it's that time of year

it's that time of year

a middle tennessee garden blog

finding beauty in the natural things around us makes for one happy self and a lovely life. ~marmee

dash home farm, leiper's fork, tennessee

Sunday, February 22, 2009

there is no place like home but family is the next best thing

being away from home is always a little hard.
but being with your family feels so good.
my vacation is over but the time i got to spend with
my family and friends is forever etched in my memory.

a little bragging is about to ensue so i have fairly warned you.

my daughter esther has always loved every living creature.
so when a baby goat on her farm was rejected by it's mother
it was only natural for her to adopt it and bottle feed it.
now "ariel" the baby pygmy goat thinks she belongs to the family.
this goat follows them around wherever they go.

it is the cutest thing.

along with being an animal lover, esther is a wonderful wife and mother.
her little girl, grace, my blue-eyed grand is as charming as she is beautiful.
grace is an articulate 2 year old with manners that emily post would be proud of.
she was very excited to have her marmee with her.

we had a grand time being together...there was lots of laughing, singing,
playing the piano, pretending, reading, and of course snuggling.

esther also has quite the eye for doing things with a flare.
her home is very inviting and she has captured the essence of
her unique sense of style. she made this table top for grace
at christmas, it is so adorable.

i love you esther. thank you for your warm welcome into your
home and letting me spend time with your family. i loved being with grace.
she was a riot that first night together and she is so much like her mother,
in all the right ways. i love that sweet little grace that she is abundant with.

when she put her arms around my neck and said," i just love
you so much marmee." i could have melted.

then i got to spend some time with two ladies that have
meant so much in my life. mrs. brooks and carol.
there isn't enough room to even begin to write what that means.
carol and i were best friends in jr and high school and have remained friends
through college and between us, 9 babies.
she is a very accomplished woman and a very involved mother.
it was great to see you after so many years of just christmas
card photos. i really enjoyed catching up.
mrs. brooks has been so instrumental in my spiritual development and just all
around being a better person from her wonderful example of being an exemplary
woman of strength and courage. you are one of the few of my role models.
thank you for your love and support of me and my family all these years.
it was so great to spend some time with you on this last trip.

my mom, gigi and esther(taking the picture) lunched with us in the
outdoor eatery, grill smith. we all had a lot of catching up to do.

gigi had everyone over for dinner on sunday evening.
my mom is an excellent cook.
she made a chicken tortilla soup with all the fixings.
it was so good to have her yummy homemade food.
there is no place like home.
we played games with the family and laughed.

thanks mom and chuck for having such a nice gathering at your home.
unfortunately i didn't have my camera so no pictures.

meems and marmee saying good bye on the last morning.
i had a wonderful time meems at your home. you made me
feel welcomed and i got to relax and be treated special.
you are good at that. thanks for everything...the room to myself,
the trips to the beach, starbucks, your incredible cooking...

...having the family over multiple times...
sharing your precious family with me.
making each day so nice.
i had a very happy, relaxing, tasty, warm, welcoming vacation.
thank you esther, gigi and meems!

i love you all!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

hidden treasures

one of the first things you notice about meem's garden
is that there are many pathways to hidden treasures...
...there are lots of curves in just the right places.

...all leading to lush green plantings.

pretty much you can look in any direction and see
impressive views...

...side to side...

to the scrub live oaks that help filter all that florida sun.

...down...and with a closer look...
glowing blue...

...peacocks...even though i could not do justice to the
captures of these creatures(pests)...they were scurrying
around and we were shooing them away...

...unfortunately to a neighbours driveway.

now back to the garden...the front yard view to the left
of meem's driveway...doesn't that little grass path
just beckon you to see where it leads...
another hidden treasure... a bromeliad that is the
shape and colour of a flamingo.
to the left of the driveway...where the live oaks
stand majestically with the sun setting...

...highlighting the ti and ginger plants.

upon closer inspection past the frosts damages...
xanadu has some new little green leaves.
...persian shield has all new growth at the very edges...

containers abound in and throughout
...this one has impatiens buds...

...the silvery leaves surrounded by green are
lamium white nancy.

...impatiens blooms...

then several varieties of azaleas enjoying the presence of
just the right evenings and warmer, sun filled days.

another pathway at the back of the house
leads to a raised brick patio with seating
...all the sights from there lead to the back yard.

a lovely green watering can is waiting to be used.

meem's gorgeous over sized angel winged begonias got
totally bitten by the frosts. fortunately, she had intuitively
pulled some of the large stalks of the greenery and put
them in water to root then cut and reproduce.

this is all that is left of her beautiful begonias...

but they will come back and she will once
again have a most wonderful patio plant.

the back yard is full of vignettes of plantings...with
seating placed for strategic viewing.

there are many bird feeders and places for them to refresh.

the best thing is although many things were lost
to the freezes...there is already new growth at the
base of a lot of plants...signs of new life were all
around us unfurling...holly fern...

australian tree fern fiddle...

there is always a new day in the garden...
a new day to plant...prune...process...produce
...a new day of pleasures awaits...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

pathways to a potager

we all know there are many paths to choose in life...
welcome to the pathway to a potager...meem's potager.

this is meems second spring/summer veggie garden.
although she planted some flowers last year,
'09 is more about companion gardening. she has enlarged
her beds and included delightful flagstone/ limestone pathways.
thus enabling more room for flowers that are great
companions for the vegetables.
still she includes her wonderful combination containers,
which i believe lend a certain expression of her layering effects.

of course this is the very early stages of the potager.
her veggies have not even been planted yet.
the society garlic just barely in the ground looks to be
trying to stand up just hardly a week after the worst freeze
this florida garden has seen in forever.

dusty miller and yellow violas are prominent
in the container that is keeping watch over the garden.

as we stand out in the garden and i'm getting a feel
for what she is trying to accomplish, meems says
let me go get my clippers while we are chatting.
dead heading all the while we are talking...i'm thinking i will
just take those dead headed seeds home with me and see
how they might do up in my garden.

yellow marigolds, purple angelonia, multi-coloured gazanias,
and society garlic line the outer edges of were the pole beans,
and some different lettuces will be planted.
it is all so exciting to see the beginnings of
this new garden especially since our time to plant
in tennessee is still months away.

i am learning so much from meem's years in the garden.
she is still learning and trying new things.
this is her first time planting ostica blue eye asters.
they are lovely.

these gazanias open with the sunshine and close up as it gets dark.

three varieties of blueberries, jewel, star, and prima donna
have made it in the ground along side a flowering
ground cover called golden globe.

there is a beautiful mosaic shallow bowl nearby
readily available for butterflies and birds.
meems made this herself, she is a very talented lady.
all the blue tiles makes it a stand out in her garden.
this particular plate came from a little antique shop up in tennessee.
pathway pavers lead from the front of meems
house to her potager.
even with all the plants that have damage from
the frosts her florida garden is so expansive i am only
going to focus on one area at a time...just wait til you see what's next.