Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Heliotrope, a favorite plant and scent

Heliotrope has a sweet scent, light and like sugar. I love scented plants including some Asiatic lilies like Tom Pouce, with beautiful flowers whose scent can fill a room. Heliotrope has a more delicate fragrance and is not overpowering the way some lilies and other flowers are. Once I brought a Tom Pouce bloom to work and a co-worker said it was a bit much so I took it home the next day.
I planted three kinds of Heliotrope this year, which can grow in compact form to ten inches tall or other varieties as tall as 2 to 3 feet tall, and is good in zones 9-11. I put two in pots and will bring them inside before weather gets too cold. The other two are planted in the ground so I hope they will winter over ok.
The above photos are of my True Beauty Heliotrope which I planted September 10, 2016 in a large container. I also planted two Atlanta Heliotrope and one Heliotropium Scentropia Blue. Heliotrope is often called Cherry Pie Flower due to its delicious scent.  As you can see, the leaves are dark green and very attractive. The Heliotropes I mention here are Common Heliotrope or Heliotropium arborescens, not to be confused with Garden Heliotrope or Valariana officinalis (which I have not planted).
Do you have favorite or unusual fragrant plants?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Beginnings: Enchanted April

Here is the beginning of "The Enchanted April" by Elizabeth von Armin.
Mrs. Wilkins at her Woman's Club in London on a miserable February day read the following in the Agony Column in the London Times.
"To those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine. Small mediaeval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be Let furnished for the month of April. Necessary servants remain."
Wow, I think her life will take an excited turn this April.
I am linking with Book Beginnings

Here is a quote from 56 percent of my Kindle book.
"Often she had met wives who didn't want their husbands either, but that made them none the less indignant if they thought somebody else did, and none the less sure, when they saw them hanging round Scrap, that she was trying to get them."
I am linking to Friday 56
There was a movie made of this book in 1935 and in 1992.
I just finished reading "The Enchanted April" and it now has a place of honor in my top 25 all time favorite books. Easy to read and full of happy surprises for these four troubled ladies.
Thanks to Jennifer for recommending this book, on her blog at Sparrow Tree Journal

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Mary

Serene beautiful Mary who has been in our garden for twenty years.
I am linking to Wordless Wednesday
Here is quote from Saint Therese of Lisieux, April 1895, which has the image of a shower of roses.
"I have given nothing but love to God and He will repay with love. After my death I will let fall a shower of roses."
I first read this quote quite a while ago on the blog Shower of Roses

Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Beginnings: A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers

This book surprised me in the best way. Most of the people in "A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers" by Michael Holroyd are not very familiar to me. While reading this biographical book I found the people fascinating and began to care about them.
In the hills above the small Italian town of Ravello is the Villa Cimbrone which pulls them all together, including the author and his wife, Margaret Drabble.
Here is the quote for Book Beginnings:
"On 24 February 1905 Rodin dines in London with a new benefactor Ernest Beckett (shortly to emerge, like a butterfly from its chrysalis, as the second Lord Grimthorpe).  page 8
I am linking to Book Beginnings
Some of the people Holroyd writes about: Violet Trefusis (author and lover of Vita Sackville-West). Alice Keppel, mother of Violet and mistress to Ernest Beckett, the second Lord Grimthorpe and famously mistress to the Prince of Wales. Vita Sackville-West and her strong marriage to Harold Nicolson yet she had a passionate lesbian affair with Violet. Eve Fairfax, muse to Auguste Rodin. There are many interesting stories here.
Meanwhile the romantic Villa Cimbrone is a character in the lives of these people.
Here is a link to Friday 56
"The focus of Ernest's life had now moved to the Villa Cimbrone. It was a vision: a magic place to which, he believed, he would always return. For what he sought on his travels, what answered his dreams, he would bring back to Cimbrone, hoping to make it the centre of his life." p.64 (not page 56, I know!). 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Apples and I love the seasons

I love the seasons and even living in California I do experience them.

 I grew up in Wisconsin where the seasonal changes are more dramatic. Is there anything in nature more lovely than when the leaves of trees turn fall colors? Winter in Wisconsin means snow, pure white and snowflakes falling gently or heavily. I miss that. Eventually in my beloved Wisconsin snow becomes grey slush and icy driving conditions appear so that is the down side of cold winters. Seasonal changes are definitely more subtle here, but they are here. My tomatoes give up in September and then I can plant a fall veggie garden which I did last weekend.
May Sarton wrote of the autumn that
"For the joys a garden brings are already going as they come. They are poignant. When the first apple falls with that tremendous thud, one of the big seasonal changes startles the heart."
"Plant Dreaming Deep", 1968.
I am using a patio chair to support the heavily weighed apple tree branches from this old tree in our back yard. Our apples are organic, no spray used. The ones that fall to the ground are very fragrant. When we owned an apple tree orchard the fallen apples were fed to happy pigs.
We don't know what kind of apples these are as we did not plant them, but they are a bit tart and ideal for apple crumble and apple pie. A friend on Facebook suggests these are Gravenstein apples and my husband says she may be right.
If you can tell by the photos, let me know what kind of apples these are.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Autumn: poem by Emily Dickinson

Autumn will soon be here.
Emily Dickinson had this to say about the season:
The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.

The photo was taken by my husband Will on a trip to Connecticut in autumn.

Friday, September 16, 2016

"My Garden" poem by T.E. Brown

My Garden
A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!
Rose plot,
Fringed pool,
Fern'd grot -
The veriest school
of peace; and yet the fool
Contends that God is not -
Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool?
Nay, but I have a sign;
'Tis very sure God walks in mine."

Written by Thomas Edward Brown. 1830-1897. Victorian scholar, teacher, poet, and theologian, from the Isle of Man.
For my dear blog friends with different beliefs, please don't mind this poem, I wanted to share this because it is beautiful. Some poets from Victorian times have a mystical way with words.
The flowers are Canterbury bells and nasturtiums in my garden.