I’ve always loved change; starting over with a new outlook, goal or idea invites challenges and keeps life interesting. If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been silent for the last months, it’s because we’ve moved to a different state. My husband and I spent seven months getting a house ready to sell, putting it on the market, selling it after one month, finding a new house and finally last week moving in.
I loved living in Connecticut and writing and photographing the beautiful gardens I nurtured for so many years, but I longed for a new place where winters weren’t so harsh.
Now I have a garden that has potential; a new challenge!
Although I do not know all the plants and shrubs that I now have in my yard, I’m including pictures of a few friendly faces.
Can you guess where I moved?
I’ve missed you! More to come; today, the furniture finally arrives.
See more: Weekly Photo Challenge
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Little Prince
I have always loved handmade cards, frames, photo books, scrapbooks, baskets, bookmarks, paintings, pictures, jewelry and sculptures. Special people create objects using their hands, and minds. Hours are spent getting it right; each one original, to be given to another person to admire, hold and love. A gift made from the heart.
And that’s why I love bird nests.
Bird nests – found over time, forgotten.
Resting on the ground, deserted, hiding in pergolas, abandoned on tree branches.
The size of my thumb, my hand, or larger.
Assorted sticks and dried leaves bound together with mud, remnants of colorful ribbons, pale yellow grasses, crumbly leaves, hair and soft fur.
Always sturdy and made to last.
Circular in form; woven pieces of nature.
Hours are spent getting it right; each one original.
Cradles holding baby birds; fragile wings stretched in contentment.
A gift made from the heart.
A valentine nest made by a mother and father robin.
The mother constructing it, the father bringing twigs.
Using mud she outlined the top of the nest in the shape of a heart.
A message of love.
Do you have blogs you love? The ones that make you smile every time you see a new post in your inbox? I love Lee May’s Gardening Life blog! I love Lee’s style of writing, his poetic voice; his love of mosses and stones, and the ever changing garden.
In the Fall Lee was diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t want to believe it. Yesterday, I received another post saying he had passed on December 3, 2014. All around me the world stopped as I let the sad news sink in. I had been praying for him, hoping he would recover.
Lee May had an extensive career in writing. He was a journalist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Los Angeles Times for more than twenty-five years. He was a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and recipient of many awards. Lee wrote two books: In My Father’s Garden and Gardening Life.
Favorite quotes from: Gardening Life
“As far back as I can remember, I have loved and appreciated gardening and life.”
I knew I had found a kindred spirit when I found out Lee loved mosses. “There is something retro about mosses. They are simple plants, recalling simpler times. Their uncomplicated nature enhances the role of a garden, any garden, as a pathway to calm and peace.”
Lee loved stones and had a collection of them in his garden and in his home. “Like all gardens, mine is ever changing and becoming, but it is held steady by stone. Stone offers the most strength, the most constancy. Stone is the closest to permanence. Many monuments and places of reflection are built of stone. People are drawn to these places to touch the stone and feel its power. And its peace, which rises from its strength.”
My heart goes out to Lee’s wife, Lyn, and his children and grandchildren. May they find comfort in knowing Lee’s words touched many people’s lives in powerful ways. He was a gifted writer and he will be always be remembered.
Now, every time I touch velvety mounds of moss or hold a stone in my hand I will think of Lee.
I still remember the basket. I was the first one to answer the door. “Is your mother home?” the man asked. “Just a minute,” I replied. I ran to get my mom. “We’d like to give this basket to you and your family. It’s from the church.” All of that for us? I couldn’t believe it. “That’s very kind of you, but I’m sure there’s someone who needs it more than we do,” said my mom. I never gave the basket much thought after we closed the door. I had all I needed: warm food, warm bed, a house full of siblings and loving parents.
Thank-you for my mom who taught me to take joy in what I already have.
Thank-you for my husband who completes me, and for my daughters who are kind and beautiful and who remind me every day that being a mom is a gift.
Thank-you for my older sister and my six younger brothers, my sister-in-laws and brother-in laws, nieces and nephews, and cousins; each a fiber in a tapestry of love.
Thank-you for my hands that work the soil, my eyes that notice the velvety mounds of moss, my ears that hear the cooing of morning doves, the taste of spring peas I grew myself, and the deep inside feeling of bliss I get each time I’m in the garden.
And Thank-you for my readers; who take the time to read my words.
Katherine Tracy, owner of Avant Gardens, recently posted something on her blog that caught my attention: The Slow Flower Challenge. Katherine attended a lecture given by Debra Prinzing. Debra spoke about her book: Slow Flowers. The book explains the importance of using flowers that are available locally rather than purchasing imported flowers. Debra is challenging herself to do that for a year. Katherine liked the idea, so she too took on the challenge and will use plant materials from her garden. Click on the link above to see the beautiful display Katherine created using plant materials from her garden, and read her entire post.
I agree with Debra and Katherine, and decided to also take on the challenge. Our gardens are a valuable resource that we should not ignore. With clippers in hand I went into the garden, cut branches from trees and shrubs, and snipped flowers and berries. I loved the challenge and come December, I will once again be in the garden.
These are the 9 plants I used:
My flower arrangement: