Archive for May, 2014


Guess What Today Is!

May 30, 2014

May 30th is Water a Flower Day, an annual reminder that summer heat is fast approaching and our beautiful flowers (and plants and trees) will be thirstier than normal. They’ll love you even more if you mulch the flowerbeds and use moisture control potting soil to retain water and reduce watering.






Have a wonderful weekend!





May 27, 2014


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When I heard about the Celebration of Gardening, I jumped at the chance to tour the private 30-acre estate, Maple Rock Gardens, Newcastle, CA.

My husband and I arrived at opening time, 9:00 am, and already the parking lot was packed. At the entrance, we received a colored map. We didn’t need it, though. The countless paths of bricks, gravel, stones, pavers, river rocks, and other hardscape, were easy to follow from garden room to garden room, each a different theme.

The estate is owned by Scott Paris who also owns High Hand Nursery and High Hand Café in Loomis. Scott purchased the estate three years ago from Ruby and Frank Andrews who had already created a three-and-a-half acre garden, including a large miniature railroad area.

An avid plant and landscape lover, Scott expanded the gardens since taking ownership. By bringing in large plants and trees, the new and old blend together flawlessly. Water falls, streams, bridges highlight thousands of trees, shrubs, ground cover, and of course hundreds of maple trees.

 * * *

Just a little update:  Ashley’s Gift is now available  in the following countries:

United Kingdom, France, Japan, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, India, Mexico, Brazil, Australia

Thank you! Sales are still going strong.


To every generation of soldiers and their families, THANK YOU!

May 24, 2014

To every generation of soldiers and their families, THANK YOU!

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” – President John F. Kennedy


Magnificent . . .

May 19, 2014



Ecstasy invaded the camera lens through my beating heart




with thrills of stealing the graceful flow




of the magnificent magnolia flowers.


Join me on:


A Bouquet for Mothers

May 11, 2014





The Big Deal!

May 6, 2014









Getting my Fix

May 6, 2014


Last weekend, I spent most of my time gardening. First, I strolled around the beds, as I always do, to see what needed to be done. When I came upon Love in a Mist, I was delighted to see what the blossoms look like. It was a free plant and I had no idea what to expect when I planted it two mouths ago. (I purposely avoided looking up images on line.) I am fascinated with the flower structure, the soft, delicate web-like foliage, and pleased to have this annual.


Walking on, I noticed the volunteer snapdragons were still blooming so I took a photo. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, I’m sure you’ve guessed that my camera goes to the garden with me, along with gloves, hat, and kneeling pad.


After casing the greens, I wrapped my camera in an old towel and placed it on a bench in the shade. Then I trimmed, deadheaded, raked and bagged, among other tasks, before potting up the hens and chicks as planned. I don’t always accomplish what I intend, but last weekend I actually did more than anticipated. It was a good feeling. I’m sure some people feel the same about fly fishing, hiking, or shopping . . . whatever revives the spirit. What works for you? I’d love to hear about it.


Turning to the Outdoors to Revive the Spirit

May 3, 2014

Turning to the Outdoors to Revive the Spirit

Except for these few moments at the computer, this weekend I’m taking time off from the indoor workload and be with nature. Yesterday was stressful. But this morning, when I stepped into my perennial garden, full of breathtaking blooms, my spirit felt a surge of joy and calm. This is one reason I garden.

It is a perfect day for outdoor activities. The sun is a gentle warm up and the air moves with a cool breeze. I’m going to deadhead, trim, and pot up some hens and chicks. Shape and remove, add to and change . . . the cycle of life.


The Best Place to Be

May 2, 2014

The Best Place to Be

The flowers in the photo are “snow in summer” and the oak tree is the one I have often written about and cursed for its acorn abundance.

Enjoy some downtime with Ashley’s Gift, only $2.99 at

Remember, Amazon offers FREE Kindle apps for any device.

Have a wonderful weekend, and THANK YOU!


National Day of Prayer

May 1, 2014

National Day of Prayer

%d bloggers like this: