Life is all about choices and attitude. Make the right choices, keep a positive attitude-- and you will find JOY through all of your ups and downs. Hope you enjoy my thoughts!
My JOYFUL REFLECTIONS header picture is a picture taken on 10/20/16 on our visit to the Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina. I had never seen so many different colors of Poinsettias before... These HOT Pink ones were gorgeous.
There's not too much Fall Color in our area yet --but we do have color right here in our yard!!!! I took these photos the end of Sept/first of Oct ---so today, I'll share some of our 'color' to you. Above is one of our Reblooming Irises. This one's name is Blatant --and we love seeing Irises blooming in the FALL of the year!!!!! Isn't this one pretty?
This 'color' is one of our gorgeous Roses, named Veteran's Honor. This has always been one of my favorite roses. It's been blooming like crazy lately. Roses are at their prettiest here in the Spring AND Fall. They love sunshine but don't necessarily love the heat of Summer. Fall is a great time for Roses!!!
Here is a close-up of Veteran's Honor... this rose is absolutely PERFECT!!! Looks like Velvet, doesn't it?
This photo shows some of our favorite Fall blooms ---our Autumn Joy Sedum. We have this little beauty in several places around the yard. This one starts out sorta blue in color, then turns to a light pink, then darkens, and by the end of Fall, the color is a burnt orange. PERFECT colors for Fall!
Here is a close-up of one of the Autumn Joy Sedum blooms.
Our Pink Dogwood tree in our front yard is beginning to turn to its gorgeous reds. I love this photo since you can still see some of the green in some of the leaves..
Finally, here's a picture of our yard.. I was standing out in the street --so that I could get a picture of the Veteran's Honor Rose blooms. In this picture, you can also see the Pink Dogwood as it turns --and also some yellow color on the trees behind and around our home...
I'll post some new yard photos --as we get more and more Fall color. Now that we have had some much cooler weather, that usually helps the trees to turn!!!
Thanks be to God for bringing us some much-needed rain this week. Tropical Storm Lee came our way!!!! Yeah Rah!!!! We have had a very very dry couple of months (with no rain since the end of June), but believe it or not, we still have a few things blooming in our yard.
However, if you could see the yard, you would think that it's the middle of October --with one exception: the extreme heat we had recently. Because of the drought, the leaves on the big shade trees have turned brown and are falling.. Our ground is covered with them!!!! Crazy ---since it is only September. BUT---lucky for us---that extreme heat has now gone (as of this week) --and I hope it stays away until next Summer. I am ready for some Fall temperatures....
Today I'll share some of the blooms in our yard now (with the exception of our gorgeous Roses which I talked about last week). We have REBLOOMING IRISES ---and have enjoyed them so much, especially this time of year.
This Iris and the one above is named CANTINA.
This little beauty is one of our CLEMATIS blooms. They are mostly gone now--but we enjoyed quite a few of them this summer.
I absolutely love our SEMPERVIVUM (Semps---called Hens and Chicks), and we have them in various places all over the yard. George got a good macro of this bloom.
Here's an even closer shot of one of the Semp blooms. Isn't it just gorgeous?
This gorgeous Iris is named CLARENCE. It's so much fun to see these blooming this time of year.
I love the colors in this Iris... Her name is BLATANT. Thanks to George for working hard to keep all of these little beauties alive in this summer heat. We both keep things watered --as much as possible!
Hope you have a wonderful day!!!!! AND---thanks be to God for the rain and milder temperatures... We have had 5+ inches of rain so far with more to come!!!! But--some areas around us are having much flooding...We are grateful for the rain --but I hate to hear about the flooding.
The other good news is that it is MUCH cooler here now. It was so damp and cool last night (in the 50's) that we had a fire in the fireplace... I LOVED it!!!!!
I love going back through old pictures... Needless to say, I have ALOT more now than I used to!!!!! (Maybe that is a good thing that I didn't have so many old pictures to go through!!!! I have too many to go through now.. Ha).... Anyhow---I wanted to show you our little home in different seasons. One thing which I absolutely love about Tennessee is that we get all four seasons --but we don't get the extreme heat nor the extreme cold...It's no wonder why so many people retire here. We are also 2000 feet UP --on the Cumberland Plateau, so that is nice (especially when the temperatures in Knoxville and Nashville are in the 90's and we are only in the 80's). Seems like the best of all worlds, don't you think????
Anyhow here are four pictures of our home in all four seasons. I'll begin with Summer of last year (August) which is pictured above. As you can tell, there's not a huge amount of color around although the roses still bloom until frost.
Here is a picture of Fall (taken last Fall)--and the gorgeous colors we get up here. It's a beautiful time of the year and a busy one for me --since I am in charge of raking and blowing tons and tons of leaves!!!
Here's a picture of late Fall/early Winter ---after the leaves were gone (almost)... I do have to rake and blow many times before they ALL come down. As you can see (since the roses are still blooming), we haven't had a frost yet.
I just have to show you my all-time favorite Christmas Snow picture --taken last year in December. I've shown this before (the others also I'm sure) --but this one makes me say "AH" each time I see it...
We didn't get too much snow last year --but what we got all came at the end of December and beginning of January. It was a hard winter for most --but we've had worse!!!! One way I know that is because our Fall Pansies made it through the winter and are still blooming and showing off NOW.
And now--we are to Spring of 2011. Since we've had lots of rain the past couple of months, our yard and flowers have really put on a show for us.
NOW---check this out!!! This was our yard in 2006. (Compare it with the picture above.) There were no roses yet in the front and no big road flowerbed. We did have the 3 little round beds by then --and we had our big side flowerbed (which is where we had roses planted at that time). The roses struggled on the side because there's just not enough sun there... So-- George started moving them to the front in 2007... This year we have over 57 different rose bushes.
Finally, here's one of the first pictures we took of the outside of our 'new' home... OH--how much we loved it. You can see me (this was in Fall of 1992) inviting everyone to come in!!!!! The little elderly couple who had lived in this house since it was built in 1985 was having to move to Arizona to be with their daughter. The husband had had a stroke and the wife just couldn't take care of him by herself. They were the sweetest couple--but were NOT yard people. I think they had a lawn service to mow it --but that was about all they did.
We didn't actually move in until June of 2003--after I retired... George continued to work until 2006---so we didn't begin too much yard work until about 2005-06. Since then, we have stayed very busy.. It's WORK ---but oh how wonderful the results are to one's soul and heart once those little buds pop up out of the ground/dirt... AND then to give us the blooms they do----well, you know how fabulous that is!!!!!
Today I will share more pictures of our pretty yard this month. Above is our big Rhododendron in the back yard next to the deck near the bird feeder area. This Rhody is ALWAYS pretty this time of year --but this year, like our Azaleas in front, it has really put on a show. (There are some advantages of lots of rain!!! Ha)
Here's a picture of the same Rhododendron taken from the yard --looking up at the huge bush. We have two more Rhododendrons --one on either side of the large one. For some reason, one of them has never bloomed. The other one is growing fast and trying to catch up with the big one.
Here's a close-up of one of the beautiful Rhododendron blooms. SO pretty!!
When George and I bought this house, we immediately looked for ground covers to add in certain areas of the yard where mowing is hard. We chose the Periwinkle (which I have shown several times in blogs), and we also chose some ENGLISH IVY. Both are invasive --so you have to control where they go ---but once they are nice and thick, they even take over all of the WEEDS.... We love that about them!!!!
Above you can see some of our ENGLISH IVY. It is so pretty this time of year. You can also see some little SIBERIAN IRISES (known by several names) which were given to us by George's Dad several years ago.
Look at this flowerbed....Do you think the Lilies have taken over????? ha ha (Can't wait 'til they bloom!!!) Poor little Pansies are still trying to poke their little heads out---but the Lilies are 'in charge' in this bed.... ha
Here's a picture of our front yard showing those gorgeous Azaleas --and also some of our MANY blooming Roses. If you look closely through the front storm door, you can see part of the Rhododendron in the backyard...
Here's a close-up of one of the Azaleas --plus some of the roses.
Finally, I saved the best 'til last. This is my favorite rose, DOUBLE DELIGHT. Most of you know that we have over 50 Rose bushes (Hybrid Teas and Grandafloras) in our yard... AND--many of them are blooming now as you can see if you click HERE... I will share more pictures of our individual Roses in future blogs. BUT--I just had to show you Double Delight today... It smells so good also!!!!!
QUESTION: Is it just me, or do your pictures seem to be darker after uploading them into Blogger now???? Did they do something to change some settings???? I am constantly having to go back and lighten them. Geeessshhh!
Have a wonderful day and DO NOT MISS TOMORROW'S BLOG POST.
George and I just returned from another terrific trip to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.... We couldn't have picked a better week to be there since there was NOT one drop of RAIN all week... Yeah!!!!! It was warm and breezy --but not hot and humid. There were very few people around --so we had the place to ourselves most of the week. We soaked in the sun on the beach, caught up with our reading and relaxing, got some sleep and naps, did some walking, took lots of pictures, and best of all--had some delicious seafood.... Couldn't have been better!!!!
On the way to the beach we stopped in South Carolina to check out Bull Sluice.. I will show some pictures of that in another blog. Then, on the way home, we made a quick stop at Biltmore --to see if they had any new flowers blooming... YES--they DID!!!!! WOW.... Like I said, it was a fantastic week!!!! BUT--it's nice to be home!
As you can imagine, we took lots of pictures off and on during the trip.. Today, I'll show you a few from the beach, from Biltmore ----and our yard when we got home.
Above is a picture showing the Islander Inn where we stayed. Our room was in Building Two (2nd from right --above the gazebo) --and we were in the top room on the left. We absolutely love being RIGHT on the beach. We leave our door opened all night --so that we can hear the waves. It's awesome!!!! Below are a few more.
See those chairs out there (on the right)??? That is our 'set-up'.... We spent quite a bit of time out there --both mornings and afternoons.. NICE!!!
Here's a gorgeous view of the ocean from our balcony. That is the fishing pier on the left. George has some great pictures taken in and around that pier.
Guess what we saw when we got to Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville, NC?????? Lots of ROSES..... You can only imagine what a Happy Camper George was checking them all out. Come to find out that we have quite a few of their Hybrid Teas and Grandafloras in our yard!!! How 'bout that????? Above is a photo of just SOME of their many, many rose bushes at Biltmore.
Not only did we see beautiful Roses at Biltmore, but we also saw many fabulous Rhododendron bushes.
But---after seeing all of the beauty at the beach and at Biltmore, we headed home... To our great surprise, look what was smiling at us when we pulled in the driveway... Our two pink Azaleas in the front yard were putting on a show ---just for our return, I'm sure.... ha
And this is our big 'road' flowerbed --also putting on a show. The Irises are beautiful and we have LOTS of Roses blooming now.... YEAH!!!!!!! There will be many more pictures to come --not only from our yard, but also from Biltmore and from the beach...
Hope all of you had a good week and a blessed Mother's Day yesterday. I talked to all three of my wonderful sons, and my Sweetheart brought four gorgeous Roses inside for me to enjoy... Life is good --what else can I say?????
On Saturday (April 9), I took another set of pictures of our yard. If you missed the last sets taken on March 21 and 24, click HERE. There are alot of differences in two weeks. Today, I'll show you more of our Spring blooms... Above is another picture of the side flowerbed. We still have Daffodils blooming --but now we have lots of Tulips blooming also. Below are more.
This is our roadside flower bed showing the white Tulips at one end and the red ones at the other end. If you look back at the March picture of this bed, you will be surprised at how much more growth there is now... We have roses growing, lilies growing, daylilies growing, and irises growing in that bed... Before long, that bed will be totally beaming with color!!!!!
These are the gorgeous red Tulips at the other end of the roadside flower bed. Aren't they gorgeous??? I love seeing them with that beautiful blue Periwinkle around them.
I absolutely love Hosta. It has taken me a few years to get our Hosta strong --but this year, most of it is coming up very strong. Above is just one picture of the Hosta which is scattered around the yard. It also looks pretty against the Periwinkle ground cover.
We have two Red Bud trees in our yard. Above is an 'up close and personal' photo of some of the branches of our Red Bud. It is so Gorgeous!!!!
Here is a picture of our Lamppost round bed... I showed it in my March post, but I wanted to do it again --so you could see how the lilies are coming up in that bed. They are going to be gorgeous!!!! I also have said (and say again) that our Pansies (planted last fall) are the prettiest we have ever had--all over the yard.
I love this picture of our Phlox --surrounded by Periwinkle and English Ivy. We planted several things in this big rock bed several years ago, trying to see what would spread the most. The Phlox and CandyTuft have not spread nearly as much as the English Ivy and the Periwinkle. We also have some which we call Pinks (not sure of the name) in that bed, and they are spreading nicely --but haven't bloomed yet.
WELL--stay tuned. As Spring evolves, the yard will just continue to get prettier and prettier... Wish you could ALL stop by and see it in person.....
Have a great day... By the way, I hung a couple of Hummingbird feeders on Saturday... Hope the hummingbirds will stop by here. Last year, we didn't see any until about July I think....
If you missed Part I of pictures from our yard this week, click HERE to see them. Today, I will share a few more with you. Above is a picture of our side flowerbed which contains many varieties of Daffodils right now. If you look carefully in this bed, you can also see a patch of pink Hyacinths, one Rose-colored Tulip and one Orange Tulip, and a group of whitish/yellowish Tulips near the top of the picture. (Most of our Tulips have not bloomed yet.) I enjoy seeing all of this beauty from our kitchen window. It makes washing dishes much more fun!!!!!! ha
Every year, our small Daffodils (which we call Dad Adams Daffodils) put on a show for us. Dad gave them to us after we bought our home --and they have done so well. You can also see more Pansies, the empty lot at the top of the picture, and some paving stones (which George has put there temporarily-- now that he is rebuilding our rose beds).
Here are some of our pink Hyacinths. We also have some purple ones and some burgundy ones. I love Hyacinths --but ours are never FULL like so many I see in other gardens... Oh Well--I still like them.
Many of you commented about our ground cover, Periwinkle, in the last yard post. We love it --and it has become a beautiful ground cover for us. Here is a close-up picture of the beautiful little BLUE flowers.. (They may look purple in the pictures --but they are truly BLUE.)
Here is a picture of the 'Road' Flowerbed (our newest one). In this bed are Roses, Lilies, Daylilies, Irises and some Tulips. The only thing blooming so far are the tulips at this end. Aren't they pretty?
This is my Sweetie ---working hard, as he rebuilds and works on the rose flowerbeds...I'm so proud of him --and I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of the gorgeous roses he brings into the house for me to enjoy!!!! (Of course, I also sit on my bench outside and enjoy them there too!)
If you were reading my blog the past few years, you will know that George and I both really love SEMPERVIVUM (Semps--sometimes called Hens and Chicks). We have them all around our yard in various places. They are all different --and they add so much to the yard I think. Here is just one group of them.
Hope you enjoyed seeing our yard in MARCH... As I write this (Wednesday night), we have had a rough day weatherwise. We had storms with hail during the afternoon, and then, during the evening, we were under a tornado warning for awhile. A tornado did touch down not far from here --but we were lucky this time.
We did have a thunderstorm and LOTS of rain. SO--I'm glad we took our pictures to share BEFORE the storms hit.... Such is life!!!!! It is unnerving though when the huge siren in our community goes off --which means there is a tornado in the area. Yipes!!!!