is today…

The only David Austen rose that ever grew for me. 

A little water, a little sunshine, and I’m good!

Sweet lavender.

Crazy climber…

My prettiest dill ever.  I think I’ll plant some more.

Happy endings.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  Chinese Proverb

Show and Tell Day

It’s picture day! 

 

These are the two plants I got at Giverny for the soon-to-be finished sunroom: a moss and a maidenhair fern.  I wished I had saved the actual name of the moss, which I have never grown before.  I have to get better about that.  And yes, that is dust on that shelf.  With construction still in progress, I can’t seem to stay ahead of it.

 

This is the top of our 6 foot high fence in the background of the picture below.  I have never had a rose thrive as much as this one has.  That is the plus of investing in Fortuniana rootstock.  It is adapted for our tropical climate.  It is worth the extra $5 or so.

“The Fortuniana Rose is a natural hybrid apparently developed from the two species roses, Rosa Laevigata ,”The Cherokee Rose” and Rosa Banksia, “Lady Bank’s Rose.” Both of these varieties, as well as Fortuniana, thrive in the southern climate and sandy soils. Fortuniana rootstock not only allows the rose to grow faster, it will also greatly increases the plant’s vigor and the size of its blooms.” from CoolRoses.com (a local rose nursery).

Confederate jasmine…..busting out and smelling pretty!  It is growing amongst honeysuckle also.

This beauty, oddly enough,  is called Golden Dew Drop….not for the showy purple blooms, but because of the seeds.  If you wait to deadhead these, and let them go to seed, you will be rewarded with a string of golden berries….golden dew drops.  If it gets unruly, you can prune it down to about a foot and it will start again.  It is very hardy here.  I LOVE purple flowers in the garden which is what attracted me to this in the first place.  I believe there is a white flowering version of it as well.  It can be trained to grow as a shrub or a single tree. 

This is my “cracker” rose purchased from Giverny last spring.  I had two.  They were not thriving in their first location, so I pulled them up and pruned them way back in the hopes of giving them a new life.  This one made and is covered with blooms and buds.  I have to think the manure compost has something to do with it.

 This is all that is left of my morning glories.  They have gone to seed.  I have just started actually gathering seeds from plants such as this.  I emptied the little pods into a jar and will keep them until next season.  Each pod had four seeds, so next winter I’ll have them in abundance!

A passion vine growing on top of the chicken coop and intermingling with the cedar tree.  I’ll have to trim it back before it chokes the tree.  It was once a little cedar sapling that my grandmother hid in her purse and brought back from Alabama on a plane.  It made her feel like a renegade!  The tree is now over ten feet tall and still growing.  If I ever move, the tree will have to come with me….no matter how big.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANIMAL FARM…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 “Hey, Mom….you didn’t really want this rosemary branch, right?” asks Levi (the almost two year old Beagle).

Dog day afternoon…Jasper takes a nap wherever he can find a cool spot, even if it is in the dirt.  Great…

Three of seven chickens asking if I have brought them a treat.  They are a little spoiled.

Five of the Dixie Chicks partake of a scratch grain treat from Dad.  In this picture….two Ameraucanas, two Barred Rocks, and Lucy…the Rhode Island Red.

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