Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to APRIL!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful TULIPS from Biltmore!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Walled Garden at Biltmore House and Gardens -8/6/13

The Walled Garden from above
Our first stop on my Birthday Trip in early August was at the Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville,  NC.   We predominantly went to see the SUNFLOWERS (click HERE to see that post) and to see the Italian Water Garden (click HERE for that post).   BUT--as we always do,  we had to stop and see what was new in the WALLED GARDEN.  Today I will share some of the beauty in that garden on that day!  Hope you enjoy it.  Be sure to enlarge the photos for better pictures.

The first photo (above) was taken when we hiked up the hill on the side of the gardens for a picture showing quite a bit of them from afar.

While we walked around the Walled Garden,  I always enjoy seeing how they decorate the ARBOR.  It's always so beautiful!  (By the way,  there were alot of people there that day --and I 'zapped' them out of the photos!!!!)

Here is one of the big Hibiscus blooms in the Walled Garden.

This is the view showing part of the gardens.  They have different things blooming each season of the year (except winter).  It's so much fun to compare the colors during the seasons...

Here is a neat photo showing some of the colors through the arbor window...

These colors along the edge of the Walled Gardens were so vivid.... Beautiful,  don't you think?

Here  is a photo showing the colors in the Walled Garden from another angle... It's hard to choose a favorite shot...

Here is another Hibiscus bloom.   This one is a favorite of mine.  They are HUGE.

This  is a close-up of some of the Coleus blooms along the Arbor.   They were so gorgeous!

Here is a photo of some of the ROSE beds.  We saw some pretty roses  (some we may even want to order IF we had a bigger yard --ha ha).

Here's another photo showing some of the colors looking out from inside the Arbor.

Finally,  here's one more photo showing the beautiful flowers and colors in the Walled Garden...  Hope ---if you haven't been there,  you can make it to the Biltmore House and Gardens sometime.  We are so fortunate to have season's passes --so we get to go often.  Visiting the house is nice --but since we can't take photos inside,  we enjoy the gardens much more...

I have a Prayer Request for my niece, Diane.  She is having a rough time in her life and needs your prayers and thoughts.  I was blessed yesterday when I put this request on Facebook and got 54+ comments sending prayers to Diane.  Facebook is WONDERFUL.  Thank You for your prayers and thoughts today.  

I am taking the rest of the month OFF from Blogging in order to do some more Genealogy work.   I hope each of you have a great month ---and I'll see you again on October 2nd..


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Early Fall 2013 in Tennessee

Today I will share a few 'early'  Fall photos from Tennessee.  The photo above was taken on September 5 when George and I were in the Smokies.  I took this photo from the Foothills Parkway.  I was so excited to see some Fall Color. (Be sure to click on photos for enlargements.)

Then on September 10,  I took this picture of a tree across the street from us that was showing lots of color.  Pretty,  isn't it????

The rest of the photos were taken on a gorgeous Saturday (September 14) in our yard... We began planting our PANSIES around the yard on this day.  We have 72 to plant.  Pansies will last through the winter here (most of the time---unless it is extremely cold for a long period of time, which is rare) and will add some color to the yard.  They will bloom until about July (when it gets very hot).   This is the Lamppost Flowerbed ---and we also plant Lilies and Daffodils in this bed.

Our Pink Dogwood tree is showing signs of FALL.   Pretty,  isn't it?

Here's a new photo of the trees across the street --that are showing so much color.  I love this photo since it also shows the gorgeous BLUE skies we had on this day.

Vinca is a great Summer flower to have in your yard... It is similar to Impatiens --but is a sun-lover whereas the Impatiens love shade.  They are good to have as replacements of  the Pansies, when they die in July.   Do you have Vinca in your yard?

Here's another photo of some color in one of the trees across the street from our house.

Well---all of this FALL color (except for our Pink Dogwood) is across the street --and not in our yard YET... As you can see from this photo,  we still have alot of GREEN around us so far... I can't wait to see these big trees show more Fall colors... (I will share this with you when it happens!!)

We usually have LOTS of Autumn Joy Sedum in bloom this time of year,  but some kind of bug (or something) did alot of damage to many of ours this year... I have had Autumn Joy Sedum for many years with NO problems.  It's pretty hearty --but this year,  something has gotten it (even though the plants are in different places throughout the yard).  Maybe all of the rain we had this year has caused problems --but I really think it was a bug of some kind (although I've never seen any bugs).... I have sprayed for bugs and put out something to get rid of slugs.  I've also cut many of the plants back.  It's a puzzlement...  Anyhow---this is one that has made it this year (we have a few blooming around the yard), even though you can see some of the brown spots on the leaves... Anyone ever had this problem with your Autumn Joy Sedum?????

I love this photo of my Sweetie as he works in the yard... He is cleaning out an area so that the Periwinkle (Vinca Minor) and/or the English Ivy will grow and take over those spots...  The more ground cover we have,  the less that George has to mow!!!!!  That is his goal!!!!!

Here's another Pansy bed (under the Dogwood Tree).... I am going to plant HOSTA here this Fall --since Hosta do well in our yard (if I can keep the deer away from them). 

Our big Confederate Jasmine Bush just keeps on blooming...  I love this big bush --but we may have to cut it back some this winter since it's almost too large to prune!!!!  We needed to prune it this summer --but there was a bird's nest in it---so we had to wait til the birds left the nest...

I can't do an Early Fall Blog Post without showing you at least one more of our gorgeous ROSES... They are really blooming all over the yard now ---and will do so until the first frost of winter.  This beauty is named PERFECT MOMENT and I took the picture on September 9. 

Finally,  here's a photo looking above our home at the trees and gorgeous blue skies looking toward the backyard.  This was our first really cool Fall morning of the season (45 degrees early that morning --and highs in the lower 70's)....   I'll write down September 14, 2013 as a PERFECT day on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.

Please check out a neat photo in my Photo Blog today (click HERE).

Thanks for so many interesting comments on my 'Sounds' Blog Post on Monday... You made me think of so many more sounds I like or dislike....  I love to hear windchimes and I love to hear a crackling fire in the fireplace.... I hate to hear the alarm clock go off EARLY in the mornings.....  Thanks again for participating... I enjoy those kinds of posts. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday.


Monday, September 16, 2013

SOUNDS----the Good Ones and the Bad Ones

I got this idea from blog friend,  Arkansas Patti (NEW SIXTY)..  Thanks, Patti!!!!  I enjoyed commenting on her blog so much that I decided to do a blog post myself so that I could read your idea and thoughts on SOUNDS that you like and ones that you don't....

Here are some of my ideas.... Take a minute and add some or take away some from this group!!!!!  We are all different and special --and we all love different things in this life.  It's so much fun sharing our thoughts with each other...

Above is probably the worst sound for me....  I hate to hear our HOME PHONE ringing.... I worked for many years using a phone ---calling people to get them to volunteer for things.. SO--these days,  I stay far away from phones!   Our home phone is the number we give to businesses, doctors, etc.  --and it's the number that telemarketers have (even though we are ON the no-call list)....  SO ---most of the time,  we don't even answer the home phone!!!!!

I do LOVE the sound of my cellphone ringing especially when it's one of my sons calling... They don't call as much as I wish they would (they are so busy) --so when I do hear from them,  I LOVE it... I also love getting text messages from them --and from other family and friends....

I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing the birds sing,  or squawk.... The Pileated and the Red-bellied Woodpeckers make alot of noise before coming to the feeders.  I LOVE hearing that...

Do you like hearing crying babies in church?????  I do NOT... That's what churches should have nurseries for...  I am thrilled that young families go to church ---but PLEASE take the children out if they are noisy!!!!!!

How about STRIKING CLOCKS???  Many people don't like them --but I love them.  We have three old clocks and all of them strike.... LOVE that sound!

How about lawnmowers?????   I don't mind hearing them most of the time  (and I love to smell grass which has been mown) ---but when the golf course lawn mowers mow about 6:30 am,  I'm usually not a Happy Camper... ha ha

Do you listen to music?  Both George and I love music ---and we listen to music ALOT.... We both have earphones at  our computers ---and enjoy all of the music we have on our iTunes....  There is SOME music which I don't love (like heavy rock or rap) ---but for the most part,  I do love music.

How  about the sound of LAUGHTER?   I love hearing someone give a big-ole-belly laugh!!!!!  I also love hearing toddlers laughing loudly!!!!

Do  you like thunderstorms????  I do --most of the time.  BUT--when thunder wakes me up during the middle of the night,  I don't like that sound....  HOWEVER,  I adore hearing the rain hit our skylights... What a wondeful sound!

How  about hearing your doorbell ring????  I don't usually care for that sound unless I am 'expecting' someone...  Most of the time,  I'm not dressed for company!!!!! ha ha

What about BARKING DOGS?   They drive me crazy --and if I ever have another dog,  I want one that barks RARELY... ha....  Seriously,  the saddest thing is having to listen to the poor, chained up dog in our neighborhood... He barks ALL DAY LONG...   That is sad!

Do you enjoy hearing TRAIN WHISTLES?   I love it --since I grew up in an area where trains were very important.  My Dad worked for the railroad --so trains are special to me.  The photo above was from the Cass Railroad in West VA...  That sound of the steam engine was FANTASTIC.

What about having to listen to loud, noisy and screaming children when you are in a restaurant?????   I HATE it..... Again,  let me say that I love kids... I raised three of them.  However,  so many kids today are not disciplined.   Parents need to take control --and show the children who is BOSS... Kids need to behave!!!!!

How about the CROWD SOUNDS at a college or pro football game (or any sports event)??????   I LOVE them ---but I'm a sports fan!!!!!  (That photo is from my wonderful team,  the University of Tennessee Volunteers!!!!1)

Finally, I told you my least favorite sound (phone ringing) ---so now,  I'll tell you my FAVORITE SOUND....  You could have guessed it I'm sure!!!! ha.....

This photo is one that I took on Sept. 5 when we were in the Tremont area of the Smoky Mountains... I love love love the sound of raging water ---whether it be waterfalls,  cascades or just a raging creek....  LOVE it.

Now it's your turn!!!!!  What is your favorite sound and what is your LEAST favorite sound?????

Have a wonderful day.