Benched Contemplation

“Seated here in contemplations lost, my thought discovers vaster space beyond, supernal silence and unfathomed peace.”  ~Giacomo Leopardi~ The brother was home this past weekend. While we always find a craft beer or two during a visit, those visits always come with walking. Walking a county or state trail, walking downtown Appleton after a meal, walking in brewery tour, or walking through botanical gardens. (Someone has a hard time sitting for too long.) This past Saturday, we made the driveRead more

Gone

Gone are the flowers of summer. Burgundy, pink and white. They lived forever, it seems. Through rain and blazing sun bright. Gone are the hues of precious petals. The colors that swathed the porch. They lived forever, it seems. And held nature’s beautiful torch. Gone are the leaves that climbed and spread. The vine as it followed its trail. They could have lived forever, it seems. Impatiens under the guise of frail. Gone are the flowers, into an empty field.Read more

#WATWB: Rescuing the Monarch Butterfly

Super Monarch What’s small, has orange wings with black veins and flies to Mexico for the winter? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s a Monarch Butterfly. Endangerment From Madison Audubon Society: “Monarch butterflies are important pollinators in Wisconsin. Population levels have declined in the U.S. by 90% over the last 20 years. The U.S. Dept. of the Interior is considering placing the monarch butterfly on the Endangered Species List, and the Wisconsin DNR is actively encouragingRead more

Thursday Doors: The Florist

It’s almost flower planting time here in Zone 4. By the time Memorial weekend arrives at the end of May, most gardeners and plant/flower lovers will have thrown their favorite flowers and vegetables into the ground or in pretty clay pots. I’m a plant/flower lover with not-so-pretty plastic pots. It made sense for me (my car insisted) to make a slight detour on Saturday to check out a local florist’s early offerings in the Garden Center, greenhouse, and gift store.Read more

Re-Purposed in a Pot

Weekly Photo Challenge: “Show us something that you’ve recycled or repurposed, or an object for which you’ve discovered a clever new use.” Who would have guessed that a metal glass jar ring would end up in an aloe vera plant? Normally, such an object would serve to hold a metal lid tight to a jar filled with succulent Georgia peaches, red-ripe garden tomatoes, or crunchy bread-and-butter pickles. Instead, this ring was used to hold up a section of the plantRead more

Botanical Beauty

The brother was here this weekend, a quick visit for Mother’s Day. When he’s here, there are always specific places he likes to go – restaurants, brew pubs, points of interest – that are unique to the area. On Saturday, we headed north to the Green Bay Botanical Garden, per brother’s request. I’ve been there several times, for every season (except winter), and never tire of the display. We weren’t sure what to expect, so it was extremely delightful thatRead more

Color of Summer Love

The past five days were filled with family, friends, food, music, laughter, visits to local brew pubs, and a walk through gardens of color. I’m still recovering from the food and brew pub portion, along with two nights sleeping on the sofa. I need a few extra days at the gym and a 10-hour nap. In the last two weeks, I’ve been surrounded by the color of summer love with visits to West of the Lake Gardens in Manitowoc andRead more

Hit and Run Patio

I survived the past five days of theater, concert, funeral, mom, shopping, church and business trip. I’m a tad bit tired, especially after an earlier, very sweaty yoga class. All I can muster up this evening is a hit-and-run of the patio gardens that Natasha and I tend. First up: Black-eyed Susan vines and a lucky turtle. Clematis and Sun-Patiens We celebrate the Fourth of July all summer long. And can’t get enough of pink impatiens, even the out-of-focus ones. IntermixedRead more

Persistence or Luck?

Perseverance, persistence, determination, resolution, resolve, grit. Or luck. I bought mom a potted Gerbera daisy plant in 2013. I don’t remember when – it may have been Mother’s Day or her birthday or “just because.” When it stopped flowering, mom asked me to take it away. I didn’t have the heart to throw the daisy in the trash, but couldn’t keep it in the apartment due to the felines. I took the little plant to work, and kept watering theRead more

Natural Contrasts

In response to the weekly photo challenge, I present three contrasts of the natural variety: The contrast between a fading blue sky/sun and dark, ominous rain clouds. The contrast between buds that beckon to open and the wilty green leaves that are rejecting life. The contrast between fallen branches stuck in a pot of dirt and the flora that springs from its roots. Natural contrasts…in the sky, in the dirt, on the patio…  Read more

Flowers Always

I must have flowers, always, and always. ― Claude Monet Natasha is camping this week and I have chosen to stay behind with the furry kids. We are still somewhat discombobulated from the move to a new place, mostly schedule-wise and remembering where everything is in the kitchen. Luckily, I know the refrigerator and Gibbs still knows the smell of chicken. Before Natasha left, we spent time shopping for patio flowers. We are behind schedule, or at least I am. IRead more

Contrary, Bitter, Rebellious and Loved

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row. Yep, Mary is the name (if you didn’t pick up on that before the nursery rhyme, you might need glasses or more coffee). I was prepared to counter the “quite contrary” with a rousing debate, until I read the meaning of Mary via Behind the Name. Usual English form of Maria, which was the Latin form of the New Testament GreekRead more