Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month is a beautiful CROCUS in our Yard. When the Crocus and Daffodils bloom --that means that SPRING 'may' be on the way!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

HOSTA in our Yard in August 2016-- plus a Fall Surprise

Hello Blog Friends,   Hope Summer has been good to you this year... Here on the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee,   we have had one of the hottest,  most humid and DRIEST summers I can remember since moving here in 2003...  The drought is horrible... George puts the sprinkler out to water our flowers/yard EVERY morning --and that helps some.  BUT--the big trees are suffering --and truly,  everything just needs a good soaking  (which we haven't had in over 2 months).   I hope this cycle ends soon and I'm hoping for a gorgeous FALL.

Most of the summer,  I have posted pictures of our flowers and our travels.  One thing I have neglected to post is the beautiful HOSTA plants we have in our yard... Since we have LOTS of shade,  and since Hostas generally do well in most conditions,   ours have THRIVED here.   When we first moved here,  I wanted Caladium  (which is more colorful) instead of Hosta ---and actually planted some one year.  BUT--our temperatures get too low in the winter for them  to come back year after year...  SO--I switched to Hostas which are good perennials here.  AND---they 'may' live in full sunlight ---but prefer (and do much better) in shaded areas.

SO---today I'll share you some of our Hostas around the yard.  The pictures were taken  8/19/16 ---so most all of the blooms are gone for the season... (NOTE to Betsy:  Take Hosta pictures earlier in the summer next year!!!!)   BUT---the plants themselves are so pretty  so I hope you enjoy seeing them today...   I know the names of many of our flowers --but have never learned the names of Hostas.  But--I still love them.  You can click on the pictures if you would like to see them larger.





You can see how the Hostas co-habitate with our English Ivy and our Periwinkle Ground Covers.



This Hosta plant get very tall as opposed to some of the others --which are more Ground Covers.



This is one of my favorites,  given to me by a friend.  
























Our largest Hosta Plant
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AUTUMN JOY SEDUM
Finally,   I'll show you the FIRST  sign of Autumn  (although we are TRULY still in the heat of SUMMER here this year).    These little flowers are the succulent,  Autumn Joy Sedum.  George's sweet Daddy gave us some of these when we moved here in 2003...  They have thrived --and are EXTREMELY easy plants to grow and care for... Deer don't eat them --nor do the other critters we have around here.  They come back year after year and are such neat plants to have in the yard.

As you can see the flower color here is almost white (with a tiny greenish tint)... These flowers change colors throughout the Fall --and end as a RUST color (matching many other colors during very late Fall).... The next color to come from these beauties is PINK.... They are truly amazing little flowers... IF you want more information about them,  click HERE.

Hope you enjoyed seeing more of our yard today...  Have a good week ---and please send us some RAIN if you are getting some in your area!!!!!

Hugs,

Monday, August 22, 2016

FLOWERS from BILTMORE, August 4, 2016 (Need Help with Identification)

1.  My Facebook Friends (Thanks to YOU) identified this one as Chenille --with several names,  the most common being "Love Lies Bleeding";  The 'official' name is Amaranthus.
Since George and I have season's passes to the Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville,  North Carolina,  we like to visit there 3-4 times a year during different seasons to check out all of the gardens to see what is blooming.  August is a great time to visit (except for the hot temperatures) since we love seeing not only the Walled Garden (which is always gorgeous) but especially the Water Lilies and lily pads at the Italian Gardens.

I will have an upcoming blog showing the Lilies and Lily Pads--but TODAY,  I'm showing you some of the 'different' flowers we saw blooming this month.   The flower above is one I love --but had no idea its name until some  friends on Facebook told me.

SO---since many of you KNOW the names of flowers,  hopefully you can help me with their names...  I'll number the pictures --so that you can name them by the number for easy reference.   BUT--even if you (like me) don't know all of the names,  I hope you will just enjoy seeing the beauty.


2.   This little fuzzy yellow one was from a plant growing in the water.  Another picture of this one is below. Name? 



Pretty little yellow flowers in the water in the Italian Gardens.  (See close-up above);  Name?



3.  Such a pretty border along the path in the Walled Garden;   IMPATIENS  (I think);  I used to plant Impatiens in Summer --but rabbits kept eating it... Impatiens and Vinca are both such pretty annuals.



4.  Such a pretty bush;  Love the leafy colors;  Name?



5.  Another pretty purple flower --also growing in water in the Italian Gardens;  Name?



6. Such a pretty and happy RED flower;  Name?????



7. This is not a very good picture of this purple flowered plant...  BUT--the purple (from a distance)  added to the garden.  Name?



8. I couldn't get a close-up of this tiny white flower --growing in water at the Italian Gardens.  BUT--it was so tiny --yet so full of beauty.   Name?



9.  I love this one....   And the foliage was also beautiful.  Name?



10.   Wonder if you have any idea what this cute little one is?????????   Looks like a flying bird of some kind!!!!! ha ha .... TRULY,  it's a kind of ORCHID.... Amazing, huh?



11. I know this one since I used to have the multi-colored COLEUS on the right.  BUT--have you ever seen the scarlet red COLEUS?????   It's so pretty in one's garden or yard...



12.  Another beauty I have no idea what its name is....  Do you know?



13. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this one... Isn't it gorgeous?  Bet this one will make you smile for sure!!!!!   NAME?
Well  my Friends... Hopefully,  some of you who know flowers can help name some of these.  I love flowers --but know so little about SO many of them...

Even if you don't know the names,  I hope some of these made you smile today.  As you can imagine,  I will have many more pictures from our 8/4/16 trip to Biltmore to share...

Have a wonderful day/week.

Hugs,

Monday, August 15, 2016

Indian Boundary Recreation Area, Tennessee 8/3/16

Indian Boundary Lake (96 acres with a 3.6 mile lakeshore trail around the lake)
On the first day (8/3/16)  of my 'surprise' Birthday Trip this year,  George took me on the Cherohala Skyway between Tellico Plains,  Tennessee and Robbinsville,  North Carolina.  There is a road off of the Skyway which goes to the INDIAN BOUNDARY RECREATION AREA,  part of the Cherokee National Forest.

We had NEVER been there before--so decided to check it out on that day.  WOW---were we impressed!  We got there early in the morning  (no people around much) and the weather was nice... We drove and also walked around for awhile but did not stay too long.  However,  we were able to get some good pictures to share...

If you enjoy camping and/or picnicking and hiking,  along with beautiful mountain views; a beach for swimming;  biking; fishing;  boating--- and MORE, we highly recommend this area...  AND---we hope to go back in the Fall --just to see the beautiful Fall colors in those mountains.

Click HERE  for the website if you want more information.  Today I'll share some of the pictures we took at the Indian Boundary Recreation Area..  You can click on the pictures for enlargements.


George --with the clouds overtaking the mountaintops in the distance;  Don't you love the reflections?



The boaters had the lake to themselves on this early morning.



Another view looking across the lake



A view of the beach area (and the bridge/dam) across the lake


A close-up of the bridge/dam from across the lake;  We hiked down to that bridge/dam.



Now we are on the other side of the lake --where the beach is.



A view from the beach --looking back over to the other side of the lake (where we were before)



While on the beach,  George took a picture looking toward the fishing pier...



Another picture of the clouds hiding the tops of the nearby mountains;  I love puffy clouds like this!



Our hike to the bridge/dam (from the beach area)



One last picture before we headed on our way;  I was standing at the top of the hill looking down at the beach,  the lake,  the mountains,  and the clouds... What a beautiful sight!
I hope we can go back to this gorgeous place.. The elevation here is 1660 feet ---so it shouldn't be quite as HOT as the lower elevations are...  AND--there are tons of hardwoods and pines for shade....

Maybe it is because this place was NEW to us,  but it definitely was one of my very favorite places to visit on this trip...  Hope YOU can get there someday.

Hugs,