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Posts tagged ‘Flowers’

SEARCHING FOR SPRING, PART 11: Descanso Gardens

“Try to pause each day and take a walk to view nature.”   Lailah Gitty Akita

From An Earlier Visit

Dad’s Photo of Mom by the Lilacs

Descanso Gardens is a wonderful public garden, located in La Canada Flintridge, California.  It covers 150 acres and offers a wide variety of flowers and trees, several nature trails, and even some lakes and ponds that offer bird-watching opportunities.

This delightful place is not far from where I grew up—and only a couple hours from where I now live.  We did not visit here much when I was a kid, but I have fond memories of visiting with my parents when I was an adult.  Dad and I took photographs while Mom enjoyed the flowers, especially the lilacs.  The garden offers great displays of some of my favorite flowers, including lilacs, camellias and tulips.

Dad Capturing a Good Shot

My recent visit was in early June, so my favorite flowers were not in bloom.  But there was lots to appreciate as I wandered the grounds.  Birds, butterflies, squirrels and even a lizard were enjoying the garden as well, but most refused to pose for photographs.

Now that I have my little travel scooter, I will be able to visit Descanso Gardens much more often, seeing what every season has to offer.  If you have not visited, add this garden to your to-do list.  You will love it!

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QUOTES ABOUT GARDENS

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in—what more could he ask?  A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”   Victor Hugo

“The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible:  The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden.”  Thomas More

“A garden isn’t meant to be useful. It’s for joy.”  Rumer Godden

“When you increase the number of gardens, you increase the number of heavens too!”  Mehmet Murat ildan

“Love without happiness is like a garden without flowers.  I don’t believe in it.”  Marty Rubin

“Gardens and chocolate both have mystical qualities.”   Edward Flaherty

“Gardens are poems where you stroll with your hands in your pockets.”   Pierre Albert-Birot

“The best place to seek God is in a garden.  You can dig for him there.”  George Bernard Shaw

“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.”   Rumi

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”   Cicero

 “Give me odorous at sunrise, a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.”  Walt Whitman

 “The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world.”  Vita Sackville-West

“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen.”  Eeyore

SEARCHING FOR SPRING, PART 8: Blooms Around Town

 

Maybe the plentiful rains. Maybe I’m just being more attentive.  I am not sure why the blooms have been so vibrant this spring, but they have been glorious. I have taken some treks this spring to look for wildflowers, but some of the most impressive flowers have been around town.  No matter where I go, neighbors’ yards and landscaping displays alongside freeways, by restaurants and hotels and even in shopping malls are bright and brilliant with flowers.

I also love the new growth greens that are so very evident in the spring.  Green continues to be my favorite color.

Most of the flowers shared here are from around town, near my apartment in Bakersfield, CA.  But the Bird of Paradise and Calla Lilies were in bloom near a restaurant in Valencia, and the Pansies and Red Yucca were near my hotel in Las Vegas.

A great blogger I follow recently shared some wonderful photos of dogwood blossoms in Yosemite National Park.

Where have you been finding spring blossoms this year?

SEARCHING FOR SPRING—PART 1: Hopeful Promise

 

“Never yet was there a springtime, when a bud forgot to bloom.”  Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

This whole year has suggested a terrific spring was on the way.  In California, the rains were plentiful for a change, and periodic unseasonably warm weather was erupting several days at a time.  Flowers everywhere were starting to bloom, early in fact.  The camellia bushes outside my front door produced quite a few blooms.

Starting in March, I took little trips to find the evidence of spring that was all around.  But the flowers around my apartment complex are some of my favorites.

Splotches of color were also evident in various towns I was driving through with lots of green along the way as well.

The fields were mainly green this early in the month—but that too is a good sign for a wondrous display in the weeks to come.

 

My initial visits to Red Rock Canyon State Park and the California Poppy Preserve did not uncover extensive wildflowers, but there was promise of more to come in the occasional Joshua Tree that was starting to bloom and the isolated patches of poppies that were starting to pop up.

Of course, a drive through the Kern River Canyon (Highway 178) is always delightful! This year the rushing river really caught my attention.

Over the next several weeks, I took several treks into the hills, finding some glorious wildflowers.  I will share photos from those visits in the next several posts.  Where have you been finding flowers in bloom this season?

Finding May Flowers

“Sweet April showers do spring May flowers.”   Thomas Tusser

IMG_8589El Nino promised lots of storms to a drought-ravaged California in 2016.  Although the full force of the expected rains never really IMG_8966arrived, enough rain fell to nudge wildflowers into brilliant eruptions across fields and along roadsides.  I took several drives early in spring, admiring the IMG_8994wildflowers dancing along the route.  I even caught the end of a Megabloom in Death Valley!  Just seeing the vivid and various colors and shapes of the flowers always cheers me, reminding me of my spiritual connection to the world of Nature.  Quite simply, I agree with Luther Burbank:  “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”    

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Every year, I take a several weeks’ long trek into Nature, typically stopping to visit national parks along the way.  This year, I took off on May 3, hoping that I might find wildflowers as I wandered along through several states:  California, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Arizona.  By May, the flowers were waning along the hills and roadsides near me, but I was hoping the higher elevations I was traveling might let me catch glimpses of flowers wherever I went.

IMG_0238And I was lucky.  I saw flowers everywhere—either wildflowers out in the field or cultivated grounds and gardens in the cities.  I was gone for most of the month and saw flowers every day.  What can I say?  It was a great trip!

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QUOTES ABOUT FLOWERS

“You always have to remember—no matter what you’re told—that God loves all the flowers, even the wild ones that grow on the side of the highway.”   Cyndi Lauper

“Keep love in your heart.  A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.”   Oscar Wilde

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.  We need silence to be able to touch souls.”    Mother Teresa

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”    Henri Matisse

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”    Martin Luther

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.  These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”   Joseph Addison

“Earth laughs in flowers.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”   Claude Monet

“In a meadow full of flowers, you cannot walk through and breathe those smells and see all those colors and remain angry.  We have to support the beauty, the poetry of life.”    Jonas Mekas

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“Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes—every form of animate or inanimate existence leaves its impress upon the soul of man.”   Orison Swett Marden

“It’s been proven by quite a few studies that plants are good for our psychological development.  If you green an area, the rate of crime goes down.  Torture victims begin to recover when they spend time outside in a garden with flowers.  So we need them, some deep psychological sense, which I don’t suppose anybody really understands yet.”   Jane Goodall

“The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”  Basho

“Spring, when the earth tilts closer to the sun, runs a strict timetable of flowers.”   Alice Oswald

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day—like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”   Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”    Pablo Neruda

“I’m an introvert. . . I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.”   Audrey Hepburn

“Change is a continuous process.  You cannot assess it with the static yardstick of a limited time frame.  When a seed is sown into the ground, you cannot immediately see the plant.  You have to be patient.  With time, it grows into a large tree.  And then the flowers bloom, and only then can the fruits be plucked.”   Mamata Banerjee

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.”   Walt Whitman

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”   Iris Murdoch

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“With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy.”  Lope de Vega

“The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.  Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.”   Auguste Rodin

“I was taught to confront things you can’t avoid.  Death is one of those things.  To live in a society where you’re trying not to look at it is stupid because looking at death throws us back into life with more vigor and energy.  The fact that flowers don’t last forever makes them beautiful.”   Damien Hirst

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.”   Henry Ward Beecher

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“Weed are flowers too, once you get to know them.”   A. A. Milne

“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.”   Theodore Roethke

“Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.”   Jeremy Bentham

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”   Claude Monet

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!  I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”   Edna St. Vincent Millay

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in—what more could he ask?  A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”   Victor Hugo

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.  I want to give that world to someone else.  Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower.  I want them to see it whether they want or not.”   Georgia O’Keefe

“go sailing away and away, sailing into a keen city which nobody’s ever visited, where always it’s Spring) and everyone’s in love and flowers pick themselves”   e. e. cummings

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”   Lady Bird Johnson

“Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.”   Gerald de Nerval

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“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”   Anais Nin

“What a desolate place would be a world without a flower!  It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome.  Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and are not our stars the flowers of the heaven.”   A. J. Balfour

“In the hope of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.”   Albert Schweitzer

“Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time—we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”   Georgia O’Keefe

IMG_9096I guess I am fickle.  My favorite flower tends to be whatever glorious bloom I am admiring at the moment, especially if it surprises me out in a field somewhere.  I do always love to see lupines, lilacs and irises, in part for the good memories they hold.  I’ve written before about agreeing with Alice Walker that “It pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

I bet that is actually true for all flowers, all the little wonders of the natural world!

Lilacs in Montana with a Bit of Snow Lingering from the Previous Night's Storm

Lilacs in Montana with a Bit of Snow Lingering from the Previous Night’s Storm

Do you have a favorite flower that always catches your attention, brightens your day, tugs at special memories?

Feeling Lucky: Happy St. Patrick’s Day

“If you are lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough!”

Wikipedia Image

Wikipedia Image

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

You know Saint Patrick, right?  He lived in the fifth century and used the shamrock as a metaphor to explain the Holy Trinity.  He is also credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland.  Now, most naturalists agree there were never any snakes in Ireland, but does that really matter?

This day seems a good time for me to take note of all that makes me feel lucky.

Mom and GrandmaI am part Irish through my mom’s mom.  It is a great legacy through two great women.  I love the memories that come to mind of them, especially when I am wearing green in celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day.  That both Mom and Grandma enjoyed gardening, I thought of them especially the other day when I noticed some shamrocks sprouting near my apartment.

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I also feel lucky that this year’s El Nino is ending the drought in California.  Well, that might be an overstatement—perhaps I have kissed the Blarney Stone? The truth is that the nearly 20 storms that have come through my area this year have provided enough rain to almost reach our norm for the year.  That is a good start at helping to break the drought.

IMG_9024The weather has been glorious lately—making it seem like spring with flowers blooming all over.  I was able to take a short trip to Death Valley to witness the Superbloom erupting there this spring, a maybe once a decade event.  It was wonderful!  But I am also lucky that flowers are showing the wonder of nature all over town.

You just have to take the minute to notice them!

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In general, I am just lucky to be as healthy and happy as I am. Sure I am not thrilled with the current political rhetoric that is igniting fear and hate throughout the country, but I am hopeful that truth, charity and community responsibility will eventually generate a wise outcome.  That hope makes me feel lucky to live in America where even crazy people can run for office and crazier people can vote for them.

Saugaro NP Rincon & West 115Saugaro NP Rincon & West 124In my day-to-day life, I have good family and friends.  I have plans for a couple more trips this spring to enjoy Nature.  One later this week—in fact—where I might see some desert blooms!  I have recently discovered some new authors I am enjoying like Stan Jones and R. Allen Chappell and rediscovering others who are worth re-reading like Stieg Larsson and Alice Walker.  I am working on some projects—and completion is in sight.  My federal tax refund just showed up in my account, Cadbury mini-chocolate eggs are just so good, and a neighbor’s cat was enjoying the sunshine on my patio earlier today.  Overall, gratitude and appreciation regularly help make my life better in every way possible.

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!

 What are you feeling lucky about today?

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 A Little Irish Wisdom

 “May the road rise to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back.  May the sun shine warm about your face  and rains fall soft upon your fields.  And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

“Health and a long life to you.  Land without rent to you.  A child every year to you.  And if you can’t go to heaven, may you at least die in Ireland.”

“May God grant you many years to live, For sure he must be knowing the earth has angels all too few, and heaven is overflowing.”

“May the roof above us never fall in, and may the friends gathered below it never fall out.”

“May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.”

“May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door.”

“May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.  May good luck pursue you each morning and night.”

“Bless you and yours as well as the cottage you live in.  May the roof overhead be well thatched, and those inside be well matched.”

“May those who love us love us, and those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts.  And if he doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so we’ll know them by their limping.”

“Praise the child and you praise the mother.”

 “’Tis better to buy a small bouquet and give to your friend this very day than a bushel of roses white and red to lay on his coffin after he’s dead.”

 “Humor to a man is like a feather pillow.  It is filled with what is easy to get but gives great comfort.”

 “God is good, but never dance in a small boat.”

 “Life is like a cup of tea.  It’s all in how you make it.”

 “May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.”

 “May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks.  May your heart be as light as a song.  May each day bring you bright, happy hours that stay with you all the year long.”

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.”

 “May you have food and raiment, a soft pillow for your head.  May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead.”

“May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends.  And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.”

“May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.”

 “May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.”

 “A life making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all.”  George Bernard Shaw

 “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go” Oscar Wilde

The Hope of Spring

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”  Henry Van Dyke

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Today is the Vernal Equinox, the official start of Spring 2015.  Where I live in California, the weather has been great lately—the 70s and 80s as the highs—and blossoms are bursting forth across the city.  I realize other parts of the country might be colder and gloomier, but it is still the start of spring.  So take heart!  Embrace the change, the hope, promise and expectation of spring.  As Margaret Elizabeth Sangster said, “Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.”

IMG_4960When I ran errands the other day, I captured some of the blossoms that were evident across the city.  Even brought a couple inside to brighten the living room.  What signs of spring are you seeing in your neighborhood?

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SOME QUOTES ABOUT SPRING, HOPE & FLOWERS

“Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.”  Bertrand Russell

“It’s spring fever. . . . You don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”  Mark Twain

“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.  The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.”  Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”  Robin Williams

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.”  Zen Proverb

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”  Anne Bradstreet

“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?”  Percy Bysshe Shelley

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”  Bern Williams

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”  Doug Larson

“Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”  Rainer Marie Rilke

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt,”  Margaret Atwood

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”  Hal Borland

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!”  Sitting Bull

“No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”  Sheryl Crow

“Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise!”  Wallace Stevens

“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.”  Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

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“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”  Ruth Stout

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”  Harriet Ann Jacobs

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.”  Susan J. Bissonette

“Spring is when life’s alive in everything.”  Christina Rossetti

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”  Gertrude S. Wister

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.”  Henry Beecher

“Earth laughs in flowers.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them.”  Chinese Proverb

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Topic F: Flowers, Flowers, Flowers!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love all the seasons. 

The colorful leaves of fall.

 Fall Leaves

The quiet blanketing of winter snow.

 Deer in Winter Snow

It is just that the most recent Fall and Winter seem to be lasting a bit longer than usual.  It started in November 2012 when Mom died.  Since then, a long-term problem is still unresolved, friends have experienced falls and unexplained pains, and others are undergoing surgery or grieving over the loss of loved ones.  Add to that the agony of such senseless acts as the Sandy Hook Shootings and the recent Ex-Policeman Turned Vengeful Sniper in CA. Then the Blizzard of 2013 hit and is still impacting lives on the East Coast.

First Yellow Buds of SpringI am not complaining.  I am just tired, weary of the ongoing gloom.  The Vernal Equinox is still over a month away.  I saw a few hummingbirds the other day, tough hold-outs who did not move on to warmer climes for the winter.  And they so lifted my spirits.  It was then that I realized I was eager for spring!  I think it is the hope of Spring that I am anxious to embrace.  As Margaret Elizabeth Sanger says, “Never yet was a spring time when the buds forgot to bloom.”

So I made a decision.

I decided to immerse myself in an early spring by sorting through some of my flower pictures.  They come from gardens and road sides and deserts and national parks.  But they are all gorgeous in their own ways.  And they will tide me over until actual signs of spring start busting forth all around us.

Queen Anne's Lace BudAfter all, the Vernal Equinox will be here before we know it.  In the next few weeks more and more flowers will start to bloom.  And I even promise to slow down enough to actually notice the blossoms that brighten the world around me when they do arrive.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson laments, “Many go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.”  I vow not to be one of the “many.”

How about you?

The beauty of flowers, their elegance of shape, the exquisiteness of their colors and patterns are an endless source of delight. . . .      David Attenborough

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Pink Bud on Fruit Tree

Yellow Cactus

Queen Anne's Lace

Japanese Iris

Just living is not enough—one must have sunshine, freedom & a little flower.     Hans Christian Andersen

Bloom Where You're Planted

Lilacs

Pink Cactus

 Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.   Henry David Thoreau

Cover my earth mother four times with many flowers.    Zuni Song

Purple Tulips

Pansies

Two Daffodils

Several Daffodils

Tulip Fields

 Earth laughs in flowers.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Daises

Lupine

Yellow Iris

If my soul could get away from this so-called prison . . . , my first journeys would be into the inner substance of flowers.     John Muir

Orchid Sprig

Three Calla Lilies

Wild Iris

Two Orchids

 And I really do just love roses!

Rose with Dew

Pale ose

Orange Rose

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