Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Every year around this time,
 the big conversation in my mind is: 
 Will the garden shine again? 
 Any day 
that the sun doesn't shine 
is not a good day in my estimation,
 a doubtful day. 
 To be sure,
 we don't have a lot of doubtful days
 in California but 
for me just a few are too many. 
 Although I am a big fan of 
the changing seasons, 
a little goes a long way with me,
 especially in spring
 when it is so unpredictable.  
I always find that
 my expectations are so much higher 
than what actually happens.

We have some 
very sunny, actually hot, days and
 the Lady Banks 
springs to life...

...then the
 Cecil Brunner takes over and 
the conversation 
becomes louder.

After a few days of hope
 the rain comes again and 
what was bright and shining 
just moments ago, 
becomes a tangle of spent blooms and
 the conversation 
resorts to whispers.

The valerian, 
a rather non-descript flower in itself,
 stands strong 
under the force of nature. 
 Once it raises 
its bright face to the skies,
 nothing can take away
 the glimmer of hope 
that it gives.

An opportunity missed 
was the chance to plant 
more zinnias before the rains came again.
the little coreopsis are struggling 
to keep their heads above water 
until the zinnias arrive...

...the hope being 
that they will again 
fill their spaces with bright color
 as they did 
last season...

...and the Cottage 
will again be filled
 with their brilliance.

One thing 
this small blip in the weather 
is good for is 
the old-school phlox 
that returns each summer 
all on its own.  
It is coming in 
loud and clear this year and 
the hope is
 that it will continue the conversation 
started many years ago 
when we and the Cottage 
were first introduced.

 the secrets,
 I'm sure, 
it could tell!

Stay smart, 
safe and well and 
wear your masks.


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda


Keep In Touch at Let's Add Sprinkles


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Maristella. I appreciate your kind words. Stay well and safe..xxoJudy

  2. The fountain looks so nice there in the middle of the entrance. I want one like that in my front yard. Your roses are just gorgeous! Does lady banks have a strong scent? I love roses that do and they must love California because they are just so laden with flowers and growth. Not here like that. Today feels like the beginning of fall for some reason, well maybe because of rain and chill. You have a ton of zinnias in the photo. Love those flowers, always can depend on them to come up and have flowers all summer. You have a beautiful home and yard.
    Hugs, betsy

  3. Thank you so much, Betsy. The Lady Banks does not have any scent that I can tell, but it is so dainty and soft looking. I planted the Lady Banks on one side of the arbor and Cecil Brunner on the other thinking they would just intermingle and be so pretty, letting them each do their thing over the years. Kind of like I do all the gardening!! Ha! Now the Lady Banks is being choked out by the Cecil Brunner so we don't get half the blooms that we should. I truly don't deserve a garden. I haven't planted the zinnias yet and by the time I get to the nursery, I hope they aren't all gone. My big conversation with my garden should be Why do you keep coming back??!! Your garden always looks so beautiful to me..Stay well and keep safe..xxoJudy

  4. Judy your garden is so beautiful, and I love seeing all the variety of flowers. I had high hopes for getting a flower garden going this Spring, but I guess I'll have to be patient. I DO love zinnias. Your fencing and home are so lovely, you're so fortunate to be able to live in the midst of such beauty!

    1. Thank you so much, Debra. I hope you are getting back on your feet. My garden is a labor of love for Mother Nature. It keeps coming back year after year all on its own. Jerry does mow the lawn and I am the only one who knows how to set the water system and that is the extent of our doing. Sad but true and we are so thankful that it grows inspite of us..Stay well and safe..xxoJudy

    2. Thank you so much, Debra. I had already written this and now it just vanished so will try again..Our garden is a labor of love from Mother Nature. It keeps coming back every year all on its own. Jerry mows the lawn and I am the only one who knows how to set the water system and that is the extent of what we do. It usually looks pretty good but not because of anything we do..Stay well and hope you are feeling better..xxoJudy

    3. Well, there you have it. Two versions of the same subject! I knew it was there but it did disappear until I posted the second one. ???I am at a loss with this stuff..

  5. Your garden looks fabulous, Judy. About the only things working in mine are the herbs and strawberries, though the hostas are coming in, the peonies are budding and the sweet peas, still green, are growing like weeds. And with weeds. We have had nothing but rain for two days now. For me it's rain inside and out. (the basement) I'm really looking forward to some sun! You'll have it again too - and that garden, already beautiful, will continue to thrive!

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. I have seen on the news that your state is having flooding and I guess you got some in your basement. When it rains, it pours, literally. We are back to beautiful weather now so it will probably last for awhile. Just long enough to let everyone out of their houses, without masks!! I get so mad when I see it..Take care and stay well..xxoJudy

  6. Wow I love your gardens. Those Lady Banks are gorgeous and I really like the Valerain. Those are so colorful.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Carla. The rain was good for the garden but did a number on the roses. Three years ago we didn't have one bit of the Valerian, it was all in our neighbor's garden across the street. Then one plant by one plant they got into our yard and then exploded. I am not in the least disappointed that they are here. It makes us look very official, like we know what we are doing!! Ha..Take care and stay well..xxoJudy

  7. Judy,
    Your gardens are lovely!! Our weather has finally gotten warmer and now even though they are over a week late, my azaleas are starting to bloom and finally the leaves are appearing on the deciduous trees.... Spring had a really late start here....
    Thanks so much for stopping by!!
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!

    1. Thanks so much Deb. We are now back to sunshine and some very pretty days. Hope it stays now..Take care and stay well..xxoJudy

  8. Your flowers are truly amazing, Judy. The front yard is spectacular with that stately birdbath and all those blooms leading the way to your fairytale cottage. I can only imagine the hours spent on that front porch enjoying the view. Wish I could be there to enjoy it with you! Stay safe!!

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. We have the sunshine back now and things are starting to pop. Little buds showing on the hydrangeas. I always have such fear during the late winter months that it isn't going to come back, but it always has so far. I will share my front porch with you anytime..Stay well and safe..xxoJudy

  9. Hello Judy your cottage and garden is a dreaming place love to live there beautiful place
    have blessing day be safe

    1. Hi Isora. Thank you so much and I hope this finds you well..Take care..xxoJudy

  10. Dear Judy ~ I absolutely love your garden style and all of the lovely blooms you have growing there. Thank you for sharing and for adding beauty, hope and joy to our lives. Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thank you so much, Lorraine. I love my garden too and we all need some peace and beauty now. I know you get that from your beautiful garden also. Hope you are staying well, my friend..Take care..xxoJudy

  11. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Debby. Stay safe and well..xxoJudy

  12. Oh Judy I just love this post and was swooning through your pictures. I do not think I have ever seen your front yard from the porch. How beautiful. Oh my I would sit out there all day and into the evening. So calming and pretty. I am going to plant some climbing roses for my arch way on the picket fence. Any hints you want to give to get them to grow up and over please share with me. I hope to have my arch way with gate looking so pretty with the climbing roses. I also may plant a few along the back of the picket fence to frame out the top of the picket. I just have never planted climbing roses before. Yours are beautiful on your archway. Big Hugs. Kris

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. Well, you know that you would have beautiful climbing roses. I am no expert for sure. The cecil brunner is a fast grower and does climb well, but it needs to be trimmed after each blooming and ours dosen't always get the hair cut it needs. Therefore it is a hot mess most of the time, but I love it..Take care and stay well..xxoJudy

  13. What a gorgeous entryway! I planted half a flat of yellow and pink mini petunias this evening and weeded a bit. Need to do the rest of my weeding this weekend. Hopefully it will not rain. Love all of your pops of red and white against the blue of your cottage. Janice

    1. Thanks so much, Janice. I love those mini petunias. Years ago, in another life time, I planted nothing but petunias. They are so pretty and I love the scent they have, most people don't. For years I had nothing but pink, yellow and white in the garden. All of the sudden red appeared and now I love it too. There never seems to be any rhyme or reason around here..Stay well my friend..xxoJudy

  14. There is something holy and calming about watching things grow, and cathartic sticking your hands in dirt. Loved this post, you are truly a gardener! Soothing my soul in plants here in Chicagoland, Thanks, Sandi

    1. Thanks so much, Sandi. I certainly appreciate your kind words but can't take a bit of credit for how our garden looks. It is a feat of magic, I'm afraid. We certainly have good little fairies living in the undergrowth!..Stay well and enjoy the weekend..xxoJudy

  15. Oh Judy.. your gardens look wild and wonderful! I love the Valerian! I plant it now and then but it never winters over.. so I have to plant again, same with Verbena that I love. And my zinneas never do well for some reason.. whether I plant from seed or buy the plants. We have a few flowers blooming but not much. We've had about 5 days a pure hard rains....unusual for here in central Oregon, but I notice how all the perennials have LOVED it! They are going crazy with their green leaves, but still nothing is blooming. My Iris did well but flowers are all done now. I love your big huge beds of one kind of plant, that comes up every year. That is the best kind of garden to have! After almost 5 years here, I finally have some perennials that are coming back each year... always fun to see them popping up here and there. My one little azalea survived the winter with only about 1/3 of the plant left! They usually freeze out here unless you cover them. I may cover it next winter. When I lived up in SW Washington, the azaleas grew prolifically and huge! This time of year is always hit and miss with the weather.. the sun teases us (and the flowers) and then the rains come and drown everything! but I think the plants really do love all the heavy rains. Keep on having conversations with your gardens.. they must love your talks as they all look gorgeous! Hugs.. Marilyn

    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn. Wild and wonderful, well wild for sure. Things never get trimmed back when they should and some when they shouldn't so we never know how it will turn out. Secretly though, I kind of enjoy the wild look. Sometimes I think I live in a fairy tale..Stay well and safe and have a wonderful weekend..xxoJudy

  16. Roses don't do well in my garden, but my coreopsis is going crazy.

    I must look into Valerian.

    1. Thanks, Carol. You would like Valerian. My grandmother once told me it was known as the Garden Gate flower. A perfect side to a country or beach cottage. We didn't start it at all, it all came over from our neighbor's garden and then flourished. I don't mind that at all, usually it is the only flowers we have but if you don't like intrusion than you might not want them. They are good fillers and do fairly well as a cut flower but don't last a very long time..Take care and stay well..xxoJudy

  17. Your front garden is looking beautiful sweet friend. I love it. You have a great green thumb ! Popping in to visit from Love Your Creativity.
    Keep safe, healthy and happy.

  18. Thanks so much, Fabby, and thanks for the visit. The rain did the garden good as it always does, no thanks to the gardeners..Stay safe and well..xxoJudy

  19. que maravilla de jardin para perderse y quedarse leyendo

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. A garden and a good book are great places to get lost in..Stay well..xxoJudy

  20. Oh, Judy, I could spend all day admiring your sweet gardens and smiling at your darling front porch! I love the roses and the big patch of valerian - such an unusual color and so pretty all together. The phlox is wonderful and your zinnia patch is going to be so colorful. Everything is blooming and the birds are singing - just when we need cheering up the most! Now, if we can just get a little more sunshine...Take good care, dear friend. Sending hugs xo Karen

  21. Thanks so much, Karen. We have gotten a little more sunshine than I would like. It is in the high 90's here today. But so good for the garden and makes pretty flowers. Hope your weather improves and stay well and safe..xxoJudy


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