Archive for July, 2014


Happy Wednesday!

July 30, 2014

beauty of creation


Naked Lady

July 28, 2014


In leafless form, the Naked Lady stands bold and strong.

She is not ashamed of her physical difference,

Nor of her inability to copycat peers.

She trusts the music of nature each day brings,

And waits for honey bees to kiss the heart of her soul,

The mystery from which delicious gold is made.


The Naked Lady loves her work

and her individuality.

She is not ashamed of her leafless form.

She knows her purpose,

To bring a revival of wonder that life is a miracle,

Not only in the things of the earth, but of the soul.

© 2014 Dianne Marie Andre


Naked Lady:

Common Name: Resurrection Lily, Naked Lady

Botanical Name: Lycoris squamigera (ly-KO-ris squam-IG-er-a)

Blooms: 7-11 days.

Growth: Bulb. Linear leaves appear from the bulb in spring then die back. Leafless stock emerges up to 30 inches high. Flowers bloom mid-late July. Hardy, easy to grow.


White Desire

July 23, 2014

Fruit Gallery #2:

white peach 2

The beautiful white peach

Will soon fad away,

As will its delightful juice

And crunchy flesh.

white peach 1

The white peaches in my refrigerator bin do not come from my home orchard (I don’t have one). They come from the grocery store and the farmer whose name I haven’t a clue . . .  who remains faceless. But in my mind, I can see his or her hands, rough with calluses, scrapes and cuts, and if he or she is not young, brown spots from the sun.

I am grateful for the farmer, the neighbor whose ambition results in too much harvest of which I reap, and the young people soaking up agriculture like a thirsty tree.

white peaches_edited-1

I love and am captivated by the white flesh of a peach, the hint of its sweet and mild flavor while firm and crisp.

I am mystified by how the texture changes when ripe and how unpleasant it is to my palate. Am I the only one who feels this way?

No matter.

My desire is a simple pleasure . . . one I delight in before white peaches fade away.


FREE Garden Class

July 19, 2014



I received an email from Fine Gardening magazine offering a FREE online mini-garden class, so I thought I would share this opportunity with you. Here’s what the email said:


Have the Garden of the Month, Every Month Make your garden the envy of all your neighbors–without an expensive overhaul! Join me, landscape designer and author Rebecca Sweet, for my FREE, online Craftsy mini-class, Transform Your Garden Design, and elevate your uninspired or chaotic garden to one that’s filled with harmonious color, texture and form.

During class, you will learn all the essential techniques you need to revive your garden design. First, I will teach you how to begin your garden transformation by editing your garden and breaking down key elements using photos. Then, find out how to create echoes in your space, to add a sense of continuity using color, texture and form.

Begin with the simplest element–color! Then explore the unexpected and touchable textures that the plant world has to offer. Finally, learn about shape and form, and how to incorporate this subtle element into your garden design. By the end of this class, you’ll have identified garden wrongs and have learned how to make them right with easy-to-understand and easy–to–implement solutions.

When I’m not teaching or designing with my firm Harmony in the Garden, you can find my work in magazines like Sunset, Fine Gardening and Country Living. I also make guest appearances on television and radio series like Growing a Greener World and Martha Stewart Living, and authored the book Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form. Sign up for Transform Your Garden Design for FREE now, and learn how to wake your weary space to transform it into the garden of your dreams.

Rebecca Sweet | Craftsy Instructor


Note:  The photo above is not associated with Fine Gardening, but rather one of my photos taken at a plant sale earlier this year.


The Little Apricot Tree

July 16, 2014


Fruit Gallery #1:  First Crop

I walked around the grocery-store produce bins looking for fresh fruit with prices below two dollars per pound. I spotted apricots beautifully arranged between yellow and white peaches. Apricots are not my favorite fruit, but they were in season which meant they were affordable. I picked out those less ripe—my husband, Joe, likes his fruit crunchy—and finished my stopping.

At home I grabbed three grocery bags from the back of the car, stepped into the kitchen, and lifted the bags onto the counter next to a small bucket of fresh-picked apricots. I figured they came from one of the men in Joe’s construction crew. During harvest season, he often comes home with tomatoes, peaches, asparagus, and cherries.

Since we don’t have a backyard orchard, imagine my surprise when Joe told me later that we have an apricot tree!

Joe discovered it among the eucalyptus trees. The apricot tree is straggly, miss-shaped, and appears to be connected to a large eucalyptus root. As long as the little tree is happy, and with a little TLC, we should have a larger crop next year, at zero dollars per pound.

apricot tree

Apricots are a great source of vitamin A  and potassium. For more nutritional facts click on:

To watch a video on growing apricots from seed click on:


Summer Reading

July 9, 2014

 Planning a vacation this summer? Take Ashley’s Gift with you and discover the gift!

This moving story will leave you hungry for the sequel.

summer reading

Available at:

Join me on:





I made a promise . . .

July 7, 2014



Hummingbird Mint is the newest addition to one of my many potted plants. The mix of coral-colored blossoms is also novel to the white, lavender, and pink hues around the house and garden.

I had purposely planted the Hummingbird Mint in view of the kitchen and great room windows, but I spotted only one hummingbird drinking sweet nectar from the tubular flowers. Then the blossoms died. While I was deadheading on a warm early morning, a hummerbird fluttered about looking for breakfast.

She came close to me, hovered one foot in front of my face.

“Sorry,” I said with an earnest heart, “it will bloom again, soon.”

She tilted her head as if to acknowledge my apology. Then off she flew in anticipation of  a promise.



Only two words . . .

July 1, 2014

welcome july


Girl Fight!

July 1, 2014

For days now, two hens have been brooding in the same nesting box. Their body language is different every time I go to the coop.


Could you turn around? The view isn’t pretty!


Boy, I try to improve the view and then you sit on me! What’s up with that?


I’ll tell you what’s up with that! You’re taking up all the room. I need a break!


You’re on my back again, and now my head is stuck in the egg tray.

That’s a good place for it!


Stop trying to make up!


Hey! Help me keep an eye on the hen next door. She might try to squeeze in.

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