Monthly Archives: April 2015

One Is Closest To God In A Garden Than Anywhere Else On Earth

I did not come up with that expression on my own but borrowed it from a garden plaque that my father gave to me years ago.  I was reminded of the saying especially this week.

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These azaleas were especially spectacular.

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I love this little hosta garden.

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This garden had some beautiful yellow bearded irises and blue spiderwort.

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What a picturesque spot to sit and sip morning coffee!

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This garden arbor was canopied with a yellow rose that was about to bloom.

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This garden had a wonderful water fountain along a brick wall.

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Here is an old birdbath turned into a lovely planter.

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I loved how these evergreen shrubs were trimmed into perfect conical shapes. The whole garden was designed with evergreens both large and small.

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This garden was well-designed with native plants for our area. The palm trees blended especially well among lilies and hostas of varying shades of green.

I got the pleasure of touring some beautiful gardens during our town’s spring festival. It is amazing the varieties of plants that God has made.  Some grow well in the shade while others only do well in the sunshine. Flowering plants come in nearly every color of the rainbow. I saw yellow and purple irises, azaleas in varied shades of white and pink, and spectacular magenta tinted rhododendron blossoms. We missed the tulips which had already bloomed and faded. Yet other flowers were in bud and were just about to bloom.

One can not visit a garden without being reminded of how wonderful is the One who can create such beauty.

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A Tribute to My Dad

100_3266I had a dream of my father the other night which gave me a rush of emotions.  In the dream, I saw him standing off in the distance holding a leash with a Sheltie beside him. This was touching since his dogs were a great source of pleasure in his life.  He was in front of a building reminiscent of those on a college campus.  Perhaps this was symbolic because he was a well-educated man and a talented musician. He received his high school diploma by mail correspondence because he left home at 16 to pursue a musical career playing cello for the Birmingham, Alabama orchestra.  He married my mother at the age of 21 and was busy raising my brother and me before going back to college. He got a full scholarship to study music at the University of Miami.   He graduated with honors and earned a master’s degree in music which qualified him to begin his teaching career. He taught music in public schools in the Charlotte, North Carolina area for 28 years.

In the dream, I approached my dad and he hugged me.  How comforting to be held again by my father even if in a dream.  I told him that I was doing my best to look after my mother. She lives nearby now since we moved her into a condominium in our town. It took three years to get her here. My father passed away one week after Father’s Day nearly five years ago.  After my father died, we began the arduous task of going through things at their house, throwing things out, selling unnecessary items by consignment or doling things out to the grandchildren if they showed interest in family mementos.

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Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly Seminar

I attended a very interesting seminar during my hometown Spring Festival this week.  It was all about Monarch butterflies and how to attract them to flower gardens. For display purposes, several Painted Lady butterflies were contained in netted butterfly cages.   A  few Monarchs were in a box that had been shipped in for the seminar. We were told that it costs over $100 to order a box of a dozen Monarch butterflies in the mail. Painted Ladies are less expensive so she had more of them on hand.

The speaker told us that to attract Monarch butterflies to our gardens, we must plant milkweed plants.They can easily be planted by seed. She had both seeds and seedlings to give away. I brought home three tiny seedlings100_3215100_3213 100_3224 100_3229 100_3231 of milkweed plants to try to grow in my garden.

The butterflies were released at the end of the seminar.  Unfortunately, the weather was damp and cold so the butterflies were slow to move.  They didn’t want to fly away but lingered a long time which made it easier to photograph them.

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Trip To Southern Pines, North Carolina

I took a trip with my mother and daughter during the week of Easter to visit my aunt and uncle in Southern Pines, North Carolina.  We hadn’t seen them since my father’s funeral five years ago.  They are both in their eighties now but they still look amazingly young.  My uncle has been a golfer most of his life. That is why they live in this golfer’s paradise.

There are seven golf courses in the area. Five are owned by one wealthy family.  My uncle told us that is costs about $425 to play a single round on one course. The area is spectacular with all its well-manicured courses.  We were there just before the azaleas and dogwoods were about to bloom so just missed seeing Southern Pines at its peak.

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The Carolina Hotel

100_3187100_3184  We did get to go on a tour of the surrounding area.  My uncle and aunt drove us by The Carolina Hotel.  They let us go inside. It was well worth the trip to see this beautiful hotel that was built around 1895 in Pinehurst.  Even though we don’t play golf, to stay in this grand hotel would be a dream.  We took several photos inside the lobby.

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