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Showing posts with label SUMMER 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SUMMER 2012. Show all posts

Friday, September 7, 2012

Biltmore in July

Life has really hit me in the face lately... SO much is going on ---and there's never enough hours in the day to get everything done.  I often wonder how I made it when I was working fulltime.......?????   The good news is that life is GOOD --even though I'm busy!!!!  Many wonderful things are happening--so I can't complain!

On July 30,  2012,   George and I made another summer trip to Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina...    We went specifically to see the SUNFLOWERS --which we did see (and I featured them on my blog header all during August).    What I never did do is share what else we did and saw on that day while we were there...

As I say everytime I do a Biltmore post,  there are new and different things to see there EVERY month..  On this particular trip,  we enjoyed the sunflowers,  the walled garden,  the Italian garden,  and we did something we had never done before.  We hiked to the Diana statue ---above the main entrance to the Biltmore House.. What a fabulous place for photos...   I'm surprised we hadn't been up there before.   There's just so much to see and do at Biltmore.

Here are some of the photos we took that day.  Be sure to click on them for enlargements.  The picture above was taken near the Diana statue --above the main house at Biltmore.  Isn't that a great view?




Here is a picture of the house taken as we were hiking up toward the Diana Statue...  I love  being able to take out the people from my pictures now... ZAP them gone!!!!!! ha.... Guess I should have zapped the busses also... Oh Well...  Isn't this a wonderful photo--with the clouds like they are in the sky????




The Italian Gardens are especially beautiful during the summer months... Here is a beautiful picture of one of the many waterlilies there.  (I could do an entire post just on all of the waterlilies. )




We ALWAYS enjoy walking around in the Walled Garden... They plant different flowers during each season... This time,  we were happy to see some of the MUMS in bloom --which people enjoy seeing during the Fall.




The Hibiscus blooms always amaze me when I go to Biltmore.   This is one of my favorites ---and YES,  it is HUGE.




Of course,  we always have to walk through the sections containing all of the beautiful ROSES... George took this photo of me under one of the rose arbors...  (It was another HOT day---so I was wearing my camera vest and carrying my headband and towel... Not very attractive for a photo though... ha)




After leaving the Walled Garden,  we drove down to another favorite place of ours,  the Lagoon... This is a photo of the back of the Biltmore House --from the lagoon.




And of course,  we had to get the tripod out and get a picture of the two of us at the Lagoon.  I love seeing the Canada Geese in the lagoon also when we go there... Such a beautiful place!!!!




And finally,  we drove to see the SUNFLOWERS.....  My future daughter-in-law LOVES sunflowers---so I sent her some pictures showing the sunflowers at Biltmore.  There were fields and fields and rows and rows of them there!!!!  GORGEOUS!




Here's one more picture of the two of us taken near some of the sunflowers...  All in all,  we had a fabulous day at Biltmore.  We never tire of going to that beautiful place!

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Please pay attention to this note since I don't want you to worry about us.  We are taking a long blog break (like some of my friends have done) ---and maybe we can catch up on life a little while we are 'off'....   Even though we won't be blogging at all until October 1st,  we may be doing a few things on Facebook.   SO---if you are on Facebook,  you might want to keep up with us.   I hope and pray that each of you have a great September.  We certainly plan to!!!!!  We'll see you on  OCTOBER 1st.
Hugs to all,  and have a tremendous month!!!
Betsy

Friday, August 31, 2012

Other Summer Flowers in our Yard

Most of the Summer,  I have talked about our Roses,  Lilies and Daylilies.   I have not talked about or showed you pictures of some of our other flowers... SO---today,  I'll share some of these photos with you.  Above is one of our 4 BEGONIAS...  All of mine are in pots --and three hang in the front yard near the front porch.  The other one is on our deck..  Begonias are easy flowers to grow--and they are sun-lovers, and give any yard alot of color!!!!  Below are more --so be sure and click on them to see enlargements.




Another potted plant I have is IMPATIENS.  I love these little plants and used to grow lots of them in the round flowerbeds... After going through two years of having rabbits EAT the flowers/plants,  I gave up trying to grow them... I do love them --and they are great summer flowers to have in shady spots.




This is one plant that we are VERY disappointed with.  Our CLEMATIS just won't bloom.  The plant produces lots and lots of green leaves and looks very healthy... It did this last year also--so we went online and read about when to cut it back, etc.... We did that --but it still didn't bloom this summer (other than a very few blooms, one of which is shown above)....   Anyone have any suggestions?????




Many of our IRISES are re-bloomers ----and have continued to bloom off and on all summer.... (We hope they bloom in the Fall also.)  Here is just one of them, named CANTINA.   It just keeps on blooming... Don't you love seeing flowers with raindrops on them?   Awesome,  isn't it?




We have LOTS of HOSTAS in our yard,  and they did bloom...  For some reason,  I didn't get any pictures this summer of their blooms...  Duh!!!!!   Anyhow---the Hosta plants are prettier this year than ever before.  AND--so far,  the deer have stayed away!!!!




Do you know what this is?????  This is one of our SEMPERVIVUM  (Semps) blooming.   As most of you know,  we have Semps all over the yard...  They are called Hens and Chicks by many.  When the Mama Hen blooms,  that means she will die--and the Chicks take over and become Hens....  This Semp obviously was blooming---and will die.  Interesting how it works,  isn't it?????   (Glad most things don't die when they bloom!!!! ha)




This is another FALL favorite bloom.  This is my AUTUMN JOY SEDUM --which I have lots of around the yard.  These blooms will remain throughout the Fall--gradually changing colors... They will turn pink, then blueish,  and gradually turn rust color...  SUCH a neat plant ---and they take almost no care at all.




Finally,  here are two pictures of my favorite bush in our yard,  our CONFEDERATE  JASMINE.   We have had to trim this bush several times this summer --or else it would just keep on getting bigger and bigger... It blooms almost all summer even when we trim it....  It smells good ---and I just LOVE it...




Here is a close-up of what the little flowers look like on the CONFEDERATE JASMINE bush.  Aren't they just beautiful????

Hope you enjoyed seeing more of our summer bloomers... I sometimes neglect these --while emphasizing the Roses and Lilies and other perennials.  But--as many of my blog friends will tell me,  they enjoy some of these even more!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend and I will see you on Wednesday.  (Monday is a holiday, Labor Day,  so I won't be blogging that day.)  I have another bridal shower to attend (my future daughter-in-law) this weekend---so it will be another busy one!!!!  Sorry I have not kept up with your blogs/comments lately... JUST overwhelmed with LIFE right now!

Hugs,
Betsy

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Fabulous Georgia Hike

George and I went to North Georgia on Friday,  August 17, 2012,  in order to check out some new waterfalls... We took a marvelous hike (almost 3 miles roundtrip) on the High Shoals Trail,  near Unicoi Gap north of Helen, Georgia.  We saw 2 gorgeous waterfalls plus a cascade.   The elevation when we started was 2,873 feet ---and we descended 950 feet down to the waterfalls... Going DOWN was easy---but hiking back up that mountain was harder..... ha

All in all,  it was a beautiful trail ---with lots of great mountain views... As I said on Facebook recently,  I absolutely love hiking in the woods.  Getting away from the 'crazy' world we live in  is just marvelous...  Hiking is truly good for the soul.

Hope you enjoy some of our photos from this hike.  Above is a picture of us taken at BLUE HOLE FALLS.  Blue Hole is 30 feet high, and the area around there is gorgeous.




Look at the beautiful woods around us!!!!!   God's creation is so marvelous!




The trail was well-maintained ---and they had built several bridges along the way.  Here's one of George taken when we first started down that mountain.  We both began with jackets on ---but those jackets came off quickly as we hiked!!!!!




George took this one of me on another one of the little bridges on the path...  You can tell that I already have my jacket off --and tucked into my camera vest!!!!!  We both wore our hiking boots and carried our hiking sticks.





I called this  "Seashells in the Woods"....   One neat thing about loving photography and hiking in the woods is all of the neat things we see... Some of my Facebook friends said that they look like little frilly skirts!!!!!   Pretty,  aren't they?




The 'ham' in the group ----ME---- decided that I wanted to pull that fallen tree-trunk back upright!!!!    Wonder how strong she was??????   If 'looks' count----she's a winner... Right?????  That girl is such a nut-head!!!!!! ha ha ha




Here's another picture I took of George along the trail.   I just wanted you to see again how beautiful this area is---and what a good trail it was!!!!! I loved it!




On the way back up that mountain,  the old woman had to find a place to take a short rest....  (This was AFTER she pulled the tree trunk up!!!!!! ha)




Here's another picture of us taken at the other large waterfall,  HIGH SHOALS FALLS.   This waterfall is 125 feet high.  There was another waterfall,  a beautiful cascade (White Shoals Cascade), which we saw ---and I'll show it on another blog post...

If you love hiking and are ever in North Georgia,  this is a great hike to take... It was one of my favorites that we've taken recently.

Have a great day.  We are out-of-pocket AGAIN today.... Don't know when life will settle down for us!!!!!! ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Friday, August 24, 2012

Our House gets New Clothes

I had another post ready for today,  but I'm so excited about our beautiful little home ---that I just HAD to share this with you...  IF you are on Facebook,  you saw my surprise yesterday--but that was only one photo.  Today I'll share several!!!!!

Our home is being painted... Maybe I should have waited until they finish,  but I am just too excited to wait!   I'm always apprehensive when choosing a paint color...  What if we don't like it?  What if it is too dark --or too light????  YIPES---what a decision!!!

I will show more pictures when they totally finish.  The painters haven't started the white trim yet --so that will take awhile.. BUT--other than touch-ups,  they have finished the green....  I love-love-love this green... It seems to be perfect for us and blends so well with our yard and the surrounding trees.. Hope you enjoy seeing the pictures today!!!!   Be sure to click on them for enlargements.




The green has a 'sheen' to it when the sun hits it.  It looks darker in the shadows... This is the front left side near the garage.  I love the way the ROSES are smiling ---just like I am.




Walking on around the house to the left,  I took this picture of the 'upper' side of the house,  near the upper flowerbed and the rock sidewalk.   The large window in the distance is George's little office area---across from the laundry room.  The smaller window is our kitchen.  The big sliding door goes into our 'Great' Room  (combo living/dining room).




You've seen the new deck (at the back of the house) in other blog posts recently...  If you missed the main post showing the new deck,  click HERE.   Both doors (on either side of the chimney) go into our Great Room... George and I read  our devotions together every morning on the swing (weather permitting)... The 'Bird Kitchen' is on the far end...   Beyond the deck  on the far end (out of sight) is one of our bedroom windows.    (The new deck will be stained in the spring.)



I don't think I have ever shown this side of our home.  This is the lower side of the house  where we have a half basement.   The two windows go into our bedroom... Since our bedroom is next to the Bird Kitchen (and since we put our bird feeders up at night)--the Northern Cardinals (and their loud chips) wake us up about 6:30 each morning begging for their breakfast...  There are 2 bathrooms in the middle (one off of our bedroom and one off of the hall).  The area to the left is the 2nd bedroom --which we use as our computer room...





 Now I am back around to the front of the house... This is the right side (from the front)--and inside the window is where we live most of the time---our Computer Room!!!!!  ha ha ..... There is one bird feeder next to this window---so that I can see some of the little birdies when I'm not close to the Bird Kitchen!!!!!




I'll close with one more photo of the front of the house.  Hope you enjoyed seeing the entire outside of our precious little home.  We love it --and it's perfect for a couple of retirees...   Sometime--I'll have to show you the inside --which is not nearly as pretty!!!!!!  Don't you just love our home and her new clothes?  George and I do----and I guess that is what matters...

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.   Tomorrow is George's Dad's 100th birthday party...  SO--like most weekends,  I'll be out-of-pocket.  His actual birthday is next Wednesday... We will be with him on that day also. Amazing man!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our Yard in August

This past Monday,  I showed you how close the deer came to our ROSES....  Today,  I'm showing you how pretty the roses are now.   We have had milder weather recently (thank goodness)---and some rain (not enough--but some)....  This weather (more like Spring or Fall weather) is what the Roses LOVE....  Wish you could be here to see them in person.. They are really showing off...  I love 'walking the yard' ---and oohing and ahhing...

On August 15,  I took a bunch of pictures of the roses and the yard ---so hope you enjoy them today!!!!   I took some of the individual roses which I've put in collages for you.  Click on them for enlargements..




The roses in this bed (Road Flowerbed) are blooming like crazy!!!!   In this photo--you can see the left-over Lily stems,  some Irises (a couple of them are blooming now also) --and lots of roses... (Can you believe that this bed was new and BARE a couple of years ago???????? Wow!)   You can tell that it is almost Fall by looking at our Redbud tree in the background!



Here is an example of how beautiful the roses are right now.  This beauty is named Ronald Reagan.   This is always a favorite of mine.




Here's a picture of the yard when looking from the house toward the road...  If you compare this photo with some of our Spring yard photos,  the roses are just as beautiful (or more-so) ---but the yard and surrounding trees are showing a 'hint' of Fall...  Kinda neat to watch the seasons gradually change,  isn't it?




And --this photo was taken from the road looking back at the house.  You can see that some of the trees in back have already lost their leaves.   The rosebush in the middle of the picture is named Veterans Honor....  It's one of my favorites also...

Look carefully at our house.  The shutters are off ---and it's ready for painting... Not sure when it will be done/complete--but I'll show pictures once it is!!!! It will be a darker green... Can't wait!!!!




Also in our yard (back yard) I found a HUGE toadstool (or mushroom or fungi)... Whatever you call it,  I think this is the largest one I've seen in or around our yard...  It almost looks like a HEART.  Nice,  don't you think?




To give you an idea of the size of this one,  I put my size 8 1/2 shoe beside it.   I've seen bigger toadstools before ---but not in our yard!!!!!  Isn't it pretty?




Finally,  here is a picture of the toadstool from the side --so that you can see a little of the stem..  I didn't see anymore near that area ---so this 'guy' was there just growing all by himself!!!!




I'll close with one more collage showing an 'up close and personal' view of  some of our beautiful roses.... Like I said above,  wish you were here to enjoy them also!!!!  The top left is a favorite,  Peppermint Splash.   (All of the rose pictures in today's blog post were taken on 8/15/12 and the mushroom pictures were taken on 8/9/12.)

Hope you have an incredibly blessed Wednesday.

Hugs,
Betsy

Monday, July 30, 2012

The End of our Beautiful Lilies

Black Beauty Tiger Lily
Here's my final group of pictures of our 19 varieties of LILIES in our yard this year.  If you missed any of these 5 blog posts,  click  HERE.   Hope you enjoy this final group!

The picture above is one of our little tiger lilies...  I LOVE these little lilies... This one is named is Black Beauty...  Pretty, isn't it? Be sure to click on all of the pictures in order to see them larger.




Several of you have asked to see 'group' pictures of the lilies.  That is never easy to do since the lilies (and daylilies) all bloom at different times... That is a good thing though since we enjoy lily blooms for a couple of months.. When one variety quits blooming, another takes its place.  SO---that is why it is hard to get a 'group' picture of all of them!!!!  

The picture above is of our 'road flowerbed' ---and you can see lilies,  daylilies and roses all blooming.




Golden Splendor Lily
This beauty is named Golden Splendor...  It is such a beautiful lily.




Gold Band Lily
The last lily to bloom in our yard  (there are only a couple of blooms left in this one),  named Gold Band...  We enjoyed it for about 3 weeks...  Someone asked how long lilies bloom...  I think most of the buds will stay pretty for about 2-3 weeks....(Daylilies are different in that each blossom only blooms for ONE day.. BUT--there are usually lots and lots of blossoms --which keep the plant blooming for several weeks.)




This  is another view of several of the lilies in bloom in our side flowerbed... As I have previously said,  most of our lilies are planted in this long bed ---and in the road and the lamppost beds.




Trebbiano Lily
This little beauty is named Trebbiano.  As you can tell,  this lily is very pale yellow  (almost white) in color... This lily is located in the side flowerbed (not far from our swing)...




Sarina Lily
And this lily is named Sarina.   George took this photo --and this lily was one of several varieties in our lamppost flowerbed.   Yellow is one of my favorite colors this time of year,  and this one with its spots is quite unique.




Garden Pleasure Lily AND Touching Lily
Here is a picture showing you how many lilies were blooming at the same time in our road flowerbed...  Aren't they just gorgeous?  That is Touching on the right and Garden Pleasure on the left....




Garden Pleasure Lily
Finally,  besides Pink Perfection and Touching and Gold Band,  here is the 4th group of lilies in the road flowerbed that bloomed and bloomed and bloomed this year...  This one is Garden Pleasure---and a pleasure it was!!!!    As I said above,  a couple of Gold Band lilies are all that are left in our yard now... We'll have to wait 'til next year to see all of these again....

Hope you enjoyed seeing our lilies this year.  It's hard for me to pick a favorite... I loved Lollypop and Montenegro --since they were some of the early bloomers.   But there are others I love --such as this one (Garden Pleasure) and also Touching...  Overall though,  I guess,  if I had to pick a 2012 favorite lily,  I would choose Pink Perfection...  After looking at all of the lily posts,  you need to pick a favorite also....

Have a wonderful Monday. We are going to see the sunflowers at Biltmore....  Hope they are gorgeous  like they were last year when we were there.

Hope you are watching the OLYMPICS...  They are great... so many wonderful,  hard-working athletes.   SO proud of them!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy