Tag Archives: gardening


rhododendron pink

Some campgrounds aren’t worth remembering, but if a place has a distinctive feature, I’ll probably find it while walking my dog.

In Fort Bragg, California, the memorable thing was the rhododendrons . Only I didn’t know what to call them until SimplyPut536 stopped by for my post about northern California’s coast and mentioned the rhododendrons in Fort Bragg.

A little bit of time spend with Google revealed that Fort Bragg is a hot bed (or should I say, hot-house?) for rhododendrons (or rhodies, if you’re hip and in the know) because of its cool coastal climate and uniquely rich soil. So they’re hard to miss because they’re everywhere.

rhododendron white

The bees love ’em.

rhododendron bee

Part of the reason they’ll catch your eye is because they’re like lilacs–not just one blossom or a bunch, they come in towering bushes.

rhododendron far away

Usually, but not always, under huge trees (because that’s how they grow ’em on the West Coast).

I found some other eye-catching blossoms while in Fort Bragg, too, but I can’t identify them without some help. There were these yellow gems on the shore:

rhododendron yellow

And this iridescent blue beauties of which I just had to take a picture, even while handling the dog.

rhododendron blue


Clematis memories

clamatis wide shot

My Beloved planted this clematis a couple of years ago because it reminded him of his grandfather.

I never met his mother’s father, but he sounds like he filled a room with his personality. Among his talents, apparently, was gardening. Tyler remembers his grandfather’s clematis growing on a trellis in the back yard. Technically, this one is in our side yard, but when it started blooming so beautifully this week, my Beloved relished good memories. I’m sharing so you can appreciate its beauty.

clamatis close up

Beauty everywhere, if you stop to notice

Slow down and smell the lilies.


Seven lilies and … a surprise! … in Aunt Helen’s garden

Lily 1

Lily 2

Lily 3

Lily 4

Lily 5

Lily 6

Lily 7

“As all must be,” I said within my heart,
“Whether they work together or apart.”
But as I said it, swift there passed me by
On noiseless wing a ’wildered butterfly.

~ lines from “The Tuft of Flowers” by Robert Frost


Noble color, noble intentions

On the theory that seeing warm colors warms you up, I present this gallery of beautiful flowers on the warm side of the color wheel.

(There is no theory that viewing warm colors warms you up, but I think you’ll enjoy these images that make the most of the Rule of Thirds more than pictures of yellow snow.)

yellow flower

coral flower

red flower

fuscia flower

purple flower

Wherever men are noble, they love bright colour; and wherever they can live healthily, bright colour is given them—in sky, sea, flowers, and living creatures.

~ John Ruskin (1819–1900)

A rainbow of pretty Southern plants

Minnesota Transplant has been traveling around the southern United States, lo, these past few days, and she’s discovered some interesting plants she never sees in Minnesota:


I found these little peppers in the Victory Garden at the World War II museum in New Orleans (it’s a very good museum, as far as wars go —  I definitely recommend beginning with the 4D movie narrated by Tom Hanks — it deftly compresses four years of U.S. involvement in the war to end all wars into about 35 minutes).

pink grass

Grass is green in Minnesota and Illinois. Or maybe blue if you’re a fan of Kentucky bluegrass. But it’s never pink. I found this ethereal pink ornamental grass in Gulf Shores, Ala. Wow. I felt like a fairy standing in the midst of these waves of cotton candy.

dragon flower

Though it wasn’t snarling, I found a flame-haired dragon in the garden at my husband’s uncle’s place in Tampa, Fla. This tropical beauty spoke to me: Take my picture, please. I complied.

Fields of orange

Did you know Illinois is the top pumpkin-producing state in the nation?

pumpkin field

My little burg on the outskirts of Chicago is surrounded by pumpkin fields, like this one above. Or as Linus might say, pumpkin patches. Literally thousands of orange orbs fill that field.

That’s a lot of jack-o’-lanterns. Or Great Pumpkins.