Friday, May 30, 2014

Delightful, graceful Canterbury Bells

The Canterbury Bells I grew are in the glass vase, with some sweet peas of a similar color.
I adore Canterbury Bells, and planted two small plants in 4 inch size containers two years ago. The first year they form a low clump, and the second year they grow 2 feet to 3 feet tall and are loaded with the violet blue flowers. The flowers are 1 to 2 inches long.
Canterbury Bells can be grown readily from seed (I read this), and come in white, pink, blue and purple. Their Latin name is Campanula medium, also called Bell Flowers.
I took the first photo below on May 30 when they are in full bloom. The next two photos were taken as they began to bloom in mid-May. I have seen a few bees go inside them and fly away happy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Reading This Week

I do love me some reading. Are you with me on this?
This is a painting by Fragonard.
I almost time travel when reading certain books. In that way I recently returned from Egypt in 1922, whilst reading "The Visitors", a novel by Sally Beauman, with a 12 year old girl as the center of the story, and the discovery of King Tut's tomb the exciting story line. I give this book five stars and reviewed it on Amazon.
Although fiction the author did a lot of research and many actual historical figures are in the novel, including Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, two men who toiled for years looking for the tomb.
There is even a connection to the Downton Abbey series, since Lord Carnarvon and his family lived in Highclere Castle, the estate where Downton Abbey is filmed.
Now I am reading "Destroyer Angel" by Nevada Barr, a book that is very fast paced and that I don't want to put down. Two women and their two teen daughters are kidnapped by thugs while on a wilderness trip, and Anna must try to save them.
Soon I aim to read "The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar" by Martin Windrow, a true account of a man and his owl, and "Have a Nice Guilt Trip" by Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, which sounds like it will induce laughs. I hope so.
What are y'all reading?
May 28, afternoon. I was sad to hear that Maya Angelou died today. To honor her today I bought the 4th book in her autobiography, "The Heart of a Woman", and the few pages I read show it to be fascinating. She was someone I would love to have lunch and a chat with.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Bouquet

Note the reflection of the gift bouquet.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My mom and a poem about moms

Happy Mothers Day to All Moms, here and in Heaven.
This photo is of my mom and dad and little me.
I can not imagine a better mom or dad than the two I was given.
I believe we will meet again in Heaven one day.

The Watcher - Mother
She always leaned to watch for us,
Anxious if we were late,
In winter by the window,
In summer by the gate;

And though we mocked her tenderly,
Who had such foolish care,
The long way home would seem more safe,
Because she waited there.

Her thoughts were all so full of us -
She never could forget!
And so I think that where she is,
She must be watching yet,

Waiting til we come home to her,
Anxious if we are late -
Watching from heaven's window,
Leaning from heaven's gate.
                by Margaret Widdemer

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Meet Me By the Gate flower

Some flowery photos from our home.
This is an easy to grow, no care or low care flower, called Meet Me By the Gate or Jupiter's Beard.
It is growing next to the garage and our alley where it gets no watering and no food. It is found growing wild in difficult places in California, and comes in white, pale pink and this darker pink.
I learned of the name Meet Me By the Gate when we lived in the country and the lady on our neighboring farm told me that name, which I think is charming.
So, in honor of our neighbor Ann, this flower will always be Meet Me By the Gate to me.
When I went to a garden center many years ago to buy one, the worker said "oh those are weeds, we don't sell them." I felt like she had hurt the feelings of these pretty plants. Of course there weren't any around at the plant store to hear her mean words.
As you can see from the photos I did find a plant or two to buy elsewhere.
The official name is Centranthus ruber, also called Red Valerian. Do not confuse it with Valerian, a different plant. Butterflies love this plant, so it is extra good to add to your garden. A native of the Mediterranean it is naturalized in the USA, Great Britain and Australia.
Happy gardening to you this May.