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Posts tagged ‘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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“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

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


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


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


Two Daffodils

Several Daffodils

Tulip Fields

 Earth laughs in flowers.    Ralph Waldo Emerson



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

Spring Is in the Air!

Wildflowers in Norhtern CA I spent a lot of time this weekend in the LA-area, which means I also spent a lot of time on the road. I typically looked forward to the drive over the Grapevine, but this year the hills and hills of orange poppies were not there yet. I realized they might not make a showing this year, despite all the rain. At first I was rather disappointed at what was not there for me to see. But fortunately I got over that foolishness pretty quickly.

Red Winged Black Bird, I-5 When I let myself view the scenery that was there in front of me, there was much to treasure. The hills are alive with verdant green grasses. White clover and yellow mustard bushes are bright along the roadside and small pockets of lupine are evident here and there. The literal grape vines are also fresh with the lime green of new growth, starting the process that will eventually bring grapes for harvesting. Small blackbirds were darting through the fields, seeking cover or maybe insects as the cars raced by. I also marveled at the clear blue skies and the white puffy clouds that marked the way. It was a gorgeous almost-summer day!

Hawk on I-5 The hawks were even taking flight, playing on the winds that were keeping the drivers alert. They soared and soared, as if they were relishing spring as well. On my next trip down, I vow I will stop at some of the county gardens to see the colors and displays there. From past visits, I know that at the Arboretum, the irises—purple, white, yellow—will be in competition with the strutting peacocks showing off their tails! Fields of tulips and rows of daffodils will be blowing in the breeze at Descanso Gardens.

Tulips, Descanso GardensPeacock, Arboretum

Apache Rose Grand Canyon By the time I got home, I had remembered that Nietzsche was right: “When one has much to put in it, a day has a hundred pockets.” That is one reason I love this time of year—all of Nature’s wonders offer themselves as wondrous pebbles to pick up and tuck away in my pockets to marvel at again later. This weekend’s drive was just the nudge I needed to slow down and really see the glories around me. When I arrived home I marveled at the bushes at my own apartment complex full of lush Apache Roses, the small yellow wild rose that also perches along the Grand Canyon’s south rim. How could I have missed them earlier?

Flying Bumblebee I have new admiration for bees: They never forget to notice when spring has arrived!

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