FOTD, May 31, Weed?

Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge sometimes asks you to step out of your normal mindset and see what you see. So in stepping out I question…is it a weed?

It has large rich colored leaves. The stems hold small clusters of tiny flowers that sport only four petals but their color is a lovely soft purple. In my world, if it blooms its a flower – for in reality, before flowers were captured by our amazing horticulturist, they were probably weeds too.

So delicately beautiful. I tried to identify them with Google but had no luck. They looked similar to ones I saw in the wildflower collections…aka weeds to some, but still beautiful. I think we can sometimes judge people this same way. If they don’t look like how we are use to people looking, we sometime miss the beauty that is within. The old adage of judging a book by its cover.

As you start your summer, try to see the beauty all around you. Even some beetles are quite colorful – I just don’t want them on me. But everything thing created deserves kindness – close up or at a distance. There is a picture I share off and on as it strikes me hard on the reality of ALL created beings understand kindness and love, providing they feel safe enough to share it with you. I did not take the picture but wish I had seen this first hand. So always be kind and safe and reflect the love that has been given to you.

FOTD, May 27, Peonies

Peonies are a beautiful flower but a pain in the neck bush. So, since this is Flower of the Day, we will focus on the beauty of the flower. The two bushes I have around my house are a light pink color with oversized blooms which fall over due to their weight if it rains or wind blows.

This bloom was so heavy I had to lay it in my young blue spruce tree to hold it up to photograph it. Plus ants love these blooms and once they are picked, the ants scatter.

The bushes at the church are a darker pink and a little smaller bloom allowing them to stand proud on the bush instead of drooping due to their weight. This time of year, if I am not at home, I am at church working in the community garden, hence why these flowers are chosen today. The summer flowers are not blooming yet.

I close in a reminder to always be kind. It is such an easy thing to share and something we all need. Regardless of how good or bad your day has been, kindness shows your inner strength.

FOTD, May 26, Iris

Yes, I am also sending pics of Iris blooms. I have been waiting for the one in my yard to open. It was given to me and I was told it was a lovey yellow…it is not. Its purple, a light purple but not yellow. Today it looks sad so I will wait until another bloom opens to photograph it. However, I have some beautiful blooms from around my church.

I was told that this was an old fashion color. Not sure what that means but it is really lovely.

This next one looks like an iris but the bloom is small, maybe a miniature variety if there is such a thing.

These are such interesting blooms with their shape and color variations. Flowers are another way we can see ourselves. Some of us are smaller, some are more colorful but all of us just want to be loved and show how beautiful, in our own way, we each can be. So remember to be kind so that others can be kind in return. It will make us all happier.

FOTD, May 25, Fence line

A couple of years ago, I decided that concrete blocks made the perfect planter for the short grassy area between my fence and the sidewalk. It’s about a three-foot-deep section running the length of the yard. The blocks are spaced about three feet apart allowing for splashes of colors along the fence. Each of the holes in the concrete block are just the right size for a single plant of profusely blooming Superbells, more specifically known as Calibrachoa, and I planted them there again this year. By mid-summer you will not even see the blocks for the flowers will completely cover them and drape toward the ground.

But I wanted to do something different this year between the concrete block to make a full line of color along the fence. So I chose bushy perennials that I would not have to replant each year. I alternated pink and purple Veronica and golden Yarrow between the blocks to add size, texture, and color. I know from research that these plants can be invasive if not kept in check so we will see how it goes. But I think their colors will be interesting against the white lattice fence.

So, summer fun in my yard has officially started, but there’s still lots to plant. As the yard fills with fun and color, I will share the smiles with you. Even though we think plants can’t talk, I beg to differ with you. They speak in a language we can not hear but a language that we see and their language is beautiful. Share their beauty with others and remember to always be kind.

FOTD, May 24, Dianthus

Cee’s FOTD, Flower of the Day Challenge, is always fun this time of year as Mother Nature raises her beautiful floral head. The majority of the community garden is done so I got to play in my yard. Last year I planted several colors of dianthus and their colors this year are just as beautiful. I am planting more perennials this year to help make less work for me next year. I will share those flowers on another day – today is dianthus day.

While the darker pink are a fun variation, each plant has its own expression of the color or extra markings…like being dusted with white.

Some have more white dusting and some have less but show a white center.

Then we get into my favorites, the rich velvety reds.

Then you have the flowers variation that can’t makeup its mine – red with pink edges or white edges…so lets do both.

Regardless of their color, they are amazing perennials. I love that they can tolerate the crazy winters we have – 80 degrees one day and snow the next. Welcome to the Midwest.

Flowers always make us smile, even those of us who can sometimes be a grouch. So look at flowers more often, smile more often and always be kind. A smile is the easiest form of kindness that there is.

CMMC, The Oddball Trellis

In accepting the challenge from Cee on CMMC combined with Kammie’s Oddball Challenge, I give you the cucumber trellis. We saw this idea on Facebook and with the help of some local college students who help us get our community garden setup – they made us two.

The theory is that the cucumber growing in the planter tub will climb up the chicken wire of the trellis and the fruit will slide through the holes of the chicken wire and make for easier and cleaner picking.

With the mindset of “build it and they will come” – we built it to see if it really works. It was a fun and interesting project and I will post later in the season as the cucumbers grow. In reality, they would grow a lot better if the squirrels would leave them alone. 🥺

As with any challenge in life, it can be made a little easier if, kindness is the marker used to traverse the chaos.

FOTD, May 17, Iris

My yellow iris has not opened yet, but my neighbor’s purple iris is filling the corner of their yard. It is quite beautiful.

A close up shot shows its beard and yellow center.

I love the beauty and the hope flowers bring us. Its beauty is self-evident, but the hope it brings, that something this delicate can make us smile. They give us peace knowing God is in control and while there may be chaos, He is holding our hand.

Remember the “warm fuzzies” that the beauty of nature can give you and forward that warmth to others who need that hope of reassurance. And be Kind.


Mother’s Day Gift

My daughter knows I have a soft heart for animals, especially those picked on by the meanness of man. The wild animal kingdom is in so much danger from poaching, habitat loss, and just basic cruelty of man that my heart breaks for them. One of my most favorites is the elephant.

I have for years called them ef-alants, because of my first child not being able to pronounce such a big word. I have some coconut hair planters, one shaped like an elephant, and then my daughter got me this solar light for the yard of an elephant. It is ways too cute to be outside so I have it next to my elephant planter.

The El-falant Night Light

Remember in all that you do, be kind. You never know when you may be rescuing a hurting soul with a kind smile, a thoughtful deed or a warm hug.

Really Big Berry

The Berry

Ode to the berry who stands so tall

Others in the box don’t measure up at all

His width so wide with such a big head

His color so rich, so very bright red

We had to slice it, its juice so very sweet

Laid across the cake, a super tasty treat

Covering with cream, adding to the dream

Heading to my mouth, I wanted to scream

GA Neal

As we take in the deliciousness of summer fruits and other tasty treats, remember the smiles they give us and share those smiles with others. Smiles are a fabulous way to be kind.

Spring and Babies

Who doesn’t love a baby…well some critters I don’t care for but spring always brings out the babies we (generally) love to see. Like mamma Robin and her baby…

Then in the community garden at the church we have baby rabbits. While they can be a pest and did eat my string beans…🥺, they are still so cute. I just replanted and added marigolds to help run them off from tender shoots.

Spring is a time when we bird watchers get excited about all the new life we see at the feeders. Their colors are so bright and they are very talkative.

Spring helps us relax from winter doldrums and get ready to smile and breathe in the fresh air (after I take an allergy pill) and enjoy new life for another season.

As you enjoy the sights you see of spring, remember to always be kind. Even the animals understand what kindness is.